Initial thoughts on the application
WORK IN PROGRESS
Context of these
On receipt of the planning notification 138550 the Waddingham Parish Council determined that the period for comments was compromised by the 2018/2019 holiday period (with a submission by 4th January 2019). A request for a further weeks extension was brusquely rejected . (We have observed that the site notice was not displayed until 20th December with a submission date of 13/1/2019).
The Waddingham Parish Council convened at extreme short notice and inconvenience (we could only do this via a leaflet drop during the week end 8/9/10th December. It was announced as an open meeting (not enough notice for a lawful Parish Council Meeting) for all residents of Waddingham and Brandy Wharf to discuss this application and ait their own individual views. 32 people were able to attend at such short notice and despite the bad weather .
A key objective of the meeting was for the Waddingham Parish Council to informally consult as widely as possible on the response to the application and determine what if any comments the Parish Council should present to WLDC Planning for their consideration in determining this application.
A show of hands showed that 31 people were NOT in favour of the application and the Waddingham Parish Council should reflect the views raised by the meeting.
The Parish Council has started to take this approach for any application it receives that is considered significant to the parish . This is in accordance with the provisions of the Localism Act 2012 for greater local say in development and is also in anticipation of an imminent publication of the draft Waddingham and Brandy Wharf Neighbourhood Plan.
The Parish Council comments reflect the majority concensus of these meetings but residents are always advised/encouraged to submit their own individual comments as well.
Thirtytwo residents attended the meeting and a show of hands indicated that the majority (31) were not in favour of this application.
The application is for outline permission for 7 dwellings all matters reserved. In reality this just an application for change of use of the land at the rear of Marquis of Granby Public House.
The application form clearly states that the dwelling types are “Unknown” although the rest of the documentation presented implies that it will be 5 detached 4 bedroom houses and 2 semi-detached bungalows. The applicant clearly states that the application is only illustrative (Planning Statement 5.2) and therefore subject to complete change.
Marquis of Granby Public House
This public house has been on this site (i.e. as a single enterprise) since 1906 when it moved here from its former location across the road on High Street. It has served the community of Waddingham and Brandy Wharf for the last 112 years. During that time the pub has utilised the land covered by this application to host events and support the community and it’s own economic sustainability. In that time the land was regularly maintained, the grass being cut and the trees pruned. The current owners have only owned the property for two years and despite a request from Waddingham Parish Council to maintain the land by cutting the grass and dealing with the encroachment of scrub weeds etc they have done nothing to maintain the character of this site. The applicants approach to habitat preservation is cavalier, the previous application 136796 was refused because of concerns about the preservation of the orchard trees that were situated in the rear gardens.
The Area development Officer responded to the 136796 application as follows:
Although this application is outline, an indicative layout shows a couple of the larger trees incorporated into rear gardens. Due to the age and structural condition of these trees, any new residents are highly likely to remove them to create more usable garden area, especially the house nearest to the 6 PH parking spaces as the tree is in the middle of the garden. However, these two trees are identified as a veteran tree and a veteran candidate and so have a high ecological and cultural value and should be retained where possible. The development would also reduce the biodiversity value of the rest of the site and the mosaic of habitats associated with old orchards. The Phase 1 Habitat Survey makes various references to the important ecological value of the orchard trees as a priority habitat in the UKBAP, and the potential of the trees as bat roosts.”
The applicant’s response has been simply to arbitrarily remove these two “difficult” trees (T13 and T14) and remove references to these two trees in their arboriculture report (which is a copy of their original report with a modified appendix. The two trees in question were in fact two of the better trees.
The orchard has also been regarded as an important character of the street scene as viewed from High Street . At the same time the applicants seek to disregard the area of Important Open Space at the south western corner of the site. It has in the past (when the site was mainatained) provided an important visual linkage through the site.
Clause 8 of the NPPF states
Achieving sustainable development means that the planning system has three overarching objectives, which are interdependent and need to be pursued in mutually supportive ways (so that opportunities can be taken to secure net gains across each of the different objectives):
NPPF 8.a an economic objective – to help build a strong, responsive and competitive economy, by ensuring that sufficient land of the right types is available in the right places and at the right time to support growth, innovation and improved productivity; and by identifying and coordinating the provision of infrastructure;
Also NPPF section 80. (Building a strong competitive economy)
Planning policies and decisions should help create the conditions in which businesses can invest, expand and adapt. Significant weight should be placed on the need to support economic growth and productivity, taking into account both local business needs and wider opportunities for development. The approach taken should allow each area to build on its strengths, counter any weaknesses and address the challenges of the future. This is particularly important where Britain can be a global leader in driving innovation40, and in areas with high levels of productivity, which should be able to capitalise on their performance and potential.
Section 83 of the NPPF (Supporting a prosperous rural economy)
a) the sustainable growth and expansion of all types of business in rural areas, both through conversion of existing buildings and well-designed new buildings;
b) the development and diversification of agricultural and other land-based rural businesses;
c) sustainable rural tourism and leisure developments which respect the character of the countryside; and
d) the retention and development of accessible local services and community facilities, such as local shops, meeting places, sports venues, open space, cultural buildings, public houses and places of worship.
WPC Comments Start 1
This site is at the core of the village and is currently classed as non residential. In the past a number of adjacent properties were also part of a core village location for small businesses such as shops, builders yard, cobblers (it is not called High Street for nothing) These have since been developed as residential properties leaving just the pub site remaining
Rural pubs and other services like shops and post offices are under great pressure to survive. In order to do so they need to be able to innovate their traditional activities to not only serve the immediate community but also diversify and draw in customers from wider afield. This site therefore key to the future development of strong community services as it will allow synergy and consolidation of services into a central village hub that can grow now and into the future. Changing this site to residential development will have a severe impact on the immediate economic future of the pub and remove the opportunity to strengthen and support other services in the future
WPC Comments End 1
NPPF 8.b social objective – to support strong, vibrant and healthy communities, by ensuring that a sufficient number and range of homes can be provided to meet the needs of present and future generations; and by fostering a well-designed and safe built environment, with accessible services and open spaces that reflect current and future needs and support communities’ health, social and cultural well-being;
Promoting healthy and safe communities
NPPF 91 Planning policies and decisions should aim to achieve healthy, inclusive and safe places which:
a) promote social interaction, including opportunities for meetings between people who might not otherwise come into contact with each other – for example through mixed-use developments, strong neighbourhood centres, street layouts that allow for easy pedestrian and cycle connections within and between neighbourhoods, and active street frontages;
b) are safe and accessible, so that crime and disorder, and the fear of crime, do not undermine the quality of life or community cohesion – for example through the use of clear and legible pedestrian routes, and high quality public space, which encourage the active and continual use of public areas; and
c) enable and support healthy lifestyles, especially where this would address identified local health and well-being needs – for example through the provision of safe and accessible green infrastructure, sports facilities, local shops, access to healthier food, allotments and layouts that encourage walking and cycling.
NPPF 92. To provide the social, recreational and cultural facilities and services the community needs, planning policies and decisions should:
a) plan positively for the provision and use of shared spaces, community facilities (such as local shops, meeting places, sports venues, open space, cultural buildings, public houses and places of worship) and other local services to enhance the sustainability of communities and residential environments;
b) take into account and support the delivery of local strategies to improve health, social and cultural well-being for all sections of the community;
c) guard against the unnecessary loss of valued facilities and services, particularly where this would reduce the community’s ability to meet its day-to-day needs;
d) ensure that established shops, facilities and services are able to develop and modernise, and are retained for the benefit of the community; and
e) ensure an integrated approach to considering the location of housing, economic uses and community facilities and services.
WPC Comments Start 2
There is no evidence that sufficient number and range of homes has been objectively and specifically assessed for Waddingham other than a generic target set by the CLLP for different settlement classifications.
A survey in 2017 was undertaken by the Neighbourhood Plan Project to determine residents views on the types of housing needed within the village.
We are aware of a number of sites already listed in the SHELAA (2015). . These sites already have more than the capacity needed to meet our target by 2036 and we are actively looking at the optimum solutions in developing our Neighbourhood Plan for the sustainability of the village rather than just simply regarding generic taerget numbers.
WLDC has already commented on the key sites we are interested in putting forward in theNeighbourhood plan
As stated previously this site is at the core of the village and is perfectly suited for the development of supporting the future needs and support for the communities health, social and cultural well being. Residential development of seven dwellings are unlikely to meet these needs…. on this site would damage that opportunity in the future.
WPC Comments End 3
NPPF 8.c) an environmental objective – to contribute to protecting and enhancing our natural, built and historic environment; including making effective use of land, helping to improve biodiversity, using natural resources prudently, minimising waste and pollution, and mitigating and adapting to climate change, including moving to a low carbon economy.
NPPF states that
The presumption in favour of sustainable development does not change the statutory status of the development plan as the starting point for decision making. Where a planning application conflicts with an up-to-date development plan (including any neighbourhood plans that form part of the development plan), permission should not usually be granted. Local planning authorities may take decisions that depart from an up-to-date development plan, but only if material considerations in a particular case indicate that the plan should not be followed.
In terms of this application we believe it conflicts with the following local policies
Need to cross reference the CLLP policies that cover the above NPPF clauses
Key words in here are to secure development that improves the economic, social and environmental conditions in Central Lincolnshire
(this is stated in Planning Statement section 6.36 )
Meeting accommodation needs
LP13 Accessibility and Transport
The applicant has attempted to mitigate the refusal of the previous application refusal on noise grounds by suggesting the erection of noise screen and accoustic glass.
Whilst sound can tends to travel in straight lines it also reflects and refracts creating new points of sound source. (A brief study of Huygens Principles will explain why) People stood near the back wall of the pub are unlikely to have their noise attenuated as their voices will reflect off the rear pub wall anyway and easily refract over the screens .
The 2m screens will detract from the open character of the beer garden, create extensive areas of shade and will be more successful at reducing noise entering the garden than preventing noise leaving. This will significantly detract from one of garden’s main attractions.
Waddingham is an exceptionally quiet rural village especially at night and sound carries well as there is little background noise. The reason that there are no noise reports is easily explained by the fact that the community is small, direct intervention with the pub landlord along with community peer pressure is usually the way that any problems are addressed! Environmental Health processes are bureaucratic, lengthy and do not usually result in any immediate action being taken.
Good pub management and community communications are more effective at controlling issues rather introducing restrictions and ineffective technology solutions. More importantly the proposed dwellings are more likely to present equally important noise issues to existing neighbours of this site as the proposed dwellings will be more closely located ( Science bit again- sound intensity is inversely proportional to distance.)
In 4.1 of the Planning Statement the pre-application advice did not satisfy the planning officers with respect to noise and disturbance and that a unilateral undertaking about noise did not satisfy the officers concerns about sustainability of the pub.
Specific comments to the Planning Statements
2.4 There is no WH Smith retail store
3.6 We were not party to the Written Review Statement and can not verify the veracity or accuracy of the statements made by TPS. The reasons given to us in the review were lacking in detail or specificity!
4.5 We note that the applicants have already felled two trees that had previously been identified as needing protection and retention
4.8 key words missing from brownfield / infill sites is “in appropriate locations” as per LP4 see comments above on needs, commercial sites etc
5.2 Outline application primarily for change of use from commercial to residential (comments above)
Chapter 6 1-31 is merely selectively quoting NPPF … I can do that see above
Chapter 6 32 -71 is selectively quoting CLLP Policies There are some other that we need to reference i.e.
Section 7 is their appraisal
This is where we should respond with our comments above as well as additional ones
7.4 This number has changed following Silver st and Andy’s application
7.5 refer to Neighbourhood plan and site allocations above here
7.6 Housing needs not identified pure guesswork see comments above
7.9 -7.13 comments above and pick up on their assumption in 7.13 It is only TPS application that assumes the loss of this space is minor. The original punch application 130898 preserved this space !!
7.14-7.15 Cross reference development site already identified but not allocated for Waddingham (SHELAA)
7.17 -7.36 See comments above
7.37 Oh yes it will
7.39 Yes they are Alison Cousins, Rose Cottage
7.40 see comments in NOISE section
7.41 The issue is about sustainability of the pub and the village in general relating to loss of this commercial site
7.57- 7.60 Err council was concerned about the removal as retention was advised previously and so only solution is to remove them !!!!!! thereby delivering a fait accompli . What about careful and judicious pruning to reduce height and span and put a TPO on them see notes below or above
7.60 shows disregard for heritage and environmental
7.66 My list of birds is a little more extensive (as seen from my kitchen window)
blackbirds (hundreds love the apples)
Field Fare (more common when the land was mowed!)
sparrows (house and hedge)
wagtails (Brian feeds them as well)
Also a selection of mammals (voles , mice) and amphibians frogs, toads and apparently some newts species not confirmed)