This is the final draft of the WPC Response to 138660
In summary the major concern is the impact this development will have
- on the sustainability of the village and particularly by restricting the pub’s ability to generate additional revenues in the future by removing its land asset.
- the effect of noise on the wellbeing of the residents in the new dwellings (and potentially the saleability of those dwellings, this is not a material planning concern but there have been problems at other similar sites across Lincolnshire))
- The loss of the last non residential site at the core of the village which in the future could be used to establish a base for improved community facilities.
- The developers complete lack of respect and concern for the natural landscape and character of the site.
- the drainage of surface water potentially affecting the area around The Green.
CONTENTS OF RESPONSE AS FOLLOWS:
On receipt of the planning notification 138660 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 air 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.
Waddingham Parish Council Summary.
Application 138660 is for outline permission for 7 dwellings all matters reserved. In reality it is an application for change of use of the non residential at the rear of Marquis of Granby Public House to a residential site.
The 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 its own economic sustainability. During this time the land has been 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 previous application 136796 was refused on two key issues,
Failure to provide a satisfactory living standard in terms of noise from the associated activities
Failure to demonstrate the satisfactory preservation of the existing natural environment
A similar application 130898 was also refused at appeal
We do not consider the applicant’s mitigation proposals are satisfactory and therefore the original grounds for refusal still stand.
Section 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
Section 8.a 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;
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 as the remaining non residential area.
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 and sustainability 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.
LP5 refers to consideration of adverse affects on economic growth and employment opportunities conversion/change of use.
Section 8.b states 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.
Residential development of seven dwellings on the Marquis of Granby site are unlikely to meet these needs
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 also 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 target numbers. It should also be noted that the applicants did not respond to our call for Development site for the Neighbourhood Plan in September 2018.
Section 8.c states 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.
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.”
We are extremely concerned that the applicant has responded to this challenge by simply and arbitrarily removing these trees (See Planning Statement 7.60) We also note that the arboricultural report is simply a resubmission of the one for the previous application (with the same survey date and number) with the two ‘offending’ trees removed from the drawings and assessments.
We are also concerned that the applicant regards the loss of the Important Open Space at the east side of the as insignificant and will have no detrimental impact (see Planning Statement 7.11). The orchard is 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 east corner of the site which links from the orchard to views of Snitterby . It has in the past (when the site was maintained) provided an important visual linkage through the site. LP21 refers.
This land is sited in the central area of the village in a natural bowl (aka amphitheatre). 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.
However the close proximity of the intended dwellings will be more adversely affected than more distant properties. The applicant has attempted to mitigate the problem and the refusal of the previous application on noise grounds by suggesting the erection of a noise screen around the and acoustic glass in the dwellings.
Whilst sound travels in straight lines it also reflects and refracts creating new points of sound source at barriers etc . (A brief study of Huygens Principles will explain why).
We believe that the rising ground will raise the dwelling’s upper floor above the level of the sound screen. Also people standing 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.
Furthermore the concept of not opening windows is a nonsensical presumption for rural residents.
The 2m screens will also 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 the pub garden’s main attraction for example the open character of the site and the ability to hold open air events and so have a significant impact on the sustainability of the public house.
LP5 refers to consideration of adverse affects on economic growth and employment opportunities conversion/change of use.
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.
It is not clear how the orchard area would be managed and maintained especially if the site is sold to third party builder should planning be approved.
The roadway into the site is unlikely to be adopted so it will mean that residents will have to move their wheelie bins to the site entrance for collection. This will not be suitable for disabled and mobility impaired residents.
Specific comments related to the Planning Statement Document
2.4 There is no WH Smith retail store in the village.
3.6 We were not party to the Written Review Statement and cannot 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.
We do not consider this to be an appropriate location for residential development.
5.2 Outline application is primarily for change of use from commercial to residential.
The proposals are purely speculative and not material to the application.
Chapter 6 1-31 is merely selectively quoting NPPF.
Chapter 6 32 -71 is selectively quoting CLLP Policies
Chapter 7 is their appraisal
7.4 The growth levels figure should be considered at the point of decision not at submission. The number to date (18.12.18) is 33 and not 44 as quoted. This quota does not have to be met until 2036. (The Neighbourhood Plan will take this into account to ensure village sustainability can be delivered) The applicants have failed to engage with the Neighbourhood planning team.
7.5 See above
7.6 Housing needs not identified by a housing needs survey.
7.7 As this is an outline application, why are there references to the type of houses proposed?
7.9 -7.13 It is only TPS application that assumes the loss of this space is minor. The original Punch application 130898 preserved this space, allowing for a community playground.
The Parish council is not comfortable about the loss of this important open space!
We refer to LP 23 on Important open Spaces
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 See sustainability comments above. The licence they are proposing is purely an attempt to provide mitigation to the noise issue at the expense of the sustainability of the public house.
7.39 This only applies to three properties. Halton House is effectively screened by the outbuildings, the School House (listed property) has a 6 foot wall across its garden and the Elms has no upper storey window openings facing the pub.
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 See comments above about wanton removal of trees. This behaviour shows disregard and disrespect to the planning process.
7.66 The list of observed birds is a little more extensive
Blackbirds (hundreds love the apples); Starlings; Field Fare (more common when the land was mowed!); Wren; Bluetits; Sparrows (house and hedge); Wagtails (Brian feeds them as well);Bullfinch; Chaffinch; Jay; Cuckoo; Woodpecker; Jay; Wood pigeon; Collared dove; Robin
Also a selection of mammals (voles, mice) and amphibians frogs, toads and apparently some newts species not confirmed)
7.85 The footway to the front of the site from High Street does not meet regulations and as it continues onto Common Road in front of Halton House it is therefore unsafe for pedestrians due to oncoming traffic.
7.90 We have some concern over surface water drainage based on resident’s observations.
There is in fact a surface water drain which runs down the south side of High Street, This connects to the surface water drains on the east side of Common Road as it heads towards Redbourne Road and discharges into Waddingham Beck. There is a drain directly outside the front of the public house and another one next to the western side of the pub access road. This latter one is regularly blocked by falling leaves from the orchard. Under heavy rain conditions this drain is unable to carry all the water away as it comes down the High Street. Although water is contained by the Kerbs on High Street, however there are no kerbs outside the front of the pub causing water to flood across the junction along Common Road in both directions (and importantly towards The Green).
Under normal rain conditions the overland flow from the south and west of the site can quickly seep into the cellar of the pub. In periods of heavy rain the flow is sufficient for water to bubble up through the surface of the car park contributing to the flooding of the High Street. When the applicants dug their archeological trenches a light overnight drizzle filled the trenches due a depth of 600mm.
We do not believe that the increased surface water run off from developing this site will be mitigated by the provision of soakaways and stone voids under the road as these will probably be above the normal existing water table.
7.91 Despite assertions by Anglian Water that the sewers are adequate there continue to be ongoing problems as Waddingham is completely dependent on the pumping station to transfer sewage to the treatment plant. This site could significantly impact the load on the transfer station.
7.104 See opening statement
7.105 See comments above. Disagree.