141174 - Land at Hawthorne Close

My Council has the following objections to make on the proposal:

Glentworth Parish Council (GPC) wishes to lodge a formal OBJECTION to this planning application and requests that the West Lindsey Planning Authority refuses consent.  We have 3 principle reasons for our objection, which are summarised below and then explained in more detail:

1. We believe the Application is contrary to the CLLP, specifically Local Plan Policy 23 in relation to Local Green Space, in the context of a previous Planning Consent and conditions applied thereon;
2. We believe the Application is contrary to the principles of the Glentworth Neighbourhood Plan (GNP), specifically Objectives 1, 2 and 3, Policy 2;
3. We believe the development on this site as proposed is inappropriate in its scale, massing and design and therefore contrary to Policy 3 of the GNP

Given the nature of our objections we would request that this application is considered by the full Planning Committee in the event that the officer recommendation should be to grant consent.

Dealing with our objections in detail:

1. Local Plan Policy

We have appended (Annex A) to this objection the relevant extract from the CLLP relating to Local Green Space and have highlighted the relevant parts of the preamble.

The site in question is designated Public Open Space (POS), gaining this status as a consequence of a decision by WLDC in granting the Planning Consent for the original construction of the houses that form Hawthorn Close (Applications 115063).  

Condition 15 of those consents required the developer to allocate an area “not less than 5%’ of the total site to be POS.  The plan submitted by Ben Bailey Homes and endorsed by the Planning Authority clearly shows the area of land so designated to be that which it is now proposed to develop (Annex B).  The reason for the Condition was given as simply as “To ensure the satisfactory provision of public open space’ (Annex C).  

It is unclear what could have changed in the period since that original decision to make this Condition to now remove the requirement for the ‘satisfactory provision of public open space’.

Were the Planning Authority to grant this application they would be removing this Condition and we believe this should be a determinative decision, in other words the recommendation should make it clear that the LPA has chosen to abandon a requirement previously determined, it should not be a decision by default to remove this condition. Including a clear statement as to what has changed that there is no longer a need for the allocation of POS in this area.

It should be noted that the designation of this area as POS is distinct from the application to make the site an Asset of Community Value (ACV).  
2. Glentworth Neighbourhood Plan (GNP) – Protection of Local Green Space

In the GNP, the residents of the village identified a number of objectives, and the GPC believes the Application is contrary to a number of these Objectives and GNP Policy.  Dealing first with those elements that relate to Local Green Space; the GNP Objectives relevant are:

Objective 2: To protect and where possible enhance the natural environment of the plan area, retaining the visual connections with the surrounding countryside. 
Objective 3: To identify and protect specific assets and features of the natural environment valued by the local community

The Applicants Design and Access Statement correctly points out that the GNP does not specifically identify this site as a Local Green Space but that was because the community understood that this site was protected by its status as a POS, defined above.  The Parish and residents in identifying areas to designate as Local Green Space were concerned with substantial areas that might have no other specific protection and might therefore be regarded as at risk from development; a small site that benefitted from the designation, and it was assumed protection, of defined POS by virtue of a previous Planning Consent was not regarded as an ‘at risk’ area.

However, were this development to proceed, it would result in the loss of this area of POS.  Had the Parish and residents understood that the protection could be lost by dint of a fresh application then this would have been included in our identified Local Green Spaces.

We would add that given the proximity of the development side to the beck the removal of any trees carries the risk of undermining the stability of the ground in the area of this watercourse with consequent risks of flooding, etc.
3 GNP – Design and Character of Development

Objective 3 and Policy 3 of the GNP set out the residents’ ambitions and expectations for future development in Glentworth.  

Policy 3 in the context of this proposed development seems particularly relevant:

3.1. Development proposals will be supported where their design and detailing complement the established character of the village as described in the Neighbourhood Character Profile Report, taking particular account of: 
3.1.1. the ways in which the overall form, scale, massing, and proportions of new buildings and extensions relate to neighbouring buildings and impact on the character and appearance of the village as a whole; 

When the original consent was granted to Ben Bailey Homes for the development of Hawthorn Close for 17 houses it was on the basis that it created a clear pattern of houses, laid out in a particular way reflecting a coherent design for the whole estate.  The addition of this extra house as proposed in this application would significantly disturb the coherence of the estate, undermining the original design principles.  The size of the plot, taking into account the need to move the footpath, would necessitate the proposed dwelling being squeezed into the available space, and it would therefore be out of context with the rest of the development and the neighbouring properties.

Policy 3 of the GNP also states:

3.1.7. the importance of retaining existing mature trees, hedgerows and verges, and to incorporate in new development and roads landscaping solutions such as treelines and wide verges.

As has already been noted, the proposed development would require the moving of a footpath and also the removal of a number of trees.  Notwithstanding that the site in question is POS, the measures the Applicant has identified to enable this development would be completely contrary to this element of the Policy.

For the reasons set out above, Glentworth Parish Council requests that this application is refused.

Annex A

Extract from the Central Lincolnshire Local Plan: LP23 Local Green Space:

5.8 Local Green Space and other Important Open Space 

5.8.5 It is also important to note that public or private open spaces with limited or no public access can also perform an important role in contributing to the local community and quality of life. Open undeveloped spaces within a settlement are as important as the buildings in giving a settlement its unique character and form. Some open spaces, especially towards the edge of a settlement, are important in preserving the setting of a settlement. Other open spaces, including those not publicly accessible, provide breaks in the street scene and may allow views of the surrounding countryside to be enjoyed from within the settlement.

Annex B Site Plan for Planning Application 115063:

Annex C 

Decision Notice for Planning Application 115063, 27 January 2003:

Signed GMonks             Date 1st July 2020