Site Allocations Plan March 2016

Comment ID 8065185//1
Document Section Site Allocations Plan March 2016 Schedule 1: Proposed large sites for residential development over 10 dwellings (Sites marked with a * are mixed use sites). Nailsea Station Road View all on this section
Respondent Deleted User View all by this respondent
Response Date 22 Apr 2016
Comment

We object strongly to this proposal and would refer to the Town Council's previous recommendation made on 25th March 2013 that whilst some appropriate development was considered suitable for the western side of the site the remainder of the site should be designated as Local Green Space due to its “amenity value adjacent to Nowhere Wood access.”

In support of our objections we would draw your attention to the comments made by Mr. Mike Fox, the Inspector appointed by the Secretary of State in his Appeal Decision in February 2009 with regard to the refusal of planning approval for just 3 detached houses on this site. His reasons for dismissal of the proposals were

  • “the main issues are the effect of the proposed development on the character and appearance of the area and on the living conditions of the neighbouring occupiers”
  • “it lies in an area of low density housing bordering a green corridor of open space and woodland to the east which is crossed by a number of footpaths....the area has retained its rural appearance”
  • “in my judgement the extended back garden of the appeal site is an integral part of the amenity area designated under LP Policy ECH/1 and in particular it displays a character of openness”
  • “important trees on the site would be likely to lead to pressures from future occupiers to remove branches or entire trees, in response to nuisance from falling branches, twigs and leaves, loss of light/overshadowing or for structural/safety reasons”. (This was supported by your Council's Tree Officer even when the trees were protected by TPO's.)
  • “on the basis of the Local Plan CCF document .. and an up to date audit of its informal amenity open space in Nailsea, the Council [North Somerset] was able to demonstrate that there is a slight shortfall of amenity open space in Nailsea. This is further reason why it is important to protect the designated amenity area in the vicinity of the appeal site..”
  • “by extending urban development into the amenity area, would impact adversely on the natural appearance of this important green corridor, with the further likelihood of some tree loss.”The Government Inspector gave numerous other reasons for his decision based on that particular planning application including the fact that it would prejudice the amenities (living conditions) of adjoining occupiers of nos 62 and 54 Station Road, through overlooking, loss of outlook, overshadowing or overbearing impact.His view was based on a proposal for 3 detached houses. The Sites Allocation Plan is proposing 15 new dwellings. Our view is that the same argument against development of this land still apply but more so. 15 new houses will have a much greater impact on the area and would also raise issues of highway concern due to the egress onto Station Road.The Inspector also referred to the site being within the 5 mile protection zone for the North Somerset and Mendip Bats Special Area of Conservation and North Somerset Council's own Landscape Officer is on record as saying “the site's inclusion as part of a much wider amenity area (including school grounds, woodland and public open spaces) is a long standing one and is of considerable visual benefit. The contribution such private open spaces make is of considerable value, especially in a town where open space provision is relatively low”The Council's Ecologist said there were records of two species of bat and badger and that it was important to retain the linkages between the existing hedgerows and woodland areas especially as these could be used as flight-lines for bats.Finally in order to protect the land at the eastern end of the site (which has thus far been classed as “Amenity Land” ) from future development we would draw your attention to the Policy within the Site Allocation Plan for “Undesignated Green Space”. It states:-“the Policy will apply to areas of undesignated green space ….within settlements with defined settlement limits, which are considered nevertheless to be of value in making a worthwhile contribution to the townscape, character, setting and visual attractiveness of the settlement. Townscape is a term embracing a number of factors, such as the importance of green space in the street scene, in breaking up and adding variety with the urban fabric and in enhancing the setting of buildings and other features”.We believe the previous views given above by the Government Inspector, the Tree Officer, the Landscape Officer and the Council's Ecologist more than support the criteria for this designation and we would request North Somerset Council protects this very important green corridor in Nailsea.North Somerset Council previously refused planning permission on this land and successfully defended its decision at Appeal. The site remains exactly the same and therefore the planning reasons for refusal of development and the subsequent views of the Government Inspector are still relevant today. We therefore respectfully request that this land is removed from Schedule 1 of the Sites Allocation Plan and be included in Schedule 4 (Proposed Sites for Local Green Space).
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