Site Allocations Plan March 2016

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 comments on this section]
Comment ID 14824129//1
Respondent Nicola Pelmear [View all comments by this respondent]
Response Date 26 Apr 2016
Comment

I note the site allocations plan includes provision for up to 15 new dwellings at the rear of 60 Station Road.  My interest in the matter is as the owner (and future occupier) of the adjacent property – Four Oaks, 59 Station Road.

I understand no. 60 Station Road has been the subject of several planning applications and permission has been refused on two previous occasions.  The last application in 2009 for three detached houses was the subject of an appeal which was dismissed.  Some of the comments made by the Planning Inspector included:

  • “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 un LP Policy ECH/1 and in particular it displays a character of openness”
  • “important trees on the sire 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”
  • “on the basis of the Local Plan CCF document… and an up to date audit of its informal amenity open space in Nailsea, the Councils 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”.

I fully understand the Core Strategy/local plan, will supersede existing planning policies.  Unfortunately I neither have the time nor the inclination to read both the existing and proposed policy documents in order to compare the changes / differences.  However, I strongly suspect the comments made by the Planning Inspector in 2009 (which were based on the existing planning policies), would not be materially altered due to changes as a result of the new Core Strategy?

If I am correct in the assertion that new Core Strategy policies (particularly in relation to amenity and environmental issues) broadly remain unaltered, then it is disingenuous of North Somerset Council to adopt a new site allocation which would provide provision for up to 15 new dwellings on this site, especially when the 2009 application for three detached properties was so firmly rejected.

I recall the previous Coalition Government fan-fared that it would be giving local authorities more powers to prevent the development of gardens, and as a result, under the National Planning Framework - ‘Local planning authorities should consider the case for setting out policies to resist inappropriate development of residential gardens, for example where development would cause harm to the local area’.  I assume that North Somerset Council has duly considered this requirement in its new Core Strategy?  The reason I have referred to this is, the site of 60 Station Road, is in fact a garden, not a brown or greenfield site.  Due to the labyrinthine nature of planning guidance, advice and legislation, I am not clear whether the above advice has survived recent legislative changes.  However, the National Planning Policy Framework appears to promote ‘localism’ and the need to take into account the desires of local residents.  Nearby local residents have previously opposed the development of this garden.

 

My assertion is that when the Government increased the site allocation numbers for North Somerset, the usual ‘desk top site plan trawl’ was undertaken, and 60 Station Road was identified as a potential development site due to its relatively large size (0.43 hectares).  I have no criticism of that action, but the decision to identify the site for up to 15 dwellings appears to have be very crudely considered.

I understand that during 2013 the Town Council recommended “that whilst some appropriate development was considered suitable to 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”.  I am particularly keen to ensure that a wildlife corridor is maintained from Nowhere Wood to the hedges surrounding Nailsea School playing field and beyond, and therefore fully support those 2013 views.  I also have strong concerns about future access and traffic management impact should 15 dwellings be built, and how this might be managed / mitigated.  (NB. Perhaps you would be good enough to direct me to the relevant sections in the Core Strategy which deal with traffic / transport issues).

Having regard to the above comments, I strongly request that this site allocation in respect of 60 Station Road be urgently reviewed.

Regards

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