Site Allocations Plan March 2016

Document Section Site Allocations Plan March 2016 A370 Corridor into Weston-super-Mare Policy SA12: A370 Corridor into Weston-super-Mare [View all comments on this section]
Comment ID 2930529//2
Respondent Deleted User [View all comments by this respondent]
Response Date 29 Apr 2016
Comment

Policy SA12 A370 Corridor Into Weston-super-Mare

This policy sets to deliver a landscaped boulevard of trees along the A370 supported by high quality design, siting and materials to create a corridor of high quality townscape and architectural interest.

Whilst we do not object to the aspirations of Good Design, the policy must consider the overall context, in that the A370 whilst a key route is a busy urban highway dominated by such infrastructure.  Furthermore significant stretches of this route have already been developed by large retail developments and other structures.

Additionally the A370 route and adjoining land, particularly past my client’s site at Weston Gateway Business Park is not in a sensitive or designated area i.e. Conservation Area or special landscape designation or collection of listed buildings where design is a major material consideration. 

OBJECTION

The wording at present is very generic but could be interpreted to prevent development which otherwise in the absence of the policy would be acceptable in design terms.  Indeed, the policy apart from relating specifically to the A370 corridor adds little to the general design policies which are within the Core Strategy or indeed the National Planning Policy Framework.  It therefore appears superfluous. 

Importantly the NPPF whilst seeking to promote good design also explicitly advises against planning policies and decisions imposing

“architectural styles or particular tastes and they should not stifle innovation, originality or initiative through unsubstantiated requirements to conform to certain development forms or styles. It is, however, proper to seek to promote or reinforce local distinctiveness.

The policy as worded could readily be used to impose vague, or subjective architectural style, design or other requirements without substantiation.

PROPOSED CHANGE

We would therefore suggest that the policy should be revised to focus on delivering improvements to the public realm of the A370 at the most.

Failing that the policy should be deleted as it is superfluous and repeats policy guidance of the Core Strategy and the NPPF.

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