GNLP0234

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Object

Site Proposals document

Representation ID: 12804

Received: 10/01/2018

Respondent: Mr John Fleetwood

Representation:

The site is adjacent to one of the few ancient woodlands we have remaining in Norfolk and the woodland would be threatened by such a proposed development.

Full text:

The site is adjacent to one of the few ancient woodlands we have remaining in Norfolk and the woodland would be threatened by such a proposed development.

Object

Site Proposals document

Representation ID: 12805

Received: 10/01/2018

Respondent: Mr John Fleetwood

Representation:

The site is adjacent to one of the few ancient woodlands we have remaining in Norfolk and the woodland would be threatened by such a proposed development.

Full text:

The site is adjacent to one of the few ancient woodlands we have remaining in Norfolk and the woodland would be threatened by such a proposed development.

Object

Site Proposals document

Representation ID: 16793

Received: 22/03/2018

Respondent: The Woodland Trust

Representation:

Adjacent to ancient woodland - see full text

Full text:

As the UK's leading woodland conservation charity, the Woodland Trust aims to protect native woods, trees and their wildlife for the future. Through the restoration and improvement of woodland biodiversity and increased awareness and understanding of important woodland, these aims can be achieved. We own over 1,250 sites across the UK, covering around 23,000 hectares (57,000 acres) and we have 500,000 members and supporters.
Ancient woodland is defined as an irreplaceable natural resource that has remained constantly wooded since AD1600. The length at which ancient woodland takes to develop and evolve (centuries, even millennia), coupled with the vital links it creates between plants, animals and soils accentuate its irreplaceable status. The varied and unique habitats ancient woodland sites provide for many of the UK's most important and threatened fauna and flora species cannot be re-created and cannot afford to be lost. As such, the Woodland Trust aims to prevent the damage, fragmentation and loss of these finite irreplaceable sites from any form of disruptive development.
We are concerned about a number of site allocations included in the attached table as they could lead to the damage and loss of ancient woodland.
Planning policy
National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) paragraph 118 states that "planning permission should be refused for development resulting in the loss or deterioration of irreplaceable habitats, including ancient woodland and the loss of aged or veteran trees found outside ancient woodland, unless the need for, and benefits of, the development in that location clearly outweigh the loss."
Natural England's standing advice for Ancient Woodland and Veteran Trees states:
"Trees and woodland classed as 'ancient' or 'veteran' are irreplaceable. Ancient woodland takes hundreds of years to establish and is considered important for its wildlife, soils, recreation, cultural value, history and contribution to landscapes."
The Housing White Paper published on 7th February 2017 further shows the government's intent to improve planning protections for ancient woodland. This revised protection reinforces the approach set out in paragraph 118 (as set out above) to restrict development of ancient woodland as to do so would be contrary to the National Planning Policy Framework presumption in favour of sustainable development (as set out in paragraph 14) and the revised draft NPPF at paragraph 173c states .."development resulting in the loss or deterioration of irreplaceable habitats (such as ancient woodland) should be refused, unless there are wholly exceptional reasons and a suitable mitigation strategy exists Where development would involve the loss of individual aged or veteran trees that lie outside ancient woodland, it should be refused unless the need for, and benefits of, development in that location would clearly outweigh the loss";...."

Impacts on ancient woodland
Approximately one quarter of priority UK BAP species are associated with woodland habitats. Forests, woods, and trees make a significant contribution to biodiversity, and ancient sites are recognised as being of particular value. Due to their longevity, ancient woodlands are more species rich, and are often refuges for specialist woodland species that struggle to colonise new areas.
Development in ancient woodland can lead to long-term changes in species composition, particularly ground flora and sensitive fauna, i.e. nesting birds, mammals and reptiles. Majorly adverse impacts would occur as a result of the removal of large areas of woodland, much of which contains high quality, valuable trees, to make way for the construction of this proposal.
When land use is changed to a more intensive use such as in this situation plant and animal populations are exposed to environmental impacts from outside of the woodland. In particular, the habitats will become more vulnerable to the outside influences, or edge effects, that result from the adjacent land's change of use. These detrimental edge effects can result in changes to the environmental conditions within the woodland and consequently affecting the wood's stable conditions. Detrimental edge effects have been shown to penetrate woodland causing changes in ancient woodland characteristics that extend up to three times the canopy height in from the forest edges.
Creation of new areas of woodland or buffer zones around semi-natural habitats, and more particularly ancient woodland, will help to reduce and ameliorate the impact of damaging edge effects, serving to improve their sustainability. The size of the buffer is dependent on the intensity of land use in the intervening matrix between ancient woods.
Natural England's standing advice for Ancient Woodland and Veteran Trees states:
"Impacts of development nearby can include these effects on the trees and woodland, and the species they support:
* compacting the soil around tree roots
* breaking up or destroying connections between woodland and other habitats
* reducing the amount of semi-¬natural habitats (like parks) next to ancient woodland
* changing the water table or drainage
* increasing the amount of pollution, including dust
* increasing disturbance to wildlife from additional traffic and visitors
* increasing light pollution
* increasing damaging activities like fly¬tipping and the impact of domestic pets
* changing the landscape character of the area."
Development must be kept as far as possible from ancient woodland, with a buffer area maintained between the ancient woodland and any development boundary. An appropriate buffer area will depend on the local circumstances and Natural England recommend "leaving an appropriate buffer zone of semi-natural habitat between the development and the ancient woodland or tree (depending on the size of development, a minimum buffer should be at least 15 metres)."
The size of a number of the site allocations suggests that large scale development could potentially take place. The minimum 15m buffer recommendation to all development is not effective in ensuring that ancient woodland within and/or adjacent to site allocations is not affected by potential future development. Buffers should be constructed on a case-by-case basis rather than a 'one size fits all' approach.

Conclusion
The Trust is concerned about the potentially adverse impacts that the proposed site allocations will have in relation to areas of ancient woodland within and/or adjacent to site allocations. Ancient woodland should not be included in areas that are allocated for development, whether for residential, leisure or community purposes as this leaves them open to the impacts of development.
The Woodland Trust objects to the inclusion of site allocations in the table attached, as they are likely to cause damage and/or loss to areas of ancient woodland or to ancient trees within or adjacent to their boundaries. For this reason we believe the sites in the table below are unsound and should not be taken forward. Secondary woodland should also be retained to ensure that ecological networks are maintained and enhanced.

Object

Site Proposals document

Representation ID: 19778

Received: 14/12/2018

Respondent: Ashwellthorpe & Fundenhall Parish Council

Representation:

I am writing to you on behalf of the Parish Council with regard to the above GNLP sites which have been identified as a result of your call for sites in 2016, and which are shown on the GNLP Regulation 18 Consultation. This is to register our concern about the possible use of these sites for building. While the need for housing is recognised as a priority in many areas we would like to remind you of the situation currently in Ashwellthorpe

There is a great deal of new housing being built locally near to Wymondham and we are already feeling the effect of the increase in construction traffic through the village as a result of the low rail bridge at Wymondham. That aside Ashwellthorpe already has a number of vacant properties and others for sale. But more relevant to the proposed sites above the following developments have either received planning approval, are in the planning system, or are planned.

The Wood Farm development to the south of The Street which is shown in yellow on the above plan. This is for 29 homes and enabling work has already begun so properties would be expected to be available in late 2019.
The conversion of several barns at Wood Farm to five residential units which will be completed in 2019.
Planning application 2018/2302 for six self build homes at land to the north of the Street.
A planned extension to the Wood Farm development consisting of 12 affordable houses under the "ownership" of Saffron for social housing.
Two properties(one already built)at land adjacent to No 78 The Street
A planning approval for four buildings adjacent to the above properties.
Approved planning application 2017/0968 for demolition of a bungalow and building four semi-detached properties (two nearing completion).
A detached house under construction at Rose farm, The Street, Ashwellthorpe.
A planning application for seven residential properties close to Ashwellthorpe Hall to be considered.

There are in total 57 new properties either under construction, approved and awaiting construction or approved for construction. A further six awaiting approval. A further seven have yet to be considered but may not be built. It is likely therefore that Ashwellthorpe will have an increase in housing stock of some 63 properties over the next two years from the current 220 to 283 i.e. by 29%.

Ashwellthorpe has a pub on the A1113 at the far east end of the village. Apart from this there are no shops, doctors, dentists or other services in the village and a car is essential given the extremely limited bus service (3 per day). This is not a letter of complaint , I am merely serving to draw your attention to the influx of new homes expected in the village which should meet requirements for some time.

The sites offered for future construction represent the few remaining open fields within the village.

For your information, in addition there is site 2182 at the Industrial estate which has suggested for commercial development. At present there are sites available on this estate and any enlargement of this may require the loss of some of the current units for access.

Full text:

I am writing to you on behalf of the Parish Council with regard to the above GNLP sites which have been identified as a result of your call for sites in 2016, and which are shown on the GNLP Regulation 18 Consultation. This is to register our concern about the possible use of these sites for building. While the need for housing is recognised as a priority in many areas we would like to remind you of the situation currently in Ashwellthorpe

There is a great deal of new housing being built locally near to Wymondham and we are already feeling the effect of the increase in construction traffic through the village as a result of the low rail bridge at Wymondham. That aside Ashwellthorpe already has a number of vacant properties and others for sale. But more relevant to the proposed sites above the following developments have either received planning approval, are in the planning system, or are planned.

The Wood Farm development to the south of The Street which is shown in yellow on the above plan. This is for 29 homes and enabling work has already begun so properties would be expected to be available in late 2019.
The conversion of several barns at Wood Farm to five residential units which will be completed in 2019.
Planning application 2018/2302 for six self build homes at land to the north of the Street.
A planned extension to the Wood Farm development consisting of 12 affordable houses under the "ownership" of Saffron for social housing.
Two properties(one already built)at land adjacent to No 78 The Street
A planning approval for four buildings adjacent to the above properties.
Approved planning application 2017/0968 for demolition of a bungalow and building four semi-detached properties (two nearing completion).
A detached house under construction at Rose farm, The Street, Ashwellthorpe.
A planning application for seven residential properties close to Ashwellthorpe Hall to be considered.

There are in total 57 new properties either under construction, approved and awaiting construction or approved for construction. A further six awaiting approval. A further seven have yet to be considered but may not be built. It is likely therefore that Ashwellthorpe will have an increase in housing stock of some 63 properties over the next two years from the current 220 to 283 i.e. by 29%.

Ashwellthorpe has a pub on the A1113 at the far east end of the village. Apart from this there are no shops, doctors, dentists or other services in the village and a car is essential given the extremely limited bus service (3 per day). This is not a letter of complaint , I am merely serving to draw your attention to the influx of new homes expected in the village which should meet requirements for some time.

The sites offered for future construction represent the few remaining open fields within the village.

For your information, in addition there is site 2182 at the Industrial estate which has suggested for commercial development. At present there are sites available on this estate and any enlargement of this may require the loss of some of the current units for access.