Site Proposals document
Representation ID: 15431
Respondent: Scole Parish Council
Premature and prejudicial to the nascent Diss & District Neighbourhood Plan. Proposed housing density too high, Access poor, Flooding Risk and outside Settlement Boundary
A decision on this site is considered premature and prejudicial to the Diss & District Neighbourhood Plan (in which Scole Parish is included), which will seek to allocate sites across the Plan Area according to local need as well as viability and connectivity to transport links and services. Comments on this site are made without prejudice to the above and are to formally note any planning or other reasons that should be taken into future consideration. Scole Parish Council also comments that:
1) The proposed housing density is not commensurate with a village environment, especially considering how close to the required land supply the region is.
2) Access to the site is very poor. Indeed highways objected to proposals that two properties (part of the proposed development on site 2016/0165) would have their entrance facing onto Low Road.
3) Low Road frequently floods.
4) Our opinion is that this site sits outside the settlement Boundary.
Site Proposals document
Representation ID: 16693
Respondent: Thelveton Farms
Our client is pleased that the site has been identified as suitable within the HELAA. We have reviewed the assessment of the site, and make the following comments. Scole is a 'Service Village' within the adopted JCS. There are no known constraints on the site which would make development difficult or unacceptable: it is not located within Greenbelt, AONB or Flood Zones 2 and 3; it is not subject to any PROW which may be affected by development of the site. The access off Low Road (30mph) could be upgraded, if required. There is residential development on either flank.
SEE ATTACHED DOCUMENT
Our client is pleased that the site has been considered, and identified as suitable within the HELAA. We have reviewed the assessment of the site provided within the Site Proposals Document and HELAA, and make the following comments in relation to the site's delivery. [References to NPPF and its consultation, Housing White Paper and NPPG]
Below, the site is considered against the tests within the NPPG, confirming that the site is suitable, available and achievable for development purposes:
Development in rural areas is considered vital to the long term sustainability of rural communities.
Encouraging growth in sustainable settlements within rural areas is considered to be in accordance with Paragraph 55 of The Framework, which also notes that residential development in such settlements can make a significant contribution to the maintenance and continuing provision of local services and facilities for community use (Section 3: Supporting a Prosperous Rural Economy).
The site is considered to be a suitable location for residential development. Scole is identified as a 'Service Village' within the adopted Joint Core Strategy (2011), recognising the level of services, facilities and infrastructure available there within. Scole's facilities include public houses/restaurants and a primary school and are within walking distance of the site. The village also benefits from regular bus services to the market town of Diss where further amenities are available.
There are no known physical limitations or constraints on the site which would make development of the site difficult or unacceptable. The site is not located within protected areas such as Greenbelt, AONB or Flood Zones 2 and 3. The site is not subject to any PROW which may be affected by development of the site.
The site benefits from an existing access off of Low Road (30mph) which could be upgraded, if required, as part of any development.
The development of the site for housing would be considered as infill with residential development located on either flank. As such development of the site would not appear out of character with the existing built form, providing a natural extension to this part of the settlement. To the west of the site is the Scole bypass. The site currently appears as rough un-kept pasture of limited to no value within the wider landscape character.
The site could therefore present a suitable location for the managed growth of Scole, particularly given its relationship with the existing village. It is of an appropriate scale in relation to the form of the village, and as such, this site presents an opportunity to create an attractive and sympathetic development within a sustainable settlement.
The site is considered available for development being within the control of a single owner. Should the site be accepted by the Council as a location for housing development, Savills would be able to act on our client's behalf to take the site forward with a view to identifying a suitable development partner as soon as possible.
As noted above, there are no known technical constraints relating to the site and therefore it is considered its development would be economically viable. Services including electricity, mains water, foul sewerage and telecommunications are easily connectable and readily available.
There are no other known factors that mean development of the site would be difficult or unacceptable. Therefore, it is clear that the site presents a deliverable option for housing in Scole and could make a material contribution to the housing targets of the District.
Site Proposals Document Assessment
The site proposal document identifies Land at Rose Farm off Bungay Road, Scole as GNLP0339, and in respect of its deliverability states:
"Site 0339 is opposite the allotment gardens fronting on to Low Road, a narrow country lane with no footpaths and creating suitable access may not be possible. It is also close to the A140 which may affect the site in terms of noise."
Comment: The site benefits from an existing access off of Low Road which connects to Norwich Road, the main route through the village.
The NPPF makes it clear that development should only be prevented on highways grounds where it can be demonstrated that the residual cumulative impacts of development would be severe . A Transport Assessment would be produced, if required, by a qualified Highways Engineer prior to submission of any planning application. However, it is not anticipated at this stage that highway impacts relating to the development of the site would be severe.
In respect of potential noise arising from the sites proximity to the A140. A noise impact assessment with appropriate mitigation measures could be produced as part of any application should the land be successfully allocated for development. Equally, it is pertinent to highlight that the site is approximately 50 metres from the A140 at its closest point with an area of mature woodland located in between.
A HELAA was undertaken and forms part of the evidence base for the site proposals document. Our client's comments on the HELAA are as follows [see scanned document for tables]
Access comment: Access is addressed in our assessment of the site proposals document above.
Landscape comment: The site is located within the Waveney River Valleys, a locally significant landscape area. However, the site is immediately adjacent to the main body of the village and occupies a gap between two areas of residential development, which provide screening. Development of the site would not appear out of character with the existing built form. To the west of the site is the Scole bypass. The site currently appears as rough un-kept pasture of limited to no value within the wider landscape character. Furthermore, appropriate landscaping could be implemented as part of any development of the site.
Historic Environment comments: Comment: In relation to the historic environment, this is addressed within Chapter 12 of the Framework. Paragraph 132 notes:
"When considering the impact of a proposed development on the significance of a designated heritage asset, great weight should be given to the asset's conservation. The more important the asset, the greater the weight should be. Significance can be harmed or lost through alteration or destruction of the heritage asset or development within its setting. As heritage assets are irreplaceable, any harm or loss should require clear and convincing justification."
Paragraphs 134 set out what the considerations should be when determining an application which impacts designated heritage assets. It states: "134. Where a development proposal will lead to less than substantial harm to the significance of a designated heritage asset, this harm should be weighed against the public benefits of the proposal, including securing its optimum viable use."
The Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 in Section 66 adds that:
"In considering whether to grant planning permission for development which affects a listed building or its setting, the local planning authority, or, as the case may be, the Secretary of State shall have special regard to the desirability of preserving the building or its setting or any features of special architectural or historic interest which it possesses."
Section 72 adds that it is a duty, with respect to any buildings or land in a conservation area, to pay special attention to the desirability of preserving or enhancing the character or appearance of that area.
It is not considered that development of the site would have a detrimental impact or result in any harm to the setting of any listed buildings or the Scole conservation area. In addition, when assessing the impact on heritage assets, it is considered that the public benefits associated with the development of this site would weigh strongly in favour of its development.
Work and employment would be created for both individuals and businesses involved in the construction elements of the development and sourcing of materials. It is also considered that any construction workers and local trades will make use of local services and facilities during the construction period. In the long-term it is likely trades people will be required to help maintain any properties. Additionally, it is considered that the occupiers of any development would make use of local services and facilities ensuring their vitality, viability and longevity thus contributing to the local economy.
A heritage impact assessment would be produced, if required, prior to submission of any planning application should the site be allocated. Furthermore, appropriate archaeological surveys could be conditioned should planning be pursued on the site.
It is considered that the land at Street Farm off Low Road, Scole (GNLP 0339) is sustainable and deliverable as defined by the NPPF, and a suitable location for residential development. The site, within the ownership of Sir Rupert Mann Bt, represents an attractive option for housing growth within the District.
Should the site be accepted as an allocation within the Local Plan, Savills would be able to act on our client's behalf to take the site forward with a view to identifying a suitable development partner as soon as possible.
SEE ATTACHED LETTER FOR FULL REPRESENTATION