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New, Revised and Small Sites

Representation ID: 17741

Received: 24/11/2018

Respondent: Colney Parish Council


Regulation 18 consultation process Greater Norwich Local Plan (GNLP)
Additional proposals for Colney Parish, the Yare Valley and Norwich Research Park
Submission by Colney Parish Committee
(See full submission)

Full text:

Regulation 18 consultation process Greater Norwich Local Plan (GNLP)
Additional proposals for Colney Parish, the Yare Valley and Norwich Research Park
Submission by Colney Parish Committee

We are writing to oppose any further proposals for site allocation in Colney Parish, the Yare Valley and NRP as being suggested in the consultations for the GNLP. These refer in particular to the designations in and around the Yare Valley and in Colney Parish

We note that three earlier proposed sites in this locale are not being pursued in the GNLP process on the following grounds

Six sites were consulted on in early 2018, three for residential use, one submission was made for university uses, one site was proposed for commercial uses, and one site for retirement-led housing. The Regulation 18 Site Proposals document concluded: "the sites proposed for housing and retirement properties do not relate well to the existing built form of the settlement; the sites proposed for employment over and above those already allocated may be suitable for expansion of existing institutions if this is necessary, and if landscape policies to protect the setting of the A47 are reviewed. Site GNLP0140 A-C have existing planning permissions."

The new consultation document offers three new sites for the Yare Valley area
* GNLP0331R-A Is to south-east of the hospital, measures 15ha, and is promoted for employment led mixed use development
* GNLP0331R-B measures 1.2 ha and is adjacent to the hospital car park and accessed from Hethersett Lane
* GNLP0331R-C measures 5.6 ha, which would be accessed from Hethersett Lane, is promoted for employment use.

In each case the associated commentary noted:

In conclusion, the three newly submitted sites offer alternatives for the further development of the Norwich Research Park (NRP) if landscape policies to protect the setting of the A47 are reviewed.

There are also sites in Colney Parish, namely 0158, 0592 and 0253.

All of these are in green-field land and in land designated as open space separating the built area of the Norwich Research Park from the western margins of the greater Norwich area. None has any significant supporting infrastructure for future development, and all carry landscape protection designations.

We particularly note the inclusion of Colney Park (0592) which we believe has a special designation at historic parkland 'of landscape value'. This area is greatly valued by parishioners as it home to one of the largest heronries in the country and retains some fine native trees.

In all of these cases we strongly oppose any changes to the special landscape qualities for this area. We recognise that, despite our spirited opposition, the sites in the Yare Valley already given planning permission may be developed.

The Planning Setting
The proposed sites lie in the Norwich Southern Bypass Landscape Protection Zone (NSBLPZ), and is identified on what the South Norfolk Local Plan (2015, 117) identifies as a "strategic gap". The reasons for both the landscape protection zone and the strategic gap are agreed by the Council in paragraph 4.65 of its Local Plan.
In order to ensure the protection and conservation of local landscape character and the setting of urban areas, towns and villages, the Council has defined open land or 'Strategic Gaps' that maintain the segregation and individual identities of certain settlements in the Norwich Policy Area and so avoid areas of development 'sprawl' which would be detrimental to the rural character of the area.
Regarding the NSBLPZ, in Policy DM 4.6, South Norfolk Council affirms:
All development proposals within the Norwich Southern Bypass Landscape Protection Zone (NSBLPZ) should have regard to protecting the openness of the Zone and, where possible, enhancing the landscape setting of the southern bypass, including the practice of wild flower planting and management regimes
Furthermore, in order to safeguard the landscape character areas of their District, in Policy DM 4.5, South Norfolk Council states unequivocally:
All development should respect, conserve and where possible, enhance the landscape character of its immediate and wider environment. Development proposals that would cause significant adverse impact on the distinctive landscape characteristics of an area will be refused.
Both Parishes have stressed the importance of these safeguards of planning policy in previous submissions. We refer in particular to the siting of the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, and the recent proposal under Planning Application 2016/0233 for playing fields and a major rugby club facility together with associated car parking in the heart of the scenic Yare Valley.
We Parishes take our consultative responsibilities very seriously as should be expected of us. In this matter we are supported by the Yare Valley Society which also seeks to protect the special characteristics of the protected "green corridor" of the Yare Valley with its renowned biodiversity and species mixes.
Collectively we feel that our strong landscape care case, as supported by the South Norfolk Local Plan, which has statutory backing to its planning policies, is generally not being given sufficient weight in the deliberations of the South Norfolk Development Management Committee.
We also note with much sadness that the Greater Norwich Local Plan offers the same myopia over the gratuitous allocation of possible development sites in these precious areas.
We are mindful of the broad and ambiguous umbrella phrase of "contributing to sustainable development" which pervades the National Planning Policy Framework and which guides DM Policy 1.3 in the South Norfolk Local Plan 2015, 25). In the last part of that policy are the relevant phrases:
Permission for development in the Countryside outside of the defined development boundaries of Settlements will only be granted if:
c) Where specific Development Management Policies allow for development outside of development boundaries or
d) Otherwise demonstrates overriding benefits in terms of economic, social and environment dimensions as addressed in Policy 1.1.

At the core of sustainable development lies the overall public wellbeing and protection of nature in a planet ravaged by human-forced destruction under the guise of "sustainable development".
What particularly grieves us is that each decision creates the case for sequential resonant planning applications and accepted decisions. Over time these perverse decisions "nibble away" at the landscape character and its protection under established planning law. We are simply not convinced by the argument, sometimes advanced, that any given decision in such a sensitive case carries no precedent for future planning proposals. All the evidence of the past two decades point to the opposite conclusion, namely that each decision begets the case for future applications and favourable planning assessments.
Our case in this instance is first that this process of "nibbling" just has to stop. It has been proved to stimulate more "nibbling" over the years. And every time we press this point we are rebuffed by the seeming "balance of the planning values" of sequential applications. We are losing confidence in our chances of success in continuing to make our case for landscape and biodiversity safeguard in Colney Parish and in the Yare Valley. Yet if the two most affected Parishes and the champion of the Yare Valley special amenity cannot be assured of fair hearing then the purpose of the noble parish consultation processes is jeopardised.
We submit that all of these additional sites be removed from the putative allocation procedures under Regulation 18 and that what remains of this beautiful and biodiverse Valley as well as Colney Parish be left alone as is the intention under existing planning procedures. The only purpose of reviewing these landscape policies is to strengthen them.


New, Revised and Small Sites

Representation ID: 18468

Received: 11/12/2018

Respondent: June Gentle


The following sites, 5.17 Caistor St Edmunds
5.21 Colney
Both sites fall within the Yare Valley corridor and are also covered by the NSBLPZ to give protection for a wildlife corridor.
Both sites should be rejected.

Full text:

I am writing to express my opposition to recent applications to further development in the Yare Valley Corridor.
The following sites, 5.17 Caistor St Edmunds
5.21 Colney
Both sites fall within the Yare Valley corridor and are also covered by the NSBLPZ to give protection for a wildlife corridor.
Both sites should be rejected.
I also strongly object to any more development by UEA . GNLP 2123 is yet another attempt by the University to encroach further into the valley and the application is very vague and would give yet another opportunity for building on the green corridor.
The Yare Valley is an important recreational area for the general public to enjoy. The pressures to develop this space are limitless.
A strong message should go out from the Planning Authority that this special landscape is not "up for grabs"and actively seek to conserve it for future generations.