Accept and Continue

Cookies on this site

This site uses cookies. For more information, please see our privacy policy.
Skip to main content

Current Applications and EWPC Responses

22/02328/FUL - 5 Copnor, Church Road, Woolton Hill, RG20 9XH.

The Planning Committee of East Woodhay Parish Council wish to make the following comments: 

1.     It is our understanding that the land on which these houses are built was left to the community for the provision of housing after WW2; the gardens were left the size they are to allow for the growing of vegetables etc. We understand that the property was sold by BDBC to the existing owner on 04-12-1978 and the detail of the restrictive covenants mentioned therein should be clarified, before any further work is undertaken. 

2.     Regarding the construction of a building on this land, it is within the SPB of East Woodhay.  It is also within the garden of an existing house and such a windfall site must be considered against the ‘harm’ it will cause to the local area (NPPF Para 69c).  To build here will significantly change the appearance of the area in a way which is out of keeping with the character of the area.  We therefore consider that undue harm will be caused by allowing this building to go ahead. 

3.     There is no housing need within this parish, and certainly not for houses of this size.  Further, this is within an AONB and, as such, further consideration should be given to the impact of development of this type which would undoubtedly cause increased density in an area which is presently open and spacious.   
 

4.     Para 10.54 of the emerging Neighbourhood Plan supports development proposals on residential garden land, but only if they: 

  • Maintain the prevailing character and appearance of buildings in their immediate locality. 
  • Reflect the scale, mass, materials, design and layout of existing residential dwellings.
  • Safeguard the amenities of adjacent residential dwelling and their curtilages.

We feel that this proposal does not accord with a), b) or c) above; it does not maintain the prevailing character and appearance of buildings within the immediate locality; its scale and mass is out of keeping with the existing residential dwellings; and it will have an unacceptable and imposing dominance on neighbouring properties. 

The proposed development, by virtue of its form, design, siting, layout and appearance, fails to respect the character and pattern of development of the area, thereby adversely affecting the visual amenities and landscape quality of the area,which is within the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Also, the density of development and associated hardstanding would not be sympathetic to, and not successfully integrate with the surrounding area. As such, the development is considered contrary to the requirements of Policies EM1 and EM10 of the Basingstoke and Deane Local Plan 2011-2029, Section 12 the National Planning Policy Framework (2019) and the Design and Sustainability Supplementary Planning Document (2018).  

We are unable to support this application – it should be refused.   

However - subject to clarification on the covenants on the property - noting that thesite is within the SPB and that our emerging Neighbourhood Plan will support certain development proposals within residential garden land, we would feel more able to support an application for a smaller residential dwelling (2-3 bedrooms) and one with less overbearing impact on neighbouring properties and a design more in keeping with neighbouring properties. 

 

T/00334/22/TCA - 3 The Court, Stargrove Lane, East End, RG20 0AB.

The Planning Committee  of East Woodhay Parish Council is content to leave the decision in the above matter to the expertise of the Tree Officer.

 

22/02393/HSE – Ashley, Heath End Road, Ball Hill, RG20 0NS.

The Planning Committee of East Woodhay Parish Council has no objection to or comments to make upon the above application.

 

22/02279/HSE - Green Pastures, Tile Barn, Woolton Hill, RG20 9XE.

The Planning Committee of East Woodhay Parish Council has no objection to or comments to make upon the above application.

 

22/02263/TDC – Furzelea, Ball Hill Road, Hatt Common, RG20 0NQ.

The Planning Committee of East Woodhay Parish Council has no objection to or comments to make upon the above application.

 

22/01899/FUL -  Land West Of Pumping Station, Enborne Row, Wash Water

The Planning Committee of East Woodhay Parish Council (adjacent to the land in question) object to the application for the following reasons: 

  1. AONB and the character of the proposed settlement  
  • The proposed development is immediately adjacent to the AONB and is inappropriate development for this designated area. 
  • The proposed buildings are not in character with the existing small settlements and remote homes in Enborne Parish. There are no estates of pre-fabricated park homes in the Parish of Enborne or East Woodhay.  
  • Planning was granted for this land to be changed into an equestrian centre – this is completely different to the original application and not acceptable in any form. 

This development should not be granted planning permission. 

  1. Wildlife Fairway 

The submission from the Environment Agency with regard to Common Farm has some pertinent points. This is supported by paragraphs 174 and 180 of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF): 

  • Mitigation measures are essential to prevent disturbance to otters. 
  • There should be an undeveloped buffer zone of 10m width along the River Enborne. 
  • Access to the watercourse should be carefully controlled to retain undisturbed areas for riparian species, especially otters. 
  • There should be no light spillage on to the river corridors. 

Otters are documented at the Chase, downstream of the proposed development in Enborne Row, and at the humpback bridge just upstream from the proposed development. Clearly this section of river is ecologicallysensitive and deserves protection. 

This development should not be granted planning permission. 

  1. River Nutrient Levels and Effluent Treatment 
  • Natural England wrote to all LPA heads on the 16th March, 2022 with advice for development proposals with the potential to affect water quality resulting in adverse nutrient impacts on habitats sites, as follows: 

“Natural England advises you, as the Competent Authority under the Habitats Regulations, to carefully consider the nutrients impacts of any new plans and projects (including new development proposals) on habitats sites and whether those impacts may have an adverse effect on the integrity of a habitats site that requires mitigation, including through nutrient neutrality.”  

  • Despite improvements in the quality of fish populations and dissolved oxygen and phosphate levels since 2016, the current (2019) status of the river Enborne (https://environment.data.gov.uk/catchment-planning/WaterBody/GB106039017280) is only moderate due to invasive North American Signal Crayfish, drought, land drainage and barriers created by ecological discontinuity. The river failed its chemical assessment in 2019 due to the presence of Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE). Water quality in the upper reaches of the river Enborne are moderate. 
  • The planning application that has been submitted makes no reference to the measures to be taken to deal with human effluent.  It would seem that  a septic tank was installed under the existing stables – but this is not confirmed.  Whatever the current situation, it is clear, the River Enborne does not need any additional effluent outflow from septic tank systems so planners should reject the application or insist on a main sewer hook-up. 

        4.    Groundwater Flooding and Surface Flooding 

The following map is taken from HCC flood risk assessment. Whilst written for Hampshire it shows that the proposed development is in an area  with potential for groundwater flooding. 

The shallow aquifer underlying the proposed development is important in the context of flood risk in the Enborne River Valley: 

  • The proposed development is within a groundwater protection zone 
  • The tarmacking of a substantial surface area will isolate the aquifer and encourage runoff into the River Enborne with adverse effects on flood risk downstream. 

No provision is made in the planning application for an attenuation pond to mitigate the increased runoff. Also, given the low level of the site relative to the river, it is hard to see where an effective attenuation pond could be located within the proposed development. Anything excavated below ground level would fill with groundwater rendering it useless as an attenuation basin.

The potential for damage to wildlife and our valuable natural resources by careless and inappropriate developments such as this, which flout all acceptable standards and planning regulations, is irresponsible.  The application should be refused.

 

22/02199/FUL – Yew Tree Farm, Ball Hill Road, Hatt Common, RG20 0NG

The Planning Committee of East Woodhay Parish Council wish to make the following comments: 

  • The submitted Design and Access Statement, dated June 2022, lists a number of previous planning applications on this site.  It is not clear which one relates to the building of the existing ‘Function Barn’ and we would respectfully ask the Planning Officer to seek clarification on this matter.  Of course, if planning has not been granted for this ‘Function Barn’ it may make a difference to our view of the application and we would ask the Planning Officer to revert to us should that be the case. 
  • Moving forward positively and assuming that the above point can be clarified, we have no problem in supporting the application.  It will help to generateincome for the local community and is in line with our emerging Neighbourhood Plan which seeks to support the tourist industry in the area. 

Assuming planning is granted, it should be conditional on the properties remaining as holiday lets and not subsequently converted into private dwellings.

 

22/02144/FUL – Telephone Exchange, Mount Road, Woolton Hill, RG20 9QZ.

The Planning Committee of East Woodhay Parish Council object to this application: 

  • Generally the principle of supporting local business etc. is supported by EWPC.   
  • However, this application has been submitted, but the infrastructure under discussion has already been installed. See photos attached taken on Monday 15th August 2022. 
  • It is unsightly and untidy which is inappropriate in a rural and residential area. 
  • There is no indication of how long this "storage" is to remain on site. 
  • The BT building itself is out of keeping in its location and spoils the residential area / AONB – it should be screened. 
  • As the infrastructure is in place it is unlikely it will be removed - the concern being, of course, that a local resident would not get away with such an approach, and suggest that the planning is granted with two conditions:
  1.  If possible a time limit is set on how long it can be in situ.  
  2.  The applicant is asked to plant appropriate screening around the whole site to shield this unsightly building and additional infrastructure from the road and to support the AONB.  This would be welcomed by the local residents and would be an indicator from BT of the desire to work with and show consideration for the local community and for the common good. 

 

22/02091/PIP - Land North of Slade Hill, Woolton Hill.

The Planning Committee of East Woodhay Parish Council object to the above application on the following grounds:  

1) It is contrary to the provisions of the NPPF.   

As the local planning authority cannot currently demonstrate a five year supply of deliverable housing sites (with the appropriate buffer) the policies relating to housing delivery in the Local Plan are currently given limited weight, paragraph 11 of the NPPF applies to this application.  

In this case the land is within the North Wessex Downs AONB. Therefore, as provided in paragraph 11(b)(i) of the NPPF, "the application of policies in this Framework that protect areas or assets of particular importance provides a strong reason for restricting the overall scale, type or distribution of development in the plan area". Footnote 7 to this paragraph states that, "The policies referred to are those in this Framework (rather than those in development plans) relating to.........an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty...............".
 

At paragraph 176 of the NPPF 2021 it is stated that, "Great weight should be given to conserving and enhancing landscape and scenic beauty in.........Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty which have the highest status of protection in relation to these issues."  

For the purpose of plans and decisions applying a presumption in favour of sustainable development, the NPPF states, inter alia, at paragraph 11(d) that decision taking means, "where there are no relevant development plan policies, or the policies which are most important for determining the application are out-of-date, granting permission unless:  

(i)  the application of policies in this Framework that protect areas or assets of particular importance provides a clear reason for refusing the development proposed".  

It is clear that the NPPF regards land within an AONB as an area or asset worthy of the highest status of protection, and thus provides a clear reason for refusing the development proposed in this application.  

Paragraph 6.14 of the Planning Statement asserts that, “The development of up to two dwellings on the site would therefore not cause unacceptable harm to the landscape and scenic beauty of the AONB,”.  On the contrary, this statement overlooks the fact that the application site is very obviously part of an area that is the start of countryside, as opposed to the somewhat more built up area to the south.  The value of the site to the AONB derives from its contribution to the rural character of that surrounding area. 

The Committee refer to the decision of the Planning Inspector regarding a similarly semi-rural site within the parish (20/03045/PIP, appeal ref: APP/H1705/W/21/3267011), when (inter alia) the following points, also relevant to this application, were made:
“•The proposal would fail to accord with the locational requirements of the Local Plan;
 • the road has a semi-rural character which is punctuated by the presence of dwellings….
 • views of the site can be achieved and it is prominent within its immediate context;
 • the value of the Appeal Site to the AONB derives from its contribution to the semi-rural
character of the surrounding area, which itself contributes in a positive manner to the
AONB;
  • the site would demonstrably change from an undeveloped parcel of land and generous
gap between dwellings, to a developed space with associated domestic items such as
vehicles, hardstanding, and potential outbuildings…………….Consequently, rather than
contributing to the important and prevalent gaps between buildings, the proposal would introduce a more prolonged frontage of dwellings, at odds with the more intermittent built form;
 • the loss of space between buildings would be to the detriment of the semi-rural qualities
of the surrounding environment;
  • the proposal would contrast with the prevailing pattern of development in a manner
that would be harmful to the semi-rural character and appearance of the surrounding
area. This in turn would cause some modest harm to the AONB;
  • despite the modest level of harm in this regard, this matter weighs heavily against the proposal;
  • The proposal would harm the character and appearance of the surrounding area;
  • Footnote 7 of the Framework confirms that policies relating to the AONB can provide a clear reason for refusing planning permission. Even though the harm would be modest, when giving great weight to this matter, in my judgement, this provides a clear reason for refusal.” 

The above points are all relevant to this application.

2)  It is contrary to policies contained in the Local Plan. 

The site is located in an unsustainable location with limited public transport, contrary to Local Plan policies SD1 (Presumption in Favour of Sustainable Development) and, as there is no locally agreed need for further housing in the Parish, SS6(e) (New Housing in the Countryside). 

Further, the proposed development is contrary to Local Plan policy EM1 (Landscape) as it would be detrimental to the character and visual amenity of the area. 

3) It is contrary to policies in the emerging Neighbourhood Plan.  

The Planning Committee is surprised to note the casual manner in which the emerging Neighbourhood Plan is dismissed in the applicant’s Planning Statement; “…. at this stage it is not considered that any weight can be given to the policies in this document.” 

Paragraph 48 of the NPPF makes it clear that, “Local planning authorities may give weight to relevant policies in emerging plans according to… the stage of preparation of the emerging plan (the more advanced its preparation, the greater the weight that may be given)……. and the degree of consistency of the relevant policies in the emerging plan to this Framework (the closer the policies in the emerging plan to the policies in the Framework, the greater the weight that may be given).” (Emphasis added.) 

The East Woodhay Neighbourhood Planning Steering Group worked extensively with Basingstoke & Deane Borough Council to ensure that the policies within the emerging Neighbourhood Plan are in conformity with the NPPF. 

Further, the East Woodhay Neighbourhood Plan entered Regulation 16 consultation on Monday, 18th July 2022, the last stage before the plan is subject to formal examination by an Independent Examiner and then referendum.  Clearly the plan may well carry some weight; it is for Basingstoke & Deane to decide.  

In addition, Neighbourhood Plan Policy HO2, 10.30(a) does not support this development as it will "...result in significant and adverse effects on landscape character and ......visual intrusion into open land that contributes to defining the form and character of the Parish."  

Nor is it consistent with 10.30(b) in that the application is not ".....consistent with the Local Plan policies SS6 (New Housing in the Countryside), CN2 (Rural Exceptions for Affordable Housing)....".  

 

22/02019/PIP - Land South of Ashley, Ball Hill.

The Planning Committee of East Woodhay Parish Council objects to the above application on the following grounds:  

1) It is contrary to the provisions of the NPPF.   

As the local planning authority cannot currently demonstrate a five year supply of deliverable housing sites (with the appropriate buffer) the policies relating to housing delivery in the Local Plan are currently given limited weight, paragraph 11 of the NPPF applies to this application.  

In this case the land is within the North Wessex Downs AONB. Therefore, as provided in paragraph 11(b)(i) of the NPPF, "the application of policies in this Framework that protect areas or assets of particular importance provides a strong reason for restricting the overall scale, type or distribution of development in the plan area". Footnote 7 to this paragraph states that, "The policies referred to are those in this Framework (rather than those in development plans) relating to.........an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty...............".

At paragraph 176 of the NPPF 2021 it is stated that, "Great weight should be given to conserving and enhancing landscape and scenic beauty in.........Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty which have the highest status of protection in relation to these issues."  

For the purpose of plans and decisions applying a presumption in favour of sustainable development, the NPPF states, inter alia, at paragraph 11(d) that decision taking means, "where there are no relevant development plan policies, or the policies which are most important for determining the application are out-of-date, granting permission unless:  

(i)  the application of policies in this Framework that protect areas or assets of particular importance provides a clear reason for refusing the development proposed".  

It is clear that the NPPF regards land within an AONB as an area or asset worthy of the highest status of protection, and thus provides a clear reason for refusing the development proposed in this application, whatever the use class.  The value of the site to the AONB derives from its contribution to the rural character of that surrounding area.   

The Committee refer to the decision of the Planning Inspector regarding a previous application to develop this site, (20/03045/PIP, Appeal ref: APP/H1705/W/21/3267011).  The key comments made by the Inspector are set out in and relied on in the applicant’s Planning Statement to argue that, as the proposed development is for one property only, this will sufficiently reduce the harm which would have been caused to the character of the AONB; the harm which caused the Planning Inspector to reject the Appeal. 

This application may be for only one property on part of the site concerned in 20/03045/PIP, but the development of any residential property will, as a matter of law and highway safety, require visibility splays, which alone would urbanise the appearance of the area. Further, the site would change from an undeveloped parcel of land to a developed space with associated domestic items such as vehicles, hardstanding, and potential outbuildings; significantly reducing the semi-rural nature of the surrounding area, thus harming the AONB. 

As the Inspector stated on page 3 of his decision, “Footnote 7 of the Framework confirms that policies relating to the AONB can provide a clear reason for refusing planning permission. Even though the harm would be modest, when giving great weight to this matter, in my judgement, this provides a clear reason for refusal.”  Further, “Even if I were not to arrive at such a distinct conclusion, when giving great weight to the harm to the AONB as well as some moderate weight to the locational shortcomings of the proposal, I am entirely satisfied that the adverse impacts of allowing the appeal would significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits of the proposal.”  

The Appeal was dismissed on the 16th September 2021; there have been no changes in the intervening months that would mean the present application would not harm the AONB. 

2)  It is contrary to policies contained in the Local Plan. 

The site is located in an unsustainable location with limited public transport, contrary to Local Plan policies SD1 (Presumption in Favour of Sustainable Development) and, as there is no locally agreed need for further housing in the Parish, SS6(e) (New Housing in the Countryside). 

Further, the proposed development is contrary to Local Plan policy EM1 (Landscape) as it would be detrimental to the character and visual amenity of the area and policy EM10 (Delivering High Quality Development) as it would fail to respect the local environment and make a positive contribution to local distinctiveness. 

3) It is contrary to policies in the emerging Neighbourhood Plan.  

The Planning Committee is surprised to note the casual manner in which the emerging Neighbourhood Plan is dismissed in the applicant’s Planning Statement; “…. at this stage it is not considered that any weight can be given to the policies in this document.” 

Paragraph 48 of the NPPF makes it clear that, “Local planning authorities may give weight to relevant policies in emerging plans according to… the stage of preparation of the emerging plan (the more advanced its preparation, the greater the weight that may be given)……. and the degree of consistency of the relevant policies in the emerging plan to this Framework (the closer the policies in the emerging plan to the policies in the Framework, the greater the weight that may be given).” (Emphasis added.) 

The East Woodhay Neighbourhood Planning Steering Group worked extensively with Basingstoke & Deane Borough Council to ensure that the policies within the emerging Neighbourhood Plan are in conformity with the NPPF. 

Further, the East Woodhay Neighbourhood Plan entered Regulation 16 consultation on Monday, 18th July 2022, the last stage before the plan is subject to formal examination by an Independent Examiner and then referendum.  Clearly the plan may well carry some weight; it is for Basingstoke & Deane to decide.  

In addition, Neighbourhood Plan Policy HO2, 10.30(a) does not support this development as it will "...result in significant and adverse effects on landscape character and ......visual intrusion into open land that contributes to defining the form and character of the Parish."  

Nor is it consistent with 10.30(b) in that the application is not ".....consistent with the Local Plan policies SS6 (New Housing in the Countryside), CN2 (Rural Exceptions for Affordable Housing)". 

 

T/00289/22/TCA - Stargroves, Stargrove Lane, East End, RG20 0AE.

The Planning Committee  of East Woodhay Parish Council is content to leave the decision in the above matter to the expertise of the Tree Officer.

T/00301/22/TPO - 31 Harwood Rise, Woolton Hill, RG20 9XW.

The Planning Committee  of East Woodhay Parish Council is content to leave the decision in the above matter to the expertise of the Tree Officer.

22/01939/FUL – Lane End Farm, Unit 1, Ball Hill Road, Hatt Common.

The Planning Committee of East Woodhay Parish Council has no specific comment or objection to raise in respect of this application. However we would ask the Planning Officer to consider the following point:

- It is not clear from the application what pollutants are to be considered here. We are not experts on whether the reed bed filtration system will be sufficient to deal with pollutants before they reach the new pond; within the BDBC Team there must be some expert advice which should be sought.

 

22/01821/HSE – Yewhurst, Heath End Road, Heath End, RG20 0AP.

The Planning Committee of East Woodhay Parish Council has no specific comment or objection to raise in respect of this application. However we would ask the Planning Officer to consider the following points:

1. The application does not appear to show a revised SW Elevation – given that this is the front of the house it is important to understand how this will look and to ensure that it is in keeping with the area.

2. Comment has been raised regarding the history and age of the property - it is appreciated that there is much work to do to renovate this dilapidated building and all materials and design should be reflective of the period of the property.

 

T/00241/22/TPO - 1 Crockers Mead, Ball Hill, RG20 0PT.

The Planning Committee of East Woodhay Parish Council is content to leave the decision in this matter to the expertise of the Tree Officer.

 

T/00238/22/TPO - 12 Woolton Lodge Gardens, Woolton Hill, RG20 9SU.

The Planning Committee of East Woodhay Parish Council is content to leave the decision in this matter to the expertise of the Tree Officer.


22/01446/ROC - Land at Hollington Lane, Woolton Hill.

The Planning Committee of East Woodhay Parish Council make the following comments: 

1.     Height

It is not clear from this application what amendments to the design of Plot B or Plot A have been made since the earlier application.  That said, the key issue with the design is about height, and Plot A in particular: 

  • The initial application provided a variety of heights to the buildings which reduced the risk of the new buildings having an unduly dominant visual impact in the AONB.   
  • The proposed revised height of Plot A gives greater bulk and mass on the plot and will have an unacceptable impact on the neighbouring properties, especially Scribblers and Hollington Corner. 

In this regard, the Village Design Statement states:  

046  “New dwellings should be of a size appropriate to their plot and the character of the surrounding area. A visual separation between individual properties, where this contributes to the character of the locality, should be maintained”. 

047  “Development should take into account the visual impact in relation to the size, height and positioning of the plot and neighbouring buildings”. 

In addition, the emerging East Woodhay Neighbourhood Plan references this issue, and the Planning Officer’s attention is drawn to Policy 10.54 which states that development proposals on residential garden land will only be supported if:  

10.54 (a) “They maintain the prevailing character and appearance of buildings in their immediate locality” and  

10.54 (c) “They safeguard the amenities of adjacent residential dwellings and their curtilages”. 

We are concerned that the design of these two proposed buildings does not satisfy or comply with any of the above guidelines and we are therefore unable to support revised heights on either building. 

 

2.     Drainage

This is of the utmost and fundamental importance. 

As stated in our previous comments, we continue to be concerned that the issue of drainage of surface and foul water has not been adequately addressed.   

Whilst all other fields around this area are showing signs of the recent dry weather, in that they are ‘brown’ and ‘parched’, the field on which Plots A and B are located shows some green areas, which perhaps suggests that the water table is high to the surface, and which in turn means that it is imperative to resolve the drainage issues we have previously highlighted. As far as we are aware, the applicant has still not submitted any details in this regard.    

We would respectfully remind the new planning officer that proposals concerning acceptable drainage arrangements were a condition set out in the previous planning officer’s report of 6/12/21 (Ref: 21/01390/TDC), as follows: 

Concerns have also been raised with regards to foul water drainage be inadequate within the area to accommodate the site.  No information has been submitted to support the application in this regard. 

The application site presently contains no public foul or surface water sewer the drainage hierarchy indicates the preferred method for disposing of foul water at any development site would connect to the existing main sewer systemAny such connection would require agreement with Thames Water as the relevant statutory undertaker

There is an obligation on sewerage undertakers to take the necessary action to accommodate such flows into their networks.  The detail and adoption of the foul waste system would be secured under the Water Industry Act 1991 as the legal mechanism to connect to the local network and thus sits outside of the planning process.  Nonetheless it is considered reasonable and necessary for further details of the drainage to be submitted prior to installation, by way of condition, to ensure an acceptable proposal is proposed.  The proposal therefore accords with Policy EM7 of the Local Plan” (emphasis added). 

Similar issues were discussed by EWPC and BDBC when dealing with the Meadowbrook development and it would seem that the most satisfactory solution to this issue is connection to mains drainage.   

3.     Dark Skies within this AONB

We note that several letters have been received from neighbours concerned about the lighting implications of this proposed development and would refer the applicant to the AONB guidance set out in the 2021 publication ‘Dark Skies of the North Wessex Downs – A Guide to Good External Lighting.’  The emerging East Woodhay Neighbourhood Plan (EWNP) also makes reference to this in Policies 7.27, 7.28 and 7.29.  We would expect all lighting plans to follow this guidance.

 

22/01772/PIP - Land South West of Yewhurst, Heath End.

The Planning Committee of East Woodhay Parish Council object to the above application on the following grounds: 

1) It is contrary to the provisions of the NPPF.  As the local planning authority cannot currently
demonstrate a five year supply of deliverable housing sites (with the appropriate buffer) the policies relating to housing delivery in the Local Plan are currently given limited weight.  Therefore, paragraph 11 of the NPPF applies to this application. 

In this case the land is within the North Wessex Downs AONB. Therefore, as provided in
paragraph 11(b)(i) of the NPPF, "the application of policies in this Framework that protect
areas or assets of particular importance provides a strong reason for restricting the overall
scale, type or distribution of development in the plan area". Footnote 7 to this paragraph
states that, "The policies referred to are those in this Framework (rather than those in
development plans) relating to.........an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty...............".

At paragraph 176 of the NPPF 2021 it is stated that, "Great weight should be given to
conserving and enhancing landscape and scenic beauty in.........Areas of Outstanding
Natural Beauty which have the highest status of protection in relation to these issues." 

For the purpose of plans and decisions applying a presumption in favour of sustainable development, the NPPF states, inter alia, at paragraph 11(d) that decision taking means, "where there are no relevant development plan policies, or the policies which are most important for determining the application are out-of-date, granting permission unless: 

(i).  the application of policies in this Framework that protect areas or assets of particular importance provides a clear reason for refusing the development proposed". 

It is clear that the NPPF regards land within an AONB as an area or asset worthy of the highest status of protection, and thus provides a clear reason for refusing the development proposed in this application. 

2) It is outside the Settlement Policy Boundary.  Within the parish the SPB is
around Woolton Hill - the rest of the parish being designated countryside and as previously
stated within the North Wessex Downs AONB. This proposed development would constitute
continued development in the countryside, well outside the agreed SPB and would thereby
undermine the purpose of designating such a boundary. 

3) There is no locally agreed need for further housing in the Parish.  Further, there is an
insufficient supporting infrastructure - including local public transport (which is extremely
limited), doctors' surgeries, schools, roads and drainage. 

4) It is contrary to the emerging Neighbourhood Plan.  The East Woodhay Neighbourhood
Plan will enter Regulation 16 consultation on Monday, 18th July 2022. Neighbourhood Plan Policy HO2, 10.30(a) does not support this development as it will "...result in significant and adverse effects on landscape character and ......visual  intrusion into open land that contributes to defining the form and character of the Parish." 

Nor is it consistent with 10.30(b) in that the application is not ".....consistent with the Local
Plan policies SS6 (New Housing in the Countryside), CN2 (Rural Exceptions for Affordable
Housing)....".

22/01446/ROC – Land at Hollington Lane, Woolton Hill.

The Planning Committee of East Woodhay Parish Council is concerned to note that a document containig its comments on the above application, sent to Planning Officer Luke Benjamin by way of an attachment, are not available for online viewing under the above application number.

Please add the following comments as soon as possible:

"The Planning Committee of East Woodhay Parish Council noted the comments made by Mr. Mike Barton, the owner of “Scribblers”, one of the properties adjacent to the application site. 

The Committee wholeheartedly agreed with and endorsed Mr. Barton’s comments, especially regarding the issue of drainage, and in relation to which we would respectfully draw BDBC’s attention to the following: 

1.      The Planning Officer’s Report to DCC – 21/01390 – (at page 12) noted that no information regarding foul water drainage had been provided to support the application. It also stated that “the preferred method for disposing of foul water at any development site would connect to the existing main sewer system”; and that “it is considered reasonable and necessary for further details of the drainage to be submitted prior to installation, by way of condition, to ensure an acceptable proposal is proposed” (emphasis added). 

2.      As far as we are aware, no proposals concerning drainage have been submitted. Having regard to the points highlighted in paragraph (1), this seems to us to be a significant omission which ought to be remedied before any other action is taken, whether in relation to this specific application or in relation to the site generally.   

3.      Evidence of previous flooding by surface water was also provided by Mr.Dumper (the owner of another property (Hollington Corner) adjacent to the application site) when the original PIP application was submitted. This again highlights the need for drainage proposals for both surface water and foul water on the application site which, as BDBC may recall, was a requirement on the Meadowbrook  development before approval was granted. "

 

22/00183/PIP - Land adjacent to Woolton Hill Sports Club, Woolton Hill.

Further to the objections raised to the above development in our communication dated the 15th February 2022, by which we still stand, we would like you to take into account further information about Highway safety and other pertinent issues which were not available at the time of our previous comments. 

This new information has an even greater relevance to our objections given the developers’ plans to move the original entrance to one of two alternative locations, both of which are even closer to the blind bend than was previously the case.  We summarise below the adverse impact of this new information on both visibility splays and highways. 

Visibility Splays 

In order to achieve the minimum visibility splay, it is likely that up to 86 metres of hedgerow would require to be removed, in addition to the felling of several mature trees.  This would directly contravene policy EM1 of  BDBC’s Local Plan 2011-2029 “which requires new development to respect, conserve and enhance the elements of landscape character and visual amenity that contribute to its many qualities”. 

We would also question the visibility measurement of 43 metres on the Woolton Hill Road in the direction of Ball Hill (shown on PL-23), as this is achieved from a point on the road going up the hill towards Woolton Hill. This measurement is inaccurate because it fails to take account of the gradient. A more realistic measurement would likely reduce the visibility splay by at least 10 metres, to 33 metres. 

Highways 

Speed has been monitored on the Woolton Hill Road opposite the tennis courts in both directions in two consecutive time periods, using a Speed Indicator Device (SID) which was positioned well within the 30mph limit. 

The information in our objection of the 15th February 2022 only measured the traffic in the direction of Woolton Hill where the visibility splay appeared to be acceptable. However, the information that we now have in the direction of Ball Hill illustrates how potentially dangerous either of the two proposed entrances to the development would be. 

New SID Information measured 1st June – 16th June 2022 in the direction of Ball Hill. 

85th percentile speed 31.6 mph 

“Indicative of the speed that the majority of the road users are travelling at. A speed at or below which 85 percent of the people drive at any given location under good weather and visibility conditions may be considered as the maximum safe speed for that location.” 

Top speed 45 mph on the 2nd June at 1.25am 

Average Annual Daily Traffic (AADT) – 522 vehicles 

Peak times:        7.00 – 8.00 am – 71 vehicles per hour 

                             3.00 – 4.00 pm – 56 vehicles per hour 

 % vehicles exceeding the 30 mph limit: 

30+ 18.5% 

35+ 2.3% 

40+ 0.6% 

Further, we have also verified the findings from our previous results which were reported in our objection letter dated the 15th February.  

17th May to the 1st June: Direction of the village of Woolton Hill. 

85th percentile speed – 34.1 mph 

“Indicative of the speed that the majority of the road users are travelling at. A speed at or below which 85 percent of the people drive at any given location under good weather and visibility conditions may be considered as the maximum safe speed for that location.” 

Top speed 60 mph on the 19th May at 5.20 pm 

Annual Average Daily Traffic (AADT) – 795 vehicles 

Peak times:        7.00 – 8.00 am – 76 vehicles an hour 

                             2.00 – 3.00 pm – 90 vehicles per hour                     

% vehicles exceeding the 30 mph limit: 

30+ 34% 

35+ 11% 

40+ 2.8% 

NB: These figures are supported by the previous two periods in this position, 25th October – 29th October 2021 and the 24th February to the 4th March 2022 when the key figures were: 

85th percentile 34.1 and 33.5 mph respectively. 

Conclusion with regard to the development: 

In these concluding remarks, we assume for the sake of argument that a 43 metre splay is achievable (even though we believe it is not, based on PL-13 and PL-23). 

First and foremost, the two alternative entrances for the proposed development are positioned just below a blind bend off the brow of a hill, in the direction of Ball Hill. As indicated in the figures that we have obtained from our SID unit, the 85th percentile speed of the majority of road users is 34.1 mph in the direction of Woolton Hill and 31.6 mph in the direction of Ball Hill. This demonstrates that the speed limit is not being adhered to. We conclude from this that in the case of vehicles travelling in the direction of Ball Hill, even the removal of valuable hedgerows and the felling of trees to achieve the 43 metre splay, would be insufficient to avoid an accident.  At a speed of 30 mph, in normal weather conditions, this means that the stopping distance would be a combination of thinking time at 9 metres plus a braking distance of 14 metres, a total of 23 metres.  However, we have shown that around 20% of vehicles are exceeding the 30 mph speed limit, with some travelling at up to 40 mph in the direction of Ball Hill, which would increase the stopping distance to 36 metres in normal weather and road conditions. 

Research shows that braking distance can be doubled in wet conditions, meaning that even at 30 mph, within the speed limit, there is a potential stopping distance of 46 metres. Added to which, this road is not in good condition; and a large number of  vehicles using the road are vans and lorries, which can take up to 50% further to stop compared with a car. This means that even at 30 mph in dry conditions a van or lorry would take 36 metres to stop and in the wet the 43 metres available would be insufficient for them to stop in time to avoid cars exiting from the plot. Bear in mind also that the peak times for traffic in both directions is between 7am and 8am, when residents of the proposed development would be leaving for work and school. 

The proposal by the developers to remove the trees and almost 100 metres of hedgerow along the roadside, in an AONB designated landscape, is surprising given their commitment to protect this natural environment.  In the Council’s opinion, this unnecessary destruction does not materially affect/improve the sighting of vehicles entering and leaving the development and, as we have stated, is contrary to EM 1 of BDBC’s Local Plan. 

We strongly recommend that a highway officer makes a site visit which we believe will verify these findings.

22/00183/PIP - Land adjacent to Woolton Hill Sports Club, Woolton Hill.

30 June 2022

Dear Sir/Madam, 

Further to the objections raised to the above development in our communication dated the 15th February 2022, by which we still stand, we would like you to take into account further information about Highway safety and other pertinent issues which were not available at the time of our previous comments. 

This new information has an even greater relevance to our objections given the developers’ plans to move the original entrance to one of two alternative locations, both of which are even closer to the blind bend than was previously the case.  We summarise below the adverse impact of this new information on both visibility splays and highways. 

Visibility Splays 

In order to achieve the minimum visibility splay, it is likely that up to 86 metres of hedgerow would require to be removed, in addition to the felling of several mature trees.  This would directly contravene policy EM1 of  BDBC’s Local Plan 2011-2029 “which requires new development to respect, conserve and enhance the elements of landscape character and visual amenity that contribute to its many qualities”. 

We would also question the visibility measurement of 43 metres on the Woolton Hill Road in the direction of Ball Hill (shown on PL-23), as this is achieved from a point on the road going up the hill towards Woolton Hill. This measurement is inaccurate because it fails to take account of the gradient. A more realistic measurement would likely reduce the visibility splay by at least 10 metres, to 33 metres. 

Highways 

Speed has been monitored on the Woolton Hill Road opposite the tennis courts in both directions in two consecutive time periods, using a Speed Indicator Device (SID) which was positioned well within the 30mph limit. 

The information in our objection of the 15th February 2022 only measured the traffic in the direction of Woolton Hill where the visibility splay appeared to be acceptable. However, the information that we now have in the direction of Ball Hill illustrates how potentially dangerous either of the two proposed entrances to the development would be. 

New SID Information measured 1st June – 16th June 2022 in the direction of Ball Hill. 

85th percentile speed 31.6 mph 

“Indicative of the speed that the majority of the road users are travelling at. A speed at or below which 85 percent of the people drive at any given location under good weather and visibility conditions may be considered as the maximum safe speed for that location.” 

Top speed 45 mph on the 2nd June at 1.25am 

Average Annual Daily Traffic (AADT) – 522 vehicles 

Peak times:        7.00 – 8.00 am – 71 vehicles per hour 

                             3.00 – 4.00 pm – 56 vehicles per hour 

 % vehicles exceeding the 30 mph limit: 

30+ 18.5% 

35+ 2.3% 

40+ 0.6% 

Further, we have also verified the findings from our previous results which were reported in our objection letter dated the 15th February.  

17th May to the 1st June: Direction of the village of Woolton Hill. 

85th percentile speed – 34.1 mph 

“Indicative of the speed that the majority of the road users are travelling at. A speed at or below which 85 percent of the people drive at any given location under good weather and visibility conditions may be considered as the maximum safe speed for that location.” 

Top speed 60 mph on the 19th May at 5.20 pm 

Annual Average Daily Traffic (AADT) – 795 vehicles 

Peak times:        7.00 – 8.00 am – 76 vehicles an hour 

                             2.00 – 3.00 pm – 90 vehicles per hour                     

% vehicles exceeding the 30 mph limit: 

30+ 34% 

35+ 11% 

40+ 2.8% 

NB: These figures are supported by the previous two periods in this position, 25th October – 29th October 2021 and the 24th February to the 4th March 2022 when the key figures were: 

85th percentile 34.1 and 33.5 mph respectively. 

Conclusion with regard to the development: 

In these concluding remarks, we assume for the sake of argument that a 43 metre splay is achievable (even though we believe it is not, based on PL-13 and PL-23). 

First and foremost, the two alternative entrances for the proposed development are positioned just below a blind bend off the brow of a hill, in the direction of Ball Hill. As indicated in the figures that we have obtained from our SID unit, the 85th percentile speed of the majority of road users is 34.1 mph in the direction of Woolton Hill and 31.6 mph in the direction of Ball Hill. This demonstrates that the speed limit is not being adhered to. We conclude from this that in the case of vehicles travelling in the direction of Ball Hill, even the removal of valuable hedgerows and the felling of trees to achieve the 43 metre splay, would be insufficient to avoid an accident.  At a speed of 30 mph, in normal weather conditions, this means that the stopping distance would be a combination of thinking time at 9 metres plus a braking distance of 14 metres, a total of 23 metres.  However, we have shown that around 20% of vehicles are exceeding the 30 mph speed limit, with some travelling at up to 40 mph in the direction of Ball Hill, which would increase the stopping distance to 36 metres in normal weather and road conditions. 

Research shows that braking distance can be doubled in wet conditions, meaning that even at 30 mph, within the speed limit, there is a potential stopping distance of 46 metres. Added to which, this road is not in good condition; and a large number of  vehicles using the road are vans and lorries, which can take up to 50% further to stop compared with a car. This means that even at 30 mph in dry conditions a van or lorry would take 36 metres to stop and in the wet the 43 metres available would be insufficient for them to stop in time to avoid cars exiting from the plot. Bear in mind also that the peak times for traffic in both directions is between 7am and 8am, when residents of the proposed development would be leaving for work and school. 

The proposal by the developers to remove the trees and almost 100 metres of hedgerow along the roadside, in an AONB designated landscape, is surprising given their commitment to protect this natural environment.  In the Council’s opinion, this unnecessary destruction does not materially affect/improve the sighting of vehicles entering and leaving the development and, as we have stated, is contrary to EM 1 of BDBC’s Local Plan. 

We strongly recommend that a highway officer makes a site visit which we believe will verify these findings.