I wasn’t aware that a planning application went into Cornwall Council earlier this year for a fairly large development at Lynstone/Upton, on wand west Of South Lynstone Farm.
It was for Outline Consent for Residential Development for up to 22 dwellings (including affordable housing) with associated access and open space (the proposed development would involve the demolition of two small storage buildings). Cornwall Council refused the application on these grounds (and I quote):
1. Firstly, it was considered that the proposal would constitute housing development in an unsustainable location, whereby services and facilities are not within easy walking distance and dependence would exist upon the private vehicle for the majority of essential journeys to everyday services and facilities. The site is situated within a rural area where housing development must be responsive to local circumstances and reflect local needs.
Whilst there is significant need identified for affordable housing in the area, the level of local needs dwellings being offered is not considered to outweigh the harm the dwellings in this location would cause. The proposal is therefore considered to conflict with policy HSG10, DVS4 and ENV1 North Cornwall District Council Local Plan (NCDLP), 1999 and the aims and intentions ofGovernment advice contained within paragraphs 7, 17, 50, 55, 58 and 61 of the NationalPlanning Policy Framework (2012)
2. The proposal would extend the built form further into the countryside by adding to the existing sporadic ribbon development along the coastal road (Marine Drive), notwithstanding the presence of a pavement connecting to Bude Town, as a result the development has a harmfully impact on the landscape of the area and accordingly fails to comply with policy ENV1 of the North Cornwall District Council Local Plan, 1999 or guidance contained within paragraph 109 of the NPPF.
3. The submitted Phase 1 Ecological survey is not considered to have adequately taken into account the potential for protected species to be present on site. In the absence of any ecological evidence to demonstrate otherwise it is considered (taking a precautionary approach) that the potential impact of the proposal on protected species is unacceptable and accordingly contravenes Paragraph 118 of the National Planning Policy Framework and policy ENV7 North Cornwall District Council Local Plan (NCDLP), 1999 and the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010.
4 In the absence of a signed legal mechanism, the proposal fails to provide affordable housing, on site public open space, transport strategy or educational contributions and accordingly fails to comply with paragraph 17 of the National Planning Policy Framework or DVS4 of the North Cornwall District Council Local Plan (NCDLP), 1999.
Anyway, an appeal has been made to the Dept for Communities and Local Government. All representations need to be made by 18th September, 2016.
The residents feel, that the application contradicts the Bude & Stratton Draft Neighbourhood Plan and have made representations, accordingly. Admittedly, the plan is currently only draft so has no legal standing; however, the spirit of it appears to be contradicted here, but see what you think.
Residents have urged Bude & Stratton Town Council to make representations to the planning inspector given so much work has gone into the draft town plan.
To summarise local resident objections, in relation to the aims of the draft plan, they are as follows:
- The plan has identified a desire to preserve certain areas on the edge of Bude, which includes Upton. Affordable housing, the residents feel, should be supported but in sustainable locations close to Bude & Stratton centres. They say: The site is 1.1 miles from town with a 50m incline. It is difficult for cyclists and not appropriate for walking with a load, e.g., shopping or a child in a buggy. Additionally, the bus route is a limited rural service. This service is partially funded by the County Council and with budget pressures the service may be further reduced.
- The site is 0.67 hectares for 22 houses or flats. It doesn’t really fit with the draft plan stated aim of supporting small scale mixed developments of up to 30 dwellings prioritising brownfield sites, offering high quality, well designed accommodation with ample community green spaces and private gardens or communal food growing spaces.
- The development offers no contribution to doctors’ surgeries and local primary schools which are full.
- The proposal is not community – led.
- The residents state that: The Cornwall Council Planning Officer, in her robust refusal of this planning application, states Page 22- ‘as the applicant is only proposing up to 50% affordable housing, the proposed development is not considered to be affordable housing led and does not meet saved, emerging or national policy’.
- Due to the high density of housing on a small 0.67 hectare site, the average garden will be less than 70 square metres. The vineyard on this site failed due to the exposed windy site; therefore; allotments would be unproductive.
- Proposed development will increase traffic and the access and egress to the site is on a blind bend, hidden by the hill and traffic regularly exceeds the 30mph limit as reported by CC highways on their site visit in February 2015. This is an inherently dangerous site.
- The proposal will be visible from the coast path and will set a precedent that will encourage other landowners on the coastal fringe to put in planning applications with the danger of coalescence between Lynstone and Upton.
There is more, but you get the gist.
What’s particularly interesting about this application is that the residents have looked closely at the Draft Plan, using it to inform their objections. This is a useful indicator that the Draft Plan has potential to inform future development in the Bude and Stratton area.
The residents feel, however, that if the Neighbourhood Plan is to have this credibility for the future, BSTC need to commit to the aims and objectives in their Neighbourhood Plan now and write to the Planning Inspector to clearly state that this proposed development does not meet the criteria laid out in their plans and ask him to reject the appeal.