Redrow - reasons for refusal(March 07, 2014)
Agent Nathaniel Lichfield & Partners Helmont House Churchill Way Cardiff CF10 2HE Applicant Redrow Homes c/o Agent
Particulars of Development: Development of 60 residential dwellings, open space, sustainable
urban design, vehicular and pedestrian accesses, landscaping and related infrastructure and
At: Land off Bath Road/Church Street Warminster Wilts
In pursuance of their powers under the above Act, the Council hereby REFUSE TO GRANT PERMISSION for the development referred to in the above application and plans submitted by you, for the following reason(s):
1 In the absence of an urgent need for further housing to be permitted to meet strategic requirements, there continues to be no compelling and exceptional circumstances sufficient to set aside the clear and long established policies contained in current and emerging development plan policy. In this particular case, the proposals are contrary to Development Plan Policy H1 of the WWDP and Policy CP2 of the eWCS.
2 The proposed development by virtue of the housing itself and the associated highway infrastructure would have a detrimental urbanising effect on this sensitive site located outside of the limits of development. The site and its immediate environs are recognised by local residents as having a much valued landscape setting which forms an important transition zone between the urban limits of Warminster and the recreational ground and countryside beyond to the north and other development further to the west. Moreover, the Council has found little evidence of a design led approach to the scheme and insufficient attempt to connect the housing into its countryside setting. In addition, the application fails to provide sufficient clarity about the domestic storage needs. No distinctive elements appear to have been introduced
to ground the development in the town or building upon a recognised local character, and consequently (and in addition to other substantive reasons to oppose this development), the Council concludes that whilst the site may be regarded as a "sustainable" location on the edge of the town, the scheme is unsustainable because of its numerous failings and that it falls significantly short of the expectation for high quality design in both the local plan and the NPPF.
3 The application has been found to be fundamentally flawed in terms of conflicting plans (namely the site layout plan - drawing no SL.01 rev c which proposes housing out with the application site parameters as defined by location plan drawing no LP.01). This flaw in the application is critical since part of the housing development is not even within the control or ownership of the applicant, which left un-addressed, highlights a conflict with the completed declaration and certificates associated to the application.
4 The submitted flood risk assessment and the associated river modelling works are not accepted by the Council and the Environment Agency. Substantive irregularities have been identified with the submission in terms of its reliability and its robustness. Substantive evidence has been supplied showing a series of flood events affecting the site and Bath Road which this application fails to fully address. The Council and the Environment Agency do not accept the current flood hazard appraisal, and finds elements of the development encroaching upon Flood Zone 2 and an ordinary watercourse along the eastern site boundary to be unacceptable. Further concern is raised over the proposed main river encroachment, the lack of a rigorous investigation and assessment of the sources of flooding along Bath Road and insufficient consideration/clarity being given in terms of future riparian responsibilities. The applicant has also failed to demonstrate that the proposed development would accord with the objectives of WWDP Policies H1 and U2 in terms of making adequate provision for the proper disposal of surface water without increasing the risk of flooding elsewhere.
5 The application has been found to be deficient of essential highway information and clarity as well as being somewhat confused in terms of conflicting plans and statements made within the D&A and TA which is a demonstrable weakness of the submission. The Council further submits that until dependable data on the prevailing traffic speeds on the approaches to the proposed junction are submitted and all the irregularities highlighted with the submission are addressed, the application remains unacceptable.
6 The clustering of the proposed affordable housing and especially grouping 17 of the 22 units in one location is unacceptable and contrary to the requirements enshrined within WWDP - 1st Alteration Policy H2 and Emerging Wiltshire Core Strategy Policy CP43. Furthermore, and notwithstanding the flawed housing layout plans identified within reason no. 2, concern is raised over an element of site cramming, principally on plots in the eastern part of the site, where houses on plots 46 and 50-53 are positioned tight to the drawn boundaries which raises some concern in terms of spatial relationships and consequential amenity impacts experienced by properties located along Dorothy Walk and Rectory Close contrary to the aims and objectives of
WWDP Policies H1, H24, C31a and C38 and the Framework.
7 The proposed development is unacceptable in terms of its layout, including the incongruous plot 1, as well as an excessive amount of hardstanding in the form of roads/drives which could be designed more sensitively in this urban-rural transition location. Concerns are also raised over the lack of external surveillance where many houses have no outward looking facades over the public /communal spaces and insufficient consideration given to sustainability and opportunities to maximise solar gain. The Council finds the scheme to fall significantly short of the expectation for high quality and inclusive design expected by the Framework and a raft of adopted and emerging plan policies, notably WWDP Policies C31a Design (parts A, C and D and with specific regards to the sensitivity of the location parts A, B, C and D of the second section of this policy; WWDP Policy C34a in total; and WWDP Policy H24 (parts B, C, D, E and F). The application also fails to accord with Emerging Wiltshire Core Strategy Policy CP41 in total and CP57 in all parts (except VI and X) as well as being found to be contrary to the high quality design objectives enshrined within the Framework.
8 The applicant has failed to submit a waste audit as per the requirements of the Waste Core Strategy and in particular Policy WCS6 titled as Waste Reduction and Auditing
9 The absence of any agreed mechanism and undertaking to satisfy all the contributions deemed as necessary to be enshrined within a legal agreement is a further material consideration which weighs against the proposed development. INFORMATIVE - Reason for refusal 9 relates to the failure of the applicant to secure a raft of contributions for the site/development. The Council acknowledges that the applicant has outlined a general agreement to enter into discussions about specific heads of terms, although no written undertaking was ever submitted advising that all requests would be met. Should the applicant wish to appeal the Council's decision, they are requested to contact the Council to agree heads of terms and resolve this reason for refusal prior to the submission of appeal statements.
In accordance with paragraph 187 of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), this planning application has been processed in a proactive way. However, due to technical objections or the proposal’s failure to comply with the development plan and/or the NPPF as a matter of principle, the local planning authority has had no alternative other than to refuse planning permission.
Alistair c signature
Director for Economic Development & Planning Dated: 04 March 2014