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Object

Proposed Main Modifications

MM207 - Page 138 Policy BA3 (ED146A)

Representation ID: 6922

Received: 28/02/2019

Respondent: Baldock, Bygrave and Clothall Planning Group

Legally compliant? Yes

Sound? No

Duty to co-operate? Yes

Representation:

The modifications are not effective, as they fail to provide clear guidance on the appropriate extent of development in this part of Baldock. Because of this, they also create potential conflicts with national policy. They are also not justified, and there are more effective ways of delineating the appropriate extent of development.

Full text:

[Please also refer to our representations on MM208 and MM409, which relate to the same issue]
We object to these modifications for the following reasons:

1. The modifications are not effective, as they do not provide clear guidance on the appropriate extent of development in this part of Baldock. Our understanding is that the Council does not intend that residential development should occur beyond the areas proposed as sites BA3 and BA4 in the submission local plan. However the proposed modification of the site boundary of BA3, and the text of the policy itself, do not make this clear. The modification to the text of policy BA3 refers to "maintaining or re-profiling the existing bunding towards the east of the site with no housing permitted on or beyond its (revised) alignment". This appears to be an error: there is no bunding to the east of the site, apart from the way the ground rises towards the line of the Baldock bypass at its eastern edge.

2. Because the modifications do not provide clarity on the appropriate extent of development, there is a risk of conflict with national planning policy because they could allow:
a) A much-used area of existing open space to be lost or eroded, without any replacement provision being proposed (conflict with NPPF para. 97). We are not aware that the Council has identified this land as being surplus to recreational requirements, and indeed the need for it is likely to increase significantly with the developments proposed at BA3 and BA4.
b) Building on potentially unstable land (NPPF 178a), as the area left as 'white land' in the submission local plan is mainly comprised of made ground, formed from rubble deposited during the building of the Baldock by-pass.
c) Development on rising ground which, because of the topography, would relate poorly to its surroundings (NPPF 127c).

3. The modifications not justified, as showing this entire area as housing is unnecessary to allow the housing and related infrastructure proposed in the submission local plan to go ahead. We note that no changes are proposed to the overall amount of housing to be provided for, and that the Council's justification for the modifications relies on three points (set out in ED146A: Note on outstanding Matter 10 issues for Baldock). None of the three points provides a convincing rationale:
a) Bring the (likely) route of the proposed link road within a single allocation (BA3 as proposed to be revised). It is not clear what advantage this offers, as sites BA3 and BA4 are both in the ownership of Hertfordshire County Council.
b) Distinguish between that land which is currently outside of and within the Green Belt (BA4 as proposed to be revised is wholly outside the existing Green Belt rather than straddling the boundary). This is immaterial, as the previous status of the land is of no relevance once it has been removed from the Green Belt through the local plan.
c) Provide additional policy guidance for the land between BA3 and BA4 which, in the plan and policies map as submitted, would be 'white land' with no specific allocation or guiding criteria. As explained above, the modification fails to provide clear guidance as to the future of this land, and indeed bringing all of it within BA3 is unnecessary to provide that additional guidance.

Object

Proposed Main Modifications

MM208 - Page 139 Policy BA4 (ED146A)

Representation ID: 6923

Received: 28/02/2019

Respondent: Baldock, Bygrave and Clothall Planning Group

Legally compliant? Yes

Sound? No

Duty to co-operate? Yes

Representation:

The modifications are not effective, as they fail to provide clear guidance on the appropriate extent of development in this part of Baldock. Because of this, they also create potential conflicts with national policy. They are also not justified, and there are more effective ways of delineating the appropriate extent of development.

Full text:

[Please also refer to our representations on MM207 and MM409, which relate to the same issue]
We object to these modifications for the following reasons:

1. The modifications are not effective, as they do not provide clear guidance on the appropriate extent of development in this part of Baldock. Our understanding is that the Council does not intend that residential development should occur beyond the areas proposed as sites BA3 and BA4 in the submission local plan. However the proposed modification of the site boundary of BA3, and the text of the policy itself, do not make this clear. The modification to the text of policy BA3 refers to "maintaining or re-profiling the existing bunding towards the east of the site with no housing permitted on or beyond its (revised) alignment". This appears to be an error: there is no bunding to the east of the site, apart from the way the ground rises towards the line of the Baldock bypass at its eastern edge.

2. Because the modifications do not provide clarity on the appropriate extent of development, there is a risk of conflict with national planning policy because they could allow:
a) A much-used area of existing open space to be lost or eroded, without any replacement provision being proposed (conflict with NPPF para. 97). We are not aware that the Council has identified this land as being surplus to recreational requirements, and indeed the need for it is likely to increase significantly with the developments proposed at BA3 and BA4.
b) Building on potentially unstable land (NPPF 178a), as the area left as 'white land' in the submission local plan is mainly comprised of made ground, formed from rubble deposited during the building of the Baldock by-pass.
c) Development on rising ground which, because of the topography, would relate poorly to its surroundings (NPPF 127c).

3. The modifications not justified, as showing this entire area as housing is unnecessary to allow the housing and related infrastructure proposed in the submission local plan to go ahead. We note that no changes are proposed to the overall amount of housing to be provided for, and that the Council's justification for the modifications relies on three points (set out in ED146A: Note on outstanding Matter 10 issues for Baldock). None of the three points provides a convincing rationale:
a) Bring the (likely) route of the proposed link road within a single allocation (BA3 as proposed to be revised). It is not clear what advantage this offers, as sites BA3 and BA4 are both in the ownership of Hertfordshire County Council.
b) Distinguish between that land which is currently outside of and within the Green Belt (BA4 as proposed to be revised is wholly outside the existing Green Belt rather than straddling the boundary). This is immaterial, as the previous status of the land is of no relevance once it has been removed from the Green Belt through the local plan.
c) Provide additional policy guidance for the land between BA3 and BA4 which, in the plan and policies map as submitted, would be 'white land' with no specific allocation or guiding criteria. As explained above, the modification fails to provide clear guidance as to the future of this land, and indeed bringing all of it within BA3 is unnecessary to provide that additional guidance.

Object

Proposed Main Modifications

MM409 - Page 142 paragraph 13.30

Representation ID: 6924

Received: 28/02/2019

Respondent: Baldock, Bygrave and Clothall Planning Group

Legally compliant? Yes

Sound? No

Duty to co-operate? Yes

Representation:

[Please also refer to our representations on MM207 and MM208, which relate to the same issue]

We object to these modifications for the following reasons:

The proposed amendment to the text fails to provide adequate guidance on the appropriate extent of development in this part of Baldock. It refers to bunding which does not appear to exist in the location suggested, and it does not provide clarity about the outer limits of proposed development.

Full text:

[Please also refer to our representations on MM207 and MM208, which relate to the same issue]

We object to these modifications for the following reasons:

The proposed amendment to the text fails to provide adequate guidance on the appropriate extent of development in this part of Baldock. It refers to bunding which does not appear to exist in the location suggested, and it does not provide clarity about the outer limits of proposed development.

Object

Proposed Main Modifications

MM387 Housing Allocations BA3 & BA4

Representation ID: 6925

Received: 28/02/2019

Respondent: Baldock, Bygrave and Clothall Planning Group

Legally compliant? Yes

Sound? No

Duty to co-operate? Yes

Representation:

The modification is not effective, as it fails to provide clear guidance on the appropriate extent of development in this part of Baldock. Because of this, it also creates potential conflicts with national policy. It is also not justified, and there are more effective ways of delineating the appropriate extent of development.

Full text:

[Please also refer to our representations on MM207, MM208 and MM409, which relate to the same issue]

We object to this modification for the following reasons:

1. It not effective, as it does not provide clear guidance on the appropriate extent of development in this part of Baldock. Our understanding is that the Council does not intend that residential development should occur beyond the areas proposed as sites BA3 and BA4 in the submission local plan. However the proposed modification of the site boundary of BA3, and the text of the policy itself, do not make this clear.

2. Because the modification does not provide clarity on the appropriate extent of development, there is a risk of conflict with national planning policy because it could allow:
a) A much-used area of existing open space to be lost or eroded, without any replacement provision being proposed (conflict with NPPF para. 97). We are not aware that the Council has identified this land as being surplus to recreational requirements, and indeed the need for it is likely to increase significantly with the developments proposed at BA3 and BA4.
b) Building on potentially unstable land (NPPF 178a), as the area left as 'white land' in the submission local plan is mainly comprised of made ground, formed from rubble deposited during the building of the Baldock by-pass.
c) Development on rising ground which, because of the topography, would relate poorly to its surroundings (NPPF 127c).

3. The modification is not justified, as showing this entire area as housing is unnecessary to allow the housing and related infrastructure proposed in the submission local plan to go ahead. We note that no changes are proposed to the overall amount of housing to be provided for, and that the Council's justification for the modifications relies on three points (set out in ED146A: Note on outstanding Matter 10 issues for Baldock). None of the three points provides a convincing rationale:
a) Bring the (likely) route of the proposed link road within a single allocation (BA3 as proposed to be revised). It is not clear what advantage this offers, as sites BA3 and BA4 are both in the ownership of Hertfordshire County Council.
b) Distinguish between that land which is currently outside of and within the Green Belt (BA4 as proposed to be revised is wholly outside the existing Green Belt rather than straddling the boundary). This is immaterial, as the previous status of the land is of no relevance once it has been removed from the Green Belt through the local plan.
c) Provide additional policy guidance for the land between BA3 and BA4 which, in the plan and policies map as submitted, would be 'white land' with no specific allocation or guiding criteria. As explained above, the modification fails to provide clear guidance as to the future of this land, and indeed bringing all of it within BA3 is unnecessary to provide that additional guidance.

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