Hertfordshire county council development control committee
2.1 St Albans City and District Council - does not object to the proposed development.
2.2 Dacorum Borough Council – states that the site is within the Metropolitan Green Belt, however, the proposal would maintain openness and would not conflict with the purposes of including land in the Green Belt. No residential properties, other than on the application site, are within 300m of the proposal.
2.3 Hertfordshire County Council as Highway Authority – does not object to the proposed development.
2.4 Rights of Way Unit at Herts County Council – does not object to the proposed development.
2.5 Waste Management Unit – has no comments.
2.6 Flamstead Parish Council – has no objection to the application.
2.7 Redbourn Parish Council – has not provided written comments on the application, although have stated a concern in relation to the development of the rest of the site at Norrington End.
2.8 Highways Agency – comments to be forwarded in due course.
2.9 Environment Agency – has no objection in principle subject to a condition relating to details regarding the nature of the material to be used as infill. A planning informative and further advice to the applicant is suggested in relation to a waste management licence.
2.10 Local residents – letters have been received from 1 resident and one request to speak at committee based on an objection. The main issues raised relate to:
3. Planning Considerations
3.1 The relevant development plan documents and policies are listed below and the policies are detailed in full at Appendix A:
- Hertfordshire Structure Plan Review 1991 – 2011 (Adopted April 1998)
Policy 5 – Green Belt
- Hertfordshire Waste Local Plan (Adopted January 1999)
Waste Policy 24 – Land raising;
Waste Policy 33 – Landscape Intrusion;
Waste Policy 34 – Impact on landscape features of local importance;
Waste Policy 44 – Proximity to other land uses;
Waste Policy 45 – Standard and form of restoration;
Waste Policy 46 – Restoration, aftercare and afteruse.
- St Albans City and District Local Plan (Adopted November 1994)
Policy 1 - Metropolitan Green Belt;
Policy 74 – Landscaping and Tree Preservation;
Policy 104 – Landscape Conservation;
Policy 105 – Landscape Development and Improvements;
- Dacorum Borough Council Local Plan 1991-2011, adopted 21 April 2004
Policy 4 – The Green Belt;
Policy 96 – Landscape Strategy;
Policy 98 - Landscape Regions;
Policy 99 – Preservation of Trees, Hedgerows and Woodlands;
Policy 100 - Tree and Woodland Planting;
Policy 101 – Tree and Woodland Management.
3.2 The principal issues to be taken into account in determining this application are:
3.7 The site falls within a landscape development area as defined in the St Albans Local Plan. Policy requirements are to ‘promote and seek to secure landscape creation, improvement and enhancement throughout the Green belt countryside’ (Policy 105 – Landscape Development and Improvement). There is a clear need to preserve the landscape and enhance its quality where possible, and as Policy 104 states, when development is permitted it normally requires landscape improvements.
3.8 In terms of the general impact on the wider landscape, Policies 33 and 34 of the Hertfordshire Waste Local Plan 1995 – 2005 (Adopted January 1999) promote the County Council’s aim to ensure that development is assimilated into the landscape. Planning permission would be refused should there be significant landscape intrusion and loss of important landscapes. The bunds would be visible from the motorway and part of the surrounding area and from adjacent footpaths and bridleways. However, given careful management of the landscaping and restoration of the scheme, they could enhance the area which will ultimately been affected by the M1 works.
3.9 The landscaping of the bunds in this location is exceptionally important. A detailed profiling and planting scheme would be required should planning permission be granted. The applicant has shown an interest in planting the bunds for the benefit of the wider landscape as well as their own enjoyment of the property, especially in light of the amount of vegetation that has been lost in order to progress with the widening of the M1 in this location. Opportunities to enhance bio-diversity should also be optimised. A cluster of trees still remains on site on the north eastern boundary and the applicant has managed to keep a few mature trees on site that were scheduled to be felled as part of the M1 works.
3.10 It is considered that a suitable landscaping scheme which takes into account the contours of the land and drainage issues, and proposes a good mix of planting, could enhance the landscape and would not dominate and as a result harm the openness of the area.
4.1 The application proposes development in the Green Belt and has to demonstrate very special circumstances to justify allowing it that outweighs any harm to the Green Belt, and any other harm. It is considered that the bunds could be designed with appropriate landscaping and planting, leading to improvements to the landscape as well as providing noise attenuation.
4.2 The proposed earth bunds, together with the acoustic fencing, would be designed to run the length of the fields alongside the M1 and are designed specifically to the contours of the land. In terms of landscaping, this is important so that the development blends in with the landscape as far as possible and given that the land falls away to the north of the site and the site is open in character.
4.3 It is considered that the proposal is appropriate given the special circumstances of the site with the motorway being closer to the properties and the elevated land overlooking the surrounding land, taking into account the new development permitted at Mallow House,.
4.4 Several consultees have queried the intention of the applicant in wishing to erect additional buildings at Norrington End and develop the land. The current works being carried out at Norrington End have the benefit of planning permission issued by St Albans District Council.
4.5 In summary, it is considered that the application does not cause significant harm to the Green Belt or other harm and would provide screening for the residential properties at the farm not just for noise reduction but also visual screening. Landscaping is proposed to reduce any impact in terms of visual impact the bunds would have on the character of the area. It is considered that the bunds would not pose a threat to residential or general amenity by way of visual impact.
2. hours of operation (07.30 and 18.00 hours Monday to Friday and no work at weekends or on Bank Holidays, other than grading and formation of the bund on some Saturday mornings between 08.00 and 13.00 hours);
3. scheme of working;
4. vehicle wheel cleaning methods;
5. access, including restrictions when the County Showground is in use and use of the existing bridge across the motorway only;
6. the nature of the imported material used as infill;
7. detailed profiling and landscaping schemes;
- Consultation responses and representations received in response to
planning application reference 5/0139-06;
A Green Belt would be maintained in the south of the County as part of a Green Belt about 12-15 miles deep around London with limited extensions along the main radial corridors and around the towns, as indicated on the Key Diagram. The Green Belt would also be maintained in the County to the east of Luton, as part of the South Bedfordshire Green Belt. The precise boundaries of the Green Belt, as modified in accordance with the following provisions of this policy, shall be as defined in district local plans.
Boundary Reviews linked to Policies 6 and 7
Boundaries of the Green Belt around towns may be reviewed in local plans to identify land at settlements listed in Policy 6 for the purposes of limited peripheral development under Policy 7. In addition, minor adjustments may be considered in reviews to secure a more sustainable pattern of development and activities within these settlements.
Individual adjustments linked to Policies 6 and 7 would need to be fully justified by reference to the criterion of exceptional circumstances indicated in Planning Policy Guidance Note 2 ‘Green Belts’ (PPG2). Proposals should demonstrate that they contribute to sustainability objectives, and must be part of a comprehensive planning approach to deliver these objectives. In particular, housing, employment and retailing development would only be appropriate as part of this comprehensive approach, and where it can be clearly demonstrated that the relevant needs can best be accommodated by development as proposed.
Boundary Reviews linked to Policy 8
Green Belt boundaries would be reviewed with an eye to exclusions to allow for the strategic housing developments for which provision is made under Policy 8. In the case of development west of the A1(M) at Stevenage the review would take account of the long term possibility of a total development of 10,000 dwellings. The following provisos apply to areas for exclusion:
i) the limits of that west of the A1(M) at Stevenage shall be set north of Langley and Newton Wood, east of the B 656 and south of St Ippolyts, and be defined so as to preclude coalescence with nearby settlements;
ii) those in Dacorum shall be on the periphery of Hemel Hempstead, subject to possible limited exclusions at Berkhamsted and Kings Langley; coalescence with Redbourn, Potten End and other nearby settlements is to be avoided.
i) an area in the neighbourhood of Markyate bounded by the existing Green Belt to the east, the Chilterns AONB to the west and the County boundary to the north;
ii) an extension designed to contain development west of the A1(M) at Stevenage and bounded by the Metropolitan Green Belt to the south, the Luton Green Belt to the west and the A505 to the north.
Throughout the Green Belt priorities for the use of land are to:
i) provide opportunities for access to the open countryside for the urban population;
ii) provide opportunities for outdoor sport, and outdoor recreation near urban areas;
iii) retain attractive landscapes, and enhance landscapes near to where people live;
iv) improve damaged and derelict land;
v) secure the nature conservation interest;
vi) retain land in agricultural, forestry and related uses; and
vii) support the objectives of Watling Chase Community Forest.
Development which is permitted within the Green Belt, and management of land and activities within it, should aim to contribute to these priorities.
HERTFORDSHIRE WASTE LOCAL PLAN 1995 – 2005 (Adopted January 1999)
Waste Policy 24 – Land raising
Disposal of waste by raising the level of land will only be permitted where it would assist the preparation of land for other approved development proposals or where the land is derelict or degraded or where it can be demonstrated that it will not give rise to unacceptable environmental and other effects and it would result in significant agricultural, land drainage, landscape enhancement or other environmental benefit and where the proposal can meet the environmental standards and planning requirements set out in operational policies 32-46.
Waste Policy 33 – Landscape Intrusion
The impact of all applications for waste management facilities on the landscape will be considered, and planning permission may be refused on the grounds of significant landscape intrusion and loss of important landscapes. Permission may be withheld where natural regeneration forms an attractive landscape feature. Within landscape conservation areas planning applications and associated landscaping and restoration schemes will be expected to include proposals which will result in a landscape which at least matches the existing quality of the area and preferably offers clear benefits and improvements to it. Landscape improvement measures will also be expected elsewhere, particularly within landscape development areas. The likely visual intrusion during operations will also be considered. The provision of quick, effective tree and / or shrub screens should be undertaken on and around sites, where appropriate, prior to the commencement of development and (in the case of a large scale project involving filling of mineral void or raising the level of land) during the operations. Although native tree and shrub species will normally be expected, species appropriate to the local landscape will be required in all cases.
Waste policy 44 – Proximity to other land uses
The county council will not grant planning permission for the disposal of waste by landfill or landraising if the proposed activity would be too close to existing residential or employment development. in deciding whether the proposed landfill or landraising would be too close to existing residential or employment development, the county council will take into account the following factors:
a) Whether the activities would be within 250m of residential or employment development, or within 60m in the case of disposal of inert waste;
b) The level of noise and vibration likely to emanate from the site;
c) The effects of floodlighting the site;
d) The proposed hours of working;
e) The number of people who would be effected and the length of time they would be effected;
f) Whether there would be any barrier or significant intrusion between the proposed deposition and residential or employment development (such as a major road or railway embankment); and
g) The effects of any proposed ameliorative works, such as earth mounds, including adverse effects.
WHEN DETERMINING AN APPLICATION FOR WASTE DISPOSAL BY FILLING OF
A MINERAL WORKING VOID OR BY RAISING THE LEVEL OF LAND, THE
COUNTY COUNCIL WILL PAY PARTICULAR REGARD TO THE STANDARD OF
RESTORATION WHICH CAN BE ACHIEVED AND TO THE PROGRESS AND
QUALITY OF RESTORATION WORKS, AFTER-CARE AND AFTERUSES ON
EXISTING SITES WITHIN THE OPERATOR’S CONTROL.
WHERE WASTE DISPOSAL BY FILLING OF A MINERAL WORKING OR OTHER
VOID IS PROPOSED ON A SITE ADJACENT TO, AND UNDER THE CONTROL OF
THE SAME OPERATOR AS A NEARBY AREA OF DAMAGED, DETERIORATED
AND BADLY-RESTORED LAND AND WHEN A NEW APPLICATION IS
SUBMITTED, THE COUNTY COUNCIL MAY REQUIRE THE RESTORATION
SCHEME ACCOMPANYING THE APPLICATION TO INCLUDE PROVISION FOR
UPGRADING THAT LAND TO SATISFACTORY STANDARDS.
WHERE RESTORATION TO AGRICULTURAL USE IS PROPOSED ON ANY LAND,
THE COUNTY COUNCIL WILL EXPECT THAT THE RESTORATION OF THAT
LAND, REGARDLESS OF ITS INITIAL QUALITY, WILL BE TO THE HIGHEST
PRACTICABLE GRADE WHICH MUST BE AT LEAST EQUIVALENT TO THAT
WHICH PREVIOUSLY EXISTED. A FULL SCHEME OF RESTORATION AND
AFTERCARE WILL BE REQUIRED. PLANNING PERMISSION MAY BE REFUSED
IF THE RESTORATION WOULD RESULT IN A LAND QUALITY WHICH, AFTER
THE EXPIRY OF A FIVE YEAR AFTERCARE PERIOD, IS LIKELY TO BE OF A
LOWER GRADE THAN THE ORIGINAL.
WHERE IT IS CONSIDERED BY THE COUNTY COUNCIL THAT DEPOSIT OF
SPECIFIC TYPES OF WASTE WOULD NOT PRODUCE THE DESIRED STANDARD
OF RESTORATION AND RESTORED LANDFORM, CONDITIONS MAY BE
IMPOSED RESTRICTING THE TYPE OF WASTE THAT MAY BE DEPOSITED.
THE COUNTY COUNCIL WILL REQUIRE THAT WHERE WASTE DISPOSAL BY
INFILLING OF A MINERAL WORKING VOID OR RAISING THE LEVEL OF LAND,
IS PROPOSED, THE SCHEME OF WORKING DEMONSTRATES THAT MAXIMUM
PRACTICABLE COMPACTION OF WASTE WILL BE ACHIEVED TO MINIMISE
TOTAL AND DIFFERENTIAL SETTLEMENT.
PLANNING PERMISSIONS GRANTED MAY BE SUBJECT TO CONDITIONS
RELATING TO THE REMOVAL AND STORAGE OF INDIGENOUS SOILS,
TREATMENT OF DEPOSITED WASTE MATERIAL AND THE FINAL LAYERS OR
COVER MATERIAL TO ENSURE THE HIGHEST QUALITY OF RESTORATION.
IN CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES, THE COUNTY COUNCIL WILL SEEK THE
VOLUNTARY AGREEMENT OF AN OPERATOR TO AN APPROPRIATE
RESTORATION BOND TO ENSURE THAT THE FINAL RESTORATION AND
AFTERCARE IS PROPERLY ACHIEVED.
ii) The proposed overall scheme is considered to be an acceptable solution for the site and restoration and afteruse would not involve detrimental environmental impact, including impact on the highway network;
iii) Satisfactory arrangements have been concluded by the applicant to secure effective control over the site for restoration and aftercare purposes.
i) the towns and specified settlements listed in Policy 2;
ii) land North of Buncefield, Hemel Hempstead (proposed warehousing, see Policy 20, ref: EMP 7);
iii) Colney Street Industrial/Warehousing Estate (see Policy 20, ref: EMP 22);
iv) North-East Hemel Hempstead (land west of Cherry Tree Lane – see Policy 26)
New development within the Green Belt shall integrate with the existing landscape. Siting, design and external appearance are particularly important and additional landscaping will normally be required. Significant harm to the ecological value of the countryside must be avoided.
The circumstances and locations in which development will be permitted will also have regard to the ensuing policies, particularly:
Chapter Subject Policies
2 Key structuring policies 2
3 Housing 6, 8, 10-18
4 Employment 24
5 Transportation 36, 39-50
6 Shopping and service uses 55-60
7 Social and community services 60B, 61, 63-67
8 Design and Environment 70, 72-80, 84
9 Conservation and historic buildings 85-90
10 Leisure 91, 93, 95-98
11 Tourism 99, 101
12 Countryside 102-106
14 Archaeology 109-111
15 St. Albans City Centre 114
17 Highfield Oval site, Harpenden 132
18 Fleetville 137
19 London Colney 139
20 Upper Colne Valley 143, 143A
Policy 104 – Landscape Conservation
The Council will seek to preserve and enhance the quality of landscape throughout the District.
The following landscape conservation areas are partly within the District as shown on the Proposals Map:
LANDSCAPE CONSERVATION AREAS
REF. PROPOSALS MAP SHEET LOCATION
LCA.1 1, 2, 3 Upper Lea Valley,
Childwickbury and Gorhambury
LCA.2 4 Shenley Ridge
In these areas, the Council will not grant permission for any development that would adversely affect the high landscape quality. Permission will be granted only for development proposals which pay regard to the setting, siting, design and external appearance. Landscape improvements will normally be required when development is permitted.
Policy 105 – Landscape Development and Improvement
The District Council will promote and seek to secure landscape creation, improvement and enhancement throughout the Green belt countryside. Priority will be given generally to the urban fringe and particularly in the Landscape development Area shown on the Proposals map (sheets 1, 3, 4, L and F). Leisure and tourist developments appropriate to the Green belt will be encouraged if proposals will enhance the quality and appearance of the Landscape development Area (see Policies 91, 96, 99, 101, 106, 143 and 143A).
DACORUM BOROUGH COUNCIL LOCAL PLAN 1991-2011 (ADOPTED 21 APRIL 2004)
Policy 4 – The Green Belt
Within the Green Belt, there is a presumption against inappropriate development. New buildings will therefore only be acceptable where they are for the following purposes:
The reuse of an existing building will be permitted provided that:-
i) it does not have a greater impact on the Green belt than the present use; and
ii) it complies with the criteria in either Policy 69, 92 or 110.
Engineering or other operations, including mineral extraction, and material changes in the use of land will only be acceptable where they maintain openness and do not conflict with the purposes of including land in the Green Belt.
Inappropriate development will only be allowed where it can be demonstrated that very special circumstances exist which clearly outweigh the harm to the Green Belt.
Any development that would injure the visual amenities of the Green belt will not be permitted. All development should seek to make a contribution to fulfilling the Green belt objectives set out in paragraph 1.6 of PPG2.
Policy 96 – Landscape Strategy
An attractive landscape character is sought throughout the Borough and measures to preserve and improve the landscape will therefore be promoted, secured and encouraged.
The importance attached to measures for landscape preservation and/or improvement in the area will relate to the strategy and guidelines for managing change in the Supplementary Planning Guidance Landscape Character Assessment for Dacorum. Policy 97 sets out the main considerations relating to the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. In all areas new development proposals will be expected to make a positive contribution to the landscape and bring forward specific improvements wherever needed.
Nature conservation interests should be protected and enhanced to maintain and improve local distinctiveness of the ecology of the area. Further advice is contained within Supplementary Planning Guidance: The Environmental Guidelines ‘Landscape and Nature Conservation’.
Special regard will be paid to the effect of development proposals on views, vistas and skylines and visual impact on the countryside will be minimised. Proposals which are considered to be visually obtrusive will normally be refused.
The overall conservation, enhancement and enjoyment of Dacorum’s landscape will be furthered by support for the work undertaken by Hertfordshire’s Countryside Management Service, Biological Records Centre, the Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust and voluntary agencies and the Countryside Heritage Project. In addition appropriate partnerships will be fostered with landowners, local environment and countryside forums and other interested parties.
The following measures will be employed, where appropriate, to ensure the creation, protection and good management of sites of landscape value:
(a) Directions under Article 4 of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development Order) 1995;
(b) voluntary management agreements, particularly linked to development proposals and the Hertfordshire Countryside Heritage Project;
(c) provision of appropriate financial assistance, advice and information on best practice to voluntary agencies and other bodies.
Policy 98 – Landscape Regions
In considering proposals likely to have an impact on the visual or scenic quality of the Landscape Regions, the Council will take into account the degree to which the proposals protect and enhance the visual quality of the landscape by retaining, reinstating or managing desirable elements.
Proposals should accord with the relevant strategy and guidelines approach for Landscape Character Areas contained in Supplementary Planning Guidance ‘Landscape Character Assessment for Dacorum’.
Policy 99 – Preservation of trees, hedgerows and woodlands
Encouragement will be given to the preservation of trees, hedgerows and woodlands (including old orchards) throughout the Borough.
Where new development is proposed a high priority will be given to their retention and to their protection during development. Regard will also be paid to future management intentions (ref Policy 101). In order to minimise unnecessary loss and damage to roots the Council will:
(a) carefully consider the positions of existing and proposed trees with the proposed development so that a harmonious relationship is achieved;
(b) require an accurate tree survey indicating trees proposed for retention or removal; and
(c) require details of proposed underground works and tree protection measures to be submitted and approved.
See Supplementary Planning Guidance ‘Landscape and Nature Conservation’ for further details.
Tree preservation orders will be made to ensure the retention of visually important trees in urban and rural locations, particularly where they are threatened by development. Consent to lop or remove trees protected by a tree preservation order will not be given unless the Council is satisfied that it would be necessary to overcome a serious safety hazard, nuisance or detriment to local character. Where removal is permitted, appropriate replacements will be required.
Where trees which are protected by a tree preservation order or planning conditions have been removed without the consent of the Council, the appropriate enforcement powers will be used to secure their replacement. Where appropriate the Council will prosecute for breaches of tree preservation control.
Important hedgerows as defined under the Hedgerow Regulations 1997 will be retained unless there are exceptional circumstances or there are linked overriding landscape or ecological benefits. Where such hedgerows are removed without permission, the Council will investigate and where appropriate prosecute offenders: reinstatement of the hedgerow(s) will normally be sought.
Policy 100 – Tree and Woodland Planting
Encouragement will be given to tree, woodland and hedge planting in appropriate locations, particularly as part of development landscaping schemes. All tree planting should, wherever possible, be with appropriate native broad-leaved species. The maintenance of approved development landscaping schemes will be carefully monitored and strictly enforced. Where necessary tree preservation orders will be made on these schemes to ensure the retention of trees with potential visual importance that might be threatened by neglect or future development.
Policy 101 – Tree and Woodland Management
Appropriate management of trees standing as individual specimens, groups or woodlands or orchards and of hedgerows will be encouraged.
For woodlands, management should include the identification of clear objectives for their use and should aim to resolve any conflicts arising from consideration of their value to nature conservation, landscape conservation, recreation and timber production interests. In areas of ancient semi-natural woodland nature conservation will be afforded a high priority.
For all other trees in both urban and rural locations, management should aim to maintain a healthy and safe tree population without causing an unreasonable nuisance or hazard to person, highway or property. High standards of professional tree care will be encouraged and promoted particularly by reference to British Standard 3998, "Recommendations for Tree Work", other relevant British Standards and the Borough Council’s Tree Strategy.
The Council will carry out appropriate and sympathetic management of trees, woodlands and hedgerows within its control and will undertake new planting as required.
Norrington End Committee Report -5/0139-06 (872)
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