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Agenda No.

4
HERTFORDSHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL


DEVELOPMENT CONTROL COMMITTEE

TUESDAY, 21 MARCH 2006, AT 10 AM.
ST ALBANS CITY AND DISTRICT
PROPOSED EARTH BUNDS FOR NOISE CONTROL AT MALLOW HOUSE, NORRINGTON END, REDDING LANE, REDBOURN, HERTS
Report of the Director of Environment
Author: Trish Lyons Tel: 01992 556271
Local Member: Derek Hills

(adjoining Member: David Lloyd)


1. Purpose of Report
1.1 To consider planning application 5/0139-06 to construct earth bunds as a noise control measure on land at Norrington End, Redding Lane, Redbourn.
2. Summary
2.1 The application has been submitted as a measure for reducing noise from traffic on the M1 motorway as existing at nearby properties, and is expected to be of even greater value when the M1 is widened in this location. The proposal involves the construction of earth bunds at Norrington End adjacent to the M1 just south of Junction 9.
2.2 The application site is within land at Norrington End former farm complex, situated at the end of Redding Lane, Redbourn. Planning permission has been granted by the City and District of St Albans for the erection of two new properties and a barn conversion at Norrington End Farm.
2.3 The application seeks to construct earth bunds along the newly established eastern boundary of the farm land where it will be adjacent to the widened motorway, as a means of controlling traffic noise at this site. The applicant intends to continue utilising the land for grazing and proposes to grade and plant the bunds with trees and shrubs to replace the mature trees that have been felled as part of the M1 works.
2.4 Access is proposed through the Herts County Showground land off the A5138 and over the road bridge on Redding Lane. The intention of the Highways Agency is to replace this bridge slightly further south than at present. Prior to the new bridge being constructed a temporary bridge would be erected to enable access to Norrington End at all times. The applicant hopes to carry out works connected with the bund application prior to the existing bridge being demolished.
2.5 20 vehicles per working day, with a capacity of up to 15m³ would deposit soils and sub soils at the site. The applicant estimates that a total of 163 working days would be required to complete this work in depositing 49,000m³ of soil/sub soil, assuming full loads. However this does not take account of compaction and consequently the duration is likely to be nearer 275 working days based on 20 vehicles per day or 185 days based upon 30 lorry movements.
2.6 The hours of operation are proposed to be between 07.30 and 18.00 hours Monday to Friday and no work at weekends or on Bank Holidays, however, some provision is made for some Saturday morning work on the site in the form of grading and formation of the bund between 08.00 and 13.00 hours.
2.7 The main issues relate to the site being located within the Metropolitan Green Belt, potential impact on the character and openness of the area, need for a bund to reduce noise levels and suitability of proposed access arrangements.


3. Conclusion

3.1 It is considered that the application does not cause significant harm to the Green Belt 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.


3.2 It is therefore concluded that, subject to no new issues being raised by the Highways Agency, planning permission for the development should be granted, subject to conditions to include:
1. time limit for formation and profiling of bund and subsequent landscaping;

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;

8. fencing;



9. drainage.

1. Description of the site and proposed development
1.1 Mallow House, Norrington End is located approximately 1.5km north-west of Redbourn. It is located at the end of Redding Lane which is accessed off the A5183, Dunstable Road. The nearest neighbouring property to the Norrington End Farm site lies 545m along Redding Lane from Mallow House. There are fields to the south, west and north west of the site with the M1 adjoining the eastern boundary and the slip road off the motorway at junction 9 along the northern boundary of the site. Herts County Showground is located on the other side of the M1 and has an access point at the top of Redding Lane just before the bridge leading over the M1 to Norrington End.
1.2 Norrington End is accessed via Redding Lane which is a single track road, leading off the A5183, Dunstable Road. However, the applicant intends to bring vehicles through the Herts County Showground land and then over the bridge crossing the M1 to Redding Lane and then onto the application site.
1.3 A section of the land at Norrington End has been compulsory purchased by the Highways Agency in order to widen the M1 with another lane along this stretch. As such the M1 will be approximately 20m closer to the properties at Norrington End than at present. Trees lined this strip of land prior to the M1 works beginning. A strip of land has been cleared of all vegetation and a new boundary fence has been erected at the site. The earth bunds are proposed on the eastern edge of the farm site immediately within the new boundary line of the site.
1.4 Two earth bunds are proposed along the eastern and north-eastern boundaries of the site respectively with a noise fence alongside the belt of trees running east-west across the site. The first would be of a maximum 3m in height, 15m wide and run for a length of 320m to a belt of trees. The trees would remain untouched with an acoustic fence erected. The second bund would then continue northwards wrapping around the corner of the field and terminating before the wood alongside the slip road off the motorway. The second bund would be more substantial given that the land falls away down towards the slip road, with a maximum 8m in height, 30m wide and 230m long.
1.5 20 vehicles per working day, with a capacity of up to 15m³ would deposit soils and sub soils at the site. The applicant estimates that a total of 163 working days would be required to complete this work in depositing 49,000m³ of soil/sub soil, assuming full loads. However this does not take account of compaction and consequently the duration is likely to be nearer 275 working days based on 20 vehicles per day based on 30 lorry movements per day.
1.6 The hours of operation are proposed to be between 07.30 and 18.00 hours Monday to Friday and no work at weekends or on Bank Holidays, however, some provision is made for some Saturday morning work on the site in the form of grading and formation of the bund between 08.00 and 13.00 hours.
1.7 Norrington End has a number of existing planning permissions relating to properties within the Farm complex.
1.8 The whole of the application site falls within the Metropolitan Green Belt as does its immediate surrounding area. Lower Sawpit Wood wildlife site lies 44m to the east of the application site boundary and Redding Wood wildlife site 320m south east of the application site boundary. There are a number of public footpaths and bridleways in the area including Footpath no.2 which terminates half way into the application site.
Relevant Planning History
1.6 Norrington End has been the subject of a number of planning applications submitted to the City and District of St Albans. The following table, taken from the District Council’s website shows a list of these applications.


 

Reference No.

Location

Proposal

Application
Type


Application

Status

5/2003/0937

Norrington End Farm, Redding Lane, Redbourn, AL3 7PU

Conversion and extension of redundant agricultural building to a dwelling including the erection of a single garage

FULL

REF

5/2003/2367

Norrington End Farm, Redding Lane, Redbourn, AL3 7PU

Demolition of redundant farm buildings and erection of two dwellings

FULL

OutPerm

5/2003/2368

Norrington End Farm, Redding Lane, Redbourn, AL3 7PU

Conversion and extension of redundant agricultural building to a dwelling (resubmission following refusal of 5/03/0937)

FULL

CondPerm

5/2005/0216

Norrington End Farm, Redding Lane, Redbourn, AL3 7PU

Demolition of redundant farm buildings and erection of two detached dwellings with garages (reserved matters pursuant to outline permission 5/03/2367 dated 2/4/04)

FULL

CondPerm

5/2005/0720

Norrington End Farm, Redding Lane, Redbourn, AL3 7PU

Demolition of redundant farm buildings and erection of two detached dwellings with garages

FULL

CondPerm

5/2005/0769

Norrington End Farm, Redding Lane, Redbourn, AL3 7PU

Demolition of redundant farm building and erection of one detached dwelling

FULL

W

5/2005/1578

Howards Barn, 3 Norrington End, Redding Lane, Redbourn, AL3 7QN

Demolition of redundant farm building, erection of detached dwelling and detached triple garage

FULL

W

5/2005/1740

Norrington End Farm, Redding Lane, Redbourn, AL3 7PU

Demolition of redundant farm buildings and erection of two detached dwellings with garages (amendment to planning permission 5/05/0720)

FULL

CondPerm

5/2005/2230

Norrington End Farm, Redding Lane, Redbourn, AL3 7PU

Replacement dwelling (outline)

FULL

OutPerm

5/2005/2317

Mallow House, 2 Norrington End, Redding Lane, Redbourn, AL3 7QN

Prior Approval - Erection of barn for agricultural purposes

AB

ABREF

5/2005/2562

Mallow House, 2 Norrington End, Redding Lane, Redbourn, AL3 7QN

Prior Approval - Barn for agricultural purposes

AB

ABCONS

5/2006/0158

Mallow House, 2 Norrington End, Redding Lane, Redbourn, AL3 7QN

Prior Approval - Agricultural machinery store

AB

ABCONS





2. Consultations
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:

  • No comments on the merits of the bunds;

  • All lorries accessing the site through the Herts County Showground land.


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:

  • Green Belt;

  • Access arrangements;

  • Landscaping; and

  • Noise control.


Green Belt

    1. The application site falls within the Metropolitan Green Belt. Policy states that there is a presumption against inappropriate development within the Green Belt. However, permission can be granted for development in very special circumstances provided it does not harm the Green Belt or result in other harm.




    1. The bunds would provide noise attenuation for the nearby properties (including development recently permitted) and a visual screen to the motorway. The openness and character of the area would not be adversely affected by the construction of bunds provided that the bunds are landscaped and complement the surrounding landscape and could provide an improvement in terms of planting as vegetation has been lost as part of the M1 works. As such, it is considered that the proposal conforms with Policy 5 of the Hertfordshire Structure Plan Review 1991 – 2011 (Adopted April 1998), Policy 1 of St Albans City and District Local Plan (Adopted November 1994) and Policy 4 of Dacorum Borough Council Local Plan 1991-2011, adopted 21 April 2004.


Access Arrangements

    1. Access arrangements onto the application site are proposed, avoiding the single track lane of Redding Lane which passes by properties. This involves utilising an established access off Dunstable Road into Hertfordshire County Showground land and continuing southwards, exiting this land just before the M1 and crossing via the bridge on Redding Lane. Hertfordshire County Council as Highway Authority does not object to the application. As such, this is considered to be an acceptable route for lorries to gain access into Norrington End. Local residents are already concerned with lorries utilising Redding Lane for the works in relation to the construction of the applicant’s new property.




    1. During an event being held at the Showground, the lorries would not be able to deliver material to the site as the access through the Showground land would not be possible. A condition attached to any planning permission could control this and require no works to be carried out at this time. This would also meet the concerns of a local resident.




    1. The existing bridge over the M1 on Redding Lane is proposed to be relocated further south during the course of the M1 widening works and a temporary bridge is due to be constructed allowing access to land at Norrington End at all times. The applicant intends to carry out works in relation to the importation of waste material for the earth bunds prior to the existing bridge being removed. Should planning permission be granted then this should be the subject of a condition to ensure that this is the only access to the site in the interests of amenity.


Landscaping

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.
Noise Control

    1. The Highways Agency is providing bunds in other locations along the stretch of the M1 junction 6a-10 where their data indicates that there could be an effect on properties. A bund was originally proposed in this location but revisions to the scheme subsequently removed the provision for a bund. Formal comments are awaited from the Highways Agency with regard to their noise predictions and need for noise attenuation measures.




    1. Planning permission has been granted for the construction of three new residences at Norrington End. The applicant is currently building one of these properties: the nearest one to the M1. A noise report for the applicant, compiled with noise projections for the motorway, shows that currently the proposal falls within Zone B as provided for in Planning Policy Guidance (PPG) Note 24: Planning and Noise. PPG 24 states that planning permission for residential development may be acceptable subject to conditions requiring extra noise attenuation measures. The building is therefore being constructed with extra noise control measures incorporated into the fabric of the building. However, these measures rely on the windows being closed and relate to noise levels within the property.




    1. The noise report also includes noise projections to the year 2021, when the property would then fall within Zone C. PPG24 says that planning permission should not normally be granted where alternative sites are available. The report shows that the effect of a 3m bund would be to provide sufficient mitigation to ensure that the property remains in Zone B.




    1. The bund would therefore ensure that that the noise levels at the property are acceptable within the property when windows are open and outside it in the garden. These benefits would also apply to other dwellings that are in a similar location.


Duration

    1. The applicant has estimated that the formation of the bunds would take 163 days based on 20 vehicle loads per day. However, this does not take account of compaction of the tipped material. Duration of the project would also be dependent on weather, to ensure soils are handled correctly and planting seasons. If planning permission is granted then there should be a limitation on duration to ensure that the project is completed in a timely manner in order to minimise any adverse impacts and to ensure that, in any event, it is completed prior to the removal of the existing bridge across the motorway.



4. Conclusion
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.
4.6 It is therefore concluded that subject to no new issues being raised by the Highways Agency, planning permission for the development should be granted, subject to conditions to include:
1. time limit for formation and profiling of bund and subsequent landscaping;

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;

8. fencing;

9. drainage.

5. Financial implications
5.1 Planning applications should be determined on the basis of material planning considerations, and not on the basis of their financial implications for the County Council. However, it is a requirement of the County Council to advise all Committees of the financial implications that may arise from their decisions.
5.2 If a planning application is refused or is not determined within a specific period, the applicant has a right of appeal. Any appeal would result in additional costs, which in part can be met from existing budget provisions. However, a major public inquiry may give rise to significant costs for which there is no specific budget provision. If the County Council refuses an application without reasonable planning grounds on which to base its decision, it may be liable to pay the costs of the applicant in contesting the appeal.

Background information used by the author in compiling this report
- Planning application reference 5/0139-06 and supporting information

- Consultation responses and representations received in response to

planning application reference 5/0139-06;

- Hertfordshire Structure Plan Review 1991-2011 (adopted April 1998);

- St Albans City and District Local Plan (adopted November 1994);

- Dacorum Borough Council Local Plan 1991-2011 (adopted 21 April 2004);

- Hertfordshire Waste Local Plan 1995-2005 (January 1999).

Planning Policy Guidance Note 24: Planning and Noise (September 19940

APPENDIX A
HERTFORDSHIRE STRUCTURE PLAN REVIEW 1991 – 2011 (Adopted April 1998)
Policy 5 - Green Belt

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.

Safeguarded Land
Any land released from the Green Belt in accordance with this policy but not planned for development during the period of the local plan should be safeguarded in that Plan, and generally referred to as ‘safeguarded land’ or as an ‘area of special restraint’.

Green Belt Extensions
The Green Belt would be extended to include the following areas as indicated on the Key Diagram:

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.

Development Control and Priorities
In the Green Belt there is a presumption against inappropriate development and permission would not be given, except in very special circumstances, for purposes other than those detailed in PPG2. Local plans may list settlements within the Green Belt where infilling would be permitted under the guidelines contained in PPG2 and in accordance with Policy 6 of this Plan. Subject to compliance with the criteria in paragraph 3.8 of PPG2, re-use of existing buildings within the Green Belt is not an inappropriate form of development, though the acceptability of re-use in any particular case would also fall to be considered in the light of other relevant policies and considerations, in particular traffic impact.

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.
Planning permission for waste disposal by landfill or landraising will be refused where the type of waste proposed for a site located close to or on the flight path of an operational aerodrome is considered by the local planning authority to be likely to create a danger from bird strike on aircraft.
Waste Policy 45 – Standard and form of restoration

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

77

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.
Waste Policy 46 – restoration, aftercare and afteruse
All applications for waste disposal must be accompanied by a detailed proposal for restoration, aftercare and afteruse. The final landform resulting from the proposed restoration should be one apparently created naturally and set harmoniously within the surrounding landscape.
Where appropriate, the detailed scheme should include proposals for long-term landfill gas and leachate management, control and monitoring. The county council will only permit applications for waste disposal if:
i) There are proposals for restoration, afteruse and aftercare;

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.
In considering the specific restoration proposals for a site, account will also be taken of any exceptional circumstances such as the identification of regionally important geological or geomorphological sites which should be retained as part of the final scheme.

ST ALBANS CITY AND DISTRICT LOCAL PLAN (ADOPTED NOVEMBER 1994)
Policy 1 – Metropolitan Green Belt
The whole of St Albans District lies within the Metropolitan Green Belt except for the following areas:

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)
The boundaries of the Green Belt around these areas (as shown on the Proposals Map) have been defined by reference to the degree of long term expansion of the built-up areas acceptable in the context o the stated purpose of the Green Belt.
Within the Green Belt, except for development in Green Belt settlements referred to in Policy 2 or in very special circumstances, permission will not be given for development for purposes other than that required for:


  1. mineral extraction;

  2. agriculture;

  3. small scale facilities for participatory sport and recreation;

  4. other uses appropriate to a rural area;

  5. conversion of existing buildings to appropriate new uses, where this can be achieved without substantial rebuilding works or harm to the character and appearance of the countryside.

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 74 – Landscaping and Tree Preservation
The Council will take account of the following landscaping factors when considering planning applications:


  1. Retention of existing landscaping




    1. significant healthy trees and other important landscape features, such as hedgerows, ponds and watercourses shall normally be retained unless it can be shown that retention is incompatible with overall design quality and/or economic use of the site;




    1. on sites with significant existing landscaping, planning applications shall be supported by a full tree survey indicating all landscape features, tree species, canopy spread, trunk diameter and levels at the base of each tree;




    1. trees shall not normally be severely topped or lopped, or endangered by construction work or underground services. In addition, buildings shall not be sited where they are likely to justify future requests for tree felling or surgery for reasons of safety, excessive shading, nuisance or structural damage;




    1. the Council will make tree preservation orders and/or attach appropriate landscaping conditions to planning permissions to safeguard existing trees and ensure that new planting is established and protected;




  1. Provision of new landscaping




    1. where appropriate, adequate space and depth of soil for planting must be allowed within developments. In particular, screen planting including large trees will normally be required at the edge of settlements




    1. detailed landscaping schemes will normally be required as part of full planning applications. Amongst other things they must indicate existing trees and shrubs to be retained; trees to b felled; the planting of new trees, shrubs and grass; and screening and paving. Preference should be given to the use of native trees and shrubs;




    1. wildlife corridors shall be established in accordance with Policy 75, wherever opportunities occur.



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:



  1. agriculture;

  2. forestry;

  3. essential facilities for outdoor sport and outdoor recreation, for cemeteries and for other uses which preserve the openness of the Green Belt and which do not conflict with its purposes;

  4. the limited extension of existing houses in accordance with Policy 22;

  5. the replacement of existing houses in accordance with Policy 23;

  6. limited infilling in selected small villages in accordance with Policy 6; and

  7. limited infilling or redevelopment of major existing developed sites in accordance with Policy 5.

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.
Sites affected by current Article 4 directions are listed in Appendix 9 and shown on the Proposals Maps.
Sites related to the former Bovingdon Airfield are the subject of Supplementary Planning Guidance.

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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