Home > Planning > Planning Policy

PLEASE NOTE: You only need to register / login if you wish to make representations.

If you haven't got an account you can register now.
If you have forgotten your password you can request a new password.

Representation 9900 on BMSDC Joint Local Plan Consultation Document (Interactive) by Mr Frank Lawrenson

Support / Object: COMMENT
Document Link: BMSDC Joint Local Plan Consultation Document (Interactive) - HOUSING, Rural growth and development, Q27
Representation: Local landscapes must be protected. Conservation areas, sites of Outstanding Natural Beauty and of Special Scientific Interest must be protected with clear guidelines. Development needs to go where there is appropriate infrastructure. Sustainability must refer to the natural environment not merely to housing. Large housing estates are inappropriate for rural villages whether Core or Hinterland. Smaller developments should be spread evenly across all villages, restricted to a small percentage of the existing number of dwellings.

Original submission


Q4 What should be the priority across the district?
Retaining the landscape character, the spaces between the settlements, keeping the villages as rural rather than urban in order to protect our biggest economy - tourism. This is the best way to keep our area sustainable - that is to ensure that it continues as a thriving district for present and future generations.


Q5 What is most important for your town or village?
The huge consensus in our village of Great Waldingfield is that we all moved here for the ruralness and tranquility, choosing to forfeit easy access to town facilities for the health and wellbeing resulting from living in close proximity to the countryside. We recognise the need for development and believe that large scale housing developments have no place in a rural village - a number of smaller developments, with rural rather than urban density of housing, around the edge of the village would best serve to retain our landscape's character.

Q 11. Do you agree with the proposed criteria approach to rank settlements in the hierarchy? If not, please explain a suggested amendment or alternative.
Whilst agreeing in broad terms with the criteria approach it is important to ensure proportional development and to that end we believe that village size/population should play a significant role in the calculation. Additionally penalizing villages, via the points system, for being located close to market towns risks overdevelopment and destroying the very character of Suffolk that we seek to preserve. Through all this we must remember the reason we chose to live in this beautiful part of the world and ensure we improve and preserve it for future generations.

Q 12. Do you agree with the proposed joint settlement hierarchy? If no, please provide further details as to how the hierarchy should be amended.
We do not agree with the joint settlement hierarchy in the case of Great Waldingfield. When Chilton Wood is complete Great Waldingfield will be within 1km of the new development. To add further significant development to a village so close to 1100 new homes and associated industrial units must by any measure count as over development. We therefore believe Great Waldingfield should be considered as an exception and be classified as a hinterland village. Any development should be proportionate to the size of the current village as a fixed percentage.

Q 26. Which option for the policy approach to rural growth do you think is most appropriate?
Whichever option is chosen there must be clear guidelines set out similar to the Joint Landscape Plan and CS11 that protect rural sites from over-development. Loose wording ("without undue harm") must be avoided as these leave too much room for interpretation.

Q 27. Are there any other approaches to distributing development in rural areas that we should consider?
Local landscapes must be protected. Conservation areas, sites of Outstanding Natural Beauty and of Special Scientific Interest must be protected with clear guidelines. Development needs to go where there is appropriate infrastructure. Sustainability must refer to the natural environment not merely to housing. Large housing estates are inappropriate for rural villages whether Core or Hinterland. Smaller developments should be spread evenly across all villages, restricted to a small percentage of the existing number of dwellings.


Q 28. Do you support the approach proposed for hamlets? If not please explain?
Some growth can be allowed in hamlets if it is proportionate, of a suitable density, design and if it enhances the hamlet. Phrases such as development that does not "cause undue harm" seem to water down current guidelines where new development should enhance the area.

Q 55. Are there any other approaches that the Joint Local Plan could take to protect the landscape?
The Heritage Settlement and Landscape Sensitivity Assessment will be a key document relating to the protection of the landscape. Will there be consultation on this? If a document is produced without local consultation, local communities will be powerless to protect the local environment from outside development.

Q 64. What do you consider the key infrastructure issues in your community?
Traffic around the school site in Great Waldingfield is already at dangerous levels at the start, end of the school day and at lunchtime. The Primary School itself has capacity for only 30 more children so will not cater for large scale development and has no further room to extend. Cars from the Cromwell Field estate are parked on the main road and adjacent roads. Sewerage has been a problem on the new estate and much additional housing will exacerbate this. There is limited employment in Great Waldingfield so any major development will only add to traffic and pollution problems as people drive to local towns.

Settlement Hierarchy
We accept the need to review settlements. We welcome the use of services measured by a points system but there must be a clear correlation between services which meet current needs and those which provide opportunity for further development. If a school is near to capacity it should be awarded no/fewer points than a school with potential to grow. If a village can be designated as Core with only one shop then the system needs to be reviewed. Larger weighting needs to be given to those villages which have more services than to those where you must travel 5km to reach them. Where a village provides limited employment, it should not be designated Core as development will lead to traffic congestion and pollution. At a distance of over 1 km private transport will be used for its convenience whether for employment, shopping or entertainment etc. Consideration also needs to be given to existing cycle routes.

Spatial Distribution (BHD1): comment
The council has already stated that necessary infrastructure is of prime importance before any new development is considered, therefore it seems obvious that the bulk of housing should be sited in the Ipswich fringe area or with easy access to the A14 and A12 corridors. Indeed if 'Since 2001, approximately 60% of new housing growth has come forward in 'rural' areas across Babergh and Mid Suffolk' , it seems it is now the time to redress the balance towards the urban areas and protect the rural landscape which is so important for tourism, our largest business.

Housing: Rural Exception Sites (RE2) Agree
The existing balance in a village must be reviewed so that a good balance between affordable and market housing is retained within any new development. It is very important not to have large developments of only market housing or only affordable housing so that mixed communities are encouraged. Also developers must not be allowed to wriggle out of their affordable housing quota once planning permission has been given.

Rural Growth - comment
The important issue here is the proportion and density of the development allowed in any area whether Core or Hinterland village so that the distinctive character of that area is not only retained but enhanced. (To allow this will ensure that the area remains a popular place to live and work as well as encouraging tourism)The Government has already put in place strong guidelines regarding sustainable development and these must be clearly followed in the Local Plan (PPS1.5, 1.36, PPS3 46) In order for RG2 to fit in with these Planning Statements, there must be reference made to maintaining and enhancing the local character of the area especially in terms of ensuring that the spaces between settlements are retained and the density of the housing allowed is in keeping with the existing dwellings, thereby keeping a clear delineation between our urban, village and rural areas. Whether Core or Hinterland there should be only a percentage increase in village size, previous development in the village must be taken into account and the effect on the existing community carefully considered.
Density and proportion of new development key ingredients
Government guidelines relating to local character and distinctiveness to be followed
Clear differences between amount of development for urban, rural and village settings
Percentage increase so that no village receives disproportionate growth
Previous development must be taken into account

Hamlets (HG2) comment
Regarding infill in hamlets, the wording of HG2 which is of most concern is 'will not cause undue harm to the character and appearance of the cluster'. This gives very little protection to the area. There is no comment on the density of infill allowed - it is the spaces between dwellings which contributes to the rural feel of an area. Perhaps a clear ratio of house to plot depending on the local character could be defined. There must only ever be a small percentage increase in number of dwellings in an existing hamlet.

Landscape, Heritage and Design (L1)
It has to be best to have certain areas where building cannot take place - otherwise no area will be sacrosanct and it will be a matter of every area fighting to protect itself. The dangers of a criteria -based policy for all is its subjective nature.The greatest concern is again the wording in L2 ' all development would be expected to minimise impacts on the landscape and to enhance landscape character wherever possible, by reference to the Joint Babergh and Mid Suffolk Landscape Guidance.' This seems to open the way for development that does not enhance the landscape character as required by the NPPF.

Also needed is a clear set of rules for deciding what does and does not impact on the character of the settlement or landscape.

Heritage Assets (HG1) (p63)
It is obviously very important to protect non-designated assets.
NPPF 131. In determining planning applications, local planning authorities should take account of: the positive contribution that conservation of heritage assets can make to sustainable communities including their economic vitality.



Infrastructure (IN2) (p65)
It is imperative in this rural area to recognise the importance of suitable infrastructure before any development takes place so a policy that takes into account the nature of the area in addition to the NPPF seems highly relevant.


Comments on sites
SS0247
The Great Waldingfield Conservation Area is highly important as a local amenity offering rural tranquility away from the busier main part of the village and as an historic heritage site extremely popular with tourists. It is therefore imperative that it is maintained as such for its value to the local economy and to the wellbeing of the local community.

NPPF 131. In determining planning applications, local planning authorities should take account of: the positive contribution that conservation of heritage assets can make to sustainable communities including their economic vitality.

PPS1
The government's Objectives for the Planning System
1. Good planning ... makes a positive difference to people's lives and helps to deliver homes, jobs, and better opportunities for all, whilst protecting and enhancing the natural and historic environment, and conserving the countryside and open spaces that are vital resources for everyone.

Great Waldingfield Conservation Area sits in 'Ancient Rolling Farmland' and as such the
'settlement pattern mainly consists of dispersed farmsteads of mediaeval origin with the some larger hamlets and small villages that complement the rural land form and landscape."

Much of this has unfortunately already been lost and so the aims below from the JLG are of even greater importance:

* To retain, enhance and restore the distinctive landscape and settlement character. In particular safeguarding the influences of the area.
and the resulting objective:
* To maintain and enhance the landscape and the settlement pattern, ensuring the sense of separation between settlements is maintained.

Large scale development on this site (similar to the recent development in the village) would directly contravene the aims laid out in the Joint Landscape Guidance regarding the need to protect our Conservation Areas.

1.5.13 Much of the significance of many of the district's conservation areas lay in their
landscape setting, agricultural heritage and relationship with the countryside. (JLG)

If this site were developed it would seriously harm the view into and out of the Conservation Area which has already been affected by a large development of over 100 houses in the main part of the village. (close to SS0194)

3 Location/Siting of development (Visual effects) (JLG)
2.3.2 In considering development proposals, account should be taken of the potential
impact of a new building or development in both immediate and distant views,
particularly from roads, public footpaths and settlements.

This is especially relevant for this where development would destroy the iconic view up to the Church as appeared in the Times in 1935.

The JLG also states:
2.2.1 Some areas within Babergh appear to be remote, tranquil and removed from the
noise and activity of busy roads and places. These intangible qualities contribute to
the character and local distinctiveness of those areas.

Many local people and tourists come to this important historic Conservation Area because of its 'ruralness' and tranquility and any development that encroaches further into the space between the CA and the main part of the village will greatly affect its value both as a heritage site and local amenity.

However, it might be possible for infill or a small part of these sites to be used without further damage.

Summary:
* Great Waldingfield Conservation Area a vital heritage and tourist asset
* Importance of NPPF 131 and PPS1 in setting development guidelines
* Importance of Joint Landscape Guidance in enhancing and preserving distinctiveness, character of area, settlement pattern and separation of settlements
* Large scale settlement in or near Conservation Area would contravene JLG adversely affecting ruralness and tranquility
* Cromwell Field site was promised as last large scale development in the village.


SS0194
* Great Waldingfield Conservation Area a vital heritage and tourist asset
* Importance of NPPF 131 and PPS1 in setting development guidelines
* Importance of Joint Landscape Guidance in enhancing and preserving distinctiveness, character of area, settlement pattern and separation of settlements
* Large scale settlement in or near Conservation Area would contravene JLG adversely affecting ruralness and tranquility
* Sewerage system for village already near capacity
* Dangerous traffic congestion already evident on Folly Road
* Biodiversity impaired due to Cromwell Fields development and needs to be protected
* Cromwell Field site was promised as last large scale development in the village
* Some infill along Folly Road may be appropriate



SS0196
* Sewerage system for village already near capacity
* Dangerous traffic congestion already evident on Folly Road. Bantocks Road used as over-spill parking from Cromwell Fields site leading to congestion here and on Folly Road
* School small capacity and no room for further expansion.
* Cromwell Field site was promised as last large scale development in the village


SS0198
* Sewerage system for village already near capacity
* Bantocks Road unsuitable for further traffic due to large scale parking on road and number of bends leading to poor visibility ahead. Road used as cut-through from large Cromwell Fields development.
* School small capacity and no room for further expansion.
* Cromwell Field site was promised as last large scale development in the village

SS0200
* Sewerage system for village already near capacity
* School small capacity and no room for further expansion.
* Cromwell Field site was promised as last large scale development in the village
* Dangerous junction on to Valley Farm Road as traffic approaches from A134 and accelerates away from mini-roundabout on B1115


SS0948* and SS1029*
These sites are on the historic WW2 American airfield, a hugely important part of wartime history which should be so designated, developed as a heritage site and protected for future generations.


Having trouble using the system? Visit our help page or contact us directly.

Powered by OpusConsult