Planning Committee 13th November 2019

Planning application: 191770 – Land East of Canon Pyon.

There are a number of problems with this application all of which are well documented in the 64 objections from local residents. The Parish council have also submitted objects to this application.  Furthermore, unlike other large developers in the area Taylor Wimpy’s poor attempts at engagement with local people have not won them any favours.

Many residents who are intimately familiar with the character of Canon Pyon Road are not convinced about the proposed entrance to the development; it’s located just after a blind bend in the road, which, on the ground, looks unsafe. Flooding is another issue which is well documented in the objections to this application.

However, I would like to focus this committee’s attention on Holmer & Shelwick’s Neighbourhood Plan.

The National Planning Policy Framework and the Holmer & Shelwick NDP are material considerations with regard to this application and as such must be given weight in today’s decision making process.

The site of this application is outside of the settlement boundary of Holmer and Shelwick’s Neighbourhood Plan and therefore contrary to the HS2 Environmental Policy of the NDP.

Hereford council’s Neighbourhood Planning Manager States:

Paragraph 4.15

“At this stage with regards to paragraph 48 of the National Planning Policy Framework, moderate weight can be attributed to the Holmer and Shelwick Neighbourhood Plan.”

I’d like to draw your attention to Paragraph 48 of the National Planning Policy Framework

It says – Local planning authorities may give weight to relevant policies in emerging plans according to:

  1. The stage of preparation of the emerging plan – the more advanced its preparation, the greater the weight that may be given.
  2. The extent to which there are unresolved objections to relevant policies – the less significant the unresolved objections, the greater the weight that may be given.

and

  1.  The degree of consistency of the relevant policies in the emerging plan to this Framework – the closer the policies in the emerging plan to the policies in the Framework, the greater the weight that may be given.

The Holmer and Shelwick’s neighbourhood plan has reached submission stage under Regulation 16 and the Neighbourhood Planning team have no holding objections specifically to the settlement boundary as drafted, and that the NDP can now carry moderate weight in decision making. Indeed the Submission Draft Version has been completed and the settlement boundary is agreed and will not change. The examiner’s report will be finalised in the next few days and the examination stage will be completed in the next few weeks. Therefore, the NDP is very close to having significant weight in the decision making process.

I’d also like you to consider that the Parish has already met its proportional housing growth target as set by the Core Strategy and this land is not indicated within the Core Strategy as part of the strategic location at Holmer west. The Strategic Planning team as part of the regulation 16 consultation have confirmed that the Neighbourhood Plan is in general conformity with the adopted Herefordshire Core Strategy and the National Planning Policy Framework.

Furthermore, the applicant did not submit an objection at regulation 16 and although given the opportunity, made no comments specifically regarding the settlement boundary in this location.

You may be asked to consider the Hereford Area Plan. However, the Neighbourhood Planning Manager’s Comments paragraph 1.16 says

“How or whether the HAP will progress in its current form is unknown at this stage and the approach that it will take is not currently known. No weight can therefore be attached to the HAP at present.”

The Holmer and Shelwick NDP has been massively supported by local people.  The Steering Group have worked hard to develop a well reasoned plan that allows for large scale development as well as small scale organic growth.

The public consultations have been enthusiastically attended by hundreds of residents who gave helpful feedback.

The engagement level between the population and the Steering Group has been outstanding at every stage and because of this; support for the plan is widespread throughout the Parish. I have no doubt that when it goes to referendum in the next few months that it will be made with an overwhelming majority.

For these reasons I ask this committee to give more than moderate weight to the Holmer and Shelwick Neighbourhood Plan in their deliberations.

I believe that the NDP alone gives solid material grounds for this committee to refuse this application.

Also if this committee is so minded to refuse this application and if it later goes to appeal by that time the NDP will have been made and have the full weight of law and any appeal will automatically fail.

Councillor Bernard Hunt and Councillor Polly Andrews proposed approval and the the approval was won by one vote. If the committee had been held a few days later the application would have been rejected by default because the NDP would have completed its final examination.

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