OUT/22/01821; Land East of Rigby Drive, Greasby, Wirral, Residential development for up to 240 dwellings (Use Class C3), including 30% affordable housing; a ‘park and stride’ car park; improved walking and cycling links; a community orchard; a community park and children’s play area; wildlife habitats and green corridors; and off-site highway, environmental, biodiversity and accessibility enhancements.
The Principal Planner presented the report in relation to the above application for consideration.
Mr G Davies, Mr Hodginson, Ms G Jenkinson and Mr P Simpson addressed the Sub Committee on behalf of the petitioners.
Ward Councillors, Councillor D Burgess-Joyce and Councillor T Elzeiny addressed the Sub-Committee.
On a motion by Councillor S Foulkes and seconded by Councillor K Hodson it was -
Resolved (unanimously) – That the application be refused for the following reasons:
1. The site lies in an area of Green Belt where the siting of new dwellings is considered to be inappropriate development, which is by definition harmful to the Green Belt. The proposal would be contrary to the core planning principles within the NPPF of protecting the Green Belt, preventing urban sprawl and recognising the intrinsic character of the countryside. There are no very special circumstances that would outweigh the harm and detrimental impact of the proposal upon the openness of the Green Belt and so development is therefore contrary to the provisions of Policies URN1 (General Principles and Urban Regeneration) and GB2 (Guidelines for development in the Green Belt) of the Wirral Unitary Development Plan (Adopted February 2000) and Section 13 of the National Planning Policy Framework
2. The proposed dwellings would represent an imposing and obtrusive urban built form of development and urban encroachment into this attractive undeveloped countryside/ rural landscape location, which would detract from and have a permanent detrimental impact upon the natural rural character and appearance of the site and setting of this particular part of the open countryside and Green Belt. As such the proposal therefore fails to accord with the advice set out in the NPPF on the basis that it fails to conserve and enhance the natural character and appearance of this part of the open countryside and it would adversely affect the intrinsic character and beauty of this part of the countryside contrary to the National Planning Policy Framework, and Policies URN1, LA7 Wirral Unitary Development Plan (Adopted 2000).
3. By reason of its extent and depth beyond existing development, and the proposed indicative layout, the proposed development would have a detrimental impact on the character and appearance of the countryside, and settlement of Greasby. The development would also result in the loss of Grade 2 and 3a ‘Best and Most Versatile’ agricultural land, with no public benefits present to override the need to protect the land. The proposal is therefore contrary to Section 15 of the National Planning Policy Framework and Policies AGR1, AG1, AG2 of the Wirral Unitary Development Plan (Adopted 2000).
4. Insufficient information has been submitted in support of the application in respect of ecological impact of the proposal. The application fails to demonstrate how it would protect and enhance the biodiversity and geodiversity of the borough, especially those areas designated as of international, national and local importance, due to a lack of information submitted. It has therefore not been demonstrated that there would be no unacceptable harm to any protected species, wildlife diversity and protect ecological sites and as such the development would be contrary to the provisions of the Chapter 15 of the National Planning Policy Framework and Policies NCO1, NC1, NC3, NC4, NC7 of the Wirral Unitary Development Plan (Adopted 2000).
5. The provision for sustainable and active travel modes have not been satisfactorily supported within the proposals and as a consequence it is considered that the development will become car dominated and vehicles become the primary choice of travel. As such the proposals are in conflict with TRT1, TRT3 and TR11 of the Wirral Unitary Development Plan (Adopted 2000) and the National Planning Policy Framework.
6. There is the potential for the development to impact a potential heritage asset with potential archaeological interest however, insufficient archaeological evaluation of the development site has been undertaken and submitted in support of the application. It has therefore not been demonstrated that there would be no unacceptable harm to the potential heritage asset, and as such the development would be contrary to the provisions of Section 16 of the National Planning Policy Framework and CHO1, CH25 of the Wirral Unitary Development Plan (Adopted 2000).
7. The proposed drainage system does not meet the required minimum standards for sustainable drainage and therefore is contrary to national planning policy and guidance contained within the National Planning Policy Framework. As such the proposal is in conflict with Section 14 of the National Planning Policy Framework and Policy WA5 of the Wirral Unitary Development Plan (Adopted 2000).
8. A Section 106 Agreement has not been completed to secure the following facilities/contributions/details, which are considered necessary to mitigate the impacts of the proposed development:
Off-site highway improvements;
Sports facilities/pitch provision;
Open Space and Play provision; and
Off Site Ecological Contributions
This would be contrary to Policy URN2 of the Wirral Unitary Development Plan and Paragraphs 55-58 of the National Planning Policy Framework