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Planning Issues => Planning Applications => Topic started by: Admin on December 18, 2013, 03:13:11 PM

Title: Defence of green belt left to Residents...
Post by: Admin on December 18, 2013, 03:13:11 PM
Plans by Surbiton High School for a major  indoor sports complex on Green Belt land at lovely Telegraph Hill in Hinchley Wood have been rejected by the Government’s Planning Inspector following a lengthy appeal process.
Elmbridge Council had earlier refused planning permission but feebly declined to appear at the Appeal to defend their decision and it was left to local residents and Residents Association councillors Janet Turner and Ruth Lyon to give evidence which persuaded the Inspector that there were no overriding sports considerations to justify building  in the Green Belt.

The Planning Inspector ruled that "the appeal proposal would represent inappropriate development in the Green Belt" and that "there would be a very substantial net
reduction in openness of the Green Belt."
"...the proposal would extend built development perceptibly much farther out into the Green Belt, constituting encroachment of built development upon the countryside and so contributing to the outward sprawl of the neighbouring large built-up area."
"There is no evidence that in this Green Belt location the proposed indoor sports hall would be capable of contributing to the urban regeneration which it is one of the purposes of the Framework to achieve: in part through its strong emphasis upon the resistance of inappropriate built development in the Green Belt immediately beyond the urban area. Indeed, to the extent that it could divert the attention of the proposed ‘partner’ or participating indoor hockey and gymnastics clubs away from any urban sites where those clubs might themselves meet demand and contribute to urban regeneration, the appeal proposal could be said potentially to hinder the scope for such regeneration as might be achieved through improving urban facilities for indoor sport."
"in its appearance the proposed building would not be readily identifiable as a building associated with sport or with its immediate sporting surroundings; and its
construction would bring about the removal of the existing pavilion which is identifiable with and proportionate to the existing sports ground. To that extent the proposal would not sufficiently respect its surroundings and would, on balance, harm the visual amenity of the Green Belt."

You may well ask why, if the Inspector even in these pro-development times found such strong reasons to reject the appeal, Elmbridge planners and the council were too feeble to defend their own refusal of planning permission at this appeal.  Yet again, the only people who consistently defend the Green Belt are the RAs.  Others are too ready to give up.  

Title: Re: Defence of green belt left to Residents...
Post by: Elmbridgeblue on December 18, 2013, 07:13:42 PM
Elmbridge's planning department almost always defend the decisions made on planning applications (for example, on the Jolly Boatman travel plan which cost tens of thousands of pounds - hardly feeble, eh?) unless legal advice  has been received that the appeal is likely to succeed. In this case Sport England had weighed in on the School's side after the original decision was made. That would have made a difference to the original position.

I think we can all congratulate those who successfully opposed this appeal, but shall we try to avoid cheap party political point-scoring? Especially in the season of good will...

Title: Re: Defence of green belt left to Residents...
Post by: Evergreen on December 19, 2013, 03:02:00 PM
Moore Place, Sandown Park hotel...... trying to sell off national forests,,,, the record of your Conservative pals defending green belt and green spaces is not good, blue, whatever your efforts to spin it otherwise.  What happened to Tory Green and the oak tree logo?  Santa would say "Ho Ho hO" 

Title: Re: Defence of green belt left to Residents...
Post by: Elmbridgeblue on January 03, 2014, 05:20:33 PM
Well I can only answer the first two points, and I can agree the proposed forest sell-off was an idiotic idea.

As for both Moore Place and Sandown Park hotel, these applications concerned the replacement of existing buildings with slightly larger ones. The incursion on the green belt was minimal. Nothing like the proposal at Telegraph Hill.

Title: Re: Defence of green belt left to Residents...
Post by: Evergreen on January 03, 2014, 07:37:05 PM
As a matter of interest, were you among those publicly objecting to this overdevelopment on Telegraph Hill Green Belt?

Title: Re: Defence of green belt left to Residents...
Post by: Elmbridgeblue on January 04, 2014, 10:17:40 PM
No I wasn't. But I am pleased with the outcome. It makes a nice change when planning inspectors get things right.

Title: Re: Defence of green belt left to Residents...
Post by: Ratty on June 18, 2014, 09:42:12 AM
The Infrastructure Bill proposes that the Secretary of State can hand over any amount of public land to the arms-length, non-departmental Government body, the Homes & Communities Agency. ( The HCA can then dispose of it to developers. There will be no need to go through local authority planning processes - the Sec of State can give the green light without any local politicians or planners' involvement, just by consulting a panel of two people.
As for public rights of way, the proposed law allows any of them to be extinguished. There is no need for permission for easements (ie roads, powerlines, railways. drilling, tunnels, etc). And any existing laws that protects land and prevents it being built on, appear to be overriden by one simple enabling clause

Title: Re: Defence of green belt left to Residents...
Post by: Admin on June 18, 2014, 10:02:02 AM
This would appear to give ample scope for who-you-know, or who-you-support, influence.

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