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|Jaqueline Road Development Representations 5 February, 2016|
The Policy Background
1. The proposal is contrary to Policies RES 5 and NE 5 of the local plan because it falls outside of the boundaries of the settlement, is not in the category of permitted exceptions which allow development outside the boundary and it would cause harm to the countryside.
2. For the same reasons it is contrary to Policy 4.37 of the adopted Core Strategy and the specific Policy relating to Markfield and Field Head.
3. It is contrary to Policy DM 4 and paragraph 5.28 of the Site Allocations and Development Management Policies Development Plan Document (“SADMPDPD”),
4. Those new and emerging policies are entirely consistent with the policies of the old local plan.
5. The modest changes to those policies suggested in the SADMPDPD examination process, if made, would not alter that.
6. Therefore the proposal is contrary to current, emerging and proposed development plan policy.
7. The NPPF and, more importantly, statute provide that if the development plan is up to date (which it is), it should be followed unless material considerations indicate otherwise.
8. There are no material considerations which indicate otherwise, so the plan should be followed, otherwise why have a plan?
9. Not only are there no material considerations which would justify departing from the plan but, on the contrary:-
9.1 The proposal would erode the separate identity of Field Head;
9.2 It is not of a type which would serve the needs of Markfield and Filed Head but instead would encourage car commuting to Leicester;
9.3 HBBC has demonstrated that a five year housing land supply exists within the plan area, as an Inspector has recently found, in an inquiry in which the developer suggested otherwise.
9.4 There being a five year housing land supply, the relevant development plan housing and countryside protection policies remain in full force and effect.
9.5 Existing allocations and developments in Markfield (in particular the Jelson development at London Road) meet and substantially exceed any conceivable development plan led demands for housing land allocation for the foreseeable future.
9.6 The site is not sustainable. It is poorly served by bus: the services are characteristic of a rural rather an urban area. The existing services may be under threat. Markfield has no railway station. It has very limited facilities (including no facility for core food shopping).
9.7 Overall it is not sustainable in environmental terms. This is confirmed by the new (February 2016) sustainability appraisal supplement which concludes that no greenfield site around Markfield can be considered sustainable at the moment, so that none of them should be allocated for housing.
10. In summary on the subject of sustainability the proposal would be an un-remarkable housing estate protruding in to open countryside and operating as a dormitory estate for car commuters to Leicester and possibly Coalville.
11. There are feral difficulties about access to the site. For general access and for access to the pumping station, it would be necessary to pass over publicly owned land which is not in the applicant’s control.
12. In summary overall:-
a. It would not contribute significantly to the Markfield economy or to the needs of Markfield and Field Head generally. No objective evidence has been offered that it would;
b. It would diminish the character and identity of the ancient and distinctive settlement of Field Head;
c. It is contrary to established and emerging policy, which are consistent with each other;
d. It is not environmentally sustainable;
e. It would un-necessarily cause development on open countryside;
f. In any event it cannot be implemented without resort to land outside of the applicant’s ownership and control.
10. The application should be refused.[+ go back...]