Former Golf Course – The Appellants have been granted Planning Permission by the Government Inspector

We thank Councillor Richard MacRae and the Stepleford Community Group for informing us of this. 

Appeal Ref: APP/J3015/W/16/3162096    Bramcote Hills Golf Course, Thoresby Road, Bramcote, Nottinghamshire NG9 3EP

The appeal is made under section 78 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 against a refusal to grant outline planning permission.  The appeal is made by Mrs S Rathour (Champions Gate Ltd) against the decision of Broxtowe Borough Council.  The application Ref 14/00677/OUT, dated 31 October 2014, was refused by notice dated 21 July 2016.

The development proposed is to develop part of the former Bramcote Hills Golf Course (all matters reserved except for access from Deddington Lane) for use as a continuing care retirement and specialist care community consisting of accommodation units comprising up to 38 x 2 bed bungalows, 4 x 1 bed bungalows, 40 x 1 bed assisted units and 18 x 1 bed flats together with specialist care/ancillary communal facilities.

Decision

1. The appeal is allowed and planning permission is granted in outline to develop part of the former Bramcote Hills Golf Course (all matters reserved except for access from Deddington Lane) for use as a continuing care retirement and specialist care community consisting of accommodation units comprising up to 38 x 2 bed bungalows, 4 x 1 bed bungalows, 40 x 1 bed assisted units and 18 x 1 bed flats together with specialist care/ancillary communal facilities at Bramcote Hills Golf Course, Thoresby Road, Bramcote, Nottinghamshire NG9 3EP in accordance with the terms of application Ref 14/00677/OUT , dated 31 October 2014, subject to the attached schedule of conditions.

Preliminary Matters

2. I have taken the appeal description of development and site address from the Council’s refusal notice as this is more precise. The application is submitted in outline with all detailed matters reserved, apart from access.

3. There is no dispute between the main parties about the Council’s housing land supply position. The Council accept that it currently cannot demonstrate a deliverable five year supply of housing sites. According to the Council’s appeal statement, the reported position on 27 January 2017 was that the local planning authority could demonstrate 3.6 years supply of housing sites (a fall from 4.4 years on 1 April 2016).

4. The Council states that the Jobs and Economy Committee has recently resolved to allocate additional housing sites in the Green Belt including a large site to the east of the appeal site. Whilst I do not doubt the Council’s resolution to release land from the Green Belt for housing purposes, at this stage there is no draft plan in place (this is expected in May 2017) and there can be no guarantee that such sites will be allocated as it is necessary for public consultation to take place as well as a Local Plan examination (the latter of which may not take place until 2018). It is therefore necessary for me to consider the housing land supply position that exists now.

5. Given the undisputed existing housing land supply position, and in the context of paragraph 49 of the National Planning Policy Framework (the Framework), I have considered Policy 16 of the Broxtowe Borough Aligned Core Strategy 2014 (CS) and saved Policies E12, E13, RC5 and RC16 of the Broxtowe Local Plan 2004 (LP). As all of these policies would seek to restrict the supply of housing, they are not up to date. As it is proposed to erect residential accommodation on the site (some of which would at some point or another be used for C3 dwelling purposes), I afford these policies limited weight in decision making terms.

Main Issue

6. The main issues are (i) the effect of the proposal upon the character and appearance of the site and its surroundings and (ii) whether or not, in the absence of a five year deliverable supply of housing sites, the proposal would constitute a sustainable form of development.

Reasons

Site and proposal

7. The appeal site comprises the western part of the former Bramcote Hills golf course (pitch and putt) and has an area of about 3.3 hectares. The land is undeveloped, includes a mixture of trees (all trees on the site and the wider area are protected by virtue of a Tree Preservation Order) and grassland and it slopes upwards from the north to the south. According to the appellant, the site was last used for the purposes of playing golf in 2008. There is no authorised public access onto this site, but there is a public footpath which runs alongside the northern boundary and a bridleway which runs alongside the western boundary. Land adjacent to the site (to the east) is also in the ownership of the appellant (depicted by blue edged land), and is referred to as the Deddington Plantation.

8. The appeal site and the site to the east is surrounded by mainly detached houses to both the north and the south and by Green Belt land (including the Bramcote schools and college complex) to the west. There is an existing car park and a small building to the west (off Thoresby Road) which have previously been associated with the former golf course use. Alexandrina Plantation is located on the eastern side of Thoresby Road and this is designated as a biological SINC.

9. The proposal is submitted in outline with access from Deddington Lane (close to an existing bus stop). It is for a continuing care and retirement and specialist care community which would be restricted to people aged 55 years and older. Varying degrees of care would be provided (i.e. care packages) although some residents would potentially occupy the units without any care at all. It is proposed that there would be some ancillary facilities on the site such as a hairdresser, chiropodist and doctor’s surgery.

10. The Deddington Plantation would be opened up for public access and would be maintained and improved by a management company. The appellant has submitted a plan for this land which includes the planting of additional trees/landscaping, the provision of a network of new 1.5 metre wide footpaths, the retention of an 18 space car park, the removal of tarmac and its replacement with grass, the re-grading of land to form a plateau for community space, the provision of litter/dog waste bins and tree planting along Thoresby Road. It is envisaged that there would be public access from Deddington Lane and Thoresby Road and that the network of new footpaths would link into the appeal site where there would also be pedestrian access from Moor Lane. The appellant has submitted a planning obligation in respect of the Deddington Plantation, and I return to this issue later in this decision.

11. Whilst layout, scale, appearance and landscaping would be considered at reserved matters stage, the appellant has nonetheless submitted indicative plans. I have taken these plans into account in so far as forming a judgement as to whether or not in principle it would be possible to develop the site without causing significant harm in planning terms. In particular, I have considered the amended illustrative site layout plan dated January 2015 (which was the subject of public consultation). This shows the provision of a roughly central access road running through the site from Deddington Road. It would have development upon both sides of the access road interspersed with landscaping and set back from the boundaries of the site by at least a 15 metre wide landscaped buffer including SUDS.

Character and appearance

12. Despite having limited weight, as outlined in the preliminary section above, it is necessary for me to consider this main issue against Policy 16 of the CS and saved Policies E12, E13, RC5 and RC16 of the LP. These policies collectively designate the site as a Protected Open Area, a Prominent Area for Special Protection, Open Space and Green Infrastructure Corridor.

13. The appeal site is currently undeveloped and forms part of a much larger green corridor which provides some open relief between built up residential development to the north and built up residential development to the south. Given the topography of the site, and the existing trees and vegetation along its boundaries, the site is not readily apparent from longer distance views. The land rises towards the east and then drops down to the Deddington Plantation. In that sense, the topography of land provides some screening of the appeal site when viewed from the west. Views of the site are more localised and are confined to glimpses between the boundary trees (particularly from the public footpath along the northern boundary) and from the neighbouring residential properties. Nonetheless, there is no doubt that the proposed development on the site would have some adverse impact upon the essentially open and green character of the appeal site.

14. I note that the Council commissioned its own Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment, and I do not disagree that the effect on Bramcote Ridge would be moderate in the early years (particularly at construction stage including the formation of the site access), but that after 15 years this would reduce to a minor impact. I consider that the change to the open and green character of the site would be more apparent when viewed from within the site itself, but nonetheless there would be some harm caused when viewed from public views around the immediate boundaries of the site. The impact of the built development would be greatest during the months when a number of the boundary trees were without leaf. The access road would be visible from some public areas, but there would be scope to provide additional vegetation alongside the access road so as to soften the impacts of this development when viewed from public areas.

15. The Council has referred to Policy RC5 of the LP, but I do not consider that the proposal would conflict with this policy in so far that it states that “the development of open space will not be permitted unless “a) no local deficiency of open space will result”. The Council has confirmed that there is no deficiency of open space in the area. Even if this was the case, the proposal would accord with the policy in so far that the development would constitute a relatively small fraction of the wider green corridor, and the proposal would include an enhanced recreational and public access facility at Deddington Plantation. The Council has also referred to Policy RC16 of the LP which states that “opportunity will be taken to enhance public access along these routes”, but I do not consider that the proposal would fundamentally conflict with this policy in so far that there is currently no public access into the site (or adjacent site) and the proposal includes public access into the Deddington Plantation with footpath links into the appeal site. There is therefore an opportunity to enhance the recreational value of the site.

16. Notwithstanding the above accordance with the said policies, for the reasons outlined above, I do consider that the proposal would result in some harm being caused to the character and appearance of the area. This harm could be minimised by way of the provision of 15 metre wide landscaped buffers around the northern and southern boundaries (thereby further screening the development from boundary views) and by ensuring that the height of the development is kept very low: a number of bungalows are for example shown on the illustrative plan. However, even with these measures in place, the proposal would still detract from the character and function of Protected Open Area in terms of the removal of part of an open break between residential developments and some green space. In this regard, the proposal would not accord with the landscape function and character aims of Policies E12 and E13 of the LP and Policy 16 of the CS.

17. Policy 16 of the CS and Policies E12 and E13 of the LP are out of date given the Council’s housing land supply position and therefore they have limited weight. It is therefore necessary for me to also determine the planning application against paragraph 14 of the Framework which states “where the development plan is absent, silent or relevant policies are out-of-date, granting planning permission unless any adverse impacts of doing so would significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits, when assess against the policies in this Framework taken as a whole”. As part of this consideration, I am also mindful that Policy 16 of the CS states that where development has an adverse impact on Green Infrastructure corridors or assets the “need for and benefit of the development will be weighed against the harm caused”. Given this, and the weight to be given to the aforementioned development plan policies, it is necessary for me to consider the proposal as a whole and to determine, on balance, whether or not the proposal would deliver a sustainable form of development.

Sustainable Development

18. Paragraph 17 of the Framework states that there are three dimensions to sustainable development: economic, social and environmental. In considering the proposal against the Framework as a whole, I consider each of the three dimensions as follows.

19. There is no dispute between the parties that the proposal would make a significant contribution towards the provision of specialist care and elderly residential accommodation. Indeed, I note the comments made by the Council’s Director of Housing, Leisure and Culture who indicates that the proposal would accord with the strategic aims of the Council’s Housing Strategy of “Special and Supported Housing Need”. The provision of housing (up to 100 residential units) on the site would also boost significantly the supply of housing in Broxtowe at a time when the local planning authority cannot demonstrate a five-year supply of deliverable housing sites. Furthermore, the appellant has included a financial contribution of £290,000 (staged payments) towards the provision of affordable housing off site. I afford all of these social matters significant weight.

20. I consider that opening up the Deddington Plantation for public access would constitute a very positive material planning consideration, as the land is currently in private ownership and it is not possible for surrounding residents to fully appreciate the value of this land from a recreational point of view. Such public access, coupled with opportunities to plant additional trees and to create an enhanced bio-diversity area, are environmental matters to which I afford considerable weight. I acknowledge that the proposal would result in the loss of a golf facility, but the site has not been used for this purpose for some time, and I have no reason to doubt the appellant’s contention that the proposal represents the best alternative use for the site.

21. Given the specialist care nature of this residential proposal, I have no reason to doubt that when in use it would give rise to the 50 jobs estimated by the appellant. Given the scale of development proposed, it is reasonable to conclude that it would lead to a considerable amount of construction employment, although I accept that this would be short lived. The development would lead to the creation of a relatively large number of long term jobs and this economic benefit weighs in favour of allowing the proposal.

22. I have already acknowledged that the development would cause some environmental harm to the open character and function of the appeal site. However, subject to a careful consideration of design issues at reserved matters stage (including low roof heights for the buildings) and the inclusion of significant landscape/bio-diversity buffers around the boundaries of the site, I do not consider that the overall harm to the green corridor would be significant. I reach this conclusion also in the knowledge that a significant proportion of the wider green corridor would remain undeveloped.

23. In terms of the location of the site, it is positioned within a defined urban area. I have considered the appellant’s Transport Statement and note that there are a number of bus services in close proximity to the site, and that there are a range of shops and amenities within the locality which could all be conveniently reached by foot or bicycle. Consequently, not all journeys would need to be made by private motor vehicle. The provision of a small number of ancillary and complimentary on-site facilities would also reduce the use of the private motor vehicle, and I have no reason to dispute the findings of the Highway Authority in respect of the proposed access being acceptable from a highway safety (subject to conditions) point of view. These are all positive environmental factors which weigh in favour of the proposal.

24. The Council does not raise an objection to the proposal on the basis of the effect of the development upon matters of bio-diversity value. In respect of this matter, I have considered the ecological surveys submitted by the appellant and the comments made by all consultees including Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust and the County Council Nature Conservation Senior Practitioner. I note the concerns raised about the absence of bat and reptile surveys, but the appellant has undertaken such surveys and in respect of this issue has submitted a Phase II Survey Report dated November 2015 prepared by Paul Hicky Associates. The surveys indicate that the site is used for “passage and foraging” by bats, although this is “concentrated along tree lined boundaries and hedges”. There was no evidence of any reptiles on the site, but nonetheless it is recommended that an ecologist is on site at site clearance stage. In the event that there were any reptiles found, the area to the east (i.e. the Deddington Plantation) would allow for translocation.

25. Whilst there would be some trees lost to facilitate development, there would not be a significant loss of trees (and high quality/value trees would be retained) and it would be possible to ensure appropriate compensatory planting as shown on the indicative site layout plan (including new planting within blue edged land). Furthermore, whilst the proposal would include the erection of new development on the site, it would be possible to includes a significant landscape/bio-diversity buffer around the boundaries of the site (i.e. a 15 metre perimeter landscaping buffer is shown on the illustrative site layout plan) and, in addition, the appellant proposes to make some environmental improvements to the Deddington Plantation.

26. Whilst the proposal would have some impact on matters of bio-diversity, including the loss of grassland and a narrowing of the green corridor, it would nonetheless be possible to develop the site in such a way that any adverse impacts upon bio-diversity are mitigated. Based on the indicative site layout plan (and Public Park Landscaping Schedule for Deddington Plantation), I consider that the site would continue to make a positive contribution from a wildlife corridor point of view and that in this regard there would continue to be acceptable connections with the series of Local Nature Reserves in the area, wider open land to the east (including Woolaton Park and Alexandrina Plantation which is further afield) and open countryside to the west.

27. The issue of bio-diversity could therefore be suitably addressed by means of planning conditions, through the submitted planning obligation and by a very careful consideration of layout, scale and landscaping matters at reserved matters stage. I therefore, do not consider that the proposal would have a significantly harmful impact upon issues of bio-diversity, and in this respect the proposal would accord with relevant development plan policies and paragraph 118 of the Framework.

28. In conclusion, whilst some harm would be caused to the open character and function of the appeal site, I do not consider that this harm would be significant. Some of the identified adverse effects could be mitigated by way of sensitive design solutions and the provision of planting/bio-diversity buffers (including SUDS). Furthermore, any negative landscape character and visual impacts would diminish over the course of time. I consider that the above identified harm and conflict with the relevant development plan policies would not significantly and demonstrably outweigh the aforementioned social and economic benefits which would arise out of development of the site for the proposed use. Furthermore, I attach some positive weight to the recreational benefits arising out of the proposed public access to the Deddington Plantation. In balancing all of these matters, I therefore conclude that the proposal would deliver sustainable development and that it would accord with the Framework as a whole.

Other Matters

29. I have taken into account representations made by other interested parties (including the Bramcote Hills Open Space Protection Group) and note that there are a significant number of objections from members of the public, including a signed petition. I note that the planning case officer responded to such representations in the Planning Committee report and I do not disagree with how these were addressed in such a report.

30. Whilst the access into the site would result in the loss of some hedgerow, I do not consider that this would have a materially adverse impact upon the amenity of the area or in respect of matters of nature conservation.

31. I do not consider that allowing this proposal would set a precedent for developing the rest of the designated site or any other designated sites in the Borough: I have reached an on balance decision taking into account relevant planning policies weighed against a number of other material planning considerations.

32. The proposal would result in some disturbance at construction stage, but this would be relatively short lived. The Council could request details about construction activity/work at reserved matters stage. Reference has been made to the potential for developing other sites in the Borough for a specialist care facility. Whilst such opportunities may exist, it has nonetheless been necessary for me to determine this appeal on its individual planning merits.

33. Whilst there are some relatively steep gradients on the appeal site (including the proposed access), many of the residents would not be precluded from walking further afield. The Highway Authority has not raised an objection to the proposal in respect of gradients. I can see no reason why it would not be possible for there to be pedestrian links from the appeal site to the northern public footpath which is not steep and is well lit. In respect of gradients on the site itself, this is a matter which would need to be carefully and sensitively considered at reserved matters planning application stage bearing in mind the fact that occupation would include a number of elderly people.

34. Some comments have been made that the site is isolated. However, I have no reason to disagree with the view reached by the Council’s Planning Officer who commented in the Planning Committee report that “the site is considered to be in a sustainable location in terms of proximity to local shops and bus services. There are no significant highway issues which would warrant refusal of the application based on guidance contained in the NPPF”.

35. Reference has been made to the Bramcote Neighbourhood Area (BNA) and the Bramcote Neighbourhood Forum (the Forum) which were designated on 3 August 2016. However, the Council has clarified that there is still no Neighbourhood Plan in place (not even at draft stage). Therefore, the fact that the site falls within the BNA does not in itself preclude the proposed development.

36. The Council has referred me to a report to be considered by the Jobs and Economy Committee on 23 February 2017 which recommended, among other things, that a draft “Local Green Space” policy is included in the Part 2 Local Plan. The Council confirmed on 27 February 2017 that the Committee resolved to continue to designate the site (and wider area) as a “Prominent Area for Special Protection” and a “Protected Open Area” in the forthcoming Part 2 Local Plan. The draft policy states that “within these areas, development that would be harmful to the character or function of the Local Green Space will not be permitted except in very special circumstances”. I have not been provided with any evidence to indicate that the draft Part 2 Local Plan (or the draft Local Green Space policy) has been the subject of any statutory public consultation. Therefore, it has very limited weight in decision making terms. In any event, and in the reasoning above, I have outlined that there are a number of very positive and weighty factors which lead me to conclude that the appeal should be allowed.

37. I have taken into account the representations made by the Bramcote Neighbourhood Forum and do not doubt that there were some delays in reaching the aforementioned designation stage. I am aware that on 23 January 2017 the Forum passed a motion to designate the appeal site as “local green space” in the forthcoming Neighbourhood Plan. However, as there is no Neighbourhood Plan in place I can only afford this motion very limited weight. I acknowledge that there is strong opposition to the appeal proposal, but it has been necessary for me to reach a balanced planning decision taking into account the current development plan policies for the area and the existing housing land supply position. Therefore, neither this issue, nor any of the other matters raised, outweigh my overall conclusions on the main issues.

Conditions and Planning Obligation

Planning Obligation

38. The appellant has submitted a dated (24 February 2017) and signed planning obligation. This obligation requires that details of the provision, maintenance and management of public and private land within the blue and red edges of the site location plan (i.e. including the Deddington Plantation) are approved by the Local Planning Authority. This would take the form of both a Public Open Space Management Plan (i.e. for the Deddington Plantation) and a Private Open Space Management Plan (i.e. for the appeal site). 39. Given the need for specialist residential accommodation in the Borough, the planning obligation also includes a clause which restricts use of the site to those that are aged 55 or over and who have entered into a Care Package, or a surviving partner of an approved occupant. The planning obligation also includes a financial contribution of £290,000 (50% to be paid on the practical completion of the first accommodation unit and 50% to be paid upon practical completion of the 50th accommodation unit) to be used towards the provision of affordable housing off site.

40. In addition, the planning obligation includes a financial contribution of £99,000 (staged payments as per the affordable housing contribution) to be used to provide two real time bus shelters on Deddington Lane and a pedestrian crossing on Thoresby Road to provide better links from the site to Alexandrina Plantation.

41. There is no dispute between the parties in respect of the completed planning obligation. I am also satisfied that the planning obligation is acceptable and that it meets the tests as laid out in paragraph 204 of the Framework. The Council has confirmed that since 6 April 2010 there have not been five or more contributions made for the said pedestrian crossings and bus shelters from Section 106 planning obligations. Conditions

42. The conditions set out in the accompanying schedule are based on those suggested by the Council. Where necessary, I have amended the wording of the suggested conditions in the interests of precision and clarity and in order to comply with advice in the Planning Practice Guidance.

43. Planning permission is granted subject to the standard reserved matters conditions. Otherwise than as set out in this decision and conditions, it is necessary that access details shall be carried out in accordance with the approved site plan, for the avoidance of doubt and in the interests of certainty. I have therefore imposed a condition to this effect.

44. In the interests of the character and appearance of the area, planning conditions are necessary relating to the protection of trees at construction stage, landscaping (including a minimum 15 metre perimeter landscaped buffer), materials, finished floor levels, lighting and boundary treatment details. The aforementioned lighting condition is also necessary so that the development does not unduly interfere with use of the site by bats for passage and foraging purposes.

45. In the interests of the living conditions of the occupiers of existing and proposed residents, planning conditions are necessary relating to surface water drainage (including surface water run off at construction stage) and foul drainage.

46. In the interests of highway safety, planning conditions are necessary relating to wheel washing at construction stage, car parking, the re-location of the bus stop on Deddington Lane, visibility splays and turning areas.

47. In the interests of nature conservation, a planning condition is necessary requiring site clearance to be undertaken in the presence of an ecologist. I have considered whether it would be necessary to impose a planning condition which only permitted the removal of trees/hedgerow outside of the bird nesting season. However, I agree with the views expressed by the Council that such a condition would not be necessary as there is other legislation in place which would deal with this issue.

48. In the interests of heritage, a planning condition is necessary relating to the completion of an archaeological field evaluation and geophysical survey of the site.

Conclusion

49. Although I have found that the proposals would be contrary to parts of the LP and CS, the relevant policies are out of date. When the proposal is considered against the policies in the Framework taken as a whole, on balance the identified adverse impacts would not significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits. I therefore conclude that the proposal would deliver a sustainable form of development and for this reason, and taking into account all other matters raised, I conclude that the appeal should be allowed.

Daniel Hartley INSPECTOR

Schedule of Conditions

1) The development hereby permitted shall be carried out in accordance with the following approved plans: Drawing No 100 “Site location plan” and Drawing No 14239/001 Rev A “Proposed Site Access, Deddington Lane”.

2) Details of the appearance, landscaping, layout, and scale, (hereinafter called “the reserved matters”) shall be submitted to and approved in writing by the local planning authority before any development takes place and the development shall be carried out as approved.

3) Application for approval of the reserved matters shall be made to the local planning authority not later than 3 years from the date of this permission.

4) The development hereby permitted shall take place not later than 2 years from the date of approval of the last of the reserved matters to be approved.

5) Before application is made for approval of the reserved matters, a scheme for archaeological field evaluation of the site shall be submitted to and agreed in writing by the Local Planning Authority. The scheme shall include a programme of works including provision for a geophysical survey of the site and a timetable for implementation. Detailed drawings and particulars of vehicular access to undertake the necessary evaluation shall be submitted with the scheme. The approved scheme and vehicular access shall be undertaken in accordance with the approved details.

6) No works shall commence on site, including site clearance and any works in association with the archaeological field evaluation, until detailed drawings and particulars of tree protection measures have been submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority. The approved tree protection measures shall be undertaken in accordance with the approved plans and particulars before any equipment, machinery or materials are brought on to the site for the purposes of the development, including any works of site clearance and archaeological field evaluation, and shall be retained until all equipment, machinery and surplus materials have been removed from the site. Nothing shall be stored or placed in any area fenced in accordance with this condition and the ground levels within those areas shall not be altered, nor shall any excavation be made, without the written approval of the Local Planning Authority.

7) No development (except that necessary to undertake the archaeological field evaluation), including site clearance, shall be commenced until detailed drawings and particulars showing the following have been submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority: (a) the layout, scale, and external appearance of all buildings; (b) the particulars of the materials to be used in the facing of the external surfaces of all buildings; (c) cross sections through the site showing the finished floor levels of the new buildings in relation to adjacent land and buildings. These details shall relate to a known datum point; and (d) landscaping. The development shall be carried out strictly in accordance with the approved details.

8) No development (except that necessary to undertake the archaeological field evaluation), shall be commenced until detailed drawings and particulars showing the site access and new location(s) of the bus stop on Deddington Lane, site road layout and visibility splays, parking and turning facilities (including measures to prevent the unregulated discharge of surface water therefrom onto the public highway) and a timetable for their provision have been submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority. The site access, re-located bus stop(s), roads, visibility splays and parking and turning facilities shall be provided in accordance with the approved details and timetable.

9) No development (except that necessary to undertake the archaeological field evaluation), including site clearance, shall commence until a landscaping scheme has been submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority. The scheme shall include provision for landscaped perimeter buffers which are a minimum of 15m wide to the north and south of the built development and the following details: (a) trees, hedges and shrubs to be retained; (b) numbers, types, sizes and positions of proposed trees and shrubs; (c) proposed hard surfacing treatment; (d) planting, seeding/turfing of other soft landscape areas and (e) a timetable for implementation of the scheme. The approved scheme shall be carried out strictly in accordance with the approved details.

10)No development (except that necessary to undertake the archaeological field evaluation), shall commence until a surface water drainage scheme for the site, based on sustainable drainage principles, has been submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority. The surface water drainage scheme should include the following: (a) results of infiltration testing; (b) the limitation of surface water run-off to greenfield rates; (c) the ability to accommodate surface water run-off on-site up to the 1 in 100 year event plus an allowance for climate change (30%), based upon the submission of drainage calculations; (d) a minimum of two forms of surface water treatment to be incorporated within the design; (e) horizontal and longitudinal cross sections through any proposed swales/attenuation ponds; (f) a timetable for implementation; and (g) details of the responsibility for the future maintenance of drainage facilities. The scheme shall be implemented in accordance with the details to be agreed under (f) and thereafter maintained in accordance with the agreed details for the lifetime of the development.

11)No development (except that necessary to undertake the archaeological field evaluation), including site clearance, shall commence until a scheme to treat and remove suspended solids from surface water run-off during construction works has been submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority. The scheme shall be implemented in accordance with the agreed details.

12)No development (except that necessary to undertake the archaeological field evaluation) shall commence until drainage plans for the disposal of foul sewage have been submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority. The scheme shall be implemented in accordance with the approved details before the development is first brought into use.

13)No development shall commence until wheel washing facilities have been installed on site in accordance with details which have been submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority. The wheel washing facilities shall be maintained in working order at all times and shall be used by any vehicle carrying mud, dirt or other debris on its wheels before leaving the site. The approved wheel washing facilities shall be retained on the site until the substantial completion of construction work.

14)No above ground works shall commence until details of external lighting of the site and the specification and locations of bat boxes have been submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority. The lighting and installation of bat boxes shall be undertaken in accordance with the agreed details prior to first occupation of any building.

15)No building shall be first occupied until details of the site boundary treatments and curtilage boundary treatments have been submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority. The curtilage treatments shall be erected in accordance with the agreed details prior to first occupation of the related building and the site boundary treatments shall be erected prior to first occupation of any building.

16)Site clearance shall be undertaken in the presence of an ecologist. If any reptiles or protected species are found during site clearance/construction, work on site shall cease until mitigation measures have been submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority. The development shall thereafter be undertaken in accordance with the approved mitigation measures.

17)The landscaping approved under condition No 9 shall be carried out not later than the first planting season following the substantial completion of the development and any new planting of trees or plants which, within a period of 10 years, die, are removed or have become seriously damaged or diseased shall be replaced in the next planting season with ones of similar size and species to the satisfaction of the local planning authority, unless written consent has first been obtained from the local planning authority for a variation.

All the above has been copied from Stapleford Community Group Web Site.         http://www.staplefordcommunitygroup.org.uk/2017/03/02/appeal-ref-appj3015w163162096-bramcote-hills-golf-course-thoresby-road-bramcote-nottinghamshire-ng9-3ep/

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17 Responses to Former Golf Course – The Appellants have been granted Planning Permission by the Government Inspector

  1. David Pugsley says:

    Disgusting outcome!
    What authority does an elected planning committee have if a 11-1 decision can be overturned by some “jobsworth” in government??

  2. Claire Taylor says:

    How can the council not demonstrate a 5 year housing supply? Isn’t this what they bang on about all the time on why so much of the green belt has been removed so they can meet the 5 year plan? This decision makes a complete mockery of the council. Anything they refuse gets approved by the government on appeal. Are the council going to appeal the decision based on them taking out more green belt land which could not be considered as part of the appeal?
    This development doesn’t particularly impact me one way or the other but I do think it’s absolutely ridiculous the amount of housing that is taking place in Bramcote and Stapeford (mostly on previous green belt or protected land) compared to other villages and towns in Broxtowe.

  3. davidwatts12 says:

    This is a dreadful decision. The next thing that will happen will be that the applicants will now come back to say that it is not practical to build a retirement village because of the elevations and so they will want to build high cost houses instead. Maybe the Tories will now reflect on the consequences of them opposing every bit of development proposed anywhere in the borough.

  4. Alastair Luff says:

    This is a terrible outcome. I thought that by agreeing to turn over the Green Belt land which is the playing fields at the bottom of Moor Lane, which will become housing to support the new development of the school, we had averted the need to build on the Golf Course, which is a protected area? The land is completely unsuitable and I agree with David, now that planning is granted they will change the circumstances due to the topology. Can we not appeal against this?

  5. Cllr Martin Plackett Bramcote Ward BBC says:

    Along side Cllr John Doddy I strongly campaigned with Mike Johnson and the Open Spaces Protection Group to oppose building on the old Golf Course site, in consequence the Inspectors decision to grant the appeal is deeply distressing. The Councils Planning Committees near unanimous decision to turn down the application, the support from the Neighhood Forum for the campaign and the Inspectors rejection of the Councils ALLOTTED 5 year land supply compound this disappointment.
    As previously written the positives for Bramcote from the Councils decision to amend the Greenbelt boundaries to meet the inherited housing target are unaffected by this decision.

  6. David Moore says:

    Very disappointed and angry at this decision. The message it sends is you can basically build anywhere if you buy some land and bide your time. Green belt, not a problem, protected green space not a problem etc.

  7. stevebeck66 says:

    Utterley, utterley devastating. The wider consequences of such an incompetent decision are extremely worrying. I have lost all faith in our planning system.

  8. Gilly Archer says:

    I sincerely hope that Councillor Richard Jackson’s meeting with the Secretary of State next week will lead to the reversal of this decision. I have no faith in the proposed conditions being rigorously implemented should any construction work go ahead; neither do I take any comfort from the inspector’s assurance that the effects of the proposed development on the character and appearance of the Bramcote Ridge will be minor after 15 years! This is a beautiful, wild tract of land that should be allowed to remain so, especially since so many other available bits of green space nearby seem to have been earmarked for housing development.

    • RicHartman says:

      I think the inspector’s planning consent can only be overruled by a successful challenge in the courts so it’s a waste of time talking to the secretary of state about it.

    • RichHartman says:

      Ms Soubry tweeted: ” Inspector overrules (again) democratic sensible protection of @broxtowebc green space #BramcoteGolfCourse & flies in face of Govt policy. ” but we know from all the media stories that it’s her government’s policy to get more houses built, especially where a council does not have enough housing that builders are actually building on. The unelected inspector is acting in accordance with her government’s policy, not against it.

      • Steve Carr says:

        You are spot on. And it was the case with previous Governments. Inspectors are appointed by the government and appointed by the Secretary of State.

  9. Howard Shakespeare says:

    Time to raise contributions to fund a Judicial Review.

    • Richard Willan says:

      I very much hope that funds aren’t wasted on a Judicial Review. Whilst some people might be disappointed that the ‘democratic process’ has been upturned, many others are supportive of the development. Especially given the planning obligations of open access to Deddington Plantation, pedestrian crossings, car park and enclosed bus stops etc.

  10. Steve Beck says:

    A legal challenge is exactly what is needed otherwise every single green space across the entire borough will be at serious risk.

    • Ian Blakeley says:

      …and it will be a complete and utter waste of money. The only way that all you people who want to keep the old golf course as open space is for you to club together and purchase it from the developer/owner. Then it will be yours for you to keep – forever. By the way, the same applies to any other open space that you don’t want to be built on. Buy it.

      • Steve Beck says:

        I’m merely raising awareness of the possible consequences of this ruling for the majority of local people who don’t wish to see our protected open spaces developed upon. It may well be the case that Broxtowe consider the financial risk for a legal challenge too great. I needn’t comment further on your latter remarks.

      • Ian Blakeley says:

        ” I needn’t comment further on your latter remarks.” Steve Beck. Because you know that my statement is true, what you own is your’s to do with as you wish provided it is legal. Planning permission has been granted after an appeal. I do not want my Council Tax wasted on paying for yet another legal challenge that will be lost when there are pavements to be repaired etc.

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