Agenda item

Fylde Council: application number LCC/2022/0007 Creation of a bund. Moss Farm, Salwick Road, Preston


A report was presented on an application for the creation of bund atMoss Farm, Salwick Road, Preston. The application was for the construction of a screening bund adjacent to the M55 motorway. The applicant had planning permission to carry out various building works to the original farmhouse and to convert an adjacent barn to a residential dwelling. The bund was proposed in order to reduce noise levels from the M55 motorway at these proposed dwellings.


The report included the views of Fylde Borough Council, LCC Highways Development Control, Newton with Clifton Parish Council, Treales, Roseacre and Wharles Parish Council, the Canal and Rivers Trust, LCC Ecology, the Environment Agency, National Highways, the Lead Local Flood Authority and the Ministry of Defence. No representations objecting to the proposal had been received. Two letters of support from neighbouring schools had been submitted.


County Councillor Jones had confirmed that he agreed with the comments expressed by the Borough Council and both Parish Councils.


Committee's attention was drawn to the Update Sheet which provided additional comments from Newton with Clifton Parish Council and the Canals and Rivers Trust and the officers response to these comments.


County Councillor Stewart Jones, the local county councillor for the application site, addressed the Committee and made the following points:


'This application had previously gone through the planning process and was withdrawn by the applicant because it was too high. The applicant has since made some changes to the area and tried to deal with the concerns of the River Trust in relation to the bridge not being damaged. From a Fylde point of view, it actually is in the countryside and there are pictures that the Treales, Wharles and Roseacre sent in of a big HGV vehicle that takes up most of the narrow country lane and there are concerns in relation to that. I think it is out of keeping with the area and it does not justify the creation of a bund for those two properties that are being converted for this application to go ahead. I know there are conditions attached to try and mitigate this but the people that it's affecting in Newton, Clifton, Treales and Roseacre agree with what Fylde have said, and I understand that it meets national planning guidelines and to do with waste, but I do believe that this should be denied planning permission because it is not in keeping. It is far too big and is not necessary as far as we can see, and we just go back to what the parishes have said, who it is actually going to directly affect. I think that this should be denied.'


The legal officer read out a written representation from Councillor Ian Millichamp,Chair of Treales, Roseacre & Wharles Parish Council.


'Thank you for the opportunity to reinforce and amplify with local knowledge the fundamental material issues that led Treales, Roseacre and Wharles Parish Council to object to this application.


1. On Impact on the Character of the Area - the proposed bund structure is higher than a two-storey house, wider than an aircraft carrier and as long as the entire covered concourse of Preston Railway Station. This is unnecessarily and unacceptably enormous. The bund structure, therefore, is considered to have an excessive size and scale in a prominent rural location. The proposal does not respect the local landscape and character of the area and would cause a significant and harmful impact, creating a visual intrusion which would not be softened by planting schemes. There is no rural equivalent in the local landscape, nor is it in accord with the character of the area. This is in conflict with Fylde Local Plan policies GD4 and GD7.


2. On Highways Safety - this application relies on access via Salwick Road and Dagger Road. Two Secretaries of State concluded in Appeals that the introduction of additional HGVs onto these same access roads would be unsafe. Secretary of State, James Brokenshire, wrote in 2019 that “The proposed development would have a serious and very significant adverse impact on the safety of people using the public highway.” “It is not possible to conclude that the demonstrable harm associated with that issue would be eliminated or reduced to an acceptable level." The result, on Highways Safety grounds alone, both Appeals were refused.


Like in the Appeals, this application fails to provide any mitigation for the severe traffic conflict safety issues at the junction of Salwick Road and Inskip Road; in addition, you will note that no mitigations have been offered by the applicant to avoid severe conflicts along Dagger Road.


In contrast, the Secretaries of State even considered passing places and traffic

light controls along Dagger Road and still that was not considered to be safe. You will see in the appended photograph of a standard width HGV in Dagger Road, how dangerous it could be on this narrow the road.


In the two Appeals, the Secretaries of State concluded that cyclists, horse riders and pedestrians were material users of these lanes. Despite this, we note that there is no mitigation provided in this application to protect these vulnerable users.


In the two Appeals which were refused on highways safety grounds, there was an average of 17 HGV movements across each of the three routes to be used. This Application actually forecasts an even larger 24 HGV movements (12 in and 12 out) per day. These are over a similar multi-month extended time period. It is very important to note that if limiting additional HGV movements was a factor in making the route safe, then that could have been conditioned in either of the Appeals. The Secretary of State concluded that was not possible.


The application recommendation before you shows no mitigation of the same issues and the Officer’s report shows no evidence that this has been explicitly assessed or addressed, as is required to protect all road users.


Together, this application is in conflict with the Joint Minerals & Waste Plan policy DM2, Fylde Local Plan policies GD4 and GD7 and the NPPF paragraphs 108 & 109.


For these reasons, the application should be refused.


If an acceptable noise abatement system for future householders is required for Moss Farm then this should be raised with Fylde Borough Council.


Thank you for your consideration.'


The legal officer read out a written representation from Councillor PeterCollins, Newton with Clifton Parish Council:


'I am unable to attend today and I am grateful for the opportunity to have this representation read out.


There is no mention of the objections of Newton with Clifton or Treales, Roseacre and Wharles Parish Councils in the officers report. The two parish councils fully support Fylde Council in their recommendation that this unwelcome, unnecessary and unjustified development be refused. All three councils are united in their opposition to this scheme. Furthermore, no clear reason has been given by officers why this application is being determined by Lancashire County Council and not Fylde Council.


This is not an application for waste disposal or mineral extraction but an application for a development - the construction of a bund, and as such the parish council are of the opinion that this application should be determined by Fylde Council.


The inert material that would be dumped in the Fylde countryside should not be considered as waste when it is being used as construction material - construction material used to create a bund 224m long, 8m high and up to 40m wide – all on gentle undulating farmland.  The bund, by reason of its size and excessive scale, in combination with its prominent unsympathetic siting, would appear as a dominant, incompatible and unnatural feature that would have a detrimental impact on the open rural character and landscape context of the locality. It would be obtrusive and contrary to policies of the Fylde Local Plan and the National Planning Policy Framework as rehearsed in Fylde Council`s objections to this application.


There is no justification for this development in the open countryside – it fails to achieve the level of noise attenuation set out in the Acoustic Assessment, as its height would not reach that referred to in paragraphs 3.7, 4.3 and Appendix A of that assessment. Quite bluntly it serves no purpose, and would set a precedence for any similar applications in the future.


The introduction of this dominating and obtrusive feature would require the planting of 2,500 trees, such is the harmful visual impact of this development. These trees do not require the construction of a bund to be planted. There is nothing to stop the applicant planting them if this application is refused.


Fylde Council did not have an up to date Local Plan until the new plan was adopted in 2018, and was therefore unable to resist many unwelcome developments in the countryside. This development is an unwelcome development in gentle rolling farmland and contrary to the policies of Fylde Council.


I ask this Committee to recognise the opposition to this application and to be mindful of the policies in Fylde Council`s adopted local plan. I ask this committee to refuse this application.'


It was confirmed to Committee that the 'before' and 'after' photographs of the site had been provided by the applicant and that it would be some time before the trees reached maturity as shown in the 'after' photographs.


Committee Members expressed concern about the road not being fit for the transportation of HGVs and the construction and validity of the proposed bund.


After a discussion, Committee were informed that, should they be minded to refuse the application, compelling reasons would be required as to the impact the bund caused, which must be able to be defended at appeal.


It was Proposed and Seconded:


"That the application be Refused, due to the adverse impact on the landscape."


Upon being put to the Vote, the Motion was Lost.


Resolved: That planning permission be granted subject to conditions controlling bund construction, landscaping details, implementation and management, highway safety, ecological mitigation measures, arboricultural matters and surface water drainage, as set out in the Committee report.


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