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REPORT SUMMARY

 

REFERENCE NO -  15/508037/SUB

APPLICATION PROPOSAL

Submission of details pursuant to Condition 3: landscaping Details (relates to original application reference: 15/503647/FULL which was for the over-winter storage of 76 seasonal agricultural and general, workers caravans).

ADDRESS Rumwood Green Farm Sutton Road, Langley, Kent, ME17 3ND 

RECOMMENDATION:  Approve discharge of condition 3

SUMMARY OF REASONS FOR RECOMMENDATION

The proposed landscaping and new planting will provide sufficient screening and adequate compensation for the hedgerows and tree lost in connection with the development granted under ref: 15/503647 while maintaining and enhancing wildlife habitats in the locality.

 

REASON FOR REFERRAL TO COMMITTEE

Committee requested that the details submitted to discharge condition 3 are approved by the Planning Committee.

 

WARD Sutton Valence And Langley Ward

PARISH/TOWN COUNCIL Langley

APPLICANT G Charlton And Sons

AGENT DHA Planning

DECISION DUE DATE

25/11/15

PUBLICITY EXPIRY DATE

25/11/15

OFFICER SITE VISIT DATE

06/10/15

 

1.0   RELEVANT HISTORY:

1.01   Planning application under reference 15/503647 sought permission for the over-winter storage of an additional 76 seasonal agricultural and general workers caravans. The proposal included limited occupation over the winter period and the formation of a new access on to New Road to serve the caravan site.

 

1.02   The application was considered at the committee meeting on the 16 July where it was resolved to grant planning permission subject to planning conditions. A copy of the officer report to the Planning Committee is attached as APPENDIX 1. The decision notice was issued on the 5 August 2015.

 

1.03   In resolving to grant planning permission the Planning Committee requested that the details submitted to discharge condition 3 attached to this planning permission should be reported back to members for approval by the Planning Committee.

 

2.0   PROPOSAL:

2.01 Condition 3 is worded as follows:

“Prior to commencement of the development hereby approved details of (a) the additional tree planting to the existing Alder windbreaks to the east of the proposed caravans and gapping up of the hedgerow on the northern boundary of the farm and (b) details of hedgerow transplantation or a replacement native species hedgerow to mitigate hedgerow loss due to the provision of access and sight lines onto New Road, shall be provided for prior approval in writing by the Local Planning Authority. The planting shall be carried out in the first available planting season following approval. Any trees/shrubs becoming dead, dying or diseased within 10 years of planting shall be replaced with one of the same size and species and retained in accordance with the terms of this condition. Reason: In the interests of visual amenity”.

 

2.02      The details submitted in order to discharge condition 3 are as follows and are set out using the text of the planning condition:

 

(a) The additional tree planting to the existing Alder windbreaks to the east of the proposed caravans and gapping up of the hedgerow on the northern boundary of the farm.

 

2.03      Hedge gapping up involves establishing new plants into gaps in an existing hedge. It can also be combined with laying to ensure the development of a continuous hedge. The existing Alder windbreak to the east of the caravans on the application site (annotated as A to B on the submitted plan) is to be retained and gapped up with new Alder tree planting.

 

2.04      The existing 3 metre high poplar windbreak to the east/north east of the caravans (annotated as C to D on the submitted plan) is also to be retained and allowed to grow up to 4 to 5 metres in height. The existing 15 metre high poplar windbreak (annotated as E to F on the submitted plan) is to be retained along with a native species hedgerow which shall be allowed grow up to 4 to 5 metres in height.

 

2.05      The existing Alder windbreak at the northern end of the site (annotated as G to H on the submitted plan) will be retained and gapped up with new Alder planting. The existing Poplar 3 metre high windbreak (annotated as I to J on the submitted plan) and native hedge to be retained and allowed to grow up to 4 to 5 metres high.  

 

(b) Details of hedgerow transplantation or a replacement native species hedgerow to mitigate hedgerow loss due to the provision of access and sight lines onto New Road, shall be provided for prior approval in writing by the Local Planning Authority.

 

2.06      The existing hedgerow is currently managed and cut on an annual basis between October and March. The section of hedge that will provide the visibility splays will be reduced by approximately 30% in the period between November 2015 to January 2016. This reduction in the size of the plants is designed to reduce the stress on plants caused by the subsequent transplantation process and this reduction will significantly enhance the likely success of the transplantation.

 

2.07      Prior to transplanting the hedge, the soil in the new location will be prepared with the ground deeply tilled and a new trench dug to receive the transplanted hedgerow. The trenches will be the exact length of the transplanted hedge (132 metres) 0.5 to a metre deep and 2.5 to 3 metres wide. The hedge will be moved in 1 to 1.5 metre sections.

 

2.08      The soil around the roots of the existing hedge will be retained to improve transplantation. Any gaps remaining in the receiving trench will be filled in with sub-soil and site sourced top soil. This method focuses on maintaining sufficient soil around the roots and maintaining the root mass to maximise the likelihood of plants surviving. The hedge will actually be transplanted in either late autumn or early spring to avoid any impact on birds during the nesting season that takes place between mid-April and mid-July.

 

2.09      Once in place the transplanted hedge will be managed to with the aim of encouraging vigorous dense growth that will provide new habitat for wildlife. Any plants that are dying will be replaced with hazel, field maple and hawthorn.

 

2.10      The roots of the plants in the hedge will be cleanly pruned where possible to minimise the risks of root fracturing and the hedge will be watered generously on a daily basis for the first four to eight weeks, and then on a weekly basis for the first year (excluding the winter season). This watering will be achieved by installing a flexible pipe/hose to each plant during the transplantation process as this will ensure that water reaches the root ball.

 

Additional tree planting

2.11      Additional tree planting will be carried out in the planting season 2015/2016. The area for the new tree planting will be prepared to form an open soil texture and where the soil is heavy or compacted clay it will be improved with the addition of sharp sand and organic matter such as farm manure at a depth of approximately 75mm and a bare soil circle of 1 to 2 metres in diameter will be provided. The surface will be mulched with bark to improve water retention.

 

2.12      The tree stock will be 1.8 to 3 metres suitably staked and given protection during the early years and all new planting will be protected by suitable spiral rabbit guards.

 

2.13      The management and maintenance of the new planting will involve thinning out to avoid overcrowding and to allow good specimens to mature.  To maintain healthy growth a weed free zone at 100mm diameter around each plant will be maintained.

 

2.14      Mulch mats, polythene or bark will also reduce water loss and a herbicide will be applied early in the growing season to prevent weeds.

 

The planting shall be carried out in the first available planting season following approval. Any trees/shrubs becoming dead, dying or diseased within 10 years of planting shall be replaced with one of the same size and species and retained in accordance with the terms of this condition.

 

2.15      The applicant has confirmed that in accordance with the planning condition any trees or plants which within a period of 10 years from the completion of the planning scheme die or become seriously damaged or diseased will be replaced in the next planting season (November to March) with other similar size and species to those originally planted.

 

3.0       CONSULTATIONS

3.01    MBC Landscape: The submitted details are considered acceptable.

 

4.0       APPRAISAL:

4.01    The original planning permission was for the for the over-winter storage of an additional 76 seasonal agricultural and general workers caravans. Condition 3 was attached to the permission on visual amenity grounds.

 

4.02    It is considered that the proposed hedge relocation and management measures set out in detail earlier in section 2 of this report will provide

(a)  comprehensive screening and landscaping for the agricultural workers caravans;

(b)  acceptable mitigation to compensate for loss of part of the existing hedgerow fronting New Road to enable the new access and sight lines to be provided;

(c)     will secure the long term future of the relocated hedgerow and will

(d)    maintain and enhance wildlife habitats in the long term.

 

4.03    It is considered that the proposed details are acceptable and are sufficient to allow the discharge of condition 3. The Council’s landscape officer has also confirmed that the submitted details are acceptable and there is no objection to the discharge of condition 3.

 

5.0       CONCLUSION

5.01    The proposed landscaping details will provide sufficient screening and adequate compensation for any hedgerows or trees that are lost in connection with the development granted for this site under ref:15/503647. The provisions will also maintain and enhance local wildlife habitats. As such it is recommended the details be approved.

 

6.0       RECOMMENDATIONAPPROVE THE DISCHARGE OF CONDITION 3

 

 

Case Officer: Graham Parkinson

 

NB: For full details of all papers submitted with this application please refer to the relevant Public Access pages on the council’s website.