Your Councillors


 

Planning Committee Report

28 September 2017

 

REPORT SUMMARY

REFERENCE NO:  17/500117/FULL

APPLICATION PROPOSAL: Extension to the existing factory

ADDRESS: Unit 33 Adj Lordswood Industrial Est., Gleamingwood Drive, Lordswood, ME5 8RZ

RECOMMENDATION:  Grant permission subject to conditions

SUMMARY OF REASONS FOR APPROVAL: The development is in accordance with the Development Plan and would not have an adverse impact on the character, amenity and functioning of the surrounding area. Mitigation is proposed in relation to the loss of an area of trees that constitutes ancient woodland and the benefits to the local economy are considered to outweigh this loss.

REASON FOR REFERRAL TO COMMITTEE:

The recommendation is contrary to the views of Boxley Parish Council and committee consideration has been requested.

WARD: Boxley

PARISH COUNCIL: Boxley

APPLICANT: Brown Europe Limited

AGENT: CGPM

DECISION DUE DATE:

25/04/17

PUBLICITY EXPIRY DATE:

01/08/17

OFFICER SITE VISIT DATE:

28/3/2017

RELEVANT PLANNING HISTORY (including adjoining sites):

MA/03/1534 – Extension to industrial unit, and extension of parking area – Permitted

MAIN REPORT

 

1.0         DESCRIPTION OF SITE

1.1          The application site forms part of the Lordswood Industrial Estate (which is located at the southern edge of the Medway Towns urban area) and is approx. 200 metres north of the M2 motorway.

 

1.2          The site is accessed via an existing estate entrance road off the south side of Gleaming Wood Drive, which in turn leads to Lordswood Lane and the large roundabout to the south west of the estate. To the north, the estate is bounded by Gleaming Wood Drive, with a woodland strip and business premises situated on the opposing side of the road. The application site is bounded by a strip of ancient woodland to the east and denser woodland to the south, with business premises situated directly to the west.

 

1.3          The applicant (Brown Europe Limited) is one of the leading suppliers of transmission products with their headquarters at the Lordswood site. The primary business is a high value, light mechanical engineering operation purchasing, modifying and distributing motors, gearboxes and linkage for use in the manufacturing of larger, more complex machines. The business requires large premises to hold a large volume of stock to respond rapidly to customer orders.

 

1.4          Existing buildings are located at the eastern end of the estate. The proposed development area is located immediately to the east of the existing buildings and involves a fenced yard with parking and loading areas to the front and some grassland with trees to the east side of that. These trees are part of a larger area covered by woodland TPO 41/2002 and are classified as ancient woodland.

 

1.5          The application site includes an area of the existing ancient woodland located to the east of the existing building; however all of this area of ancient woodland is designated as an economic development area in the local plan.  The land hereabouts is not liable to flood. Development area

 

2.0         PROPOSAL

2.1          The applicant (Brown Europe Ltd) currently use the application site for their factory, with offices and warehousing. The current building houses a staff of 15 people who are directly employed by Brown Europe Ltd. and approx. 20 others who are employed by associated companies. The existing building is therefore shared by approx. 35 employed staff in five different businesses.

 

2.2          Brown Europe Ltd. owns and operates the building and plans to expand its operations. The existing warehouse and workshops are crowded and operate inefficiently; and the extension proposed would allow a more efficient warehousing operation and the reorganisation of other areas to facilitate growth.

 

2.3          Brown Europe Ltd. predict a growth in employment over the period of 36 months following completion of the development of 24 employees, in a range of jobs, all of which are likely to be sourced from the local labour market. Growth of associated companies is harder to predict but is estimated at 11 new employees for the same period.

 

2.4          The application proposes the erection of a large new extension, essentially as another ‘bay’ to the existing buildings, with a footprint of 43m by 25m and a ridge height of 7.6m. This large extension would project out to the side and front of the existing creating an ‘L-shaped’ footprint. The front part of that would be a two storey block to provide offices ancillary to the use of the factory. The rear part of the new development would be an extension eastwards of the existing factory floorspace. The height, design and materials of the extension broadly replicate that of the existing ‘two bay’ factory. Solar panels would be fitted to both roofslopes.

 

2.5          The development would lead to the loss of a small area of land and trees on the eastern fringes of the estate that constitutes ancient woodland. That issue, along with the landscaping and ecological mitigation/enhancement works that are proposed, are discussed below.

 

3.0       POLICY AND OTHER CONSIDERATIONS

·      Maidstone Borough-Wide Local Plan 2000: ENV6, ED2.

·      National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF)

·      National Planning Practice Guidance (NPPG)

·      Final Draft Maidstone Local Plan 2017 SP21, SP22, SP23, DM1, DM2, DM3, DM21.

·      Forestry Commission/Natural England standing advice: ‘Ancient woodland and veteran trees: protecting them from development 2014’

                   

3.01       Maidstone Borough Local Plan (2016) was submitted to the Secretary of State for examination on 20th May 2016.  The Local Plan Inspector issued his Report on the Examination of the Maidstone Borough Local Plan on 27th July 2017.  The Report is accompanied by an appendix containing the Main Modifications. The Inspector concludes that, with the incorporation of the Main Modifications, the submission Maidstone Borough Local Plan is sound. The adoption of the Local Plan will be considered at the next meeting of the Council on 27th September 2017 with a verbal update provided at the meeting considering this application.

 

3.02       In these circumstances, it is considered that approaching full weight should be afforded to the Maidstone Borough Local Plan incorporating the Main Modifications in the determination of planning applications.

 

4.0       LOCAL REPRESENTATIONS

4.01       The planning application has been advertised with individual letters sent to adjoining properties, a site notice and a press notice.

 

4.02       Boxley Parish Council: object to the application stating the following

Members strongly objected to the planning application and wish to see it refused and reported to the MBC Planning Committee. Reasons for refusal.

 

Highway issues.

At a recent Planning Appeal concerning Gibraltar Farm (in Medway just north-east of the Maidstone boundary) it was identified that the Gleamingwood Drive/Lordswood Lane junction had reached capacity. Extract from Create Consulting Engineers Ltd, Land at Gibraltar Farm, Ham Lane, Hempstead, Transport Assessment Lordswood Lane/ Gleaming Wood Drive Priority Junction 5.23 The Lords Wood/Gleaming Wood Drive junction has been assessed with PICARDY, 5.24 The results described in table 5.6 indicate that the junction is presently operating towards the limits of its capacity for the right turn movement from Lords Wood into Gleaming Wood Drive.

 

The Gibraltar Farm application, for 500 properties plus community infrastructure will, if allowed, add significantly to the traffic flows along Gleamingwood Drive to access Maidstone and the M2/M20. The Planning Inspectors decision is expected next month (March 2017) [officer comment: the appeal was subsequently allowed]. This would be in addition to the extra traffic generated by the Lordswood Urban Extension development of 84 properties plus bio-mass unit already approved (Maidstone planning application 13/1797). All these additional traffic movements along Gleamingwood Drive will further add to the problems of traffic congestion and pedestrian/cyclist safety at this dangerous and overloaded junction. Further west the complex junctions of the M2 with the A229/A2045 have exceeded their capacity and are unable to cope with any additional traffic generated by development in the Walderslade/Lordswood area, as confirmed in an e-mail of 20/1/17 from Toby Butler, Traffic & Network Solutions Asset Manager, Highways, Transportation & Waste. Kent County Council: These junctions [M2 and A229] have greatly exceeded their design capacity and handle volumes of traffic for which they, and the surrounding road network, were never intended. There are no suitable options for improving traffic flows through the adjustment of signal timings; physical works on the highway network are required. Some options are being considered but these have significant cost implications and take time to develop and implement. Furthermore local rural roads are unsuitable for lorries and HGVs and inappropriate use by large vehicles is already causing safety issues for other drivers, cyclists and pedestrians.

 

 

 

Impact on the Ancient Woodland.

40% of the trees on the site will be lost and with no plans yet submitted outlining the proposed replanting the impact on the screening properties of the current bank of trees is uncertain. What is clear is that the area designated for the replanting is smaller than the area being developed and the limited space that would be available to replant suggests an unacceptably insufficient screening of the site. The land taken for the proposed developed is Ancient Woodland - a finite resource that will be lost under hardstanding.

 

On-site car parking.

The planning application identifies an increase in car parking spaces by +12 for up to 40-60 additional staff. Whilst the parish council welcomes any increase in employment opportunities this amount of on-site car parking (34 in all) is totally inadequate. The extra car parking is at the detriment of the current lorry turning area which will be axed. Whilst the supporting document and plans state that there will be improved turning this appears to only relate to cars and not lorries or HGVs.

 

Impact on protected species e.g. dormice and bats.

The loss of more land, especially Ancient Woodland, for foraging wildlife is unacceptable. The improvements to the site with the erection of bird and bat boxes and the introduction of a woodland management plan are welcomed but these should have been part of the existing estates management plan rather than as a sweetener to obtain development permission. In an Ancient Woodland, especially one that is in danger of becoming fragmented by development, any reduction in the size of the existing woodland compartments is unacceptable. If the development is permitted then the proposed tree replanting should be substantial trees and not whips so as to ensure that the food resources for the protected species are not diminished whilst waiting for small trees to mature.

 

Section 106 contribution.

No mention is made of Section 106 funding to improve the local infrastructure yet there is an urgent need for improvements at the hazardous Lordswood Lane/Gleamingwood Drive junction. The parish council would like to apply for a Section 106 contribution towards highway improvements at the Gleamingwood Drive/Lordswood Lane junction.

 

Pre-application consultation

I should record that the Environment Committee was saddened that the developer chose not to speak to the parish council prior to submitting the application. While not mandatory such exchanges are, in our experience, invariably helpful to both parties and are to be encouraged.”

 

4.03     Local Residents: No representations received from local residents.

 

5.0       CONSULTATIONS

(Please note that summaries of consultation responses are set out below with the response discussed in more detail in the main report where considered necessary)

           

5.01       KCC Highways: No objection subject to conditions.

 

5.02       Mid Kent Environmental Health: No objection subject to conditions.

 

5.03       Environment Agency: No objection

 

5.04       KCC Drainage: No objection subject to conditions

 

5.05       KCC Biodiversity Officer: No further protected species surveys are required. If permission is to be granted, the Council must be satisfied that the loss of ancient woodland is outweighed by other planning benefits. The dormouse mitigation strategy is proposing to manage and enhance the area of retained woodland: currently the area is not managed and proper management is likely to be beneficial in the long term. If permission is to be granted then a woodland and mitigation management plan should be the subject of condition.

 

5.06       Southern Gas Networks:  No objection

 

5.07       UK Power Networks:  No objection

 

5.08       Forestry Commission: Neither supports nor objects to the application but points out that the proposals involve the loss of some trees that constitute ancient woodland.

 

5.09       Southern Water: No objection

 

5.10       MBC Landscape Officer: Comments reported in full below.

 

6.0       APPRAISAL

            Main Issues

6.01       The key issues for consideration are:

·         Principle of development

·         Impact on the local highway network

·         Loss of protected trees and ancient woodland;

·         Impact on protected species

 

Principle of development

6.02       Section 38(6) of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 provides that all planning applications must be determined in accordance with the Development Plan unless other material considerations indicate otherwise.

 

6.03       It needs to be highlighted that the existing Local Plan and emerging Local Plan allocate the application site and the surrounding industrial estate (including the area of land that would accommodate the new extension and the ancient woodland) as an existing area of economic activity and an economic development area respectively. The two plans make provision for the need for businesses to be able to adapt and grow and the designated estates are the preferred option for this.

 

6.04       The opening section of emerging Policy SP21 states: “The council is committed to supporting and improving the economy of the borough and providing for the needs of businesses. This will be achieved through the allocation of specific sites and through: The retention, intensification, regeneration of the existing industrial and business estates identified as Economic Development Areas as defined on the policies map”.

 

6.05       The accompanying text to emerging Policy SP22 states: “4.146 In addition to new allocations of employment land, it is important that a stock of existing employment sites is maintained. A range of well located commercial premises and sites need to be secured so that they can continue to be available to meet the needs of existing and modernising businesses. Policy SP22 identifies Economic Development Areas across the borough designated specifically for B class uses, which include sites with planning permission as well as established, existing employment locations”.

 

6.06       Against this background and this clear policy advice there can be no objection to the principle of existing businesses extending their facilities on land such as that found on the application site.

 

Highway impacts

6.07       KCC Highways and Transportation have commented on the current application on two separate occasions and raise no objection.

 

6.08       It is noted that the Parish Council have objected to the proposal, partly on the basis that another application for c. 500 dwellings was deemed to have a detrimental impact on the strategic highway network. However, KCC have raised no objections to the impact of the proposal on the strategic highway network; furthermore, the scale of the development proposed is unlikely to have a significant highways impact.

 

6.09       In terms of the detail of the scheme, clarification was sought from the applicant as to how the site would be serviced (including parking provision) and these details are deemed acceptable. The existing parking and turning area would be reconfigured to allow for 34 vehicle parking spaces, whilst catering for the loading/unloading and manoeuvring of vehicles and that is considered adequate. On these grounds there is no evidence to substantiate the refusal of permission on highway safety or operation issues.

 

Ecology

6.10       The application is accompanied by an Extended Phase 1 Ecology Report; a Bat Survey Report; a Dormouse Survey; and a Dormouse Mitigation Strategy. The survey work recorded foraging/commuting bats, the potential for breeding birds and the presence of dormice.

 

6.11       The application proposes the removal of trees, scrub, etc. which constitutes bat foraging habitat. With regard to bats, mitigation and enhancement measures are put forward involving a precautionary approach to felling and clearance; the retention and management of retained trees and new planting; control of external lighting; and the installation of bat boxes to enhance the site for bats by increasing roosting opportunities. If these measures are put in place the reports conclude that the impact would be minimal.

 

6.12       Hazel dormice were recorded on parts of the site which would be impacted by construction works and therefore a European Protected Species Licence would be required before any works could start. Mitigation and enhancement measures are put forward involving the retention and management of retained trees and scrub habitat; enhancement of the remaining woodland area by planting native berry and nut-bearing species to increase foraging opportunities; and the installation of dormouse net boxes. In association with the granting of a licence, if these measures are put in place the reports conclude that it should be possible for development to proceed with no net loss of dormouse habitat and without impacting the local conservation status of dormice. A detailed mitigation strategy document is included essentially elaborating on these main factors, including detailed proposals for the construction phase; habitat creation and enhancement; and post-development safeguarding and monitoring by a licensed ecologist.

 

6.13       The KCC Biodiversity Officer has examined the proposals and considers that no further surveys are required. The officer points out the NPPF guidance that the development should be refused unless the need for, and benefits of, the development outweigh the loss. The dormouse mitigation strategy is proposing to manage and enhance the area of retained woodland: currently the area is not managed and proper management is likely to be beneficial in the long term. If permission is to be granted then a woodland and mitigation management plan should be the subject of condition.

 

6.14       Given the conclusions in the various ecology reports I am satisfied that harm to ecological interests can be properly mitigated through conditions.

 

Visual impact and landscaping

6.15       In relation to  the extent of the proposed development the MBC Landscape had stated “The proposed footprint of the new extension/industrial unit will come within a proportion of the existing front car parking area, a hard surfaced service yard (to the east of the existing building) and a small area of woodland that surrounds the current building. The area of woodland affected by this proposal is subject to Tree Preservation Order No 41 of 2002 designated as Woodland (W1). The wood is also designated as ancient replanted woodland (PAWS), suggesting it has been continuously wooded since 1600. The wood consists predominantly of mixed species of mainly Hornbeam, Silver Birch, Sweet Chestnut, Ash, Larch, English Oak, Common Ash with a shrub layer of Hazel, Holly, Elder and Raspberry. The ground layer is predominately bare with occasional Ivy and Bramble. There is some past historical evidence of coppicing on number of Hazel and Hornbeam but other than that the wood has been largely unmanaged for a number of years”.

 

6.16       The applicant has submitted a plan showing the trees to be removed or affected as part of the proposed development. It is highlighted that this submitted plan concentrates on trees close to the development site and does not show the large number of other trees nearby that would not be affected by the development.

 

6.17       In relation to the trees to be removed the MBC Tree officer has stated “Based on the submitted tree survey 32 individual and three groups of trees will need to be removed in order to facilitate the proposed development. The majority of these trees are maturing Silver Birch and Hornbeam. Many of the Birch have historic stem damage and are showing signs of decline with a number succumbing to wind throw. As a result of their condition, as individuals most have been graded ‘C’ (trees of low quality) under BS5837”.

 

6.18       The application site forms part of an industrial estate of utilitarian character where, a building extension of this scale and design that is proposed would not be out of place. This is not an area afforded protection in terms of its landscape character and, in addition to that, the site benefits from the significant screening effect of the belts of trees that surround the estate.

 

6.19       Trees to the east and the north east of the existing application site (and therefore on the western margins of this patch of woodland) would need to be removed to make way for the new building. New planting is indicated off the north east corner of the new building and to its south and south east to compensate for that, to supplement the tree screening that would remain and to provide enhanced habitat. Against this background, I am satisfied that there would not be a significant adverse impact on visual amenity.

 

6.20       The proposed ‘footprint’ the new building is currently a walled storage yard, hardsurfaced parking/turning area or cut lawn and approx. 65% of that ‘footprint’ area does not result in the loss of trees or ancient woodland. The loss of the trees is clearly a negative aspect of this proposal however the trees to be lost are generally of low quality and the area concerned has clearly not been well managed. Replacement planting would be put in place.

 

6.21       In the consideration of this application it is important to consider the benefits associated with the application, when weighed against the loss of a small area of trees and ancient woodland. In accordance with the test as outlined in para 118 of the NPPF it is considered that the benefits to the local economy (in terms of allowing an established business to extend on a designated industrial estate) would outweigh the harm that would arise by virtue of the loss of the small area of trees.  In order to mitigate the impact of the proposal a number of conditions are considered appropriate should permission be granted.

 

Loss of Ancient Woodland

6.22       The assessment of developments involving ancient woodland is guided by the Standing Advice produced by the Forestry Commission and Natural England ‘Ancient woodland and veteran trees: protecting them from development’ published in 2014. This guidance provides a basic two step process to assess development proposals that may impact upon ancient woodland, firstly ‘Assess the Impacts’ and secondly how to ‘Avoid, reduce or compensate for the impacts’.

 

·         ‘Assess the Impacts’

6.23       The application site includes a section of the existing ancient woodland located to the east of the existing building on the application site; however all of this area of ancient woodland is also designated as an economic development area in the local plan. The layout of the industrial estate includes areas of ancient woodland close to existing buildings and also buildings within existing areas of ancient woodland.

 

6.24       The standing advice states that assessing the impacts of development can be achieved through collecting evidence through tree and ecology surveys. In support of this application the council has the benefit of specialist reports on arboricultural matters and ecology and these have been scrutinised by the MBC Landscape Officer and the KCC Biodiversity Officer.

 

·      Avoid, reduce or compensate for the impacts’.

6.25       The standing advice states that “In assessing development proposals, planning authorities must decide on the weight to be given to ancient woodland and veteran trees in individual cases”. The advice goes on to say that “If the planning authority decides to grant planning permission in line with the National Planning Policy Framework, it should seek appropriate mitigation or compensation from the developer. As ancient woodland and veteran trees are irreplaceable, discussions on compensation should not form part of the assessment of the merits of the development proposal. The planning authority should use planning conditions or obligations to secure these mitigation or compensation measures and subsequent ecological monitoring”.

 

6.26       Potential mitigation suggested by the standing advice includes “…an appropriate buffer zone of semi-­natural habitat between the development and the ancient woodland or tree (depending on the size of development, a minimum buffer should be at least 15 metres)”. With the current relationship of the industrial estate, existing buildings and economic development area to the ancient woodland any separation buffer is not practically possible. Soil translocation would also not be appropriate for an area that shows signs of significant human disruption.   

 

6.27       Potential compensation measures suggested by the standing advice include: “planting new native woodland” and “restoring or managing other ancient woodland”. It is considered that these compensation measures can be provided and planning conditions are recommended to achieve this including new tree planting and measures to restrict access and to manage adjacent retained areas of ancient woodland.   

 

6.28       Proposed mitigation and compensation must be proportionate to the nature of the resource that would be affected: the area concerned is located at the fringes of a busy industrial estate where there is currently no barrier to access; there is no woodland management; trees are generally in a poor condition; there is evidence of burning and fire damage; and signs of dumping and littering. The woodland management, new tree planting and ecological mitigation/enhancement works that could be secured by recommended conditions are a proportionate response to the impact. The standing advice is general advice, not site-specific advice, and I do not regard some of the suggested measures as appropriate to this case.

 

6.29       There is a requirement for the decision maker to weigh the proposed loss of an area of ancient woodland against other material considerations. It is considered that the benefits to the local economy, the employment generation coming from allowing an established business to extend on a designated industrial estate would outweigh the harm that would arise by virtue of the loss of the small area of trees.

 

6.30       This balancing exercise is acknowledged by the MBC Tree Officer who advises that “….should it be proven that the need for and benefit of the development outweighs the loss of the tree (as indicated on within the tree report) and you are mindful to approve the application, I would want to see the following conditions attached to any consent: 1) Submission of a fully detailed tree protection plan (TPP) and arb method statement (AMS) both in accordance with British Standards BS5837:2012. 2) Fully detailed landscaping plan/mitigation scheme that should incorporate the key recommendations outlined in the extended phase 1 Ecological Report by agb Environmental (project no. P2284.1, dated 15th October 2014).3) Submission of a suitable woodland management plan/proposal that will ensure successful establishment of all new planted stock and provide future management that will enhance/improve the woodlands biodiversity”.

 

Other matters

6.31       The majority of the issues raised by Boxley Parish Council have been addressed in the above report. In relation to pre-application consultation whilst officers encourage applicants to engage with all interested parties as part of pre application discussions there is no legal requirement for this to take place. The potential impact on infrastructure has been assessed and thhere is no need for a legal agreement as there is no need for funding for highways/infrastructure works.

 

7.0        CONCLUSION

 

7.1       In conclusion, it is considered that the principle of development in this location is acceptable, as the land is allocated in both existing and emerging Local Plans for economic development purposes. In accordance with the objectives of the economic development area the development is predicted to give rise to 35 new jobs in the 3 years following completion and this should be given significant weight.

 

7.2       In accordance with the test at para 118 of the NPPF, the economic benefits to the local economy would outweigh the harm that would arise by virtue of the loss of this small area of ancient woodland. Looking at the standing advice on ancient woodland, the impact has been properly assessed through specialist reports on trees and ecology. Mitigation and compensation measures are proposed for the protection and promotion of biodiversity in and around the site; including the management of the retained and new woodland, the planting of new trees and ecological enhancement. There are considered to be no justifiable objections in terms of highway safety.

 

8.0         RECOMMENDATION

 

GRANT PLANNING PERMISSION subject to the following conditions:

 

1.         The development hereby permitted shall be begun before the expiration of three years from the date of the permission. Reason: In accordance with the provisions of Section 91 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 as amended by Section 51 of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004.

 

2.         The development hereby permitted shall be carried out in accordance with the following plans: Site location plan and block plan received 11/1/17; and drawings BRE-001/C, 003, 010/C, 101/C, 102/C, 103/C, 301/C received 24/1/17. Reason: To ensure the quality of the development is maintained and to prevent harm to the residential amenity of the neighbouring properties.         

 

3.         Before the development reaches damp proof course level, written details and samples of the materials to be used in the construction of the external surfaces of the extension shall be submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority and the development shall be constructed using the approved materials; Reason: To ensure a satisfactory appearance to the development.

 

4.         Prior to the commencement of works, a scheme of hard and soft landscaping, using indigenous species which shall include indications of all existing trees and hedgerows on the land, and details of any to be retained, together with measures for their protection in the course of development and a programme for the approved scheme's implementation and the long term management of the retained woodland shall be submitted to and approved by the Local Planning Authority. The scheme shall be designed using the principles established in the Council's adopted Landscape Character Assessment and Landscape Guidelines and shall include full details of proposed means of surfacing and boundary treatments. Reason: No such details have been submitted. Details are required pre-commencement as a commencement of works may compromise the implementation of the agreed details.

 

5.         All planting, seeding or turfing comprised in the approved details of landscaping shall be carried out in the first planting and seeding seasons following the occupation of the extension or the completion of the development, whichever is the sooner; and any trees or plants which within a period of five years from the completion of the development die, are removed or become seriously damaged or diseased shall be replaced in the next planting season with others of similar size and species, unless the Local Planning Authority gives written consent to any variation. Reason: To ensure a satisfactory setting and external appearance to the development.

 

6.         Works on site shall not commence until details of tree protection in accordance with the current edition of BS 5837 have been submitted to and approved in writing by the local planning authority. All trees to be retained must be protected by barriers and/or ground protection.  No equipment, plant, machinery or materials shall be brought onto the site prior to the erection of approved barriers and/or ground protection except to carry out pre commencement operations approved in writing by the local planning authority.  Nothing shall be stored or placed, nor fires lit, within any of the protected areas.  No alterations shall be made to the siting of barriers and/or ground protection, nor ground levels changed, nor excavations made within these areas without the written consent of the local planning authority.  These measures shall be maintained until all equipment, machinery and surplus materials have been removed from the site. Reason: In the interests of landscape, visual impact and amenity of the area and to ensure a satisfactory appearance to the development. Details are required pre-commencement as a commencement of works may compromise the implementation of the agreed details.

 

7.         Works on site shall not commence until an Arboricultural Method Statement (AMS) in accordance with the current edition of BS 5837 has been submitted to and approved in writing by the local planning authority.  The AMS should detail implementation of any aspect of the development that has the potential to result in the loss of, or damage to trees, including their roots and, for example, take account of site access, demolition and construction activities, foundations, service runs and level changes.  It should also detail any tree works necessary to implement the approved scheme and include a tree protection plan.   Reason: In the interests of landscape, visual impact and amenity of the area and to ensure a satisfactory appearance to the development. Details are required pre-commencement as a commencement of works may compromise the implementation of the agreed details.

 

8.         Works on site shall not commence until full details of the proposed ecological mitigation and enhancement works (with particular emphasis on bats and dormice); and the long term management of retained woodland habitat have been submitted to and approved by the local planning authority. The scheme shall fully recognise the presence of ancient woodland and shall include a timetable for implementation. The development shall be implemented in accordance with the approved details and all features shall be maintained thereafter. Reason: To protect and enhance the ecology and biodiversity on the site in the future. Details are required pre-commencement as a commencement of works may compromise the implementation of the agreed details.

 

9.         The approved details of the parking/turning areas shall be completed before the commencement of the use of the land or buildings hereby permitted and shall thereafter be kept available for such use. No development, whether permitted by The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015 (or any order revoking and re- enacting that Order, with or without modification) or not, shall be carried out on the areas indicated or in such a position as to preclude vehicular access to them. Reason: Development without adequate parking/turning provision is likely to lead to parking inconvenient to other road users and in the interests of road safety.

 

10.      Prior to the development reaching damp proof course level, full details of the proposed lighting and the methods to prevent light spillage shall be submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority and the development shall be carried out in accordance with the approved details. The details shall have close regard to the requirements of the submitted ecological reports. Reason: To prevent light pollution and in order to avoid harm to bats and their habitat.

 

11.      Development shall not begin until a detailed sustainable surface water drainage scheme for the site has been submitted to (and approved in writing by) the Local Planning Authority. The detailed drainage shall demonstrate that the surface water generated by this development (for all rainfall durations and intensities up to and including the climate change adjusted critical 100 year storm) can be accommodated and disposed of through infiltration features located within the curtilage of the site; Reason: To ensure that the principles of sustainable drainage are incorporated into this proposal and to ensure ongoing efficacy of the drainage provisions. Details are required pre-commencement as a commencement of works may compromise the implementation of the agreed details.

 

12.      No building hereby permitted shall be occupied until details of the implementation, maintenance and management of the sustainable drainage scheme have been submitted to and approved in writing by the local planning authority. The scheme shall be implemented and thereafter managed and maintained in accordance with the approved details. Those details shall include: i) a timetable for its implementation, and ii) a management and maintenance plan for the lifetime of the development which shall include the arrangements for adoption by any public body or statutory undertaker, or any other arrangements to secure the operation of the sustainable drainage system throughout its lifetime. Reason: To ensure that the principles of sustainable drainage are incorporated into this proposal and to ensure ongoing efficacy of the drainage provisions.

 

13.      Before the development reaches damp proof course level, written details of the proposed solar panels shall be submitted to and approved by the Local Planning Authority. Reason: In the interests of visual amenity.

 

INFORMATIVES

1)      The applicant is advised to have regard to the Mid Kent Environmental Code of Development Practice.

2)      In drawing up details of the long term management of retained woodland pursuant to conditions 4 and 8 above, the applicant should have regard to the following factors: a) Map of area to be managed; and a description and evaluation of the woodland b) Review of species recorded within the woodland; c) Methodology to clear the woodland; d) Details of any constraints which might influence long-term management; e) Aims and objectives of management; f)Details of management proposals to achieve aims and objectives;  g)Preparation of a work schedule; h) Measures to prevent unauthorised access to the woodland

 

Case Officer: Geoff Brown

 

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