Could changes make the Plan sound?

Changes to make the Plan sound

  1. This site because it is totally unsuitable for a 5,000 house development. It is an ancient and historic site and its varied ecology makes it a valuable local recreational resource and wildlife habitat. The council appear to be desperately casting around for a strategic site to replace Headley Hall and as a result have not allowed a proper consideration of other sites. The council is imposing a Headley Hall-sized development on this site despite its unsuitability and the many problems associated with this site;
  2. (a) Delete MX2-39 completely, or;
  3. Reduce the extent of the Allocation to a scale where it Leeds City Council can clearly demonstrate that the development would be compatible with the requirements of the NPPF and the 1990 Act regarding the conservation of the historic environment;
  4. The reduction should be significant – I am concerned about the likely impact which MX2-39 will have upon the historic environment. The development of this area has the potential to harm the significance of a number of designated and non-designated heritage assets both within the area of the proposed new settlement itself and in the surrounding area;
  5. MX2-39’s reduction should ensure that there is no loss of all the designed landscape associated with the former Parlington Hall, the family home of the Gascoyne’s before they moved to Lotherton Hall. This landscape provides a setting and context for a large number of designated and other non- designated heritage assets associated with the Parlington Estate. The designated heritage assets include, within the proposed site include the Triumphal Arch (Grade II*) – a unique commemoration of the American War of Independence, The House at Parlington Gardens (Grade II) Park House Farmhouse (Grade II) Hookmoor Lodges (Grade II) and, outside, the boundary of MX2-39 the Shelter (Grade II) the Cottage (Grade II), Gascoigne Almshouses (Grade II*) the Lodge to Gascoigne Almshouses (Grade II), the retaining walls to Gascoigne Almshouses (Grade II), Pikes Head Lodge (Grade II);
  6. Despite the demolition of the principal building, many elements of this original designed landscape and its structures are clearly legible today. The loss of such an extensive area of this landscape, therefore, is likely to have a significant adverse impact upon the setting of these assets, as a group, the ability to understand their historic context, and the appreciation of them in their wider landscape context;
  7. I remind the Council that it has a statutory duty under the provisions of S72 of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act, 1990 to pay “special attention” to “the desirability of preserving or enhancing the character or appearance” of its Conservation Areas. The NPPF makes it clear that the significance of heritage assets, such as Conservation Areas, can be harmed through development within their setting;
  8. MX2-39 should be changed so that there is NO in harm to the landscape setting of Aberford Conservation Area. Although the Conservation Area Appraisal does not, specifically, identify the site of the proposed new settlement as being an important view, nevertheless, the loss of the open farmland to the west of the Conservation Area and its subsequent development would fundamentally change the rural setting of Aberford and the approach to the main body of the settlement from its southern entrance at the Hookmoor Lodges. This open area to the west of the former Great North Road is particularly noticeable in the section between the Grade II Listed Hookmoor Lodges and the Grade II* Gascoigne Almshouses. MX2-39 would fundamentally harm the character and setting of the southern part of the Conservation Area and views looking westwards from its principal thoroughfare;
  9. Unless dramatically changed MX2-39 will result in serious harm to the Conservation Area;
  10. As this area lies on the Southern Magnesian Limestone Ridge and in close proximity to the line of the former Great North Road. This is known to be an extremely rich archaeological area. This is illustrated by the fact that an Iron Age Romano-British settlement has only recently been scheduled just 250 metres from this site’s eastern boundary and there are also numerous sections of linear earthwork of the Aberford Dyke system to the north. This area also exhibits evidence of Iron Age/Roman fields, tracks and enclosures, and post- Medieval trackways, coal workings/bell pits and quarries;
  11. There is a high probability, therefore, that there will be archaeological remains of national importance within and around the MX2-39 site;
  12. MX2-39 will seriously compromise the landscape setting and individual identity of the important historic settlements of Aberford and Barwick-in-Elmet;
  13. MX2-39 will result in considerable harm to the significance of the many heritage assets around this area;
  14. Two-thirds of this area is of “high sensitivity” (and, therefore, areas where development is inconsistent with the Government Policy for the conservation of the historic environment);
  15. When considering the impact of proposals upon the significance of a designated heritage asset Paragraph 132 of the NPPF states that “great weight” should be given to the conservation of those assets. The more important the asset, the greater the weight should be;
  16. The NPPF makes it clear that the Government considers Grade II* Listed Buildings and Scheduled Monuments to be in the category of designated heritage assets of the highest significance. MX2-39 will result in harm to the significance of so many designated (and undesignated) heritage assets, especially to those which the Government considers to be of the highest significance and to which it requires the greatest weight be given to their conservation, would be wholly contrary to the requirements NPPF;
  17. It is clear, that the development of the vast majority of this site is considered by the local planning authority, itself, to result in harm to the historic environment (and, therefore, be inconsistent with the requirements of both the NPPF and the duties under the 1990 Act);
  18. Therefore, there must be serious questions about the deliverability of this scale of development in this location;
  19. The mitigation measures identified in the Heritage Impact Assessment seem unlikely to reduce the harm that the development of this area would be likely to cause to the historic environment to a level which would be compatible with the requirements of national policy guidance, as set out in the NPPF, or the duties of the 1990 Act;
  20. The council should make greater efforts to use brown-field sites (there is such a site at Thorpe Arch. NPPF states that brown field sites are to be prioritised over the development of green field and greenbelt. The July 2016 Plans Panel meeting had the option of taking forward the brown-field site at Thorpe Arch but rejected this in favour of this greenbelt site;