Posted in Parish Meeting

Haveringland Parish Meeting – notice of extraordinary meeting 30th July 2020

There will be a special Parish Meeting on 30th July at 7.30pm in the garden of our Chair, at The Old School, School Road. This is specifically to agree certain financial reports for the last year.

You can see the agenda here: Haveringland Parish Meeting Agenda July 2020.

As you will appreciate, with current restrictions on people meeting up it is going to be a challenge to have a face to face meeting, but as many residents are not online or would find difficulty using an online meeting application, we are proposing to limit numbers so that an outside gathering can happen.

Please can you to let the Chair know by July 17th at the latest if you wish to attend.

Posted in Uncategorized

A line in the sand- no more development at Haveringland Hall Country Park!

What’s this all about?

There is a planning application to build 280 units of holiday accommodation at Haveringland Hall Country Park. This note summarises this, the overall position of Haveringland Parish Meeting and outlines ways in which residents of the wider local area and interested organisations can submit comments before the application is considered by Broadland Council. The closing date for comments is 17th July.

What’s being  proposed?

The application for full planning permission is described as: ‘Construction of holiday and leisure park comprising 280 units of holiday accommodation; ancillary leisure, retail, food and drink and services; landscaping, drainage and associated infrastructure works.’

An ‘illustrative master plan ‘ (see above) shows the proposed layout of the site and with pictures and locations of some of the proposed infrastructure.

The key features of the application are:

  • 280 units for holiday use, made up of ‘39 two storey log cabins…93 single storey lakeside lodge villas….83 single storey woodland lodge villas….25 tree houses…40 tipi style cabins…’ (there are currently 133 units on the site (84 static caravans mostly with permitted holiday use, and 49 residential units).
  • Drawings of the proposed units show that 174 (62%) would be of a simple rectangular design, similar to the residential units currently on site. It is stated that most of the units would be pre fabricated off site and so help to minimise traffic generation during development.
  • A number of supporting documents and drawings are included, the key points from which are set out below.

Planning and Design and Access Statement– this is the key document in seeking to justify the proposals. It states that the project objectives are:

  • “To improve the local environment and surrounding landscape of the estate through appropriate landscaping, planting, and ecological mitigation and management schemes;
  • To meet a need for additional accommodation in this part of Norfolk and to increase the range in accommodation types available;
  • To create more jobs and to substantially benefit the local economy;
  • To create a self-contained, comprehensive holiday park where the need to travel off site is limited.”

The basic case for the development – described as ‘5 star’ quality – is set out, with reference to national and local planning policies and other data, stating that the development complies with these policies or if not the degree of harm is not significant or can be justified in terms of the other benefits it would  bring. It places great emphasis on the economic benefits of the development to the local and  wider area and claims that negative impacts are either minimal or can be mitigated. A range of information -much of it national or regional- is used to justify the need for this development in this location. It envisages ‘drawing visitors from a wide catchment’.

It claims that because of the provision of on site attractions and services that the development will be largely ‘self contained’, by minimising people travelling to and from the site. It also claims economic benefits to the wider local area. The on site attractions are referred to in general terms as ‘retail and snack food, groceries, restaurant etc….a new separate reception/shop…other indoor and outdoor leisure and recreational uses are envisaged within the site…pony stables.. a series of mazes…’. The master plan also shows locations/ illustrations for a swimming pool, indoor maze and an area for ‘park/recreation area’- the latter is illustrated with a significant round building, without any further information on its proposed use. ‘Landscape and woodland planting’ is proposed to ‘help mitigate the impact of development’. It concludes with the expectation that the Council will support the proposals

Flood risk assessment– this uses data to indicate the ‘low risk’ of flooding from the development and proposes measures to reduce the risk to units next/near to the lakes (by raising floor levels) and more generally with underground water storage to cope with surface water. No mention is made of existing issues of flooding at the site.

Water and sewage– a ‘Water Harvesting’ report attempts to address the water consumption needs generated by the proposed development (in response to the Council referring to the current problems of water and sewage at the existing site). The report estimates water consumption from current and new users and concludes that if rainwater harvesting and water saving devices are fitted to all units that with the current permitted supply from the borehole that estimated consumption can be met (based on annual totals and average daily consumption by 1260 people using 115 litres per day at 44% occupancy).New storage facilities will be required. As far as sewage treatment and disposal are concerned it states that the current treatment plant is considered to have the required capacity, but that if further capacity is required, that this can be met from a second treatment plant (proposed to be located in the Great Wood adjoining the site with a second outfall near the large lake).

Transport– a visitors car park will be provided and 2 car parking spaces per unit is proposed. The report estimates traffic generation; ‘existing accommodation at Haveringland Hall generates 355 vehicle movements on a weekday and 321 vehicle movements on a Saturday….With the proposals, there would be a net change of 358 vehicle movements on a weekday and 353 vehicle movements on a Saturday.’ The report also comments on the condition and width of roads to and into the site and concludes these are adequate for the proposed development (based on 2 cars passing). It also mentions public transport and shows a bus timetable for a route that passes the site (this is no longer running- the site has no regular bus service nearby).

Ecologythe report sets out information on the range of habitats and species currently supported on the site; a wide range is present, including several ‘at risk’ species. The overall conclusions are that there would be significant impacts on these, including the loss of the County Wildlife site and damage to ancient woodland. Both the construction and ongoing use of the site would cause damage unless carefully controlled. As the majority of the site is proposed for development the report concludes there is little scope for replacing these habitat losses on site, leading it to conclude that discussions with relevant agencies are needed to look at the need for the loss and the potential for compensatory provision elsewhere. There is also the potential impact on nature conservation sites in the surrounding area through increased visitor numbers and pollution. It refers to national planning advice that states that there should be a ‘net gain for biodiversity’ from development (In a consultation comment the Forestry Commission draws attention to the importance and ‘irreplaceable’ nature of ancient woodland).

Heritagean extensive report on local heritage assets concludes that the development would have ‘negligible’ or less than significant’ impact on the buildings and settings of the local church, Coach House and Parkland.Treesa large number of plans showing assessments, proposed protection and management of trees on the site are part of the application. An Arboricultural Impact Assessment is referred to in the Design and Access Statement, but this is not shown on the council website (it has been requested).

Landscapea lengthy, technical assessment of the impact of the development on the local and wider landscape concludes that most of the changes are of negligible harm, mainly because the site is already developed to a degree; areas of natural or semi natural landscape would be changed to an ‘amenity landscape with lodges’. It points to a more significant loss of landscape character at the Lake, but says that this is confined to those experiencing it from within the site (because of proposed planting) rather than form the surrounding area.

What’s the Parish position?

Haveringland parish meeting is developing a detailed statement on the proposals, which will also be shared widely prior to its submission by 17th July. Our overall position is that we strongly object to ANY further expansion of holiday or residential units at the site. The economic case for the development at this particular site is weak and the negative impacts significantly outweigh any benefits because they are so considerable in scale and cannot be adequately reduced or mitigated.

We have queries about the status of the application and the applicants which we are taking up with the planning Department before we submit our final response; the application appears not to have notified all owners of land affected by the proposals and the status of the applicants, and the relationship to other companies operating or managing the site is not clear. Though it is not strictly a requirement, we are asking for clarification on the ownership/renting model to be adopted in the development; we are concerned that if the same model is used as in the past (units sold rather than rented out by the operating company) that there might well be a continuation of the historic problem of people taking up full time residence in what are intended as holiday units on this site. Our principal objections to the application are:

1. Lack of detailfull planning permission is sought, but in many respects, and despite obvious attempts by officers, the application is vague and lacks clear, detailed commitment to important aspects of the development such as the range and nature of supporting infrastructure; the feasibility of water supply and sewage treatment measures and no mention of measures to deal with current flooding issues; the lack of any detailed plans on measures to mitigate or compensate for the loss of important ecological habitats and the consequent reduction in biodiversity

2. Minimal economic benefitsthere is a clear contradiction in the application which on the one hand states that it is largely ‘self contained’ and on the other claims significant economic benefits to a wider area, so implying that visitors will travel around. The application states that 50 full time equivalent jobs will be created, but there is no supporting evidence for this claim and we judge it to be a great over estimate based on employment levels at the current site, and the largely seasonal nature of the business. Given the recent Covid 19 pandemic and the after effects of this, the financial viability of the proposal must be at least uncertain, and the application as it stands does not present a convincing case. Likewise, the case for this provision being needed at this location is weak, largely based on national and regional and anecdotal local information, and so does not justify a development lying outside defined settlement limits . The application emphasises the natural environment and landscape attractiveness of the site, but as the ecological appraisal makes clear, the scale and layout of the development would destroy this and so be self defeating. Whilst there would be some economic benefits to local businesses these would be very limited as provision of shops and entertainment on site is proposed, and it seems likely that visitors would be attracted to the coast, Broads and Norwich as day trip destinations.

3. Reduced highway safetyroads leading to the site (especially Haveringland Road and many of its off shoots ) are one vehicle wide with restricted passing places in several places and there are also dangerous bends. The only access gateway (4.5 metres wide) gives insufficient space for large vehicles (including emergency vehicles) and cars to pass safely through and to jointly use the access road into the site (the gateway pillars have been damaged on several occasions); the safety of this and the connecting roads will be dramatically affected not only during the construction phase of the development (with large vehicles bringing pre fabricated units to the site and the vehicles of associated trades required to complete the works), but on an ongoing basis. Many of the internal circulation roads are only one car wide and hemmed in by existing development. The application’s estimates of the additional traffic generated by visitors are questioned by the County Highways Department who suggest that ‘a daily additional trip figure of 734’ is more realistic- reflecting the 200% increase in units proposed for the site. This could mean a total traffic movement into and out of the site of around one thousand (1000) vehicles per day at peak times. This extra traffic, put alongside that likely to be generated by the recently approved redevelopment of the former ‘Spread’ warehouse on Haveringland Road for industrial and commercial uses, will seriously affect road safety on Haveringland Road and its connections to the wider network, so making it considerably more dangerous for cyclists and pedestrians and all road users. None of these effects can be effectively mitigated.

4. Environmental pollution and impact on Park residentsair, noise and light pollution will be generated by a large number of cars travelling to and from the site (convenient bus transport to and from the site is non existent and rail connections are some miles way), including visits to other tourist destinations. Light, noise and air pollution from the increased visitors to the site will have a major impact on existing residents and owners of holiday units on the site. The residents have purchased units in what are designated ‘over 55’retirement schemes . These existing developments at Lakeside, Charmbeck and Woodlands (housing nearly 100 people) will be encircled by 280 holiday units, several of them 2 storeys high or located in trees. There will be considerable coming and going and other on site activities (Bar-b- ques, parties etc.) with the attendant pollution. This is on a scale and density that cannot be effectively mitigated.

5. Ecological damagethe proposals would result in major damage to a valuable natural environment and biodiverse area and contain no realistic prospect of mitigating or compensating for this on site. ‘Irreplaceable’ ancient woodland would be lost and a County Wildlife Site entirely destroyed, along with habitats for many ’at risk’ species, both during and after construction. Any measures to control access by visitors to the important areas not directly affected by the development would contradict one of the central features of the proposal- to provide easy access to the surrounding countryside. Tree planting is proposed but this would take many years to reach a stage where it replaces the habitat and biodiversity value of the environment that has been destroyed, and in any case much of the new environment would not be the same, becoming ‘amenity grassland with lodges’ as opposed to natural or semi natural.

6. Inadequate water supply and sewage treatmentthe applicants’ attempt to provide adequate water and sewage treatment for the site is clearly an afterthought, prompted by the Council’s request that details be provided, given the historic problems of adequate, consistent supply of water and sewage treatment that does not pollute the surrounding area. We await comments by the Environment Agency on the proposals, including the flood risk (the proposals appear to make no provision for dealing with the existing flooding of roads on site). For now, we question water consumption estimates, especially given the uneven demand due to the seasonal variation in occupancy and linked to this the size, location and impact of the very large storage facilities that would be required to hold adequate supplies. We also question the feasibility of installing rainwater harvesting and water saving devices to all units on site (including existing as is proposed). Rainwater harvesting would also mean a loss of water to the water table so potentially affecting supplies to other users in the vicinity. We also point to the potential environmental impact and loss of amenity if a second sewage treatment centre is deemed necessary (proposed to be located in ancient woodland and near to holiday units). We are also concerned about the potential pollution risk to the water course, lakes and nature conservation sites downstream as mentioned in the ecological appraisal.

7. Poor Design and landscape qualitythe ‘could be anywhere’ design of units (nearly two thirds are single storey, bland boxes) and overall density of the layout combined with the damage to the environment would not result in a development of ‘5 star’ quality, and makes no effort to relate to local vernacular styles or materials– ‘stone cladding’ (as opposed to flint) is not a natural Norfolk material. The Council Housing Standards Officer refers in a comment to previous problems with units on the site being placed too close together (a fire risk as well as damaging to amenity of users). The height and bulk of 2 storey lodges and large tree houses will have a significant impact on the openness of the site, trees and countryside landscape quality. In addition, whilst the application claims that the views from the site to the nearby listed Parish Church will not be affected, the setting of the church and views from it to the surrounding landscape will be significantly damaged by the proposed development, especially by the planned units around the lake.

To sum up, the economic case for the development at this location is weak and its contribution to the local economy will be limited. In any case, this is far outweighed by the significant impact on a large number of elderly residents of the site and people living in the wider area.

The proposals are not in line with several national and local planning policies and the negative impacts are not capable of effective reduction, control or compensation. Any further development at the site  (including a scaled down version of what is proposed) may reduce the harm, but at the same time be of even less economic benefit in an area without adequate services and which is not designated for development.

What can I do?

You can consider and comment on this application to Broadland Council who will decide whether it can proceed or not; we believe that a large area would be adversely affected by them, so encourage you, if you agree, to object and to ask your neighbours and others affected to do the same. Comments need to be submitted by 17th July. They can be:

  • Entered on an online form (with a 200 word limit) at the Council’s website
  • Emailed to planning@broadland.gov.uk
  • Posted as a hard copy letter to Broadland Council (for the attention of Matthew Rooke, Area Planning Manager, Thorpe Lodge, 1 Yarmouth Rd, Norwich NR7 0DU)

The application details, documents associated with it and a link to post comments can be found here: https://secure.broadland.gov.uk/Northgate/PlanningExplorer/Generic/StdDetails.aspx?PT=Planning%20Applications%20On-Line&TYPE=PL/PlanningPK.xml&PARAM0=747641&XSLT=/Northgate/PlanningExplorer/SiteFiles/Skins/broadland/xslt/PL/PLDetails.xslt&FT=Planning%20Application%20Details&PUBLIC=Y&XMLSIDE=/Northgate/PlanningExplorer/SiteFiles/Skins/broadland/Menus/PL.xml&DAURI=PLANNING

Please bear in mind that the Planning process means that only matters considered ‘material’ to the application can be considered by the Council. Material considerations can include (but are not limited to):

  • Government policy and proposals and policies in the local Development Plan
  • sustainability/sustainable development
  • impact on climate change
  • Overlooking/loss of privacy
  • Loss of light or overshadowing
  • Parking
  • Highway safety
  • Traffic
  • Noise
  • Effect on listed building and conservation area
  • Layout and density of building
  • Design, appearance and materials
  • Disabled persons’ access
  • Previous planning decisions (including appeal decisions)
  • Nature conservation

However, issues such as loss of view, or negative effect on the value of properties are not material considerations.

You can also sign an online petition against the proposals at (https://www.change.org/p/locla-people-a-line-in-the-sand-no-more-development-at-haveringland-hall-country-park )If you would like to discuss the proposals or Haveringland’s position please email Nigel Boldero, Chair of Haveringland Parish Meeting on nbold@live.com or telephone on 07503 881199.

 

Thank you for reading this- we hope that you find it helpful and will support our objections.

Posted in Parish Meeting, Uncategorized

Covid-19 – parish meetings are cancelled

Due to current restrictions, we are unable to hold public parish meetings until further notice.  However some decisions still need to be made and matters investigated and acted upon. For now, the Chair, Vice-Chair and I are happy to continue doing what we can. Naturally we will be consulting with others, particularly the planning committee, when necessary.

We will let you know just as soon as the situation changes and we are able to hold a meeting.

We will continue to post any news on our webpages and via NextDoor.

 

 

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VE Day 75 years on

 

Wreaths were laid at the RAF Swannington Memorial today on behalf of the RAF 100 Group (Bomber Support) and Haveringland parishioners to honour those who served at RAF Swannington.

Sadly, due to current restrictions, not followed by the planned VE 75 day celebrations,  but we remembered those who made VE day possible.

For the safety of the horses in neighbouring fields, the wreaths have been moved to the church porch.