A Planning Applications – 17/01166/FUL was lodged in September with Lancaster City Council Planning Department. It is in respect of seven Holiday Lodges on land off Hosticle Lane, Whittington. There are links below to key documents and the Application Summary can be viewed at: Planning Application Summary. Please note that all links in this post are in PDF format.
Some of the detail is as follows:
2. SITE DESCRIPTION AND PROPOSAL
2.1. The site is located to the south of Kirkby Lonsdale and to the north west of Whittington, close to the boundary of Lancaster City Council’ s area with South Lakeland.
2.2. The site itself is to the west of Sellet Hall and an existing access
on Hosticle Lane opposite Sellet Hall goes through trees, around a pond and then leads on to the site.
2.3. The track originally provided access to a number of chicken sheds which lie to the south of the application site, which have been taken down some time ago, but the groundworks that accommodated them are still evident on the site.
2.4. A pre-application enquiry was made to Lancaster City Council for the siting of a number of lodges on the site of the chicken sheds and some
on the opposite side of the field to the east. While recognising to some extent that the site was previously developed land it was considered to be exposed in the landscape and a second round of pre-application advice that took place with the Council suggested that the field to the north of the site may be preferable in landscape terms, it being less exposed and set between trees and high ground.
2.5. In terms of the access, because of the poor nature of the existing access from Hosticle Lane, a new access point is proposed off Saddler Nook Lane that bounds the north of the site. From here a track will access in total 7 lodges that have been carefully sited to avoid the tree canopy of surrounding mature trees on the advice of the Arboriculturalist.
2.6. The lodges are effectively caravans and would be delivered to the site in two sections. They are of a contemporary design, as can be seen from the submitted plans, and would be finished in a grey metal roof with a cedar cladding. There are considerable elements of glazing to provide a crisp, modern design.
Nick Hall has received permission for the three property development at the Old School
When I take together the individual planning application decisions in respect of 18 properties at Whittington Farm (approved) three properties at the Old School (approved) and four properties at The Dragons Head (refused) I am drawn towards questioning the impartiality of Lancaster City Council Planning Department, headed by Andrew Dobson.
Access to Whittington Farm and the Old School are on two of the most dangerous corners in the village. These corners are the locations of the only vehicular accidents to have occurred in the Village since the horse drawn Post Office cart was replace by a motorised one at the turn of the 19th Century.
The Dragons head access on the other hand is on the only straight stretch of road between Low Hall and Church Street.
There is absolutely zero compatibility of design between the dwellings planned for the Farm and ANY of the surrounding properties. In addition they would be fully visible from the road and stand out like a sore thumb.
The Victorian Society have objected strongly to the proposed changes to the Old School, drawing particular attention to the inclusion of new roof lights, which are totally out of character with all the surrounding properties. The three properties have been valued by Hackney and Leigh at £1.02 million and will have parking for eight cars.
How any planning authority in its right mind can think that access to this tightly constricted site, between two solid stone walls which are at or above the drivers head height in some vehicles, and on one of the most dangerous corners in the whole of the village, especially when vision is impaired by pedestrians on either the footpath, or the public right of way to the Village Church which runs perpendicular and adjacent to the entrance, I do not know. It will be impossible for one vehicle to exit and another enter, at the same time, therefore blocking a busy road.
Exactly how the new build can be in keeping with the 1875 form of the Old School on one side and the postwar style of the bungalow next door on the other side, heaven only knows. Indeed if one considers all the immediately surrounding properties, on both sides of the road, I would be challenged to determine any commonality of style, and I have a Diploma in Architecture (circa 1961 so well past it’s sell by date). I would also add that the entirety of the Old School as well as the frontage of Whittington Farm, including the Farm House, are within the Whittington Conservation Area. The conservation area ends at the kitchen door at the back of the Dragons head and none of the proposed new development there is within it.
The development proposed for the Dragons Head would not have been visible from the main road. The current access to the property hasn’t changed since the beginning of the 20th century, and indeed has had caravan traffic for at least the last twenty years. How the traffic from three properties (the old stable, called a barn in the planning documents having been used daily in respect of storage for a building repair and maintenance business until ten years ago) can be considered to produce any significant increase in traffic is derisory.
Calling the outbuilding a Barn implies that it has had some reasonable status. When it was a stable providing conveyance for the residents of the Dragons Head, of which, in 1930, there were three families comprising eight people with Mrs. Willan as the Landlady then it did have a purpose, but to call it a barn is to overstate the fact it was a mere outbuilding in which the establishment horse lived. It has been a leaking wreck desperately in need of repair for over forty years. Even the most tasteless of development would be a magnificent enhancement to the surrounding area.
I am not decrying the Farm or School developments, but I do think that the proposal for the Farm greatly exceeds any likely need within a ten mile radius within Lancashire. My beef is that I cannot see how the Dragons Head, which after all is a desperately needed community asset, can be rejected when the other two developments are beyond the scope of any local need. and at a selling price for the two developments exceeding £4,500,000.
There was once a Ffolly at Sellet Mill corner I have a feeling that we are considering two more.
The following letter to Simon Nutter confirms that the Planning Application for the Dragons Head has been refused. This will need careful analysis but on the surface it runs contrary to the wishes and needs of our community.
Lancaster City Council hereby give notice that PLANNING PERMISSION HAS BEEN REFUSED for the development set out in the application dated 27 March 2017, and described above for the following reasons:-
The site is located within a small rural settlement with very limited services and as such is not considered to be sustainable in terms of its location. It is not considered that a sufficient and robust justification has been put forward to justify four new dwellings in this unsustainable location. The proposal is therefore contrary to the aims and objectives of the National Planning Policy Framework, in particular the Core Planning Principles and Sections 6 and 8, Policy SCI of Lancaster District Core Strategy and Policies DM20, DM42 and DM49 of the Development Management Development Plan Document.
The proposed alterations to the barn do not respect the character and appearance of the building and would result in an overly domestic appearance. The design and layout of the new dwellings does not relate well to the surrounding built heritage and fails to provide an appropriate level of private amenity space, including in relation to the barn conversion, and the extension to the public house is not in keeping with the character and appearance of the existing building and is not considered to preserve or enhance the special characteristics of the Conservation Area. It is therefore considered that the proposal does not represent good design and is contrary to the aims and objectives of the National Planning Policy Framework, in particular the Core Planning Principles, Section 7, and Section 12, and policies DMS, DM31, DM32, DM33, DM35 and DM42 of the Development Management Development Plan Document.
As a result of increased traffic movements and poor visibility at the site’s entrance, the application has failed to demonstrate that it will benefit from a safe access point onto the public highway. The proposal is therefore contrary to the aims and objectives of the National Planning Policy Framework, in particular Section 4, and policies DM20 of the Development Management Development Plan Document.
I am looking to obtain a dialogue from those that were present at the meeting so that we can consider the equity of the decision for ourselves.
Having reported (see the post immediately below this one) on the one objection to the Dragons Head Application it is rewarding to be able to report on the far more measured observations, in support of the application, from our highly experienced District Councillor, Peter Williamson.
Of the four comments on the application only that from Kate Mander’s opposes it. Peter’s observations, in full, are as follows:
This matter was originally before the Committee on 6 February 2017.
As suggested by the Committee at that meeting applications in respect of the Dragons Head Public House and the former public houses lower car park have been jointly submitted and are before the Committee on 31 May 2017 for further consideration.
The rural ward of Upper Lune Valley includes nine Parish Councils and in my experience, it is without precedent that a Parish Council will agree unanimously with a planning application. However, in this instance they do. This has been a consistently held view which has been provided to the Committee through their own representations on the matter in writing and in person.
I would like to highlight 5 crucial factors in respect of this application:
1. Brownfield Site: The proposed development for the three terraced houses is on a brownfield site. This site was previously used for decades as the lower car park for the public house. It should be highlighted that just 200 yards from this proposed development, permission for around 20 houses has been granted by this committee on a site formerly used as farm buildings.
2. Visual impact: Hardly any part of the proposed three houses will be visible from the road passing through the centre of the village of Whittington (the B6254). Also, the stable/barn conversion proposed will similarly be hidden from view.
3. Access: The access on to the B6254 has been the only access to the Dragons Head for decades. To suggest that vehicles associated with any of the proposed 3 or 4 properties in this application will significantly increase usage and the risk of congestion and accidents is overstating the position in my view. There have been no accidents to my knowledge from this access recorded here. Also, a careful comparison with the proposed access here and that of the new already approved development for 20 houses close by shows that the visibility is better from the access proposed in this application.
4. Sustainability: Not many years ago, the village of Whittington boasted a shop; Post Office, Primary School and Public House. Now, it has none of these facilities. This development if approved will deliver much needed services and employment opportunities to the village. In addition to bed and breakfast lettings; a bar and eatery, it is proposed that it will include a small retail outlet serving the everyday needs of villagers which would include Post Office services – something the villagers and Parish Council on their behalf support.
5. Precedent: Should the Committee agree this small-scale application, it will not create a precedent for other applications as it will have been judged on the facts surrounding this unusual case.