Dragons Head Support

Councillor Peter Williamson

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.

Peter Williamson
11 May 2017

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