Application for 28 Houses behind 14 Archer’s Court Road and Newlands
Update November 2017 – Application Refused!
Dover District Council’s Planning Committee have refused permission for this development due to its status as a designated open space under the local plan.
The Decision, ” The proposal has failed to demonstrate that the provision of public open space on-site would provide an equivalent community benefit compared to the existing open-space provision that would be lost, contrary to policy DM25 of the Dover District Core Strategy 2010 and paragraphs 70 and 74 of the National Planning Policy Framework”.
Parish Councillor Jeff Goodsell and District Councillor Jim Back both spoke against the application on the grounds that the site is unsuitable for any development because of; the Open Space Status; the loss of over 50 healthy trees across the site; loss of the site’s biodiversity; part of the site is safeguarded for future road improvements to the A2; the noise on the site exceeds planning and World Health Organisation recommendations; loss of Residential amenity; and the over development of the existing village of Whitfield, especially in light of the fact that there is permission for 5750 new houses surrounding the village.
This development had already been refused permission on a number of occasions, all of which were upheld on appeal. No doubt the developer will be assessing the situation and may well put in an appeal and further applications…
August 2017 – Amended application submitted by Developer
The developer for this site behind 14 Archer’s Court Road and Newlands has put yet another application in. This is an example of ‘Planning by Appeal’ where a speculative developer will keep putting applications and appeals in to the Local Authority to force through a development which would otherwise be refused. The idea being to force the Council to approve the plan rather than go through the expensive and time-consuming legal process to defend their decision to refuse.
Whitfield Parish Council have submitted an objection to this application:-
This is a particularly bad application, both for the local Community, because of the over development of the area and for the future occupants who will have to suffer the noise from the A2 and possible future development of the Whitfield Roundabout moving the road closer.
Dover District Council’s Planning Committee have never discussed the fact of the excessive noise across the site and that this is not in line with national guidelines, nor does it meet the quality development criteria of National Planning Guidance.
Dover District is not short of good quality sites for new homes, so there is no need to use such a poor quality site. The reality is that the dwellings will have to be sealed to keep the noise out with ventilation systems fitted and that the noise in the gardens will be above the recommended levels. The open area will be right next to the A2. When this plot came up for sale, DDC told Whitfield Action Group that there was no way permission for housing would ever be granted because of the noise.
The application still does not address the sewerage and waste water disposal, and the effects on nearby Residents. There are the other issues as well.
DDC policies categorise this as a protected open space and it is safeguarded by TR4 for potential A2 widening. Although Highways have said that there are no current plans, they do not rule out any future use. If in the future the roundabout is changed or a grade separated junction is required, this land will be needed. The applicant will have know the status as open space and safeguarded for the A2 when they purchased, so will have known that DDC would refuse to comply with their own policies.
Knowing all this, the developers decided to go ahead and assume that they can bully DDC into submission by endless applications and expensive appeals.
There are also the issue of the cumulative effects of all the back garden applications that have been put in and will continue to be put in. Whitfield’s surrounding countryside has been sacrificed for the 6,000 houses – the least the Residents can expect is DDC to protect the Village itself from overdevelopment.
Finally, the application does not specify just how many trees will be cut down. Nor does it assess the wildlife that depends on the area.
Until now, DDC’s Planning Committee have not discussed any of these other issues as they focused on the traffic issues – but these are still all issues that need to be taken into account.
20th April 2017 – application decision deferred by DDC Planning Committee Members.
DDC Planning Committee deferred the Decision on this applicationand asked for more information on the distance between the access road and existing houses, information from Southern Water and KCC highways on provision for surface water and sewerage disposal and asked for an independent traffic survey.
Hopefully when this comes back to the Committee we can also get them to consider refusal on the grounds of loss of open space, excessive noise for the new inhabitants of any homes built and loss of privacy and disturbance caused by the access road.
The Parish Chairman spoke at the meeting and asked for refusal on all the material matters and not to reserve all the details for planning conditions and officer’s delegated decisions.
Whitfield District Councillor, Jim Back, put a strong case forward on the flooding issues, traffic volume and the cumulative impact of all the potential development in the area– if DDC keep allowing in-fill development we could end up with 100 extra houses on Archer’s Court Road alone.
The committee decided that it was better to defer rather than go for a refusal as it was agreed that a refusal could be appealed and there is a more than a good chance that the appeal could be upheld, but by deferring they should be able to make a more water tight refusal, so they took the more robust decision.
Parish Council Response to Application DOV/16/01328 – January 2017
The Parish Council have objected to this latest application.
I have found that the proposed development would result in adverse impacts in terms of the proposal failing to protect local biodiversity. Whilst I have found in favour of the appellant in terms of the potential impact on local highway infrastructure, and consider that the provision of housing, including 30% affordable is a modest benefit in favour of the proposal, these would not significantly and demonstrably outweigh the adverse impacts.
In accordance with S38(6) of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004, as amended, applications for planning permission must be determined in accordance with the development plan unless material considerations indicate otherwise. In this case, whilst the proposed development would broadly comply with the policies of the adopted development plan, I attach significant weight to the material consideration in terms of the harm to biodiversity interests, as set out in the Framework. This material consideration indicates that a determination should not be made in accordance with the development plan in this instance.
For the above reasons, and having taken into account all matters raised, I conclude that the appeal should be dismissed.