Local residents opposition should count for democracy

Residents fighting to save Green Belt Land being used by this Government to build the BIGGEST PRISON, in OUR VILLAGE of RUNWELL ESSEX.

   vmhorner @hotmail.com       10th Sept 2010

With this Governments Policy of listening to Local Peoples Opinion (WHY ARE THEY NOT LISTENING)

The MoJ is obviously determined to go ahead with its plans regardless of local feeling of Runwell, Rettendon, Wickford, with  Chelmsford Borough Council and Basildon Borough Council, also all local Parish Councils opposing this Planning Application. There are many Brown Field sites within the MOJ's selection critria that have been completely ignored, had they taken these into consideration they could have saved the Tax Payer and this Government Millions of pounds. Regenaration in Deprived area's would provide Jobs   and would also save More Government and Tax payers money by getting people in these area's off Benifits. Chelmsford does NOT need these econmic Benifits but many parts of the country clearly do.

Apart from The Massive saving available by re-siting this proposed Prison, the following is statements from Mr Blunt MP.

"If the next Government is Conservative it will restore powers over planning to local authorities so that decisions are taken locally by locally elected councillors. We will give local communities a share in local growth – when local authorities deliver the housing that their community needs they will get the financial benefit."

Mr Blunt also set out proposals that include scrapping the Regional Spatial Strategies and unelected regional assemblies. He said that he hoped that if the policies are enacted they will empower local councillors and encourage more engagement from voters. Mr Blunt also stressed the importance of protecting the Green Belt:

Chelmsford Borough Council were ready to REGECT MOJ PLANNING APPLICATION on the 20th August 2010, and on the same Day MOJ withdrew the application knowing it was going to be rejected, only to admit to a resubmission in late September 2010.

Finally Deprived area's would welcome the £20million proposed (sweetner) that is NOT required by Chelmsford.
 

Why is this idea important?

Residents fighting to save Green Belt Land being used by this Government to build the BIGGEST PRISON, in OUR VILLAGE of RUNWELL ESSEX.

   vmhorner @hotmail.com       10th Sept 2010

With this Governments Policy of listening to Local Peoples Opinion (WHY ARE THEY NOT LISTENING)

The MoJ is obviously determined to go ahead with its plans regardless of local feeling of Runwell, Rettendon, Wickford, with  Chelmsford Borough Council and Basildon Borough Council, also all local Parish Councils opposing this Planning Application. There are many Brown Field sites within the MOJ's selection critria that have been completely ignored, had they taken these into consideration they could have saved the Tax Payer and this Government Millions of pounds. Regenaration in Deprived area's would provide Jobs   and would also save More Government and Tax payers money by getting people in these area's off Benifits. Chelmsford does NOT need these econmic Benifits but many parts of the country clearly do.

Apart from The Massive saving available by re-siting this proposed Prison, the following is statements from Mr Blunt MP.

"If the next Government is Conservative it will restore powers over planning to local authorities so that decisions are taken locally by locally elected councillors. We will give local communities a share in local growth – when local authorities deliver the housing that their community needs they will get the financial benefit."

Mr Blunt also set out proposals that include scrapping the Regional Spatial Strategies and unelected regional assemblies. He said that he hoped that if the policies are enacted they will empower local councillors and encourage more engagement from voters. Mr Blunt also stressed the importance of protecting the Green Belt:

Chelmsford Borough Council were ready to REGECT MOJ PLANNING APPLICATION on the 20th August 2010, and on the same Day MOJ withdrew the application knowing it was going to be rejected, only to admit to a resubmission in late September 2010.

Finally Deprived area's would welcome the £20million proposed (sweetner) that is NOT required by Chelmsford.
 

GREEN BELT (POLICY CHANGES NEEDED)

i am not here advocating the abolition of green belt but a change in attitude and policy towards it.

i think that green belt has been and is a force for good but has become detached from its origins and is now a sacred temple in the minds of people and that of the planning authorities.

BUT THE FACT IS ITS NOT A SACRED TEMPLE . its just beautifull trees and fields and lakes just like the rest of the countryside.absurd policy and attitude need to be removed and replaced with a more reasonable flexible national policy towards development in the greenbelt. i site a few examples of the absurdity of current policy.

  • if i wanted to build a 20.000sq ft agricultural building say 12 meters high….then that would not be  inappropriate development in green belt and likley approval would be given.
  • now if i wanted to sell a few small garden orniments in my garden now that is inappropriate developement in green belt and would significantly detract from the openess of the green belt. (according to stafford borough council) and approval was not given. although i do have a lot of garden orniments around my garden and thats fine(according to stafford borough council)
  • if my neighbour wanted a small bathing pool in her rear garden then that is inappropriate develpment in greenbelt which significantly detracts from the openness of green belt and conflicts with guidance contained in ppg2 greenbelts . (according to stafford borough council) and after two years of fighting it was eventually passed by the planning inspectorate. so now my neighbour ( who incidentally lives next door to a 10.000sq ft warehouse which is also in greenbelt) now has a pool in her garden which ""significantly detracts from the openness of greenbelt and conflicts with ppg2 national policy but has been allowed by the planning inspectorate.
  • 500 meters away from me and my neighbour we have a 1.000.000m sq ft factory which has been there for sixty years and is a massive complex of buildings and concrete lorry parks……the former creda factory and before that a factory for bomber aircraft production and next to that is another 20.000 sq ft warehouse……both in the green belt. but how can all this warehousing and huge factory not be inappropriate developement and not be a significant detraction from the openness of green belt? 

THIS BRINGS ME TO MY OTHER POINT yes those factorys were built before the greenbelt designation came in to being but its not the point….how can a 1.000.000sq ft of a concrete factory complexe be green belt.??……..its absurd……GREEN SHOULD MEAN GREEN

mr eric pickles please read this and get some reasonablness into planning policy and throw away these absurd green belt policies and replace them with ones that protect the countryside but allows non damaging development to take place.

Why is this idea important?

i am not here advocating the abolition of green belt but a change in attitude and policy towards it.

i think that green belt has been and is a force for good but has become detached from its origins and is now a sacred temple in the minds of people and that of the planning authorities.

BUT THE FACT IS ITS NOT A SACRED TEMPLE . its just beautifull trees and fields and lakes just like the rest of the countryside.absurd policy and attitude need to be removed and replaced with a more reasonable flexible national policy towards development in the greenbelt. i site a few examples of the absurdity of current policy.

  • if i wanted to build a 20.000sq ft agricultural building say 12 meters high….then that would not be  inappropriate development in green belt and likley approval would be given.
  • now if i wanted to sell a few small garden orniments in my garden now that is inappropriate developement in green belt and would significantly detract from the openess of the green belt. (according to stafford borough council) and approval was not given. although i do have a lot of garden orniments around my garden and thats fine(according to stafford borough council)
  • if my neighbour wanted a small bathing pool in her rear garden then that is inappropriate develpment in greenbelt which significantly detracts from the openness of green belt and conflicts with guidance contained in ppg2 greenbelts . (according to stafford borough council) and after two years of fighting it was eventually passed by the planning inspectorate. so now my neighbour ( who incidentally lives next door to a 10.000sq ft warehouse which is also in greenbelt) now has a pool in her garden which ""significantly detracts from the openness of greenbelt and conflicts with ppg2 national policy but has been allowed by the planning inspectorate.
  • 500 meters away from me and my neighbour we have a 1.000.000m sq ft factory which has been there for sixty years and is a massive complex of buildings and concrete lorry parks……the former creda factory and before that a factory for bomber aircraft production and next to that is another 20.000 sq ft warehouse……both in the green belt. but how can all this warehousing and huge factory not be inappropriate developement and not be a significant detraction from the openness of green belt? 

THIS BRINGS ME TO MY OTHER POINT yes those factorys were built before the greenbelt designation came in to being but its not the point….how can a 1.000.000sq ft of a concrete factory complexe be green belt.??……..its absurd……GREEN SHOULD MEAN GREEN

mr eric pickles please read this and get some reasonablness into planning policy and throw away these absurd green belt policies and replace them with ones that protect the countryside but allows non damaging development to take place.

Adjustment to PPG2 to clarify what is meant by disproportionate extensions in Green Belts and to ensure planning approvals are more fairly assessed.

Planning Policy Guidance Note PPG2 and the planning policies that many local authorities derive from that national guidance are unfairly in conflict with my right to enjoy my property in the Green Belt. 

The policy suggests that inappropriate development in the Green Belt is by definition harmful to the openness of a Green Belt irrespective of weather or not any one can see the development or if it causes no other harm – other than offend the sensibilities of a local planning officer.

The test for extending dwellings is based on the concept that extensions are not inappropriate if they are not disproportionate over and above the size of the original building (i.e. as the building was in 1948 or when first built). 

Many planning applications have been allowed over the years to extend such properties.  A good proportion between the 1960s when Green Belts first appeared and 1995 when PPG2 was published.  In recent years many authorities have become increasingly tight on what they will allow under what is a very ambiguously worded policy.  Many planning officers when given a cap and a badge seek to enforce a percentage limit as a black and white interpretation of what the national guidance sets out.  This gives them power but does not require any difficult or professional judgements to be made.

Two key issues arise from the way this policy has evolved that are in direct contravention of the right to enjoy property allowed for under the HRA.

Although there is no formal definition of original within PPG2 many but not all authorities use 1948 as the cut off date.  So while some properties may have been extended in the past they are treated differently.  In our local area the authority has lost most of its records from before reorganisation that took place in 1974.  This can mean properties that were build after 1948 can be mistakenly taken for earlier or earlier phases of extension work can be incorrectly assumed to be part of the original.  Other authorities now take later dates (one as late as 1980) as the cut off date.

Smaller dwellings are placed under a much greater restriction than larger properties.  So while a good sized extension on a large property could have the same volume or foot print as a modest extension on a small dwelling – the extension to the smaller property would be more likely to be refused.  The extension on the smaller property can be automatically classed as 'inappropriate development' even though it has no greater size or impact on openness!  This can be the case even where an acceptable extension could be in full public view and the unacceptable extension could be completely out of site on a rear elevation.

The assessments made under this policy as it currently stand are frequently confused and arbitrary.  The policy should be changed to recognise that small properties can be extended by a greater proportion (say up to a limit of the extension not being greater than the original volume) without harm.  Alternatively change the wording to say extensions to dwellings in the green belt are acceptable as long as they don't cause a disproportionate increase in the visibility (or visual impact) of the building from public vantage points.

 

 

 

 

Why is this idea important?

Planning Policy Guidance Note PPG2 and the planning policies that many local authorities derive from that national guidance are unfairly in conflict with my right to enjoy my property in the Green Belt. 

The policy suggests that inappropriate development in the Green Belt is by definition harmful to the openness of a Green Belt irrespective of weather or not any one can see the development or if it causes no other harm – other than offend the sensibilities of a local planning officer.

The test for extending dwellings is based on the concept that extensions are not inappropriate if they are not disproportionate over and above the size of the original building (i.e. as the building was in 1948 or when first built). 

Many planning applications have been allowed over the years to extend such properties.  A good proportion between the 1960s when Green Belts first appeared and 1995 when PPG2 was published.  In recent years many authorities have become increasingly tight on what they will allow under what is a very ambiguously worded policy.  Many planning officers when given a cap and a badge seek to enforce a percentage limit as a black and white interpretation of what the national guidance sets out.  This gives them power but does not require any difficult or professional judgements to be made.

Two key issues arise from the way this policy has evolved that are in direct contravention of the right to enjoy property allowed for under the HRA.

Although there is no formal definition of original within PPG2 many but not all authorities use 1948 as the cut off date.  So while some properties may have been extended in the past they are treated differently.  In our local area the authority has lost most of its records from before reorganisation that took place in 1974.  This can mean properties that were build after 1948 can be mistakenly taken for earlier or earlier phases of extension work can be incorrectly assumed to be part of the original.  Other authorities now take later dates (one as late as 1980) as the cut off date.

Smaller dwellings are placed under a much greater restriction than larger properties.  So while a good sized extension on a large property could have the same volume or foot print as a modest extension on a small dwelling – the extension to the smaller property would be more likely to be refused.  The extension on the smaller property can be automatically classed as 'inappropriate development' even though it has no greater size or impact on openness!  This can be the case even where an acceptable extension could be in full public view and the unacceptable extension could be completely out of site on a rear elevation.

The assessments made under this policy as it currently stand are frequently confused and arbitrary.  The policy should be changed to recognise that small properties can be extended by a greater proportion (say up to a limit of the extension not being greater than the original volume) without harm.  Alternatively change the wording to say extensions to dwellings in the green belt are acceptable as long as they don't cause a disproportionate increase in the visibility (or visual impact) of the building from public vantage points.

 

 

 

 

Abolish the AONB boards

A few years ago it was decided that AONBs (Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty) should each have some form of board, invoving a staff, website, publications, meetings, input into planning decisions etc. These were duly formed and now are staffed up and eating money and wasting time.  

The planning functions can be discharged by locally elected bodies eg councils who have due regard to AONB status when looking at applications.  Everything else they do is a complete waste of time including handing out tiny grants to local bodies – councils can, and do, this already.  Basically they are an extra layer of non-accountable cost which duplicates council functions.  No-one asked for them and no-one would miss them.

Why is this idea important?

A few years ago it was decided that AONBs (Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty) should each have some form of board, invoving a staff, website, publications, meetings, input into planning decisions etc. These were duly formed and now are staffed up and eating money and wasting time.  

The planning functions can be discharged by locally elected bodies eg councils who have due regard to AONB status when looking at applications.  Everything else they do is a complete waste of time including handing out tiny grants to local bodies – councils can, and do, this already.  Basically they are an extra layer of non-accountable cost which duplicates council functions.  No-one asked for them and no-one would miss them.

Remove the Green Belt restrictions

Long term land owners who has ownership for a long time say over 10 years should be allowed to build a residential property.  Why should local government dictate what a land owner is able to do.  Relax this nonsense and allow development for a single residential home.

Why is this idea important?

Long term land owners who has ownership for a long time say over 10 years should be allowed to build a residential property.  Why should local government dictate what a land owner is able to do.  Relax this nonsense and allow development for a single residential home.

Prevent the invasion of Green Belt land by Gypsies & Travellers using Retrospective Planning Applications

As the law currently stands, gypsies & travellers can buy any piece of green belt grazing pasture they like, submit a retrospective planning application (five minutes before the local council closes for a bank holiday weekend) and then move in immediately with earth-moving equipment and hundreds of tons of hardcore, destroying anything in sight so it is too late to evict them.

The law needs to be changed to prevent what is fast becoming a regular bank holiday occurrence, so that no implicit residential status or validity is granted to either the owners or those who make it onto the land, until such point as a planning application is fully approved and any legal processes are completed. Any attempt to modify the land for residential purposes prior to completion should imply mandatory rejection of the appliction.

Why is this idea important?

As the law currently stands, gypsies & travellers can buy any piece of green belt grazing pasture they like, submit a retrospective planning application (five minutes before the local council closes for a bank holiday weekend) and then move in immediately with earth-moving equipment and hundreds of tons of hardcore, destroying anything in sight so it is too late to evict them.

The law needs to be changed to prevent what is fast becoming a regular bank holiday occurrence, so that no implicit residential status or validity is granted to either the owners or those who make it onto the land, until such point as a planning application is fully approved and any legal processes are completed. Any attempt to modify the land for residential purposes prior to completion should imply mandatory rejection of the appliction.