Redhill Grange Community Association

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Appellant's Statement of Case

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Town and Country Planning Act 1990

Town and Country Planning
(Inquiries Procedure) (England)
Rules 2000
Upper Redhill
North Wellingborough
Sustainable Urban Extension
Rule 6 Statement of Case

On behalf of
Northants LLP
March 2009


RULES 2000




Northants LLP (NLLP) (The Appellant) is proposing the development of the sustainable urban extension to the north of Wellingborough referred to as Upper Redhill. In February 2008, NLLP submitted an outline planning application to the Borough Council of Wellingborough (BCW) (application ref: WP/2008/0150 referred to in this Statement as the ‘second’ application) for:
3,000 dwellings, retail and commercial facilities, non-residential institutions (including primary schools and nurseries) a neighbourhood centre (comprising transport interchange, non-institutional and commercial facilities), open spaces and parkland, associated facilities and infrastructure (comprising utilities including gas, electricity water, sewerage and telecommunications, and diversion to existing utilities where necessary) and a reserve corridor for the Isham-Wellingborough Improvement.
The application was a duplicate of an application submitted to BCW in November 2007 (application ref: WP/2007/0750 – referred to as the ‘first’ application).
The application was not determined within the requisite period and is subject to appeal to be heard at a Public Inquiry. Since submission of the appeal on this application, the local planning authority passed a resolution to refuse the first application (in a notice dated 4th February). As required by the Town and Country Planning (Inquiries Procedure) (England) Rules 2000, this document sets out the Appellant’s Statement of Case, and (as the applications are duplicate and identical) refers to the Council’s consideration of the refused first application as the Appellant expects the reasons for refusal of that application to be the Council’s basis for contesting the duplicate undetermined second application, which is the subject of this appeal.
The first and second applications are identical and changes to the first application have also been made to the duplicate second application.
Throughout this Statement the Appellant makes reference to relevant documents that will be used in making its case in this appeal and at the Inquiry. These are listed in section 10 of this Statement.

The Statement is divided into the following sections:
Section 1 Introduction
Section 2 The Site and Surroundings

Section 3 Description of the Proposals
Section 4 Progress of Planning Application
Section 5 Planning Policy Considerations
Section 6 Reasons for Refusal of First Application
Section 7 Planning Inspectorate Letter 27th January 2009
Section 8 Other Matters
Section 9 Conclusions
Section 10 Documents

The Appellant will describe the appeal site and its surroundings. On this and subsequent sections, the Appellant will undertake early and further work, in conjunction with the Borough Council, in producing a Statement of Common Ground. This will set out the agreed factual, policy and other information about the appeal proposal and the matters which remain in dispute. This is to inform the preparation of the proofs of evidence, which as a consequence will be shorter thereby saving time at the Public Inquiry.
The site is described in the BCW officer’s report to Committee and fully in the application material. The application site measures 252.5 hectares of agricultural land on the north side of the Great Harrowden brook valley, rising to the village of Great Harrowden to the north of the town. The site includes the general area indicated in the North Northamptonshire Core Spatial Strategy (the CSS) for the Wellingborough North West Sustainable Urban Extension (the SUE), and the proposal includes land to the east of the A509. The site is referred to by the Appellant as Upper Redhill and is shown on the plan attached as Appendix 1.
The southern boundary of the site is defined by the A509 Niort Way and A510 Northen Way for most of its length and Hardwick Road; the eastern boundary by Finedon Road industrial estate; the western boundary by an existing footpath; and the northern boundary by field enclosures, bridleway TH2 and The Slips, a narrow lane.
The site is set each side of the A509, a busy three lane road running through the site connecting Wellingborough to Great Harrowden and onwards to Isham and the A14 at Kettering. Redhill Grange housing estate is located on the eastern side of the road and outside the application area. In the west of the site is Grange Farm which includes a listed farmhouse building and is excluded from the application. As well as the public footpath that forms the northern boundary there is also a footpath running diagonally from the A509 to the west of Great Harrowden (TH5).
Great Harrowden to the north of the site has a number of listed buildings including Harrowden Hall and related historic park and garden, which is now a golf course.
The site is largely an open arable landscape with low hedges and few trees. There is a strong woodland edge to the A509 alongside Redhill Grange, and woodlands at Blackberry Fox Covert in the western part of the site. There is also prominent boundary planting to Finedon Road Industrial Estate in the east and woodlands to the edge of Park Farm Industrial Estate and a strong diagonal hedgerow in the eastern part of the site. Redhill Spinney and the trees within Harrowden Hall are a strong landscape feature protected by Tree Preservation Orders. The Harrowden brook runs through the site from west to east with areas of wet grassland associated with two flood storage areas, and marginal trees and some scrub.
The land rises from about 68m AOD (Above Ordnance Datum) at Harrowden Brook to about 100m AOD at Great Harrowden with a ridge line across the north of the site. The skyline is open in the west with views through from the higher ground to Little Harrowden and Redhill Spinney which is to the north of the site boundary.
The Appellant will present evidence describing the nature and detail of the application. The Upper Redhill development will consist of:
81.54 Ha of residential development providing 3,000 dwellings
6.69 Ha (gross) of employment land, generating approximately 26,120 sq. m of employment floor space for business uses under classes B1a, b and c
A main neighbourhood centre containing:
Retail uses

Community meeting place
Leisure uses
Health centre
Local waste management facility
Two smaller centres each including a small local shop and community meeting place
A further shop in the north along the main street running through the development

Two primary school sites and associated playing fields
Formal open spaces (13.65 hectares)
Informal open space (111.00 hectares) including children’s play spaces, allotments and replacement open space for that lost through development
Surface water drainage including a sustainable drainage system with swales
A reserved corridor for the construction of the Isham to Wellingborough Improvement road (IWImp) and provision for access to that route

Vehicular access from A509 Niort Way; A510 Northen Way; and realignment of existing A509 Kettering Road
Provision of internal routes including a primary street network, bus routes, and cycle and pedestrian routes
Modifications to existing utilities and provision of new services

Foul water drainage to serve the development (including new pumping stations)
Strategic landscaping

Three phases are identified for the development, the main components being:

Phase 1: The central part of the site west of the A509; construction of 1,500 dwellings and open space areas to the west of the proposed Isham –Wellingborough Improvement Road;

Phase 2: A further development of 700 dwellings completing the central part of the site and development to the west, completion of neighbourhood centre, local centre and employment development;
Phase 3: Development of 800 dwellings, second local centre and primary school, completion of Brook Park and northern park area.

The proposed phasing assumes that the Isham to Wellingborough Improvement road (IWImp) would be provided during Phase 1 and completed before the commencement of Phase 2. Planning of mitigation measures has also been undertaken to allow mitigation to take place alongside development. Proposed mitigation measures to alleviate the potential impacts of the development proposals include:
Habitat creation measures including planting of new woodlands, wet woodland and species rich meadows. Gardens will also contribute to biodiversity;
Archaeological preservation in situ, preservation by record, watching brief and mitigation by appropriate design;
Conservation of soil material for use in the development;
Noise mitigation measures including acoustic barriers;
Control of discharge of surface water using infiltration and on-site storage;
Public transport provision and Travel Plan measures;
Control of construction impacts including dust control;
Setting development back from the ridge and provision of extensive boundary planting; and
Setting development back from housing at Redhill Grange.
In support of the application, the following documents were submitted:
Plans and drawings showing the site’s location, site plan, parameter plans showing land use, movement framework, green infrastructure, density, built form, building heights, phasing and an illustrative master plan
Planning Statement
Design and Access Statement, which describes the proposals in full;

Environmental Statement and Non-Technical Summary
Transport Assessment
Travel Plan
Public Transport Strategy
Statement of Local Engagement
Health Impact Assessment
Tree Retention Statement
Green Infrastructure Statement
Landscape Strategy
Sustainability Strategy
Housing Statement

Residential development is concentrated in the centre of the site focusing on the proposed neighbourhood centre, and the two local centres in the east and west. Residential densities are graded towards the edge of the site with higher densities towards the neighbourhood and local centres and along the main routes, at around 50 dwellings per hectare, and lower densities towards the site’s edges at between 25 and 35 dwellings per hectare. The lowest density areas are on the edges of the development overlooking parkland and the countryside edge.

The employment land is mostly in the south western part of the plan area near to Park Farm Industrial Estate. The proposal provides for offices, research and development and light industry (classes B1a, b and c). Further small workspaces are proposed within the neighbourhood centre.
The neighbourhood centre groups together shops, business and community uses. The scale of retail uses relates to the projected future population generated by the development. Community uses would include a community meeting place, nursery/crčche and a health centre. A small hotel is also proposed. Two primary schools are proposed, one near to the neighbourhood centre and a further school in the east.
Parks are proposed along the urban edge to the development along the ridge and along the line of the brook. The park in the west will include a recreation ground including sports pitches. The proposed informal parkland between the development and Great Harrowden provides opportunities to promote bio-diversity; no formal pitches are proposed in this area. The brook park is proposed as an informal route of green spaces, woodland and water areas. Woodland boundary planting is proposed to contain development and provide an enhanced skyline.
A network of footpaths, cycleways and roads is proposed. The proposals provide a reserve corridor for the construction of IWImp and its associated earthworks and landscaping. With IWImp in place the existing A509 north of Gleneagles roundabout is proposed to be downgraded, and the application proposes a new diagonal route across the scheme (Redhill Street). The proposals envisage re-instatement of the old Kettering Road as the route from the town to Great Harrowden. Development on the western side of IWImp will be accessed from the roundabout on IWImp in the north, and another to the south via Niort Way, and from a link under IWImp connecting to the neighbourhood centre. There is through access for buses, cyclists and pedestrians (but not cars) through Redhill Grange which is proposed to be accessed from Redhill Street.
Buses will follow this main street network. Main footpaths and cycle routes will also follow this main street network, with footpath links continued to join with existing footpaths. Improved pedestrian connections are proposed through to the local centre at Redhill Farm.
The proposals for the northward expansion of the town stem from the identification of this direction for growth of the town in the North Northamptonshire Core Spatial Strategy (CSS). The application has been worked up over the last five years by the Appellant in anticipation of the CSS identifying this location for major growth. This was confirmed when the CSS was adopted on 12 June 2008, including a location north-west of Wellingborough for a Sustainable Urban Extension.
The Appellant undertook numerous consultations including exhibitions and specific presentations to stakeholders and interested groups, involving local residents at Gleneagles, Orlingbury, Upper Redhill, Great Harrowden and Little Harrowden. Meetings with Green Infrastructure stakeholders have been held including a workshop in November 2005. The Stakeholder Workshop established a number of principles for the Sustainable Urban Extension that have informed the master planning and follow from those identified by the Council for Stanton Cross (WEAST) to the east of the town. The main principles comprise:
The setting provided by the natural bowl shape of the site should be a main structuring element for the master plan with development following the contours;
There should be variation in the degree and nature of separation between new development and natural areas or existing development;
A series of integrated green corridors should structure the development and be supported by positive uses in the landscape;
A well-integrated movement network of connected streets should be established, demonstrating a clear hierarchy of routes connecting nodes of activity;
Any application must be of the highest quality incorporating environmentally responsible master planning, design and construction;
Development should connect to Wellingborough and support regional connectivity;
Public transport should be frequent and reliable providing connections to the rail network
Development should harness the opportunity of south facing slopes to create a truly sustainable development;
Access to new facilities for adjacent communities should be provided.
The Appellant has also liaised with officers of the Council over a number of years including a Council-led joint 3-day consultation on the emerging proposals. A presentation of the emerging proposals was given to the Council’s Strategic Development Advisory Panel in September 2006 and again in September 2007.

Prior to submission of the application, initial proposals were reviewed by the Commission for Architecture and Built Environment (CABE) Design Review Panel which led to significant revisions being made to the proposals by the Appellant. The revised proposals became the subject of the planning application and further consultation was undertaken with CABE. CABE subsequently wrote to the Council (Document H - CABE’S letter of 31st March 2008) and are now generally supportive of the new proposals. Comments were also made on the application proposals by officers, which led to the submission of further information on several detailed aspects (Document B - appendices 3 and 4 of the Council’s committee report). The Government’s advisory team for large applications (ATLAS) was also involved in the progress of the application from an early stage and have written in support of the application (Document J).
Detailed discussions also continued with the Council and a number of statutory consultees (including the Highways Agency, the County Council as Local Highway Authority and Environment Agency) in respect of the proposals and the technical studies accompanying the application. None of these consultees have any outstanding objection to the scheme subject to certain safeguarding conditions (Document B - appendices 9 and 10 of the Council’s committee report).
After consultation on the submitted information, the Council requested further information under Regulation 19 of the Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) (England and Wales) Regulations 1999 (SI 1999. No.293) to address (Document B - appendix 1 of the Council’s committee report):
The comprehensiveness of the assessment;
The impact of development on existing open spaces;
The significance of hedgerows on the site;
Noise mitigation from Finedon Road Industrial Estate;
The impact of renewable energy proposals; and
The provision for waste.
Council officers also made specific comments on the application which included:
Timing of the development;
Boundary of the development affecting the ridge;
Affordable housing and housing mix;
Scale of retail development;
Provision of open space and recreation areas;
The treatment of the open space adjacent to Great Harrowden and impacts on existing open spaces;
Consultations on social, community, health and education facilities;
Energy efficiency and climate change;
Public art; and
Waste management.
Responses were made by the appellant to the Regulation 19 request and the Council’s specific comments on 13 October 2008 (Document B - appendix 2 of the Council’s committee report). The Appellant also made changes to the submitted application. These comprise:
A reduction in the total residential area bringing the edge of the development down to the 90m contour to protect the ridge line and maintenance of a clear separation gap between Great Harrowden and the development;
A reduction in retail and other commercial development in the neighbourhood centre to reduce any potential impacts on neighbouring centres and the town centre;
Retention of trees and hedges in the area between Redhill Grange and the A509;
Provision of an enlarged recreation ground to the west of the development with land north of Redhill Grange proposed as informal open space; and
A consequential increase in informal open space.
Changes to the master plan were accompanied by a review of the Environmental Assessment, which did not identify any adverse impacts arising from the changes. No further requests for information, either on specific matters or under Regulation 19 of the EIA Regulations were made by the Council. The committee report on the duplicate first application stated in respect of these issues that “officers are satisfied that the relevant planning considerations have been assessed and addressed through the further submissions and can be dealt with through safeguarding conditions”.
The refused ‘first’ application was subject to a comprehensive report by the Deputy Chief Executive an Extraordinary Meeting of the Borough Council on the 4th February 2009. The officer concluded at paragraph 6.9 of the report that the proposed development was considered to be acceptable and recommended for approval subject to planning conditions and the completion of a s106 agreement (Document B).
The continuation of this appeal has only been necessitated by the Elected Members rejecting their officer’s recommendation of approval and refusing the ‘first’ application.

National Polices
The Appellant will provide evidence to demonstrate that the application follows national planning policy statements, guidance notes and advice including Planning Policy Statement (PPS) 1: Delivering Sustainable Development, PPS - Planning and Climate Change: Supplement to PPS1, PPS3: Housing, PPG 4; Industrial and Commercial Development, PPS6: Planning for Town Centres, PPS7: Sustainable Development in Rural Areas; PPS10; Planning for Sustainable Waste Management, PPS12: Creating Strong Safe and Prosperous Communities through Local Spatial Planning, PPG 13: Transport. PPG15; Planning and the Historic Environment, PPG 16; Archaeology, PPG17: Open Space, Sport and Recreation, PPS23 Planning and Pollution Control, PPG24; Planning and Noise, PPG25; Development and Flood Risk, and Circular 6/98 – Planning and Affordable Housing, Circular 11/95 -The Use of Conditions and Circular 05/2006 - Planning Obligations.
Development Plan
5.2 The Development Plan comprises: the Regional Spatial Strategy (RSS) 8 (published in March 2005), including the Milton Keynes - South Midlands Sub-Regional Strategy (MKSM); the North Northamptonshire Core Spatial Strategy (adopted June 2008); “saved” policies in the Wellingborough Local Plan, County Structure Plan and Northamptonshire Waste Local Plan; and Supplementary Planning Guidance Notes. A schedule of “saved” Local Plan policies replaced by policies in the adopted Core Spatial Strategy is included as Appendix 1 to the CSS.
5.3 The Appellant will provide evidence to show the significance of the Government’s growth policies in the Sustainable Communities Plan (2003) and that the growth area policies cascade through to the Regional Spatial Strategy for the East Midlands (RSS8) and the incorporated Milton Keynes and South Midlands Sub-Regional Strategy. The Appellant will highlight that the proposals should be assessed against the imperative in national and regional policies to deliver significantly more homes within the growth area.
Development Plan Considerations
5.4 The Appellant will demonstrate that the proposals are in accordance with the Development Plan, including the recently adopted North Northamptonshire Core Spatial Strategy. The proposals are also in accordance with the supporting North Northamptonshire Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA). The Council adopted site specific guidelines on 7th January 2009 - Wellingborough North Sustainable Urban Extension Planning Guidance - in advance of considering the application which are relevant and material as they are approved by the Council. The proposals are consistent with this Planning Guidance.
Emerging Plans
A review of RSS8 to 2026 is currently in progress. It is anticipated that the final revised RSS will be published in early 2009. The North Northamptonshire Joint Planning Unit is also reviewing the adopted Core Spatial Strategy to 2026. This is to reflect the emerging RSS and the provisional housing targets included in the MKSM for the period beyond 2021. The Appellant will contend that the appeal proposal is consistent with these emerging spatial plans.

Planning Analysis
5.6 The Appellant will bring evidence that the proposed development is in accordance with the Development Plan and emerging plans (as indicated above) along with other planning policies and guidance. To the extent that it is suggested or alleged that the proposal is not in accordance with an element of the Development Plan, the Appellant will bring forward evidence of other material considerations which are considered to outweigh any alleged conflict with the Plan and support the granting of outline planning permission for the appeal proposal. Further, the Appellant will contend that the application is essential for the comprehensive and timely delivery of the growth strategy for North Northamptonshire as set out by the adopted North Northamptonshire Core Spatial Strategy.
5.7 The Appellant will demonstrate that with completion of a suitable section 106 obligation and/or imposition of conditions, no outstanding objections remain from the statutory consultees, The Appellant considers that all relevant issues and material considerations have been resolved through the application process and only proposes to bring evidence on the following if they cannot be agreed as common ground:
The reasons for refusal, namely:
The prospects of IWImp being delivered within the lifetime of the permission for the proposal

The phasing of the Sustainable Urban Extensions
The issue of coalescence
The absence of a Planning Obligation
The PINS letter dated 27th January 2009 and questions raised therein
Any other matters raised by the Inspector
5.8 The Appellant may bring evidence on other matters as necessary or explain the development or otherwise assist the Inquiry.

Notwithstanding the fact that this appeal is against non-determination, it is expected that the principal basis of any opposition or objection to the proposal from the Council will be based on the reasons for refusing the first application. The Appellant will present evidence at the Inquiry to support the grounds of appeal and refute the reasons for refusal of the first application as follows:
Reason 1
In the absence of a reasonable prospect of IWImp (Isham - Wellingborough Road Improvement) being delivered within the lifetime of this permission, this implies that the traffic impact arising from the proposed development cannot be adequately/sufficiently mitigated. Therefore, this prevents a comprehensive development of a Sustainable Urban Extension (SUE), contrary to Policies 6 (Infrastructure Delivery and Developer Contributions); 7 (Delivering Housing); 9 (Distribution and Location of Development); and 16 (Sustainable Urban Extensions) of the North Northamptonshire Core Spatial Strategy and contrary to the advice in planning Circular 11/95.

The Appellant will describe and demonstrate that the IWImp scheme has a more than reasonable prospect of being delivered in the lifetime of any permission for the application. The IWImp scheme is a major infrastructure component of the North Northamptonshire growth strategy (NN CSS Policy 2), is a priority in the County Council’s Transport Strategy for Growth (Policy CR1) and has been the subject of public consultation. The County Council has received funding from the Growth Area Fund to prepare and submit the planning application for the scheme. The proposed improvement is also the subject of the Regional Funding Allocation. The transport planning case for provision of IWImp is considerable and the project is supported by the Highways Agency, County Highway Authority and North Northamptonshire Joint Planning Unit though the CSS. The IWImp constitutes the completion of a strategic route between the A45 and A14, the upper part of which, the Isham Bypass, has funding and the formal highway orders confirmed by the Secretary of State, and is due to begin on site in 2009/2010 financial year. The IWImp scheme is not dependent or consequent on Upper Redhill and is required to meet sub-regional infrastructure deficiencies irrespective of whether the Appellant’s proposed development goes forward.
The Appellant owns the majority of land required to deliver the IWImp scheme. The allowance of a reserve corridor within the site boundary and the Appellant’s offer of transfer/dedication of that land at nil consideration greatly improve the prospects and timetable for delivery of the IWImp. This is by reducing uncertainty and the monetary and time cost of compulsory acquisition, as was stated by the Highway Authority representative at the Council’s committee meeting on 4th February 2008. Therefore, in the Appellant’s opinion, there is at least a reasonable prospect, and likely more, of IWImp being delivered.
The proposed development does not require the delivery of IWImp for Phase 1, and has been designed and assessed to be capable of standing alone at that stage in the unlikely event that failure to deliver IWImp means it is unable to progress further. Evidence will be brought to support all of this analysis.
The “lifetime of the permission” for these purposes is not simply three years but is the whole build period of the first phase plus any acceptable delay beyond that. The Council’s own committee report suggested that Phase 2 reserved matters need not be made until 10 years from the date of the permission and that commencement of that phase need not be for a further 5 years after approval of the final reserved matter (or 12 years if longer). As a minimum therefore the Council is contending, that there is no reasonable prospect of IWImp being delivered before 2021 or possibly as far as 2024. The Appellant will challenge this assertion and contend that the Council has no reasonable basis, grounds or evidence to support this reason for refusal.
The Appellant will present legal and policy arguments to demonstrate that where there is a ‘Grampian-style’ condition making development or parts of a development conditional on delivery of some other factor, there does not have to be absolute certainty that the factor will be forthcoming, merely, at most, a reasonable prospect. Indeed Circular 11/95 accepts that the legal test does not even require that. The Appellant will submit that in light of all the factors there is a reasonable prospect of delivery of IWImp within the lifetime of the permission.
Both the legal advice from BCW’s solicitor (Document C) and the independent advice of ATLAS (Document J) confirmed that should there be uncertainties about the delivery of IWImp that it would still be legally robust for the Council to apply a Grampian-style condition. The County Highway Authority’s representative also stated at the BCW Committee meeting that it was the view of the Highway Authority that this could not be substantiated as a reason for refusing the application.
Reason 2
The initial SUE at Wellingborough East (WEAST) has not been successfully established in accordance with Policies 7 (Delivering Housing) and 9 (Distribution and Location of Development) of the North Northamptonshire Core Spatial Strategy. In the circumstances, the phasing expected will not be implemented if planning permission is given for the proposed development. This would be detrimental to the delivery and distribution of housing in Wellingborough contrary to the above policies.

The CSS programmes housing delivery on the Wellingborough North West SUE site from 2011. The Appellant will demonstrate that this effectively means securing an outline planning permission in 2009 given the need to prepare advance infrastructure designs and prepare, submit and obtain approval of reserved matters (including Design Codes) for the first phases of development before development can begin, which is likely to take two years to complete. Therefore, the Appellant will contend that by upholding the Appeal and granting outline permission for the proposal will comply with the CSS timetable.
Notwithstanding this contention, the Appellant will also address the question of phasing. Policy 7 of the CSS identifies that North West Wellingborough is a ‘further’ urban extension to be brought forward once the initial urban extensions are successfully established. It states:
The phasing of the further sustainable urban extensions at Wellingborough and Corby may be reviewed and brought forward if:
strategic and local infrastructure constraints can be resolved at an earlier date; and either;
Progress with the initial sustainable urban extension for that town is delayed, or if the supply of housing from other sources falls significantly below anticipated levels, provided that appropriate efforts have been made to identify and address obstacles and constraints to housing delivery; or

The initial sustainable urban extension for that town has reached a critical mass, having delivered its first homes, primary school and local services, and brownfield sites are being delivered at anticipated levels.
The Appellant will produce evidence that criterion a) is fulfilled, that delay has occurred in the delivery of the initial urban extension (which is apparent) and that efforts are being made to bring that development forward that satisfies criterion b). The approval of Upper Redhill is necessary to ensure that growth targets are met to 2021.
Moreover, the Council’s Planning Policy Officer (Mike Haybyrne) provided evidence (from the Council’s Annual Monitoring Report (AMR) April 2007-March 2008) to the BCW Committee meeting, that unless the Council granted planning permission for Upper Redhill now (for delivery from 2011) the Borough Council could not demonstrate a rolling 5-year supply of deliverable housing land as required by paragraph 71 of PPS3 (Document S). This position was confirmed by the North Northamptonshire Joint Planning Unit Planning Manger Andrew Longley (Document B). Therefore, the Appellant will contend that failure to grant permission for the proposal seriously risks jeopardising the spatial strategy by leaving it open to challenge by owners or developers of sites either not considered or rejected by the Core Strategy. The Appellant will refer to the evidence from the Council’s AMR and supporting research and may supplement that with analysis of its own where necessary.
Reason 3
The gap between the proposed development and the Harrowden Villages to the north would be insufficient to provide a sensitive transition to the adjoining areas in the countryside. This would be likely to result in an undesirable coalescence with the Harrowden Villages to the north. This is inconsistent with the principles of sustainable pattern of the development contained in Planning Policy Statement 1 (Delivering Sustainable Development) and contrary to Policy 16 (para k) (Sustainable Urban Extensions) of the North Northamptonshire Core Spatial Strategy Policy and MKSM Northamptonshire 4 of Regional Spatial Strategy for East Midlands (RSS 8).

The CSS identifies a spatial framework based on maintaining distinctive and separate settlements. In response to this, the Council’s Wellingborough North SUE Planning Guidance (Document R) identifies the need to retain a clear separation between the Sustainable Urban Extension and the adjacent settlements of Great and Little Harrowden. The Guidance identifies a 90m contour as the suggested upper limit of development. This guidance has been prepared and adopted by the Council although only published by the Council after submission of the application and approved a matter of weeks before consideration of the first application at Committee.
The Upper Redhill proposal (even though it is an outline application) has always been planned to maintain a clear separation between the development and the Harrowden villages. The extent of the separation and the treatment of the land between has been a matter of some discussion and refinement between the Appellant and BCW. The Appellant’s proposals follow the 90m contour to protect the ridge line and ensure a generous and unambiguous separation between the Harrowden villages and the proposed development. Sports pitches previously proposed within the gap were relocated and replaced with informal parkland areas. The BCW officer’s committee report states clearly that “In the amended proposals these two issues are now fully addressed” (Paragraph 6.5 of the report).
The Appellant will refer to the application materials that demonstrate that a separation is proposed to avoid any prospect of coalescence and that the land between the proposals and Little and Great Harrowden will be landscaped and managed to satisfactorily maintain the setting, character and separate identity of those settlements.
Reason 4
In the absence of a planning obligation to secure community benefits and provide the necessary infrastructure to mitigate the adverse impacts of the development, the proposal is contrary to Policy 6 (Infrastructure Delivery and Developer Contributions) of the North Northamptonshire Core Spatial Strategy.

This reason merely identifies the fact that no section 106 obligation had been completed prior to the date of the Council’s Committee meeting and BCW’s decision on the application. However, evidence will be brought forward to demonstrate that the Appellant is and always has been willing to accept the imposition of reasonable conditions on any outline planning permission and enter into a section 106 agreement/obligation with the Council. The Appellant will bring forward an appropriate unilateral planning obligation and will provide evidence justifying the provisions therein.


7.1 In response to the Planning Inspectorate letter of 27th January 2009 the Appellant will present evidence including reference to the submitted planning application documentation, policy documents and the relevant parts of the BCW Officer’s report to committee recommending approval of the first application, with an updating commentary where relevant. The Appellant will address the Planning Inspectorate’s specific questions as follows:

the extent to which the proposed development would be in accordance with the development plan for the area.

7.2 The Appellant will provide evidence to demonstrate that the proposed development is in accordance with the adopted Regional Spatial Strategy (RSS8)
(Document M), the Milton Keynes and South Midlands Sub-Regional Strategy, the North Northamptonshire Core Spatial Strategy (Adopted June 2008) (Document N), the approved Wellingborough North Sustainable Urban Extension Planning Guidance (approved by the Council on 7th January 2009), and other relevant local policies. Furthermore, the proposal would make a major contribution to fulfilling the growth objectives of the Core Spatial Strategy. This will be explained in more detail at the Inquiry along with the proposal’s compatibility with the emerging RSS.

the extent to which the proposed development is consistent with Government policies in Planning Policy Statement 1: Delivering Sustainable Development, and accompanying guidance The Planning System: General Principles with particular regard to:

the achievement of sustainable development and sustainable communities through an integrated approach to social cohesion, protection and enhancement of the environment, prudent use of natural resources and economic development;

7.3 The Appellant will provide evidence to confirm that the proposals have been prepared to ensure social cohesion and will provide for a mix of households and a range of tenures consistent with the North Northamptonshire Housing Market Assessment, and the proposals will provide local facilities and open spaces to meet the community’s needs.

7.4 The Appellant will make reference to the Environmental Statement
(Document A) which takes account of environmental assets on the site and its surroundings likely to be affected by the development, and the findings that there will be no significant impacts arising from the development. The accompanying landscape and Green Infrastructure strategies describe proposals for extensive new open spaces accessible to the wider community. The supporting Sustainability Strategy (Document A) provides a framework for prudent use of natural resources. The proposals for employment development would create a new strategic employment development for the town and are consistent with the CSS objectives of delivering high quality, technology-based employment in the Growth Towns.

ii) whether the design principles in relation to the site and its wider context, including the layout, scale, open space, visual appearance and landscaping, are appropriate in their context and take the opportunities available for improving the character and quality of the area and the way it functions, having regard to advice in paragraphs 33 to 39 of PPS1;

7.5 The Appellant will provide evidence to demonstrate that the proposals have been developed though several rounds of consultation and that the Council has been consulted and has commented on the proposals throughout their evolution. The Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE) reviewed earlier proposals and were consulted on changes
(Document H). Further refinement was undertaken in response to design issues raised by the Council, as local planning authority, all of which were satisfied.

7.6 The Appellant will refer to the application materials that demonstrate the proposals are well considered and appropriate to the location and setting, and will provide high quality development. The evidence will describe how the proposals would overcome the barriers to integration created by existing surrounding roads, connecting with adjacent communities and nearby facilities. The proposals are consistent with the advice in PPS1.

iii) the extent to which the application takes into account the access needs of all in society, including people with disabilities – including access to and into buildings, having regard to the advice in paragraphs 36 and 39 of PPS1;

7.7 The Appellant will provide evidence to demonstrate that the access needs of all have been taken into account in the proposed development and a commitment is made to develop Design Codes to be agreed with the Council for each phase of the development to ensure access for all is achieved at the detailed design stages. The proposals are consistent with the relevant parts of PPS1.

iv) Advice on prematurity in paragraphs 17-19 of The Planning System; General Principles, having regard to progress towards adoption of any emerging development plan documents or saved policies under the transitional arrangements;

7.8 The Appellant will provide evidence to show that the proposals are consistent with the adopted Regional Strategy (RSS8), Core Spatial Strategy (CSS), and local guidance adopted by Wellingborough Borough Council in January 2009. The Appellant will demonstrate that the proposals are necessary to maintain a 5-year housing land supply to be consistent with PPS3 and the Core Spatial Strategy, in particular Paragraph 3.63 of the CSS which states that the local planning authorities should each maintain at least a 5 year housing land supply of deliverable sites for their area. In addition, Policy 7 seeks to ensure a 5 year supply for the North Northamptonshire area as a whole, enabling delivery to be co-ordinated across the Housing Market Area. The development is not premature and indeed approval was supported by the County Council, North Northamptonshire Joint Planning Unit, North Northamptonshire Development Company and officers of the Council. The Appellant will present evidence to support the contention that there are no issues of prematurity in this case and that the proposal is both consistent with and required to deliver housing in accordance with the existing Development Plan and emerging revisions.

The extent to which the proposed development is consistent with Government planning for housing policy objectives in Planning Policy Statement 3 (PPS3) Housing, with particular regard towards delivering;

high quality housing that is well-designed and built to a high standard;
a mix of housing, both market and affordable, particularly in terms of tenure and price, to support a wide variety of households in all areas, both urban and rural;

a sufficient quantity of housing taking into account need and demand and seeking to improve choice;
housing developments in suitable locations, which offer a good range of community facilities with good access to key jobs, key services and infrastructure;
a flexible, responsive supply of land – managed in a way that makes efficient and effective use of land, including the re-use of previously-developed land, where appropriate.

7.9 The Appellant will provide evidence to demonstrate that the proposal will provide high quality development in a series of logical phases. The proposals provide for a mix of market and affordable homes that will support a wide variety of households, and are consistent with the North Northamptonshire Housing Market Assessment. The Appellant will demonstrate that the proposal needs to be determined immediately in order to ensure a 5-year supply of housing land and is consistent with Wellingborough’s housing requirements in the Core Spatial Strategy.

the extent to which the proposed development is consistent with the advice in Planning Policy Guidance Note 13; Transport in particular the need to locate development in a way which helps promote more sustainable transport choices; promote accessibility to jobs, shopping, leisure facilities and services by public transport, walking and cycling; reduce the need to travel, especially by car and whether the proposal complies with local car parking standards and the advice in paragraphs 52 to 56 of PPG13.

7.10 The application is accompanied by a Transport Assessment, Travel Plan and Public Transport Strategy, prepared to an agreed scope with the Highways Agency, County Highway Authority and Wellingborough Borough Council, from which evidence will be drawn. The TA and Travel Plan are consistent with the requirements of PPG 13 and local infrastructure priorities outlined in the Core Strategy and NCC Transport Strategy for Growth. Parking standards are in accordance with PPG13. The Appellant will show that no remaining objections exist from the Highways Agency or County Highway Authority to approval of the proposal.

whether any permission should be subject to any conditions and, if so, the form these should take;

7.11 The Appellant will make submissions on the conditions listed in the Officer’s report.

whether any planning permission granted should be accompanied by any planning obligations under section 106 of the 1990 Act and, if so, whether the proposed terms of such obligations are acceptable; and

7.12 The Appellant will present a unilateral undertaking under s106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 and other enabling legislation along with supporting evidence.

g) any other matters that the Inspector considers relevant.

The Appellant will address any further issues at the appropriate time once these matters become clear.

8.1 The Appellant is undertaking additional work in preparing a draft Section 106 Obligation and draft planning conditions for discussion with the Council. The basis for this will be those conditions proposed by the officers in their report to the BCW Committee on the first application subject to further work and considerations. There will also be early discussions with the Council over the Statement of Common Ground.
8.2 It is understood that the Council has requested a Pre-Inquiry Meeting (PIM). It is the Appellant’s understanding that Pre-Inquiry Meetings shall be held when the Secretary of State expects an Inquiry to last for 8 days or more unless he considers it unnecessary. In this particular case where the estimates all exceed 8 days, the Appellant considers that it is far from unnecessary and positively beneficial. Rule 5 (2)(c) also requires the local planning authority to give notice of the Secretary of State’s intention to hold a Pre-Inquiry Meeting. The Appellant considers that this would be an important opportunity for the Inspector to clarify and narrow the issues with which the Inquiry needs to be concerned. As it is hoped that many areas can be agreed as common ground, it would assist the Inquiry and minimise the risk of the need for late evidence and rebuttal proofs if any third parties were encouraged at the PIM to put their case in writing in advance of the Inquiry. As such, it is requested that the PIM be advertised as widely as possible to ensure that those who will wish to attend the Inquiry can attend and be involved in the early planning of the process.
8.3 The Appellant considers that, given the wide ranging policy support and positive officer recommendation in relation to the first application, the issues for the Inquiry are narrow and relate only to the reasons for refusal and those raised in the PINS letter. The Appellant will seek early meetings with BCW, Northamptonshire County Council as Highway Authority and the Highways Agency to agree the common ground. The Appellant considers that an agreed statement should be finalised significantly ahead of settlement of Proofs of Evidence to minimise Inquiry time and avoid wasted costs bringing evidence on points which are eventually undisputed or agreed.
8.4 The report presented to BCW’s committee recommended approval of the first application. Officers of the Council and County Highway Authority advised and indeed warned the Committee that in refusing the application, specific reasons could not be sustained on appeal and could result in claims for costs against the Council. The Appellant must therefore reserve the right to make such an application at the appropriate time.

9.1 The Appellant contests that the application was capable of being determined and that in its consideration of the first application (and therefore the second application) the Council does not have sound or defensible grounds for refusing the application, and therefore should have approved both the first and the duplicate second application.
9.2 The Appellant, in summary, will contest that the proposals are consistent with national and regional policies and are in accordance with and supported by the Core Spatial Strategy for North Northamptonshire. The proposals also reflect the Council’s own planning guidance for the North Wellingborough SUE approved a few weeks before refusing the first application.
9.3 The proposals are well-conceived and will create a high quality sustainable extension to the town. There are no objections from statutory consultees to the application(s) subject to safeguarding conditions being applied. Support for approving the first application was given by officers of the Council in their report, North Northamptonshire Development Company and the Government’s advisory team for large applications – ATLAS. Both the County Highway Authority and the North Northamptonshire Joint Planning Unit spoke in support of approval of the first application at BCW’s Committee meeting.
9.4 In relation to the reasons for refusal of the first application (should these be used as the Council’s base case for the Inquiry) the Appellant will contest that:
the IWImp road proposals have at least a reasonable prospect of being delivered;
the proposal is in accordance with the Development Plan and the criteria in Policy 7 of the North Northamptonshire CSS are fulfilled. In addition the proposal is required to provide a deliverable 5-year housing land supply;
a sufficient gap is maintained between the development and the Harrowden villages; and
the absence of a planning obligation under section 106 of the Planning Act 1990 is unjustified. A separate unilateral obligation will now be presented by the Appellant to the Secretary of State.
9.5 The Appellant will address the questions raised by PINS in their letter of 27th January as described in section 7 of this Statement.
The following documents may be referred to at the Inquiry:-
A Planning application subject to appeal (second application) and parallel (first application) refused application, including:
Application Forms, certificates and plans
Planning Statement
Environmental Statement
Design and Access Statement
Transport Assessment and Travel Plan
Sustainability Strategy
B Wellingborough Borough Council’s officer’s report to Committee on 4 February 2009;
C Committee Report Addendum – Legal Note and Grampian Conditions
D BCW Minutes of the Extraordinary Meeting 4th February 2009
E Letter from Borough Council of Wellingborough 24 July 2008 ‘Regulation 19 letter’.
F Letter from David Lock Associates 13 October 2008 – Policy Comments
G BCW Officer Report to Committee 4 February 2009 Appendix 4 – Urban Design Comments
H Letter from CABE 31 March 2008
I Letter from David Lock Associates 23 September 2008 – Design matters and CABE response
J Letter from ATLAS
K Letter from North Northamptonshire Development Company
L Sustainable Communities Plan: Building for the Future
M The Regional Spatial Strategy for the East Midlands (RSS) 8 (including the Milton Keynes – South Midlands Sub-Regional Strategy MKSM);
N The North Northamptonshire Core Spatial Strategy;
O Relevant retained or 'saved' policies in the Wellingborough Local Plan (LP) and County Structure Plan (CSP); and Northamptonshire Waste Local Plan;
P Transport Strategy for Growth, Northamptonshire County Council September 2007
Q Relevant Supplementary Planning Guidance Notes (SPD/SPGs) of Wellingborough Borough Council and North Northamptonshire Joint Planning Unit;
R Wellingborough North Sustainable Urban Extension Planning Guidance
S Wellingborough Borough Council Annual Monitoring Report April 2007 – March 2008
T Planning Policy Statements, with particular reference to PPS 1, 3, 13 and 17;
U Government Circulars, White Papers and Guidance Notes;
V DETR (2000) : Millennium Villages and Sustainable Communities;
W The Prince’s Foundation/EP/DETR/CPRE (2000) : Sustainable Urban Extensions : Planned Through Design;
X DETR (2000) : Places, Streets and Movements – a Companion Guide to Design Bulletin 32 (Residential Roads and Footpaths);
Y DETR/CABE (2000) : By Design : Urban Design in the Planning System;
Z DTLR (2001) : By Design – Urban Design and the Planning System : Towards Better Practice;
AA DTLR/CABE (2001) : By Design : Better Places to Live;
BB English Partnerships and the Housing Corporation (2000) : Urban Design Compendium;
CC Design for Homes, Popular Housing Research (2003) Perceptions of Privacy and Density;
DD CABE Space (2005) Start with the Park;
EE CABE (2005) Great Places to Live;
FF Design Manual for Roads and Bridges (DMRB); published by DfT and Hag;
GG Other further documents relevant to areas not agreed or the reasons for refusal.


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