Festive planning objection recipe
Wondering what to say in your objection to the Calvert’s application?
Here’s a really simple objection “recipe” you can use if you haven’t written a planning objection before or simply don’t have time to do the research.
Outline objection letter
List A – Reasons why the application doesn’t comply with planning procedures
List B – Reasons why the application is contrary to polices in Hambleton’s Local Plan (LP)
List C – Emotional reasons why you think the application is wrong for our area
Click this link firstname.lastname@example.org to open a blank email on your laptop or desktop.
Write "Planning objection to application ZB23/02328/OUT" in the subject line.
Copy the outline objection letter (see below) into your blank email.
Add in 1-2 tbsp planning procedure arguments from list A (below)
(Stir briefly and drink sherry)
Next, add 1-2 kg of local plan policy arguments from list B (below)
(Another stir, more sherry!) ….
Finally, a sprinkling of emotional arguments from list C (below)
Add your name and address at the bottom
Finish off with a quick toast to protecting our wonderful green spaces!
OUTLINE OBJECTION LETTER
Dear Mr Puckering
I wish to object to planning application ZB23/02328/OUT.
Firstly, I note that the application does not seem to comply with correct planning procedure.
(Choose, copy and paste 1-2 or more arguments from List A – see below)
Secondly, the proposals are contrary to numerous policies in Hambleton’s Local Plan, for example:
(Choose, copy and paste 1-2 or more arguments from List B – see below)
Thirdly, in my view, this proposal is not appropriate on this site because ….
(Choose, copy and paste 1-2 or more arguments from List C – see below)
(Add your name and address)
LIST A – PLANNING PROCEDURE ARGUMENTS
Some of the information provided by the developer in the application form (question 13) is incorrect. The agent states that there are no protected/priority species and no designated sites, important habitats or other biodiversity features within or near the application sit. But we know there are! The planning department should ask the developer to correct this or refuse the application.
The applicant’s preliminary ecological assessment misses really important information about species and habitats that would be badly affected beyond the two fields where the industrial units would be built. That’s also what happened with the petrol station development, as NYC have admitted. The planning authority is responsible for ensuring that all the relevant ecological information is available in good time so that people can make informed decisions. If that information is not available, it should refuse the application.
According to the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), the application must comply with the ‘sequential test’, i.e. if at all possible it should be on a site that is designated for development in the Local Plan. The applicant has ignored this requirement, so the proposal should be immediately refused.
According to NYC’s Statement of Community Involvement, the developer is supposed to have published a consultation statement showing which alternative sites were considered and summarising all the responses received from people who went to the presentation. The applicant has not done this, so the application should be immediately refused.
The applicant has not followed Natural England’s standing advice, which says that developers have to conduct a full survey (at the right time of year) if there are protected species or habitats nearby. There’s no sign of that in the application documents. The applicant has not done this, so the application should be immediately refused.
The planning red line shown in the proposal only covers the two fields, but it should extend all the way down to the river because of the plans to drain surface water into Cod Beck. The drainage information provided is completely inadequate to judge the impact of the plans on the Beck, so the application should be refused.
The site is in Flood Zone 2, but the applicant has not followed standing Environment Agency advice on siting development away from flood zones. The LPA should require the developer to follow that advice or otherwise refuse the application.
LIST B – LOCAL PLAN AND NATIONAL PLANNING POLICY ARGUMENTS
The site is in a designated Local Green Space (ALT/T/139/023/G) in the Hambleton Local Plan so should be protected. It says in HDC’s Settlement Character Study that this “rules out development, except in very special circumstances.”
The site is not allocated for development in the Local Plan for good reasons. It’s designated as “countryside” (Policy S5). There is nothing in the Local Plan that supports this kind of development here.
The Local Plan says: “Development in the countryside will only be supported where it … would not harm the character, appearance and environmental qualities of the area in which it is located.” (Policy S5)
The site is in flood zone 2 – medium risk of flooding. HDC’s own strategic flood risk assessment says that current flood zone 2 is likely to be zone 3 in future because of climate change. Also, it says in national planning policy that development should not be permitted in flood zone 2 if there are “reasonably available appropriate sites in areas of lower flood risk”. Appropriate alternative sites are available, e.g. in Sowerby Gateway.
Other sites are allocated in the Local Plan for this kind of development, e.g. Gateway, with good road connections. In fact, the Local Plan says you have to use these sites first before looking elsewhere (Policy EG3).
The site is very close to a SINC. It says in the Local Plan that “A proposal that may harm a designated site of importance for nature conservation (SINC) … will only be supported where … they clearly demonstrate that there is an overriding public need for the proposal which outweighs the need to safeguard biodiversity…” Where is the overriding public need here? (Policy E3)
The Agricultural Land Classification (ALC) for this site is Grade 2. That is classed as best and most versatile (BMV) agricultural land. HDC's Local Plan policy S5 states: ‘Where significant development in the countryside is demonstrated to be necessary, the loss of best and most versatile agricultural land (classed as grades 1, 2 and 3a) should be avoided’.
NYC’s Principal Archaeologist has confirmed that the site shows clear evidence of medieval strip fields and possible Roman remains. Local Plan policy E5 (Development Affecting Heritage Assets) states: “Proposals which would remove, harm or undermine the significance of a non-designated heritage asset will be permitted only where … the scale of any harm or loss to the significance of the heritage asset is justified.” This proposal would permanently concrete over those/our heritage assets. It is not justified and not acceptable.
According to Natural England’s interactive map at https://naturalengland-defra.opendata.arcgis.com/datasets/Defra::gcn-risk-zones-north-and-east-yorkshire/explore, the proposed site is located in an area rated amber for the presence of great crested newts, a protected species under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2017.
The proposals would remove approx. 350 metres of hedgerows (H3 and H6 of the PEA). These appear to be pre-Enclosure Act hedgerows that are protected under the Historic section of the Hedgerow Regulations. See https://historicengland.org.uk/advice/hpg/consent/hedgerowregs/. The LPA is responsible for checking whether this is the case.
We know there are otters in Cod Beck. According to government guidance published by Natural England, “A survey is needed if: distribution and historical records suggest otters may be present – (if the development) will affect a water body, river, stream, lake, sea or marshland development or will affect habitats near a water body directly or through environmental effects.”
To summarise, the proposal is contrary to Hambleton Local Plan policy S3 on land use, policy S5 on avoiding development on best and most versatile (BMV) land, policy EG7 on employment-generating development, policy EG3 on main town-centre uses, policy RM2 on flood risk, policy E4 on green infrastructure, policy IC3 on open space and policy E3 on the Natural Environment – in addition to Natural England standing advice, Environment Agency standing advice and a number of national planning policies.
LIST C – EMOTIONAL/OTHER ARGUMENTS
The site and surrounding area provide important habitat for wildlife – kingfisher, otters, sand martins, yellowhammer, finches, red kite, herons, grey wagtail, redwings, egrets, kestrel, buzzard, barn owl, bats, dragonflies and damselflies, and a huge range of wildflowers.
The site is just 200 metres from Cod Beck, a really important “green corridor” for wildlife – including otters (protected species), risk of pollution from surface water run-off.
The river and surrounding areas are home to protected species (e.g. otter, bats, badgers). Those species need space. You can’t keep driving them into smaller and smaller areas by developing all around them.
The site is around 180 metres from Thirsk & Sowerby Conservation Area (or actually inside it once you include the proposed surface water drains), so the development would obviously have an impact on the setting and character of the conservation area.
This is our heritage that would end up under concrete. According to the county archaeologist these were medieval strip fields, and there might be Roman remains there, too.
It’s around 180 metres from a Site of Importance for Nature Conservation (SINC), which includes marshy grassland and pools where the river used to run.
We’ve already lost over 3 hectares to the petrol station/lorry park. This would take the total amount of green space lost to 6 hectares. Whether you have a dog or not, we need local green spaces to go for a walk and have some contact with Nature. That’s important for mental health, too!
Previous smaller applications have been rejected for the site because they would have harmed the appearance and character of the area. The harm from this development would be much bigger!
The area is used every day by many local residents and visitors for (dog) walking and contact with
Nature. We need to preserve this space for future generations!
This would involve diverting the footpath alongside a new industrial development. No thanks!
The development would involve ripping our nearly 400 yards of mature hedgerows that have probably been there for over 200 years and are vitally important for wildlife.
Visitors come to Thirsk to see an attractive market town in an attractive setting. What kind of picture of Thirsk would this give as visitors come in off the A19 or the ring road?
Flooding –With all that hardstanding on the site, this will increase the flood risk in the surrounding area.
Thirsk is rural, it makes a lot of money from rural tourism all year round, mainly down to our Herriot connections, TV shows and books that portray Thirsk as a beautiful rural market town.
We don't want sprawling, massive, ugly out-of-town warehouses or industrial units on our beautiful rural approaches...they take away the character and soul of small market towns such as Thirsk.
What’s the point of having a Local Plan that’s supposed to make sure development happens in the right places, and then ignoring it? Approving this would completely undermine the credibility of the Local Plan.
You can have the same economic benefits (without ruining our green spaces) by putting this on Sowerby Gateway or up near Screwfix.
Together with the rest of the Flatts, this green space acts as a buffer between the industrial and residential areas and Cod Beck. That’s crucial for Nature and wildlife.