Provision of hard surface with associated drainage for access (Retrospective) (Revision and resubmission of 19/03358/FUL).
Our Response

The land effected by this application is located within the Green Belt, AONB, and indicative landscape setting of the World Heritage Site. This rolling landscape forms one of the most attractive approaches to Bath. The site opens onto Tucking Mill Lane, a narrow lane with generous mature planting indicative of the area’s undeveloped, rural character. We previously objected to a similar application (see 19/03358/FUL), which was consequently refused on grounds of harm to the openness and visual amenity value of the Green Belt with no demonstrated special circumstances, and failure to conserve or enhance the local landscape character of the locality or the scenic beauty of the AONB and the setting of the World Heritage Site.

Following consideration of this application, there appears to be no difference in terms of the scale or nature of the proposed development with previous refused application 19/03358/FUL. Whilst revisions such as a reduction of the hardstanding’s overall scale and the use of a hoggin-type surfacing have been proposed, these offers are not consistent throughout the application with the provided drawings and plans. We therefore reiterate our objections with regards to the impact of the creation of hard standing of considerable size (12.5 x10m) on this site on the openness and visual amenity value of the Green Belt, landscape setting of the World Heritage Site, and natural beauty of the AONB.

We remain concerned about further incremental changes, particularly any enclosure and access associated removal of hedgerow. The addition of parked cars and an associated increase in human activity would alter the aesthetic and atmospheric character of this site and this lane. This would be at odds with the tranquil rural character of the area.

We question whether lighting, whilst not proposed, would eventually need to be installed near the parking area which would be entirely unacceptable.

We additionally note that the previous Highways reasons for refusal regarding appropriate visibility splays have not been addressed as part of this application, and consequently remain valid.
The application appears to be incomplete, with limited information regarding the location and position of the hardstanding, or its appearance from Tucking Mill Lane. Considering the retrospective nature of this application, photographs should be provided for the benefit of the LPA’s assessment. The application continues to lack a Landscape Visual Impact Assessment, to show and assess the impact of the hard standing on the special character of this landscape in this important valley, and to identify any mitigation of harm.

Therefore, we maintain that the hardstanding constitutes inappropriate development in the Green Belt and would harm the openness and visual amenity of the Green Belt, the natural beauty of the AONB, and the setting of the World Heritage Site without any demonstrated special circumstances, contrary to Section 13 of the NPPF, and Policies B4, HE1, NE2, NE2A, CP8, and GB1 of the Local Strategy and Placemaking Plan. This retrospective application should be refused and steps taken to remedy the breach and reverse the harm to the landscape.

Application Number: 20/04025/FUL
Application Date: 28/10/2020
Closing Date: 19/11/2020
Address: Llanbobl, Tucking Mill Lane, Midford
Our Submission Status: Object