Minutes of a meeting of the Parish Council held on Monday 15th December 2014
at 7.30 p.m. in the Jeff Gill Room, Village Hall, Great Ouseburn.
Present: Cllr K Scott (Chairman), Cllr M Rampling, Cllr G Potter, Cllr Ian Shaw, Cllr M Grant, Cllr J Burton.
In Attendance: Mrs L Evely (Clerk)
Also present: Cllr J Savage (NYCC), 25 members of the public.
2014. 131 Apologies received for absence: Cllr B Robinson (Vice Chairman), Cllr C Lewis (Harrogate Borough Council).
2014. 132 Declarations of Interest. All Parish Councillors are Trustees of the Village Hall and declare their personal interests in the Village Hall. Members to indicate whether they will be declaring any other interests under the Code of Conduct.
2014. 133 Minutes of the previous meeting. To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on Wednesday 19th November 2014: The minutes were agreed as a true and correct record plus signed and dated by the Chairman.
2014. 134 Public Participation. Any member of the public present at the meeting may make representations, answer questions or give evidence in relation to the business to be transacted. Members of the council who have a prejudicial interest in relation to any item of business to be transacted may also speak in relation to that matter.
Please note that the Chairman will control this session and will exercise his discretion as to the amount of time allowed for public participation. No decisions are made at this part of the meeting – this will be done by the Council having heard and noted the representations made: see minute 2014.137.
2014. 135 Progress Reports. To receive progress reports as follows:
2014.135.1 Free landing/Breathing Places project (minute 2011.110.1 refers). All maintenance works have been completed until spring.
2014.135.2 LDP Affordable Housing Site, Branton (minute 2012.074 refers). No news.
2014.135.3 Allerton Waste Recovery Park (minute 2011.110.2 refers). No news
2014.135.4 Highways issues –
• Update on the NYCC Urban Grass Cutting to be discussed (minute 2014.035,055,057 & 65.4 refers): Mr. Rich Grant accepted extra cuts on top of the quotation received and is happy to do any grass cutting on a as and when necessary basis.
2014.135.5 Tree Management – Tree Damage due to Bonfire. This is to be reported to Alan Gilleard Tree Aboriculturist.
2014.135.6 Commuted Sums – Chairman read out the latest report received from Sean Wright of Harrogate Borough Council. This is to be discussed at the next meeting to plan how to spend the Commuted Sums money within the Parish.
The clerk is to ask if any commuted sum money could be used for the allotment drainage works taking place in January/February.
2014.135.7 Fishpond conservation area – No news
2014.135.8 Allotments – drainage works to take place in January/February time weather dependant. Tenant vacancies to be advertised for April time when contracts are due for renewal.
2014.135.9 Gladman Developments Ltd – Possible development of the Seggans see minute 2014.137 planning application.
2014.135.10 Vicki Lever – Youth Development Worker re: Formation of a Youth Club – This is not looking promising as no volunteers have come forward.
2014.135.11 The Crown Inn – Assets of Community Value Nomination: Harrogate Borough Council have written to the Parish council letter dated the 21st November 2014 informing the Parish council that they have registered The Crown on the Assets of Community list.
2014.135.12 Senior Citizens Christmas Dinner: This went very well and a lovely Thank You letter was received from the Over 60’s club. Cllr Burton has written Thank you letters to the school, Golf Club, Beer Festival and to the Venue.
2014.135.13 Children’s Play Area – Cllr Potter to chase Mr Young to carry out repair works.
2014. 136 Planning decisions notified by Harrogate Borough Council.
To note any decisions received after publication of this agenda and prior to the meeting:
The Planning Inspectorate Appeal Decision for Sandlands, Main Street, Great Ouseburn, York, North Yorkshire YO26 9RQ APP/E2734/A/14/2224755 – The appeal is dismissed.
2014. 137 Planning applications
2014.137 Mr N Lewis, Land comprising OS Field 4119 Branton Lane, Great Ouseburn, North Yorkshire. 14/04908/OUTMAJ Outline application for the erection of up to 50 dwellings with associated landscaping, open space, village green with access considered (Site area 3.6ha):
Great Ouseburn Parish Council wishes to strongly object to the proposed development and make the following objections and points:-
1. The development would completely infill the gap between the villages of Great Ouseburn and Branton Green, thus joining the two villages together. Branton Green has always been a separate village, originally in the parochial parish of Aldborough, a hamlet of Upper Dunsforth. It was amalgamated to the council parish of Great Ouseburn in April 1960, but remains an independent village with its own unique identity both as a place and people. The people of Great Ouseburn and Branton Green strongly object to the joining of the two villages. The size of the development is an overpowering increase in the number of village properties and will adversely affect the dynamics and Character of the villages. Branton Green has 36 houses, Great Ouseburn has 210 houses. 50 houses is an increase of 24% for Great Ouseburn but is an increase of 140% for Branton Green.
2. Planning History: The site was previously considered by Harrogate council for inclusion in the District Plan but was ruled out by the council as having a High Adverse Effect due to the highly visible nature of the site and loss of its attractive pastoral character and stating:
• There is a double avenue of trees along Branton Lane, which create an attractive approach to the village with views to open countryside on either side. This open character should be protected and enhanced and the field should not be developed for that reason.
• Woodland planting as mitigation would be out of character with the open pastoral qualities of the fields.
• Development would result in the loss of an attractive pastoral field that gives the village a rural setting and ‘sense of place’ on arrival.
• The site as a rural character and the site are quite clearly detached from the urban edge in views from the north and west.
• The site is highly visible from two roads that approach the village from the west and it occupies a highly notable site at the edge of the village.
Harrogate councils’ conclusion is still relevant and nothing has changed to affect it.
3. Site Access: The access would destroy the protected avenue of trees alongside Branton Lane by removing a large section in the centre of the avenue. It is not only the individual trees but the avenue as a whole that is protected by the Tree preservation order. The avenue is historically important to the village community and believed to be over 143 years old. The trees were planted by the villagers of Great Ouseburn and Branton Green in the springs of 1871/72 to form an avenue walk between the two villages. They propose to cut down 3 of the avenue trees but they have not taken into account the basal growth when drawing the visibility splays meaning that at least 5 trees would have to be cut down. The trees are all good specimens and the roadside ones are not inferior as stated by Gladmans.
Picture of basal growth taken from 1.1m above ground level and only 1m away from the main road at the proposed site entrance (This tree is specified to remain by Gladmans and the basal growth is also recently cut and not in leaf)
Picture taken from 1.9m above ground level at the same spot and the second tree is within the visibility splay.
4. Site Access: They have reduced the access to the bare minimum which will cause problems with oil and other deliveries to the site and they vastly underestimated the amount of traffic using the junction. The minimum splay quoted should also be 59m not 56m.
5. Policy HD13 (Trees and woodland) states that proposals which would involve the loss of trees that contribute to the character or setting of a settlement will not be permitted. This Avenue of trees contributes immensely to the character and setting of both Great Ouseburn and Branton Green.
6. Contamination: The lower part of the Seggans is an ancient lake bed which was drained in 1776 and abounds with natural springs. No proper contamination survey has been done in particular for marsh gas and land stability.
7. Cross Sections: From Gladmans submitted cross sections they intend to completely infill the lower part of the field. They do not state with what materials or how it will be transported. This will destroy the beautiful and natural undulating topography.
8. Village Green: Gladmans constantly refer to a village triangle and how they will be giving Great Ouseburn a village Green. This triangle they refer to is already the registered Village Green and is owned by the Parish Council.
9. Views: The important and beautiful views from the village green referred to in Harrogate Councils Conservation area report for Great Ouseburn will be totally destroyed. These views are enjoyed not only by the villagers but by the very large number of visitors and cyclists. The proposed narrow, distant view down Gladmans proposed tree lined road, surrounded by houses and parked cars, COULD NOT by any sensible thinking person be thought equivalent to these natural and beautiful views.
Policy HD3 states “Development which has an adverse impact on the character or appearance of a Conservation Area will not be permitted”. This development will have a vast impact on both the character and appearance of Great Ouseburn Conservation Area.
View from the Village green looking over the hedge from the Village Green
View stood on Village Green
Cyclist view from road adjacent to Village Green
Pedestrians View from footpath
View from next to the Millennium Stone and shelter on the Village Green
10. Landscape Character: Gladmans try to infer that this field is not within the area of Landscape Character Assessment 92 Ouseburn Village and Vale. These fields are quite clearly covered and Gladmans proposed development goes totally against this assessment which states:
• Very few trees along field boundaries and a few small trees scattered throughout.
• The main settlements are Great Ouseburn, Little Ouseburn, Upper Dunsforth (all linear) and Branton Green.
• Field pattern and land use are important to the setting and character of the villages amidst the intensive arable farmland of the surrounding character areas. The distinctiveness of the area is sensitive to the loss of the small-scale field patterns and pastoral setting.
• Encourage the maintenance of traditional field boundaries important to the villages’ settings.
• Ensure that new development is appropriate to local settlement pattern and in keeping with vernacular.
• To conserve and enhance biodiversity contributing to variety.
• Wetland habitats are important to the area and their continued management is important to landscape character.
Landscape Character Assessment 92, Ouseburn Village & Vale was recently upheld by the Government Inspector in the Sandlands appeal Ref: APP/E2734/A/14/2224755:
“The main issue in this case: the effect of the proposed development on the character and appearance of Great Ouseburn and its countryside setting;
Great Ouseburn is set in open countryside characterised by gently undulating pastures, arable fields and modest belts of woodland. Most of its buildings have a road frontage, which gives the village a shallow development pattern, although this has been compromised to some degree by residential development on Church Field Lane and Springfield Rise. Nevertheless, the prevailing character is that of a linear settlement that sits comfortably within its open landscape setting.
Amongst other things, Policy SG4 of the adopted Harrogate District Local Development Framework: Core Strategy (2009) requires development proposals to be well integrated with the spatial qualities of the area and appropriate to the form and character of the settlement and/or landscape character. Saved Policy HD20 of the adopted Harrogate District Local Plan1 contains similar objectives. The proposal would represent a significant encroachment into open countryside beyond the built-up limits of the village and would be at variance with the establish pattern of linear development. It would constitute a discordant intrusion into the countryside”.
The Inspector concludes “development would harm the character and appearance of Great Ouseburn and its countryside setting in breach of the relevant development plan policies. It would also conflict with the National Planning Policy Framework which recognises the intrinsic character and beauty of the countryside”.
11. Drainage: Gladmans want their surface water drainage to have almost 3 times the recommended field run off. This will have an adverse effect on Ouseburn Carr Sinc and Ousegill Beck which is already at capacity. The proposed detention basin will be an eyesore and a hazard with it being mostly empty and muddy for long periods. There is also no mention of how this publicly accessible area will be maintained.
12. Sewerage: We already have a high incidence of sewerage pollution for Well Lane and the dikes feeding Ousegill Beck and the development will make this worse. Any construction work to provide extra sewerage capacity for this site will cause unacceptable damage to Ouseburn Carr SINC. The proposed construction of a new sewer down Branton lane will also cut through the tree roots of the avenue and possibly kill these TPO protected trees.
13. Ecology: The Seggans is an ancient pasture; it has always been grass and should have been surveyed as a rare ancient “Lowland Meadow”. The survey states there are no badgers around the site but there are large populations of badgers which forage over these fields. The whole area is abundant in wildlife including a number of rare species which will be affected by any development. We would like to request that the fields should be re-surveyed with regards to Lowland Meadow.
14. Transport and Employment: There is very little employment in Great Ouseburn and so all residents will be likely to commute to work. Even the above average number of self-employed workers in the area need to travel for work. Gladmans state that most traffic will use Carrside road and this road is narrow and already overstretched. Another nearby entrance called ‘Broadgate’ to this proposal is also a high accident hotspot. The public transport through Great Ouseburn is infrequent and the bus operator as recently dropped out from running this service.
15. Archaeology: Considering that they will be totally blitzing the site and in view of them only doing a desktop survey it cannot be protected by only a suitably worded planning condition. A full survey should be done.
16. Housing Need: Housing need cannot outweigh the damage caused by developing this land. Especially when a much better site was put forward in the Local Plan and an application for this other site is still to be considered.
To consider any planning applications received after publication of this agenda and prior to the meeting:
2014.137.1 TW Solar Ltd, Land Comprising Field at 441474 460310 Moor Lane, Great Ouseburn, York, North Yorkshire, Environmental Impact Assessment Screening Opinion for the erection of a solar farm: The Parish Council discussed the application and are happy for it to be covered in the planning application.
2014. 138 Questions from Councillors. To consider questions from Councillors: none.
2014. 139 Statement of accounts for the period 1st April 2014 – 31st March 2015. To consider the statement of accounts for the current year and approve payments therein: All agreed as a true and correct record.
P22/14 HMRC (Clerks Tax) £263.94
P23/14 The Dunsforth (Senior Citizen Christmas Lunch) £920.00
P24/14 L Evely Clerk Salary £720.41
Items received after publication of this agenda and prior to the meeting: none to date
2014. 140 General Circulation Correspondence received – for information only. This was noted and passed for circulation by the clerk
2014. 141 Reports from representatives. To receive reports from the Council’s representatives on the following organisations:
2014.141.01 Village Hall Committee: Somebody has broken the chimney and stolen the oil. This has now been fixed and secured.
Christmas concert was a success.
Gents loos are going ahead in the New Year.
2014.141.02 Police Liaison Group: no news
2014.141.03 Yore Vision: no news
2014. 142 Matters for inclusion on the next Agenda: playground
2014. 143 Date and Time of next meeting. To confirm that the next meeting of the Council will be held on Wednesday 21st January 2015 at 7.30 p.m. in the Jeff Gill Room at the Village Hall, Great Ouseburn.
There being no further business, the meeting closed at 9.45 p.m.