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Authority to proceed

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Authority to proceed ...

Application Reference: CM20080874

1. APPLICATION DETAILS

    Location: FORMER ST. MARY’S HOSPITAL, GREEN LANE,

    STANNINGTON

    Proposals: Mixed use development (this reserved matters relates to

    housing only) 172 residential units, 52,000sqft (approx)

    of commercial development, associated landscaping

    including restoration of registered gardens and

    associated highways access improvements off and on

    site

    Applicant: Bellway Homes & Rivergreen Developments

    Parish: Stannington

    Date received: 08/12/2008

    Prescribed expiry date: 07/05/2009

    Application type: Major / Reserved Matters

    Constraints: Green Belt / TPO - Wellhill and Gubeon Plantation 2001

     Footpath No 15 & Bridle path No 14

    National Policies: PPS1, PPG2, PPS3, PPG4, PPS6, PPS7, PPS9, PPG13,

    PPG17

    Regional Policies: RSS to 2021, S5, S11

    Local Policies: E1, C17, C19

Publicity expiry Neighbours 09/01/2009

     Site notice 10/01/2009

     Press notice 26/01/2009

2. SUMMARY OF MAIN ISSUES

St Mary‟s Hospital is allocated on the Castle Morpeth District Local Plan (Adopted Feb

    2003) for a mix of employment and residential development.

Significant issues in relation to this proposal which adheres to the allocated site are

    ; the impact of the development on the openness on the greenbelt;

    ; the impact on the historic garden landscape;

    ; whether the development is sustainable;

    ; the affordable housing contribution and

    ; the employment and residential balance.

Issues relating to outside of the site are

    ; Highway use and safety

3. CONSULTATIONS AND REPRESENTATIONS

Stannington Parish Council

    The council is concerned that the potential for routing which would balance traffic between various sites has not been sufficiently assessed and that the application should not be considered in its present form as it does not include the business use. As such the development of residential units alone is considered not to meet the needs of a sustainable development.

    All routing scenarios for vehicles should be explored including the potential to limit access and egress for construction traffic outside of the school day.

One North East

    Welcomes the applicants intention to achieve Level Code 3 for Sustainable Homes in respect of the affordable housing provision and to be built in accordance with CABE‟S Building for Life standards (scoring 18 out of 20). Comment also that ONE would like to see a scheme which would show the 10% of the electricity use is generated from renewable sources.

North East Assembly

    Whilst most of the proposals are in line with the Regional Spatial Strategy there are a number of issues which require further clarification. These issues relate to renewable energy and energy efficiency.

Highways Agency

    Comments waited however, the applicant has submitted the updated green travel plan on which the agency would like to comment on.

    Newcastle International Airport

    No Comments received however condition attached in line with comments received at outline stage.

Northumbria Water

    No objection however, suggest conditions be attached to the planning permission (conditions 6 & 7 above).

Environment Agency

    The Agency recommended a condition at outline stage and request this condition be transferred to the reserved matters decision notice.

English Heritage

    No objection however, would like a management company established to maintain the site.

Natural England

    No objection however, asks that the LPA be mindful of the phasing of the development with regard to the bat mitigation measures.

Sport England North East

    No objections however wish the previous condition on the outline (condition 10) be reattached to any subsequent approval.

NCC Highways

Comment as follows;

    Need more information on the phasing and build out program to make some assessment about the construction traffic movements. A route signing scheme will also need to be agreed. Also a little concerned that the Outline was „sold‟ on the basis that it

    would provide sustainable measures to reduce trips and the need to travel. However, submitting reserved matters in a less than holistic way could result in only the residential element being provided, therefore undermining the whole sustainability issue which is fundamental to the acceptability of the development.

It would be in the Developer‟s interest as well the Authority‟s, to provide the traffic

    calming before the principle site works begin.

Morpeth Ramblers Association

No Comment

CTC (Cyclists Touring Club)

    CTC seek to ensure access for cyclists is considered as an integral part of development schemes early in the design process and maximise the potential for the development to be attractive to those travelling by cycle. The requirement for cycle parking spaces is still to be finalised, however secure and covered spaces will be provided in areas adjacent to the commercial areas and the community facilities. The level of provision will be commensurate with current best practice and the Northumberland Highways Authority.

Coal Authority

No comments received

Mineral Valuer

No comments received

Transco

No comments received

CE Electric UK

    No objection however advise that great care should be taken on works at known Northern Electric apparatus sites which must all be assumed live. Comments passed to applicant for information.

Northern Gas Networks

No comments received

NEIGHBOURS

6 Letters of objection received on the following grounds

    ; Unsuitability of roads network serving the site

    ; Increase in traffic at Dovecote and Glororum

    ; Construction traffic routes

4. DETAILED PLANNING CONSIDERATIONS

Background / Relevant Planning History

    Following a formal committee site visit, the Development Services Committee of the then Castle Morpeth Borough Council considered planning application 04/D/611 relating to the development of the site in October 2004. Subject to a section 106 agreement, Members indicated that they were minded to conditionally grant that application, subject to the application also being advertised as a departure to the development plan.

The application was then subject of a „call-in‟ by GONE and following a public Inquiry,

    was subsequently refused on 22 May 2006.

    In October 2006 an outline application was received for mixed use development including 172 residential units (66 by conversion / 106 new build) 53,000 sq ft (approx) of commercial development, associated landscaping including restoration of registered gardens and associated highway access improvements off and on site. The application was recommended for approval subject to the receipt of any further responses to

    statutory publicity and advertising, and minded to grant permission subject to an updated Section 106/299A Agreement between the NHS Developers, NCC and the Borough Council (to secure affordable housing, refurbishment of the Church building for community purposes; 20 of the dwellings to be specifically live-work units; provision of a

    „gastro pub‟, culinary school and Kitchen Garden; managed recreational open space; services office space; a bus service contribution and green travel plan; off-site traffic calming and signage contribution) with conditions. No further responses were received as a result of statutory advertising and the application was approved on 25/04/2007.

The Site

    The St Mary‟s Hospital site is located within the parish of Stannington and is the site of a disused hospital, occupying part of an area of some 59 hectares which provide the woodland and landscaped grounds of such importance that in 2000, the grounds were designated by English Heritage in the Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest as Grade ll. Sports facilities/ pitches also feature as part of the planned landscape but the whole site has been vacant and virtually unkempt for several years. An area of semi and detached private housing exists near the site access drive, which is the only route into the site.

Details of Proposals

    Reserved matters for a mixed use development are proposed for 172 dwellings (20 live-work units and affordable housing).

    Reserved matter details in addition to the residential component of the application have not been received which involves;-

-53,000 sq ft of commercial floorspace comprising-

    ; 24,700 sq ft serviced office workspace

    ; 20,400 sq ft of workshop space for food and other craft production

    ; 5,900 sq ft bistro (gastro/pub) and office space

    ; 1,575 sq ft estate Management /tree nursery on former kitchen garden grounds

-Community facilities, including;-

    ; conversion of chapel to community centre / crèche

    ; upgrade of sports facilities including pavilion

    ; ecological and habitat enhancements for wildlife

    ; food delivery drop-off point

    ; children‟s play areas

    ; improved local transport service for the community

    -Associated landscaping and highways infrastructure improvements on-site and off-site.

THESE DETAILS ARE TO BE SUBMITTED AS PART OF A SEPARATE RESERVED

    MATTERS APPLICATION

     A signed section 229A Agreement and Planning Obligation under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 accompanied the previous outline application as drawn up

    during the Call-in Inquiry in February 2006.

DETAILED PLANNING CONSIDERATIONS

Local Plan Policy

    The site allocation for mixed development is supported by the adopted Local Plan Policy E1 and NE/12 in particular which, together with the supporting text, state as follows

Castle Morpeth Local Plan 1991-2006 (adopted February 2003) Policies

POLICY E1

    SITES ALLOCATED IN PREVIOUS PLANNING DOCUMENTS.

     HECTARES

    AE/M01 FAIRMOOR, MORPETH (NORTHGATE) 10.2 ha

    AE/M02 RAILWAY YARDS, MORPETH 1.8 ha

    NEW ALLOCATIONS.

    NE/LI05 LINTON LANE, LINTON 5.0 ha

    NE/LH06 LAND AT EAST ROAD,LONGHORSLEY 0.4 ha

    NE/M07 EXTENSION TO LAND AT FAIRMOOR, MORPETH 5.6 ha

NE/SG10 PART OF AUCTION MART,SCOTS GAP 0.4 ha

NE/12 Part of ST. MARY'S HOSPITAL, STANNINGTON (Mixed 33.6 ha

    Development Site)

    NE/13 NORTH WHITEHOUSE FARM EXTENSION, STANNINGTON 2.5 ha

    NE/EL14 ELLINGTON COLLIERY (MIXED DEVELOPMENT SITE) 20.5 ha

     TOTAL 93.0 ha

St.Mary's Hospital, Stannington

St. Mary‟s Hospital, approximately 3 miles to the south-west of Morpeth, has recently

    become surplus to Health Authority requirements and the buildings are vacant. The hospital was a major institution in the open countryside with an overall land holding of some 62 hectares, including open space around the buildings, recreational land, peripheral woodland planting and a sewage treatment works.

    The Council acknowledges that the hospital site has the status of a „brownfield‟ or previously developed site which provided employment for several hundred staff when it was in full occupation. Accordingly it considers that its reuse should be a mix of employment and related uses. In order to reduce the need for travel, however, the Council anticipates that some housing at the site, directly related to new employment uses, may be appropriate. Such a development may include houses with workshops attached, or telecottaging enterprises, but will be subsidiary to the employment use of the site.

    The Council had undertaken an Urban Capacity Study, as required by the then PPG3 (Housing) 2000 (now PPS3), and revised its planning allocations as part of the Study outcome. In sequential testing the site has been identified as being unlikely to be required for housing purposes during the Plan Period. Any subsequent decisions would be taken in the context of the review of the Council‟s development and regeneration strategies, the Local Plan and the availability of Brownfield land at that time, the progress towards meeting Structure Plan housing targets and the sustainability of alternative sites, when measured in sequential testing.

THE GREEN BELT

POLICY C17

    DEVELOPMENT INVOLVING THE CONSTRUCTION OF NEW BUILDINGS IN THE GREEN BELT WILL

    NOT BE PERMITTED, OTHER THAN FOR THE FOLLOWING PURPOSES:

    a) AGRICULTURE AND FORESTRY;

    b) ESSENTIAL FACILITIES FOR OUTDOOR SPORTS AND RECREATION;

    c) CEMETERIES AND OTHER USES OF LAND WHICH PRESERVE THE OPENNESS OF THE

    GREEN BELT AND DO NOT CONFLICT WITH THE PURPOSES OF INCLUDING LAND IN IT; d) LIMITED EXTENSION, ALTERATION OR REPLACEMENT OF EXISTING DWELLINGS

    SUBJECT TO POLICIES C18, H22, H23 AND H24 BEING SATISFIED; e) LIMITED INFILLING IN EXISTING VILLAGES INSET WITHIN THE GREEN BELT, f) LIMITED AFFORDABLE HOUSING FOR LOCAL COMMUNITY NEEDS WITHIN EXISTING

    SETTLEMENTS, SUBJECT TO POLICY H8 BEING SATISFIED.

CONVERSION OF BUILDINGS IN THE GREEN BELT.

POLICY C18

    SUBJECT TO POLICIES H19, H20 AND E6, PROPOSALS FOR THE RE-USE, CONVERSION OR EXTENSION OF EXISTING BUILDINGS IN THE GREEN BELT WILL BE PERMITTED WHERE THEY MEET ALL OF THE FOLLOWING CRITERIA:

    a) THE BUILDINGS ARE OF PERMANENT AND SUBSTANTIAL CONSTRUCTION; b) THE PROPOSED USE AND ANY ASSOCIATED USE OF LAND ARE IN KEEPING WITH

    THEIR SURROUNDINGS AND DO NOT HAVE A GREATER IMPACT THAN THE PRESENT

    USE ON THE OPENNESS OF THE GREEN BELT OR ON THE PURPOSE OF INCLUDING

    LAND IN IT; AND

    c) THE FORM, BULK AND GENERAL DESIGN OF THE BUILDINGS ARE WELL RELATED TO

    THE CHARACTER OF THEIR SURROUNDINGS.;

POLICY C19

    AT THE FOLLOWING MAJOR DEVELOPED SITES WITHIN THE GREEN BELT: - POLICE HEADQUARTERS, PONTELAND

    - COTTAGE AND RURAL ENTERPRISE VILLAGE, PONTELAND (CARE)

    - PONTELAND HIGH AND MIDDLE SCHOOLS, PONTELAND

    - PONTELAND LEISURE CENTRE, PONTELAND

    PROPOSALS FOR LIMITED INFILL DEVELOPMENT, OR PARTIAL RE-USE WILL BE ASSESSED AGAINST THE FOLLOWING CRITERIA:-

    i) THE PROPOSAL WOULD NOT HAVE A GREATER IMPACT THAN THE PRESENT USE ON

    THE OPENNESS OF THE GREEN BELT AND THE PURPOSES OF INCLUDING LAND IN IT; ii) ANY NEW BUILDINGS SHOULD NOT EXCEED THE HEIGHT OF THE EXISTING BUILDINGS

    OR LEAD TO A MAJOR INCREASE IN THE DEVELOPED PROPORTION OF THE SITE. PROPOSALS FOR MAJOR RE-USE OR DEMOLITION AND REDEVELOPMENT WILL ALSO BE ASSESSED AGAINST THE FOLLOWING CRITERIA:-

    i) ANY NEW BUILDINGS WOULD NOT OCCUPY A LARGER AREA OF LAND THAN, NOR

    EXCEED THE HEIGHT OF THE EXISTING BUILDINGS AND WOULD BE IN KEEPING WITH

    THEIR CHARACTER AND SETTING. NEW BUILDINGS SHOULD BE SITED SO AS TO

    RETAIN THE MAIN FEATURES OF THE LANDSCAPE AND TO ACHIEVE THE

    INTEGRATION OF THE DEVELOPMENT INTO ITS SURROUNDINGS. PROPOSALS

    SHOULD FORM PART OF A COMPREHENSIVE LONG TERM PLAN FOR THE SITE AS A

    WHOLE;

    ii) WHERE BUILDINGS ARE OF SPECIAL ARCHITECTURAL OR HISTORIC INTEREST, THEIR

    RETENTION MUST BE THE PRIMARY OBJECTIVE, EITHER THROUGH RE-USE OR

    CONVERSION. WHERE PARTIAL OR TOTAL REDEVELOPMENT OF SUCH BUILDINGS IS

    PROPOSED THE DEVELOPER MUST DEMONSTRATE THAT THE NEED FOR THE

    DEVELOPMENT OUTWEIGHS THE RETENTION OF THE BUILDING IN ITS UNALTERED

    FORM AND THAT RE-USE OR CONVERSION IS NOT VIABLE;

    iii) THE DEVELOPMENT WOULD NOT ADVERSELY AFFECT AREAS OF NATURE AND

    HERITAGE CONSERVATION IMPORTANCE

    iv) THE DEVELOPMENT WOULD NOT REQUIRE MAJOR INVESTMENT BY THE LOCAL

    AUTHORITIES TO PROVIDE INFRASTRUCTURE AND COMMUNITY FACILITIES v) THE DEVELOPMENT COULD BE ADEQUATELY LINKED TO THE STRATEGIC ROAD AND

    PUBLIC TRANSPORT NETWORKS, TOGETHER WITH INCORPORATING MEASURES TO

    REDUCE THE NEED TO TRAVEL BY PRIVATE CAR AND ENCOURAGE ALTERNATIVE

    MEANS OF MOBILITY.

    vi) ANY DEVELOPMENT PROPOSALS WHICH INCLUDE RESIDENTIAL USES MUST BE

    SUBJECT TO A SEQUENTIAL TEST*. THEIR CONTRIBUTION TO MEETING LOCAL

    HOUSING NEEDS, COMPLIANCE WITH OTHER HOUSING POLICIES AND THE

    STRUCTURE PLAN HOUSING REQUIREMENTS WILL ALSO BE CONSIDERED. THE

    RELEASE OF SITES WILL BE PHASED TO ASSIST WITH THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE

    LOCAL PLAN STRATEGY. APPLICANTS MUST ALSO DEMONSTRATE A CLEAR

    RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE PROPOSALS AND EXISTING USES THAT WILL REMAIN

    ON SITE, WITH A VIEW TO CREATING A MORE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT PATTERN.

    vii) ANY DEVELOPMENT PROPOSALS WHICH INCLUDE ALTERNATIVE EMPLOYMENT USES

    MUST NOT AFFECT THE IMPLEMENTATION OF OTHER EMPLOYMENT ALLOCATIONS

    WITHIN THE LOCAL PLAN AND MUST NOT AFECT THE VITALITY OR VIABILITY OF

    EXISTING MAIN AND LOCAL SERVICE CENTRES.

DEVELOPERS MUST, WHERE PROPOSALS ARE AT RISK OF FLOODING OR MAY INCREASE

    FLOODING ELSEWHERE, DEMONSTRATE BY MEANS OF A FLOOD RISK ASSESSMENT THAT

    THE PROPOSAL WILL NOT CAUSE AN UNACCEPTABLE RISK OF FLOODING.

Northumberland County and National park Joint Structure Plan- (2005)

    Policy S5 identifies areas where the green belt should be extended, which encompasses the application site in bringing the area of green belt around Morpeth.

    Policy S11 sets out the sequential approach criteria.

Regional planning policy guidance

    This aims to appropriately maintain and extend the greenbelt in the region. There is an increase in housing allocation is proposed 130 dwellings per annum for the period 2011-16 and a reduction by 10 thereafter.

    Although this proposal is not consistent with RSS locational objectives, because it is outside of a defined settlement the principle for development has already been established by planning permission. The site covers 31 hectares, much of which includes landscaped grounds and ancillary uses. The density of development on those discreet sections of the site where house building and conversion to residential use is proposed would exceed 30 dwellings per hectare. This is consistent with RSS policy 29. The proposal includes measures to protect and enhance the biodiversity of the site including significant additional woodland planting, a landscape design strategy and measures to protect bats. This is consistent with RSS policies 33 and 36.

    The development includes the use of Sustainable Drainage System (Suds) techniques consistent with RSS policy 34.

    The affordable homes are to be constructed to Code Level 3 of the Code for Sustainable Homes. This is consistent with RSS policies 3, 24n and 38.

    Transport and accessibility matters have been covered in strategic terms within the outline planning permission and associated section 106 planning obligation. The layout submitted with these reserved matters would not impact adversely on opportunities to implement the sustainable transport measures secured through the planning obligation. This raises no issues of conformity with RSS.

Outstanding issues of non-conformity with RSS policies

    RSS policy 2, 3, 24n, 38 and 39: The proposal is being designed having regard to a

    sustainability strategy which covers green travel, energy efficiency in building specifications and the inclusion of community safety/secured by design principles in the development. These measures are all supported by RSS. The applicant refers to consideration for installing a biomass district heating system partly due to the lack of an available gas supply. However, there is no definite commitment to providing this element within the development. RSS policy 38 requires that at least 10% of the development‟s energy supply should be derived from decentralised and renewable or

    low-carbon sources, and demonstrate, using for example the micro-renewables toolkit that this is unfeasible or unviable. It is also unclear what code for sustainable homes build the standard market housing will be built to or what BREEAM standard will be achieved for the non-residential development. RSS requires high standards for each. These requirements must be reflected for this proposal to conform with RSS policies 2, 3, 24n, 38 and 39.

    The principle of mixed use development is established for this site through the grant of outline planning permission in April 2007. The development is in accordance with the general terms of that permission and an associated section 106 planning obligation. Whilst there are a number of elements such as Suds and landscaping, which reflect RSS objectives, the proposal must properly reflect the energy efficiency and renewable energy generation requirements to be in general conformity with RSS.

National planning policy guidance

Government Policy / Guidance

    PPS 1, PPG 2, PPS 3, PPG4, PPS 6, PPS7, PPS9, PPG13, PPG 17 are all applicable.

PPG2-Greenbelt

Annex C Para 4 states-

    C4. Whether they are redundant or in continuing use, the complete or partial redevelopment of major developed sites may offer the opportunity for environmental improvement without adding to their impact on the openness of the Green Belt and the purposes of including land within it. Where this is the case, local planning authorities may in their development plans identify the site, setting out a policy for its future redevelopment. They should consider preparing a site brief. Redevelopment should: (a) have no greater impact than the existing development on the openness of the Green Belt and the purposes of including land in it, and where possible have less; (b) contribute to the achievement of the objectives for the use of land in Green Belts (paragraph 1.6 below - see also paragraph 3.13);

    (c) not exceed the height of the existing buildings; and

    (d) not occupy a larger area of the site than the existing buildings (unless this would achieve a reduction in height which would benefit visual amenity).

    1.6 Once Green Belts have been defined, the use of land in them has a positive role to play in fulfilling the following objectives:

    ; to provide opportunities for access to the open countryside for the urban

    population;

    ; to provide opportunities for outdoor sport and outdoor recreation near urban

    areas;

    ; to retain attractive landscapes, and enhance landscapes, near to where people

    live;

    ; to improve damaged and derelict land around towns;

    ; to secure nature conservation interest; and

    ; to retain land in agricultural, forestry and related uses.

    3.13 When any large-scale development or redevelopment of land occurs in the Green Belt (including mineral extraction, the tipping of waste, and road and other infrastructure developments or improvements), it should, so far as possible contribute to the achievement of the objectives for the use of land in Green Belts (see paragraph 1.6 above). This approach applies to large-scale developments irrespective of whether they are appropriate development, or inappropriate development which is justified by very special circumstances. Development plans should make clear the local planning authority's intended approach.

PPS3- Housing

Local planning authorities should:

    ; plan to meet the housing requirements of the whole community, including those in

    need of affordable and special needs housing;

    ; provide wider housing opportunity and choice and a better mix in the size, type and

    location of housing than is currently available, and seek to create mixed communities; ; provide sufficient housing land but give priority to re-using previously-developed land

    within urban areas, bringing empty homes back into use and converting existing

    buildings, in preference to the development of greenfield sites;

    ; create more sustainable patterns of development by building in ways which exploit

    and deliver accessibility by public transport to jobs, education and health facilities,

    shopping, leisure and local services;

    ; make more efficient use of land by reviewing planning policies and standards; ; place the needs of people before ease of traffic movement in designing the layout of

    residential developments;

    ; seek to reduce car dependence by facilitating more walking and cycling, by improving

    linkages by public transport between housing, jobs, local services and local amenity,

    and by planning for mixed use; and

    ; promote good design in new housing developments in order to create attractive, high-

    quality living environments in which people will choose to live.

PPG4- Industrial, commercial development and small firms

Relevant sections

Locational Factors

    Industry and commerce have always sought Locational advantage in response to various external factors.

     These include: the demands of customers; access to raw materials and suppliers; links with other businesses; the workforce catchment area; and various transport considerations. Business often gives high priority to good access to roads, and sometimes rail, airports and ports.

    The Locational demands of businesses are therefore a key input to the preparation of development plans.

    Development plan policies must take account of these needs and at the same time seek to achieve wider objectives in the public interest (see paragraph 11). Development plans offer the opportunity to:

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