Developer launches planning appeal to build on Nailsea woodland

Profile image for Carol_Deacon

By Carol_Deacon | Friday, November 23, 2012, 15:48

STOP PRESS: A planning appeal for application 12/P/1493/F has been made against the decision to refuse planning permission.  The appeal will be decided by 'written representations' and the comments made by the Nailsea Town Council will be forwarded directly to the Planning Inspectorate who are due to discuss on Wednesday, January 9. The deadline for any additional comments is Thursday, January 17. 

Despite being refused planning permission a property developer who bought a small copse at Nailsea last summer says he won't be selling.

Vince Nguyen paid £36,500 for the half acre off Trendlewood Way at auction last summer on behalf of his company Land Promotions (Group) Ltd based at Rooksbridge, Somerset.

But his controversial plan to build two homes on the half acre at Nowhere Lane provoked a huge outcry from neighbours, environmentalists and Nailsea town councillors.

The site forms part of a bridle path to East End House and the woodland is home to a variety of wildlife including badgers, owls and pipistrelle bats and features around 60 trees, including oak and ash, which are protected by preservation orders.

North Somerset Council refused permission saying the site plays an important role in the character and amenity of the area and the land retains an attractive landscaped appearance and includes a number of protected trees.

In its letter of refusal it said: "In terms of urban design it is fundamental in providing a visual break between the surrounding housing developments.This in turn contributes positively to the visual character and amenity of the area, which is particularly important given the prominence of the site adjacent to the main distributor road at Trendlewood Way and well used bridlepath at Nowhere Lane. The development of this valuable area of open space would have a detrimental effect on the visual character of the area, on adjoining trees subject to TPOs through pressure to reduce canopy spread to increase daylight to the proposed dwellings, and would have an adverse impact on land which is of local importance as a habitat for wildlife."

Mr Nguyen who has until the end of December to decide on whether to appeal said he hadn't made up his mind but he was determined to keep the land long-term as an investment.

He said: "I have had four or five approaches to buy the site but I am not interested.

"One person told me they could secure planning permission to build for the whole area but I don't know whether to believe them.

"Anyway I have no intention of selling."

Mr Nguyen added over time many unhealthy trees on the site would die.

Nailsea Town Council recommended the scheme be refused on the basis it was overdevelopment of the site and the land should remain as an amenity space.

And North Somerset planners threw out the plans, saying it is contrary to its own Core Strategy Document.

When the Trendlewood development was built in the 1970s, the land was put aside as green space for local residents.

The local council at the time was due to officially adopt the land as public open space, protecting it for the future, but failed to do so.

As a result the land, which has since passed into private ownership, has been subject to a number of planning applications over the years – all of which have been refused.

The news the development has been turned down has been welcomed by local residents who campaigned for it to remain a green space.

Planning consultant Amanda Sutherland, who represented local residents, said: "This land provides an important visual landscape buffer.

"The residents are over the moon at the result and the woods will be protected to the future."

      

Comments

       
  • Profile image for Chris_Nailsea

    Unfortunately, there is now some less excellent news: Mr Nguyen has decided to appeal against the decision by North Somerset Council to reject his planning application.

    This means that the final planning decision will be made by an independent planning inspector. The appeal process is final: that decision is irreversible, so the stakes are high.

    It is therefore absolutely essential that the local community write to the Planning Inspector in support of the decision to reject the planning application, thus safeguarding this amenity site which is appreciated by so many people.

    Please write to the Planning Inspector, before 17 January 2013:
    Hazel Stanmore-Richards
    The Planning Inspectorate
    3/10b Wing
    Temple Quay House
    2 The Square
    Bristol
    BS1 6PN

    You must send 3 copies of your letter, which must also include the appeal reference number: APP/DO121/A/12/2187915.

    The important points to include in your support of refusal of the appeal are:

    - the piece of land off Nowhere Lane acts as a buffer between residential developments and plays a vital role in the visual character and amenity of the area;

    - the site is next to part of Trendlewood Park, which is a haven for several species of wildlife and natural habitats;

    - vehicular access onto Nowhere Lane - a narrow bridle path - and then onto Trendlewood Way would be dangerous to pedestrians.

    You should also mention that Nowhere Lane is used extensively by the local community and many others walking the entire route of Trendlewood Park, which extends from Station Road to Lodge Lane in Nailsea. Any development on this site would scar the site itself and Trendlewood Park, which is a green oasis running through the heart of Nailsea.

    Previous planning history:

    In 1988, an appeal against refusal for the erection of one detached dwelling on this site was dismissed (reference 0745/88). The Inspector at the time's comments were that the proposal would have an adverse impact on the visual amenity and character of the area. The impact on protected trees and wildlife habitat and the access onto Nowhere Lane were also unacceptable. Since that appeal, nothing in the area has changed.

    In 2004, another outline planning application for development (reference 04/P/0370/0) was also refused, for the same reasons as the 1988 appeal decision.

    In view of this history of applications for development of this unspoilt site being consistently rejected, anyone with an interest in the matter must write to the Planning Inspector before 17 January 2013, to make your views known.

    It will be too late, once the final decision is reached: please do write now!

    Thank you,

    Chris_Nailsea

    By Chris_Nailsea at 15:02 on 07/01/13

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