Officers’ Reasons For Refusal On The Golf Course Application

The officers reports for next Tuesday’s meeting are now available on the council website. You can download it here (70 pages!)

For those who are interested, these are the officers reasons for refusal on the golf course application. As you can see, concerns about the effect of the lorries on local highways (e.g. Rawreth Lane) come right at the end:

2.157 It is proposed that this Committee RESOLVES to REFUSE PERMISSION for the following reasons:-

1 The use of the waste material for land raising would be contrary to policy W9B of the Essex and Southend Waste Local Plan September 2001 (WLP). Furthermore, insufficient information has been submitted with the application to demonstrate that the need is justified. The supporting statement to the application states that the three main reasons to justify the remodelling works to the golf course are ?Course Quality?, ?Safety Issues? and ?Irrigation and Water Sourcing?. It is considered that, in view of the scale of the importation of waste materials proposed (350,000 cubic metres), that this justification should be substantiated by independent reports. Without that independent assessment, and in light of the information supplied with the application, it is concluded that this proposal is waste importation and land raising for its own sake and not course improvement.

2 Policy W3C of the WLP requires that non-landfill proposals with a capacity in excess of 50,000 tonnes per annum will be restricted to sources of waste from the plan area. The applicant has stated that the material used for remodelling would be sourced from a 20 mile radius of the site. In light of this, there is potential for the material to be sourced outside of Essex, in which case the proposal would be contrary to the requirements of Policy W3C. Moreover, information should be supplied as to these potential sources, including the timescales for importation to ensure the scheme can be completed within a reasonable timescale.

3 Policy W9B of the WLP states: ?Landfill, or land raising, for its own sake, without being necessary for restoration, will not be permitted.? It is considered that the applicant has not demonstrated any overriding justification for the proposals and that alternative solutions to the problems of golf course quality and safety could be sought without the need for large scale importation of inert material, the proposal would therefore be contrary to the provisions of Policy W9B. In respect of the latter point, unnecessary land raising in the Green Belt would be contrary to Green Belt policy due to the level of unnecessary activity and potential for landscape harm.

4 The proposal contains insufficient information to demonstrate how potential impacts on protected species and in this case Great Crested Newts will be mitigated and consequently whether or not the development would have an adverse effect on such species. In the submitted material no discussion has been made nor measures suggested to mitigate against the likely adverse effects upon Great Crested Newts. The Local Planning Authority is therefore unable to consider this matter or take specialist advice into consideration prior to determining the development proposed which, if allowed, could prove detrimental to protected species known to be present on part of the site.

5 Insufficient information has been provided to allow the Local Planning Authority to properly consider the impact of the proposal upon the network of hedgerows and aged trees present on the site and in the vicinity of the development proposed. Such a full tree impacts assessment should be in accordance with BS 5837 and is required to ensure the most suitable trees are retained and protected and the most suitable construction techniques are employed in the interests of the health and longevity and amenity afforded by those hedgerows and trees on the site.

6 The scale, extent and excessive height of the proposed raising of land levels, in particular to the driving range area, would change the landscape to reduce the openness on those parts of the site to the detriment of the character and appearance of the Metropolitan Green Belt contrary to Policy R1 to the Rochford District Replacement Local Plan (2006). Furthermore, the level of noise and disturbance arising from the works to reform the land and import the material over the construction period would result in the loss of the open outlook and prove detrimental to the level of amenity that ought reasonably be expected to be enjoyed by the occupiers of dwellings backing onto the site and fronting the road network serving the site more generally.

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