The Parish Plan
SECTION B - HOUSING
1.1 In June 1998, Gedling Borough Council launched its Consultative Draft of a new Local Plan that was to replace the plan adopted in November 1990 (Ashfield Borough Council also went through a similar process). Due to proposals for extensive areas of new housing, largely on Green Belt land, there was a ground swell of public opinion across the Borough against such developments. Indeed, even before the Local Plan consultation process began, 80 Papplewick residents vociferously opposed the allocation of housing sites in the Green Belt at an open meeting held in the Village Hall on 6th March 1998.
2. Local plans
2.1. In its response to the Consultative Draft Local Plan, Papplewick Parish Council raised various objections to the proposals to build large-scale housing developments at Top Wighay Farm and on land North of Papplewick Lane at Linby. These objections may be summarised as follows:
a) They did not accord with the Notts. Structure Plan because they were not within or adjoining main urban areas, or on the specified public transport corridors.
b) The proposals were not environmentally led and did nothing to achieve sustainable development.
c) The Structure Plan stipulated that in redefining Green Belt boundaries, urban sprawl should be checked to prevent the coalescence of urban settlements but it was evident that the proposed developments would increase sprawl, coalescing Hucknall with Newstead, Annesley and Kirkby, and further reducing the thin line of Green Belt between Nottingham and Mansfield. The new Green Belt boundaries were to follow indefensible boundaries that would further encourage urban sprawl.
d) The construction of some 2,000 new dwellings would result in an additionally significant amount of traffic passing along Papplewick roads that are already congested at peak times, increasing levels of noise, vibration and pollution to which parishioners were exposed.
e) The proposals paid insufficient regard to the effects of pollution on the environment in general and in particular to the ecology of the River Leen and its tributaries.
f) The developments would be detrimental to the landscape, being visibly intrusive over a wide area.
g) The proposals did not accord with either Gedling's own environmental objectives or those of the Greenwood Community Forest.
The Parish Council will continue to strongly oppose development proposals that are likely to have a detrimental effect on the quality of life for its residents and the environment.
3.1 The Parish Council recognises that some development within the parish is desirable. The parish has an elderly population, with some 23% of parishioners being above pensionable age. Several elderly residents live in substantial former family homes that are now too large for their current requirements in circumstances where their family has long since left home or the death of a partner has left them as the sole occupant. These altered circumstances impose both an abnormal financial burden upon the individuals concerned and prevent younger families better utilising the accommodation. Elderly residents are reluctant to move elsewhere as it may entail leaving friends, family and the community spirit of a rural parish.
3.2 According to the 1991 Census, the parish's housing stock is substantially in private ownership (89%) with only 20 homes rented, either furnished or unfurnished. Further, most houses are large with several bedrooms.
3.3 By careful attention to detail the impact of any new housing development can be kept to a minimum. The Parish Council will wish to see careful attention to landscaping at the outset, including good quality planting. Existing features on a new development site should be retained wherever possible to give the site maturity, identity and to help link it with the past and its surroundings. Such retained features may include trees, hedges, walls and buildings. In order to perpetuate the unique character of the Conservation Area, any development within its bounds should use external materials that reflect this character, particularly the use of local limestone and clay pantiles.
3.4 We have taken 'affordable housing' to have the same meaning as given in the South Notts. Affordable Housing Study being "dwellings developed specifically for those whose incomes generally deny them the opportunity to purchase or rent houses on the open market."
To support small-scale developments of affordable housing (originating either from the private, public or housing association sectors), preferably on Brownfield sites, either in the form of 1-2 bedroom bungalows or flats that are carefully sited and designed to minimise their impact upon the parish and utilise appropriate materials to match surrounding properties. It is anticipated that safeguards will be incorporated into the development to ensure that the properties remain affordable over the longer term.
The Parish Council will seek to impose conditions on any such development to ensure that parishioners are given preference in the allocation of affordable housing within the parish both at first occupation and upon subsequent changes in occupiers.
4.1 With changing agricultural practices, many of the older traditional buildings within the parish have already been converted to residential use, notably at West View Court and Clover Court. It is recognised that but for such conversions, disused properties would probably be demolished resulting in the loss of structures that are of local architectural importance and play a significant part in the overall street scene. Where buildings are no longer suitable for agriculture or other business purposes, the Parish Council will support their conversion into dwellings, provided that any such development is in overall keeping with its setting within the parish and does not cause undue inconvenience to the amenities of nearby residents.
4.2 Similarly, the conversion of existing larger dwellings into flats or other types of multiple occupation can increase the overall housing stock and provide opportunities for accommodation that are more affordable to either new entrants to the housing market or elderly residents seeking a more manageable property.
The Parish Council will support applications for change of use to residential or the conversion of existing dwellings into flats provided:
a) The proposal will not cause unacceptable harm to the amenities of local residents by virtue of increased noise, disturbance or activity.
b) The appearance of the proposal is in keeping with the scale and character of the dwelling and its wider setting.
c) The proposal will not result in an over concentration of similar accommodation whereby there is a material change in the established residential character of the area.
d) The proposal would not result in, or be a hazard to road safety.
5.1 Many houses within the parish have been extended so that their present size is well beyond what was originally envisaged when built. Extensions are added for a variety of reasons but can have a detrimental effect both on the parish's housing stock and its overall appearance. For instance, the addition of an extension increases the property's value but can prevent its subsequent acquisition by new entrants to the housing market. When extended to a considerable degree, a property can appear out of character in comparison with its neighbours and adversely affect the overall street scene. This is of especial concern in the Conservation Area. Overly large extensions often mean a loss of privacy and light for adjacent properties. These matters are addressed in Policies H8 and ENV 28 of the Deposit Draft Local Plan and the Parish Council, as a statutory consultee on planning applications, propose to repeat them:
Within the 'village envelope' as defined by the Gedling Borough Council Local Plan Deposit Draft, planning permission will be considered for extensions to dwellings provided:
a) The appearance of the proposal is in keeping with the scale and character of the dwelling to be extended and its wider setting; and
b) The proposal will not cause unacceptable harm to the amenities of nearby residents.
c) Materials used in construction are in keeping with the existing dwelling and surrounding properties.
Within the Green Belt, planning permission for limited extensions or alterations of existing dwellings will be supported provided that it does not result in disproportionate additions over and above the size of the original dwelling.
6.1 The parish of Papplewick has a unique setting and style. The Parish Council will oppose applications for any type of development, large or small, which fail to respect their surroundings and are poorly designed. Planning applications relating to properties within the Conservation Area will receive particular scrutiny.
The Parish Council will seek to encourage high design standards that have regard to the character of the area and do not affect the parish by reason of their scale, bulk, form, layout or materials.
7.1 In the interests of conserving finite resources and reducing levels of pollution arising from the construction and demolition of buildings, whether for residential or commercial purposes, the Parish Council believes that building materials should be reclaimed and reused within the parish wherever possible.
In line with policy A16 the Parish Council will seek to impose conditions on any development within the parish where existing buildings are being altered or demolished, that the materials from those buildings be reclaimed, recycled and incorporated into any new structure on the site or reclaimed and reused elsewhere.
8. Other Planning Issues
8.1 Planning matters in relation to houses, normally considered as insignificant, can also exert a significant influence over the appearance of buildings in the parish. Certain residents have experienced what they perceive as unfair treatment by the planning authority when seeking permission for the installation of burglar alarm boxes on Listed Buildings. On occasions permission has been granted unconditionally, granted with conditions or refused outright. The Parish Council proposes that requests by residents for the installation of burglar alarm boxes should be considered:
That householders residing in Listed Buildings be allowed to erect burglar alarm boxes on the front or side elevations provided they are sited directly beneath the eaves of the property and painted to match the materials on which they are installed.
9. Conservation Area
9.1 The Parish Council recognises the Conservation Area has a unique character that should be preserved.
The Highway Authority and other statutory undertakers should avoid urbanisation of the street scene resulting from the installation of concrete kerbs, wirescape and other inappropriate elements, using natural or sympathetic materials wherever possible.
The Parish Council will oppose inappropriate siting of satellite dishes or other receiving apparatus. Inappropriate siting includes dishes or antenna protruding above the highest part of the roof or, in the case of Listed Buildings or buildings in the Conservation Area, receiving apparatus located on the front or side elevations to a property.
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