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Agenda item

Land to the West of Redwood House, Northminster Business Park, Hackness Road, Upper Poppleton, York [18/02919/FULM]

Erection of two storey building (mixed use class B1, B8) and detached workshop with access and associated parking [Rural West York Ward] [Site Visit]



Members considered a major full application from Alastair Gill for the erection of a two storey building (mixed use class B1, B8) and detached workshop with access and associated parking.


Officers provided an update reporting that there was an error in paragraph 2.3 of the report as the application site is within the Rufforth with Knapton Neighbourhood Plan boundary. They advised that as stated in 4.10 the Neighbourhood Plan raised objection to the scale of the proposed expansion of the business park.  However it advised that an extension to the park, as presented in 2016, would be acceptable subject to certain criteria with regards access, screening and the proposed uses. Officers advised that the application site was within the land that was proposed to form an extension to the business park in the 2016 consultation of the Draft Local Plan. The proposals met the criteria in the Neighbourhood Plan regarding access, (landscape) screening and the proposed uses and as such the scheme in this respect would not conflict with the Neighbourhood Plan.  


Officers further advised that further to the site visits where prematurity was discussed, prematurity is a concept in planning policy as to whether approval of a planning application would prejudice emerging policy. Refusal on prematurity grounds was  unlikely to be justified unless granting planning permission would undermine the plan process and the emerging plan was at an advanced stage. Where planning permission is refused on grounds of prematurity, the Local Planning Authority need to indicate clearly how the grant of planning permission for the development concerned would prejudice the outcome of the plan-making process. Referring to paragraphs 49 and 50 of the NPPF, Members were reminded that NPPF was clear that developments may only be treated as premature in respect of development proposals which are individually so substantial, or whose cumulative effect would be so significant, that to grant permission would prejudice the outcome of the plan making process by predetermining decisions about the scale, location or phasing of new development which ought properly to be taken in the development plan context.  The current proposal envisages a modest industrial development within the context of a draft allocation within the 2018 Draft Plan and identified as making a contribution employment provision. As such it is not considered to be of such a scale as to be prejudicial to the local plan process.


The additional information had been assessed and the planning balance and the recommendation are unchanged from the published report. 


The Applicant, Alistair Gill, spoke in support of the application. He explained that FCS would like to establish York as a head office. He noted the employment opportunities that would be created and that Northminster Business Park was one of three areas identified as employment sites in the draft Local Plan. He explained that the how the current proposals met the needs of FSC and he went on to explain the screening of the boundaries. He added that the benefits of the proposals outweighed the potential harm.


Mr Gill was asked and explained that it was a 17,800 square foot site on 1.25 hectacres. He added that York had lost employment land due to residential development and FSC had been searching for space since 2016 and had not found an alternative location.


Edie Jones (Upper Poppleton Parish Councillor) spoke on this application and application [Land to the South of Northminster Business Park, Harwood Road, Upper Poppleton, York [18/02158/FULM] on behalf of the two Parish Councils of Upper and Nether Poppleton as well as the Poppleton Neighbourhood Plan. She noted that both proposals were both on high grade agricultural land and the proposals would create the second largest business park development on the York Local Plan and they were also in the Green Belt. She explained the problems that increased traffic to the sites would bring and highlighted concerns about access. She added that more suitable sites were available at Clifton Moor.


Officers were asked and explained that in regard to alternative sites, there was a letter of support from Make it York (MiY) which explained they had been working with the applicant over the last three years to find an alternative site.


Resolved: That delegated authority be given to the Assistant Director of Planning and Public Protection to:


i.     refer the application to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government under the requirements of section 77 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, and should the application not be called in by the Secretary of State, then APPROVE the application subject to


ii.    the conditions set out in this report and amended condition that the planting be for the lifetime of the development, with the Assistant Director granted delegated powers to determine the final detail of the planning conditions





                     i.        The application site is located within the general extent of the York Green Belt and serves a number of Green Belt purposes. As such it falls to be considered under paragraph 143 of the NPPF which states inappropriate development, is by definition, harmful to the Green Belt and should not be approved except in very special circumstances. Very special circumstances will not exist unless the potential harm to the Green Belt by reason of inappropriateness and any other harm are clearly outweighed by other considerations. National planning policy dictates that substantial weight should be given to any harm to the Green Belt.


                    ii.        In addition to the harm to the Green Belt by reason of inappropriateness, it is considered that the proposal would have a harmful effect on the openness of the Green Belt when one of the most important attributes of Green Belts are their openness.  The proposal would undermine two of the five Green Belt purposes by increasing a developed area and encroaching into the countryside. Substantial weight is attached to the harm that the proposal would cause to the Green Belt.


                   iii.        That the proposal would accommodate and retain a growing local business, the lack of suitable alternative sites (hence the business park being identified for expansion in the 2018 Draft Local Plan) and the extant permission at the site are considered to cumulatively clearly outweigh the harm to the Green Belt, including its openness when substantial weight is given to the harm.  No other harm has been identified when considered against the NPPF.  The very special circumstances necessary to justify the development therefore exist.


                  iv.        Other matters, associated with sustainable development, can be secured through planning permission.  The scheme does not conflict with the NPPF in that there would be no severe impacts on the highway network and no significant impacts on residential amenity.


                   v.        If members are minded to approve the application it will be referred to the Secretary of State under the requirements of section 77 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.


Supporting documents:


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