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Agenda item

Land lying to the South of Elvington Airfield Network, Elvington, York [18/02839/FULM]

Erection of two storey industrial building (mixed use class B1, B2, B8) with access and associated parking [Wheldrake Ward] [Site Visit]



Members considered a major full application from Sheppee International Ltd for the Erection of two storey industrial building (mixed use class B1, B2, B8) with access and associated parking at land lying to the south of Elvington Airfield Network, Elvington, York.


Officers updated Members of amended wording to condition 12 and additional conditions 17, 18, 19, 20 and 21. In response to Member questions, the Head of Development Services clarified:

·        That under condition 12 there was one electric changing point for vehicles. This condition could be amended to include a scheme for vehicle electric charging points and to include wording on the use of new technology.

·        Why the building would be dark grey not dark green.

·        Tree loss and landscaping.


Amendments to condition 15 for the landscaping to be for the lifetime of the development and condition 12 for there to be a scheme for vehicle electric charging points


Catherine Jukes, agent for the applicant, spoke in support of the application. She explained that Sheppee had been based in York for 100 years and was a high skill business which provides job opportunities. She explained how very special circumstances had been demonstrated. In response to Member questions she explained:

·        That with regard to the building colour this was a large scale industrial building which included screening and trees.

·        The hedgerows would need to be removed for building. There was a detailed landscape plan to show how ecology and plant species would work together. The Head of Development Services added that 27 new trees were proposed.


The Head of Development Services was then asked and explained why the application needed to be referred to the Secretary of State.


Resolved: That the application be approved subject to referral to the Secretary of State, the conditions listed on the report and the following amended wording to conditions 12 and 15 and additional conditions  17, 18, 19, 20 and 21.


Amended Condition 12

Before the occupation of the development a scheme for Electric Vehicle Recharging Point(s) shall be provided in a position and to a specification to be first agreed in writing by the Council. Within 3 months of the first occupation of the development, the owner will submit to the Council for approval in writing (such approval not be unreasonably withheld or delayed) an Electric Vehicle Recharging Point Maintenance Plan that will detail the maintenance, servicing and networking arrangements for each Electric Vehicle Recharging Point for a period of 10 years. 


Reason:     To promote and facilitate the uptake of electric vehicles on the site in line with the Council’s Low Emission Strategy (LES) and the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).


Amended Condition  15

The approved detailed landscape proposals, in accordance with drawing no. 50084-DR-LAN-102 rev D shall be implemented within a period of six months of the completion of the development and shall be for the lifetime of the development.  Any trees or plants which within a period of five years from the substantial completion of the planting and development, die, are removed or become seriously damaged or diseased, shall be replaced in the next planting season with others of a similar size and species, unless the Local Planning Authority agrees alternatives in writing.


Reason:    The landscape proposals are integral to the amenity of the development and the provision of visual mitigation.



Additional Condition 17: Invasive non-native species control

Prior to the commencement of development, an invasive non-native species protocol shall be submitted to and approved by the local planning authority, detailing the containment, control and removal of Himalayan balsam on site. The measures shall be carried out strictly in accordance with the approved scheme.


Reason:     To ensure that an adequate means of eradicating or containing the spread of an invasive non-native species is considered and thereafter implemented to prevent further spread of the plant which would have a negative impact on biodiversity.


Additional Condition 18: nesting birds

No removal of hedgerows, trees or shrubs shall take place between 1st March and 31st August inclusive, unless a competent ecologist has undertaken a careful, detailed check of vegetation for active birds’ nests immediately before the vegetation is cleared and provided written confirmation that no birds will be harmed and/or that there are appropriate measures in place to protect nesting bird interest on site. Any such written confirmation should be submitted to the local planning authority.


Reason:     To ensure that breeding birds are protected from harm during construction. All British birds, their nests and eggs (with certain limited exceptions) are protected by Section 1 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, as amended.


Additional Condition 19: protection of badgers during construction 

No works which include the creation of trenches or culverts or the presence of pipes shall commence until measures to protect badgers from being trapped in open excavations and/or pipe and culverts are submitted to and approved in writing by the local planning authority. The measures may include:

a)   creation of sloping escape ramps for badgers, which may be achieved by edge profiling of trenches/excavations or by using planks placed into them at the end of each working day; and

b)   open pipework greater than 150 mm outside diameter being blanked off at the end of each working day.


Reason:     To ensure that badgers are not trapped and harmed on site and also to ensure that badgers do not cause problems for future site operation, e.g. blockage of pipes.


Additional Condition 20: European protected species licence (Great Crested Newts)

Any vegetation or ground clearance or activity likely to cause harm to Great Crested Newts shall not in any circumstances commence unless the local planning authority has been provided with either:

a)   a licence issued by Natural England pursuant to Regulation 53 of The Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2017 (as amended) authorizing the specified activity/development to go ahead; or

b)   Confirmation that the site has been registered on a Low Level Impact Class licence; or

c)   a statement in writing from the relevant licensing body or suitably qualified ecologist to the effect that it does not consider that the specified activity/development will require a licence.


Reason:     To ensure that a European Protected Species Licence is applied for and to avoid the risk of a criminal offence and prosecution in relation to this.


Additional Condition 21: Drainage details – measures to protect amphibians

Any drainage structures such as gully pots and kerbing associated with the development shall be constructed so as to be amphibian-friendly.  Details will be submitted to and approved in writing by the local planning authority prior to their construction.


Reason:     In order to comply with legislation relating to European protected species and with Paragraph 175 of the National Planning Policy Framework.





                     i.        It is accepted that the proposed development constitutes inappropriate development within the general extent of the York Green Belt as defined by the saved policies of the revoked Yorkshire and Humber RSS. The applicant has put forward a strong economic argument as to why special circumstances exist for granting planning permission in the Green Belt in advance of the adopted of the Local Plan. Paragraph 144 of the NPPF states that substantial weight is given to any harm to the Green Belt. 'Very special circumstances' will not exist unless the potential harm to the Green Belt by reason of inappropriateness, and any other harm resulting from the proposal, is clearly outweighed by other considerations.


                    ii.        As previously identified the very special circumstances are considered to outweigh the Green Belt harm. Furthermore, the proposed development is considered to be acceptable in terms of the impact on the character of the area due to its location and the proposed landscape mitigation. The proposal is considered to be acceptable subject to appropriate conditions with regard to matters relating to ecology, drainage, amenity and highways.


                  iii.        While it is recognised that the proposed development does not meet the 'BREEAM excellent' required by 2018 Draft Plan policy CC2, only moderate weight can be applied to this policy and the difficulty of achieving this standard given the type of development is acknowledged. It is not considered that failure to meet this policy requirement carries sufficient weight to tip the planning balance against the granting of planning permission. It is also noted that there will be the loss of some best and most versatile agricultural land as a result of the proposed development, however detailed mapping of the York district in terms of agricultural land classification is not available and therefore it should be considered that the proposed development does not accord with paragraph 170 of the NPPF. However, these matters, even when combined with the identified harm to the Green Belt, are not considered to outweigh the positives of the proposed development.


                  iv.        The Town and Country Planning (Consultation) (England) Direction 2009 states in paragraph 4 that inappropriate development in the Green Belt on land allocated as Green Belt in a development plan document and which consists of or includes the provision of a building or buildings where the floor space to be created by the development is 1,000 square metres or more must be referred to the Secretary of State for consultation prior to the issuing of the decision notice. This application meets the aforementioned criteria and therefore the recommendation is one of conditional approval subject to referral to the Secretary of State.


Supporting documents:


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