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Agenda item

Playing Field, Sycamore Terrace, York [19/02347/FUL]

Flood alleviation works comprising of the replacement and extension of the existing flood/retaining wall located within the south-west corner of St Olave's School playing field [Clifton Ward]


Members considered an application from Emma Beever for flood alleviation works comprising of the replacement and extension of the existing flood/retaining wall located within the south-west corner of Olave's School playing field, Sycamore Terrace, York. 


Officers demonstrated the layout of the applications using plans and photographs. In answer to a Member question they confirmed that there was a condition regarding operating hours on the site.


David Morrey (Environment Agency) spoke in support of the application on behalf of the applicant. He explained the context of the application and that the works were for a flood cell which was part of 19 flood cells. He explained that the application had come to committee as the wall encroached onto the Green Belt. He advised that approval of the application would allow the completion of flood defences with minimal impact.


It was:


Resolved: That the application be approved, subject to the conditions listed in the report.




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 that 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.            National planning policy (para. 145) states that the construction of new building in the Green Belt should be regarded as inappropriate unless it falls within one of the exceptions to this outlined in paragraph 145 b of the NPPF.  The proposal has been assessed to represent engineering operations as outlined in paragraph 146 (b) of the NPPF however, the development is inappropriate development because, for the reasons outlined above in this report, it fails to preserve the openness of the Green Belt and conflicts withthe purposes of including land  within the Green Belt, namely parts C and D of policy 134 of the NPPF (assisting in safeguarding the countryside from encroachment and preserving the setting and special character of historic towns), contrary to paragraph 145b of the NPPF.


iii.          The proposal, providing flood defence assets, cannot be located in land at lower risk of flooding as the level of protection would not be achieved.  A sequential and exception test has been applied, and as the development is assessed as ‘Water Compatible’, this is appropriate development within any of the Flood Zones.


iv.          The application will lead to less than substantial harm to the significance on archaeological features and deposits which are situated within the Central Area of Archaeological Importance.  Public benefits are considered to justify this harm.  There are limited impacts in respect to landscape setting, ecology and any impacts can be mitigated by condition. 


v.           This area has a history of flooding and the proposed development is in response to an identified need to protect residential and non-residential properties as well as transport routes.  Having attached substantial weight to the harm to the Green Belt and great weight to the conservation of designated heritage assets (archaeology), it is therefore considered that the considerations set out in paragraphs 5.33 to 5.36 and 5.37 above would collectively clearly outweigh the harm to the Green Belt and designated heritage assets.  No other harm has been identified and it is considered that the very special circumstances necessary to justify the proposed development exist. 

Supporting documents:


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