Planning 28 May 2013

sections1Travis Perkins site Lymington; Pennyfarthing Homes Ltd will soon submit proposals for a 23/ 25 home development. The planning consultants Tanner & Tilley have sent out a letter to local residents for their comments by 27.05.2013. LymSoc action: we posted details on our website with a copy of the PDF asking for comments; we contacted Tanner & Tilley Marketing Director to ask for a few days extension to their deadline as we expected to discuss the proposals at our next meeting 28.05.2013; also asked if the application is likely to be for outline permission only as with the drawings presented it’s only possible to focus on the lay-out and density of the proposals.

10360; The Lodge, 4 Milford Road; 4 houses; associated parking (demolition of existing). Comment: this was a tree lined stretch of Milford Road on the approach to Lymington from West.  A neighbour reports that the developer cleared the site including trees prior to his submission. Reccomendation: LymSoc to object on grounds of local distinctiveness; importance of location at entrance to town; ask for reduction in density; restore aspect. http://web3.newforest.gov.uk/ConnectAcolaidWebExternal/GetDocumentContentExternal.aspx?documentId=581523&filename=Proposed+Site+Layout+Plan.pdf

For the record

Sites & Development Management Plan; we agree on the need for ‘affordable’ housing locally but the NFDC proposal to allocate development of around 150 houses on ‘green belt’ sites at Lym 1 (Pinetops) and Lym 2 (north of Alexandra Road) would compromise the town’s boundaries. Action: LymSoc representative spoke at re-scheduled hearing 23 Apr 2013 and put it to the Inspector that the SDMP was unsound as the Council had failed to provide evidence of having considered reasonable alternatives to the sites allocated for additional housing and that the choice of locations locally might be better addressed through a Neighbourhood Plan. Comment: Inspector accepted NFDC’s proposition that due to land values within the town, the only sites where additional housing could be sited was within the green belt surrounding Lymington & Pennington; the Inspector at the Core Strategy hearing had accepted this proposition and he was not going to disagree. Status: Inspector’s interim report is due within weeks.

10257; Gordleton Industrial Park, Hannah Way; construct buildings for industrial, storage and business use (Use Classes B1, B2, & B8) (Outline Application with details only of access, layout and scale). Action: LymSoc objection submitted. Status: Application withdrawn by agent’s e-mail dated 10th May 2013. Comment: a revised application seems very likely before long so we need to remain vigilant and flag it so that people can have their say.

10148; Berthon Boat Company Ltd, Bath Road; retention of cladding; door and fenestration alterations to West Solent shed. Comment: Retrospective application to retain cladding carried out last year, resulting in the infilling of part of a building that was previously open sided. Site is just outside Conservation Area, although the new cladding is visible from viewpoints within and there is a Listed Building fairly close to the north side of the site. NFDC case officer says “The impact of the development on the character and appearance of the adjacent Conservation Area and the setting of the nearby Listed Building are material planning considerations”. However, you might think that cladding might actually be of benefit e.g. in terms of preventing pollution/ noise and is relatively immaterial compared to the presence of the shed itself. Action: none – we considered an objection but agreed the proposed cladding work looks innocuous. Status: NFDC Conservation Officer seeks clarification.

10163; 3 Grove Pastures (Conservation Area); single-storey rear extension. The case officer says “proposed rear extension would be in keeping with the existing property and would not be visible from the street”. Recommendation: leave to NFDC Conservation officer. Status: NFDC Conservation Team recommends approval subject to alterations in height/ design of cornicing and roof lanterns.

Enforcement update

EN/09/0270 Bridge Cottage; Bridge Road [Refers to APP/B1740/C/12/2175912 appeal against enforcement]. Status: decision date 30.10.2012; time for compliance: 12 months i.e. by end Oct 2013.

Buffalo Bar, St. Thomas St; neon signage.  Status: NFDC say they are putting together a case with a view to issuing legal instructions within around 2 weeks unless they comply.

EN/09/0614; Unit 3, Anchor House, Bath Road. Unauthorised Change Of Use: FROM A MIXED USE OF COMMERCIAL OFFICES AND COFFEE SHOP USE TO A MIXED USE AS A CAFE, RESTAURANT AND BAR WITH ASSOCIATED OUTSIDE EATING AND DRINKING SPACE. Status: enforcement notice issued; owner has appealed; an Inspector is to decide outcome using written representations (deadline 13.03.2013). APP/B1740/C/12/2189220; appeal against enforcement. Status: not yet decided. http://www.pcs.planningportal.gov.uk/pcsportal/ViewCase.asp?caseid=2189220&coid=210675.

Gordleton expansion: our planning response

Gordleton update: there’s a new application registered 19 Aug 2013- see NFDC website. Then, add your comments on this website.

11033; Gordleton Industrial Park; construct buildings for industrial, storage and business use (Use Classes B1, B2, & B8) (Outline Application with details only of access, layout and scale).
GordletonUpdate: Application withdrawn by agent’s e-mail dated 10th May 2013.
The NFDC is considering an application to increase the size of Gordleton industrial park by around 30%. We are in favour of developing employment opportunities in Lymington and Pennington but this is not the right location.

Planning permission for the original Gordleton Industrial Park was granted at appeal in 1979. When it was first built Gordleton was the main option for expanding employment locally but there are now reasonable alternatives. Industrial capacity has been added in the immediate area and nearby, notably at Ampress. We understand there is a large unoccupied unit at Gordleton, together with undeveloped space within the existing site.

The capacity of the existing access roads is completely inadequate to bear the increased levels of traffic that this proposal implies. The size of lorries when Gordleton first opened was a lot smaller than today. The ambulance station at Gordleton has introduced additional pressure on nearby roads. This proposal would risk producing delays that could have serious consequences.

Contrary to Local Plan policy The Transport Assessment submitted with this application underestimates the impact of the likely increase in traffic. It does not make it clear that the only practical approach to the site for large vehicles is along the Sway Road. The increased traffic along this narrow road would deter other road users e.g. cyclists, pedestrians and walkers from using the road. The application cannot therefore be considered to comply with Local Plan policy CS24.

In 1998, a similar planning application was refused in part because the roads leading to the site were considered to be of inadequate width and alignment to accommodate the additional traffic likely to be generated by the development.

We understand that at a meeting on 18.04.2013, Lymington & Pennington Town Council decided to recommend refusal of this application. We ask the Council to support the recommendation of their planning officers and refuse this application. ENDS.

Application details: 13/10257; Gordleton Industrial Park, Hannah Way SO41 8JD. Proposal: construct buildings for industrial, storage and business use (Use Classes B1, B2, & B8) (Outline Application with details only of access, layout and scale).

See our objection and all comments on the NFDC website:
http://planweb3.newforest.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=summary&keyVal=_NEWFO_DCAPR_182684.

Sale of the Lymington Bus Station for Redevelopment

Bus StationThe Lymington Society has been aware for several years of the likelihood that the bus station would one day be sold for development as it has previously been listed by the NFDC as a potential site in its housing planning guidance.

Now that the site is finally to be sold, the Society very much welcomes the fact that the bus services operated from the bus station will not be curtailed and that the funds raised will be used to support the continuation of a full bus service. We are also pleased to hear that there will be no redundancies due to the sale.

In these difficult times bus services provide a vital lifeline for poorer families and older people especially and we hope that all the current services will continue much as before. We hope that this opportunity will be taken to ensure that the service fully integrates with the train service at the railway station.Bus Station-3

Speaking to the A & T after the announcement of the sale of the Bus Station Lymington Society Press Spokesman said:

“Clearly any future development which emerges on this unique site will need to be carefully designed to fit in to the heart of the Georgian centre of Lymington and the Society will work with the community to ensure that any designs chosen are suitable.

However the prospect of a large new development right in the centre of the town which could contain new housing as well as retail and business elements is an exciting prospect.

A suitable development is certainly something that the Society would welcome as it could inject much needed vitality into the centre of the town at this difficult time for many traders and the local economy.

In combination with the exciting Redrow development which is now proceeding apace, any eventual development could have a major effect in helping to rejuvenate the town.

The Lymington Society would welcome the opportunity to take an active part in consultations with the eventual owners to try and obtain the best result possible for the town on this important site”

Greenbelt development 2013

Public hearing on ‘green belt’ housing in Lymington & Pennington 23rd April at Glasshouses_at_Pinetops_Nurseries,_Upper_Pennington,_Lymington_-_geograph.org.uk_-_1748941.30 pm. As part of the Sites & Development Management plan the New Forest District Council is looking at sites that could provide an additional 150 new homes, up to 70% of them affordable homes, on ‘green belt’ sites at Pinetops nurseries (listed as ‘Lym 1’ in the plan) and at a site to the north of Alexandra Road (‘Lym 2’). The Council has acknowledged our input at each stage of consultation on the preparation of the plan. The final stage of the formal adoption process is a public hearing at which a Planning Inspector tests the ‘soundness’ of the plan. The hearing began in February but some sessions had to be re-scheduled, owing to the Inspector’s illness. The session on ‘green belt’ housing in Lymington & Pennington is now scheduled for 23rd April at 1.30 pm at the NFDC offices at Appletree Court, Lyndhurst. See details for the public hearing at: http://www.newforest.gov.uk/index.cfm?articleid=10281

The Society understands and supports the need for affordable housing locally but there are reasonable alternatives to encroaching onto these green belt areas. Planning policy allows small scale exceptions to the prohibition on green belt development in special circumstances but the scale of the development proposed cannot be considered small scale. Neither of these sites is suitable for the scale of development proposed which would have significant implications on traffic and infrastructure locally. It would urbanise and significantly alter the character that is valued locally and highlighted in the Lymington Local Distinctiveness SPD.

We think that the sites and development management plan fails to properly consider reasonable alternatives for the location of additional housing locally – including affordable housing – and will be arguing strongly against the allocations at Pinetops and Alexandra Road at the hearing.

Background: The NFDC Sites and Development Management plan sets out the detailed proposals required to implement the planning strategy for the area agreed through the Core Strategy (adopted in 2009). The plan allocates a limited amount of greenfield land for new development to meet the local need for additional housing, affordable housing and employment. Between 2006 – 2026, the overall South East Plan requires 3,920 additional dwellings.

Greenfield Site Development 2012

Green-fieldSites and Development Management Development Plan Document On 20 January 2012 the District Council will publish for a six week Representation period, the proposed Submission Document of the Sites and Development Management Development Plan Document. This follows a six week public consultation that took place in January to March 2011. The Sites and Development Management DPD will set out the detailed proposals and policies required to implement the planning strategy for the area agreed through the Core Strategy (adopted in 2009). The Plan will include the allocation of a limited amount of greenfield land for new development required to meet the local need for additional housing, affordable housing and employment land. It will also provide additional development management policies to assist the implementation of the Core Strategy.’

Between 2006 – 2026, the overall South East Plan requires 3,920 additional dwellings. As part of the Sites & Development Management plan the Council is looking at sites that could provide up to around 150 of these dwellings in Lymington & Pennington. The Council has acknowledged LymSoc’s input to their consultation and confirmed that they will take account of our comments. The deadline for comments has now expired but they say that they’ll notify us “towards the end of 2011″, of a further “six week period during which formal representations about the Plan may be made”

Local Distinctiveness South of the High Street


To the south of the High Street, modern Lymington has emerged from several former large estates which dominated much of the the area until the middle of the twentieth century;  Woodside, Fairfield and South Hayes among them.   Many of the avenues connecting the town’s central conservation area to that on its largely nineteenth century south-eastern edge – Church Lane, Waterford Lane, Broad Lane, Belmore Lane, Rooke’s Lane – retain in their names reminders of their origins and their character.   The houses which grew up along and between them as the original estates were sold off reflect the architectural styles of their times, but for the most part share common characteristics of generous spacing and comparatively low height, set among mature green growth and open spaces.   In recent years these characteristics have been to some extent been compromised by modern housing estates with greater density and depressingly uniform appearance.   Two of them (Farnley’s Mead and Grove Place, both built around 1985/6) have matured well and merged into their older surroundings, and others in the Old Orchards area have at least retained a substantial number of mature trees and open spaces.   More recent development has taken a new and unwelcome direction, with the demolition of perfectly sound houses in favour of more numerous, larger, taller and more ostentatious buildings on their former gardens.

 

Belmore Lane, not long ago described even by a developer as “semi-rural”, was until recently lined by comparatively modest 1½-storey or 2-storey houses most of which were semi-hidden by hedges and trees.  Since 2001 it has come under prolonged attack by developers, and three of its houses have been or are being replaced by 14 flats and 11 other houses, with concomitant intrusions on both the skyline and the former open space.   Several other houses with generous gardens are known to be of interest to developers, but any further development of the kind now in progress will inflict irreversible damage on the character of this lane.

 

Two offshoots sharing an exit from Belmore Lane are Fairfield Close and Courtenay Place.   Both feature space, low rise buildings, mature trees and greenery in generous gardens.   Fairfield Close is an attractive remnant of the former Fairfield Estate, of which it formed the kitchen garden, and is lined by walls of mostly ancient reclaimed bricks.   It has three eighteenth century buildings which once housed the estate’s stables, coach house and fruit house.   Adjoining the central Conservation Area, it deserves serious consideration for inclusion within it to preserve its mature and pleasant aspect from risk of dense and inappropriate development.   Courtenay Place is by some margin the most attractive of the town’s rather too numerous mock-Georgian terrace developments, being set in mature and spacious grounds and visually discreet.   It could not take further development without losing its essential character.

 

Further down Belmore Lane away from the town centre, Farnley’s Mead was an estate development of the 1980s consisting of substantial detached houses set in medium-sized plots.   It attracted criticism at the time on account of its perceived higher-than-normal density, but it has matured well and the houses and gardens are uniformly well maintained.

 

Rooke’s Lane, bordering the northern edge of the extensive Woodside Park, fronts a pleasingly diverse mixture of entirely appropriate modest houses in the style of the mid-20th century, set in generous gardens among mature greenery.   It also gives access to a discreet unsurfaced and unnamed lane just west of Newenham Road, one of several which are a feature of the town, which leads to several attractive houses set in mature and generous gardens typical of the mid-20th century.   Newenham Road and Lockerley Close are more modern, with detached family houses in contemporary styles set in slightly smaller gardens.   Modest infilling might be acceptable if carried out in the same architectural idiom, but the intrusion of brutal dense building blocks such as those imposed on Belmore Lane would destroy the visual balance of this pleasant neighbourhood.

 

Between Rooke’s Lane and Belmore Road to the north lies an estate laid out along the pattern of roads served by Bitterne Way and Old Farm Walk.   The houses are of the same designs as those which line Daniell’s Walk, suggesting that they were built a tthe same time and by the same builder in the years after the Second World War.   Like those in Daniell’s Walk, many have since been modifed and extended, bringing some pleasing variety to the neighbourhood, but together they have a noticeably different character and distinctiveness which comes from the general absence of large mature trees and the conspicuously neat and high standard of both house and garden maintenance throughout the estate, giving it a strikingly “factory-fresh” appearance.   Some recent tall and dense development in Ravenscourt Road and the newly-created Londesborough Place off Stanford Hill throw this neat appearance into even greater relief.   There has been some infill development which matches the surrounding s in style.   Large-scale dense redevelopment would impose serious damage on the character of this attractive area

 

All Saints Road is bordered to the north by the extensive housing estates of Vitre Gardens, Old Orchards and Anchorage Way, all typical estates of the late 20th and early 21st century.   No doubt they are all practical and efficient houses, but their visual uniformity and dense spacing are saved from anonymity only by the retention of some mature trees and hedges, and a good measure of open space, which do provide a visual link to the nearby New Forest.   The houses are all likely to undergo incremental change year by year as owners adapt and extend them.   Such changes should be welcomed so long as they are in scale, as they add detail and variation to the dull uniformity of  such large-scale developments.

 

To the south of All Saints Road, the “Woodside Triangle”, the southernmost neighbourhood of the town bounded by Viney Road, Woodside Lane and All Saints Road itself, abuts the open fields of the New Forest to the south and west.   The triangle’s buildings, set in generous plots among mature trees and shrubs, range from modest 19th-century or older cottages through inconspicuous 1½-storey homes to the substantial modern mid-20th-century 2-storey  houses bordering the unadopted Woodside Avenue.   One attractive aspect of their collective character is that no two are alike but all are complementary.   The parish church of All Saints stands at the north-east corner of the area and the listed Woodside Manor at the southern apex of the triangle.   Several of the houses fronting All Saints Road have in recent years been imaginatively modernised and restored, adding features such as a new crinkle-crankle wall and a thatched annex to the thatched De La Warr House.   The area embodies features which successfully reflect both the historic town to the north and the Forest to the south.  Inappropriate redevelopment here would impose serious injury on the character of the town and its relationship with the Forest.

 

Church Lane and its southern extension Broad Lane are similar in character to Belmore Lane.   Its northern end in the central conservation area, which once formed the boundary between the Fairfield and Grove estates, is is lined by listed buildings and ancient walls, two of which are of the characteristic serpentine or crinkle-crankle type, which give way to a more open aspect bordered by housed differing widely in style and size, again set among mature trees and greenery.   The houses on the eastern side of the lower Church Lane (south of the Conservation Area), two of them completed quite recently, are all substantial buildings set in comparatively large gardens and well screened from the road by dense hedges.   The plots are known to be of interest to developers, but the destruction of such recent substantial and attractive buildings in pursuit of greater densities would be indefensible on sustainability grounds alone.

 

Daniell’s Walk (with its offshoot Daniell’s Close), which links the road to Belmore Lane, was at one time a path across the Fairfield Estate but was developed as a housing estate following the sale of the latter in the 1950s.  Its borders feature two massive Monterey pines (a third has recently been felled, creating a substantial gap in the skyline).   Its houses stand in long narrow gardens featuring mature greenery and are variations of a uniform style, some being bungalows and some having 1½ storeys or added loft extensions.   They were originally constructed from common materials with little variation of texture or colour, but many have been extended, re-roofed or otherwise altered and the appearance of the whole is now pleasingly varied.   Extensive redevelopment would seriously threaten the character of the whole unless it were of similar style, a successful example of which may be seen on the north side of the road near its western end.

 

Broad Lane and its several offshoots feature a range of buildings from the large modern estates off the Orchards through the Edwardian development  of Burrard Closeand the substantial modern houses of Tranmere Close to the low-rise houses of widely varying ages and styles fronting the road itself, all set in mature greenery.  Some of the offshoot lanes, such as Bingham Drive, Ambleside Road and Goldmead Close, serve small estate developments all of which probably took shape following the sale of the Fairfield Estate in 1950.   The buildings are of fairly uniform mid-20th-century style and some stand in what today are seen as generous plots.    Though perfectly serviceable, they are in no way distinctive within the character of the wider town and could accept redevelopment as opportunity arises.   A recent attempt to replace a single house at the juction of Bingham Drive and Chrch Lane with a terrace development was rejected as inappropriate and has not been renewed.

 

Broad Lane has one unnamed, unsurfaced offshoot lane, immediately north of the Orchards estate, in the manner of that described earlier off Rooke’s Lane.   It has no name, but serves several diverse and attractive houses as far as its head, which backs on to Pyrford Lodge, off Belmore Lane to the west.   Like its peer lanes elsewhere in the town,, it contribute a pleasant rural feel to the local character which would be destroyed by dense redevelopment.

 

Waterford Lane, with its offshoot Waterford Close, was until recently another pleasant green corridor between Church Lane and Stanley Road, lined at its northern end by closely-spaced two-and three-storey houses set in generous gardens with mature greenery.   That character has however been considerably altered by recent planning approvals, which have approved the demolition of five serviceable two-storey houses and their replacement by 22 taller (2 storeys plus attic), tightly packed and in some cases ostentatious new dwellings (the 14 terrace houses in Abbots Brook, for example, featuring a bizarre orange brick which has no equivalent anywhere else in the town) which together form an unwelcome visual assault on the integrity of the area.  Towards its southern end, the character of the lane changes as it merges with Brook Road, where the buildings are smaller and more tightly packed in the manner of an unpretentious seaside town.   This group belongs to the Queen Katherine Road group described later.

 

Skirting the southern boundary of the Conservation Area eastwards from Church lane, the 1980s development of  South Grove features a group of substantial houses set in comparatively small plots among mature trees and greenery.   The houses (three recent additions are nearing completion) have matured well and merged with the character of the Conservation Area to the north.   A case can be made for their inclusion in that Area.   The contiguous commercial site immediately to the east, currently occupied by Travis Perkins but earmarked for housing should it become vacant, will need careful development if the result is not to contrast uncomfortably with its neighbours.

 

Queen Katherine Road and its close parallel neighbour Bath Road both serve to connect the town centre Conservation Area to the Kings Saltern Conservation Area, along the line of the river’s west bank.   Their character is markedly different to that of the lanes further to the west.   The substantial bulk of the Berthon boatyard and the smaller Sanders sail loft are prominent immediately south of the central Conservation Area, with a few substantial detached houses fronting the northern end of Queen Katherine Road where it joins Nelson Place.   The domestic architecture immediately south of these is dominated by buildings between the roads which are instantly recognisable as being of the uniform, nationwide semi-detached council house style of the 1930s and 1940s.   Most of these houses are now privately owned and some have undergone extension and alteration, thereby introducing some welcome visual variety.   A few, however, appear to have been neglected, detracting from the appearance of the whole.   Most have comparatively long but narrow gardens which could accept development on an appropriate scale.

 

The character of the Bath Road/Queen Katherine Road corridor changes to the south, becoming more tree-lined and featuring mainly detached houses of varying designs in larger gardens.   Solent Avenue is densely tree-lined throughout, its buildings standing well back from the road, with a character of its own as it leads down to the northern edge of the Kings Saltern Conservation Area at the Recreation Ground.

 

Brook Road, Spring Road, Westfield Road north of the Conservation Area and Stanley Road all feature closely-spaced, unpretentious houses built over a long period starting probably in the mid-19th century and continuing with replacements and infills to the present day.   The area has a character of its own, distinct from that of the rest of the town and not unlike that of a working west country port town, most of the houses having the air of having been built for those who earned their living from the sea.   Exceptions are Springfield Close and Mayflower Close, both of which have modern detached houses in generous plots similar to those found elsewhere in the town, though with less surrounding green growth.   The area as a whole provides an orderly transition between the leafier lanes to the north and west and the maritime character of the contiguous Conservation Area to the south.   Sympathetic redevelopment would be possible so long as it preserved the subtly varying styles which make the area distinct.

 

Local Distinctiveness North of the High Street

Local Distinctiveness North of the High Street

 

Draft narrative as a background to local distinctiveness prepared by Clive Sutton in respect of the area to the east of Southampton Road and the north of the High Street.

 

Southampton road from St Thomas’s Park going north.

 

We are very lucky to have the attractive Georgian houses on the west side of Southampton Road Road.  It is true that they are mirrored on the right-hand side by 1930s detached houses but because of the width of the road the two styles are distinctive and complement each other.

 

There have so far been two intrusions into the east side of Southampton Road between St Thomas’s Park and the traffic lights but these have not irreparably changed the character, as although both created flats and to a certain extent set precedents, they have not significantly changed the character of the Southampton Road at that point.

 

Any further developments of flats as opposed to houses will start to tip the balance and instead of the cottages on the west side being reflected by the present variety of housing on the west side they will be overwhelmed by any further multiple ownership housing.

 

Accordingly any changes of housing on his side should only be to a similar style and density. The 1960s row of chalet bungalows could be replaced on that basis with single ownership two-storey housing.

 

Southampton Road Avenue Road junction.

 

This is a curious configuration of a one-way street coming in to a major crossroads and adds interest to the junction.

 

That is going to be substantially prejudiced by the planning permission which has been given for the McCarthy warden assisted accommodation, due to the substantial scale of the building and its uninterrupted mass around the corner which cannot be hidden by the varying types of roofs which are being employed.

 

The junction is going to be a clash between the older buildings in the conservation area and the more modern buildings for which permission has been given on the northern corners of the crossing and unfortunately those buildings will subtly alter the tone of both Southampton Road and Avenue Road, and must not be allowed in future to set a precedent for any further changes.

 

The remainder of Southampton Road to the north of the traffic lights has a pleasing and relaxed feel of detached houses and gardens set back with the notable exception of St Andrews Lodge.  That building must not be allowed to be reflective of the distinctiveness of that part of Southampton Road.

 

There has been the replacement of a bungalow on the other side of the road with a detached house which when it is occupied will sit very well with in the street scene the developers of that property are to be congratulated.  It should set the tone for any replacement houses that maybe needed because of any unsuitability of any existing houses which are not capable of being modernised.

 

Development has already taken place on the west side near Alexandra Road.  Tyler’s Close could in due course, if commercially necessary, be redeveloped into individual houses within an estate.

 

At Alexandra Road, Southampton road becomes more interesting following the original curved route dating back to the 15th century as shown on the original 16 century Buckland map.

 

The Grosvenor Mews development is set back behind high foliage.  Any redevelopment of the Grosvenor Mews buildings, if that was ever commercially necessary, would need to be to an attractive standard at no greater density.

 

An example of such development has already taken place on the hospital site where new houses do not impinge on the character of Southampton Road although they are artificially divorced from that in the same way as Grosvenor Mews and Tylers close.

 

This has, to a certain extent set a pattern for the road, with some houses fronting the road and some areas where the houses look away from the road.  This variety is a feature of Southampton Road.

 

At Hollywood Lane the road becomes almost rural leading on to the Tollhouse Pub and the open fields behind it and then on to the open fields to the left approaching the Marsh Lane roundabout.

 

The Marsh Lane roundabout will form an area of distinctiveness and is heavily used by traffic.  The western side will never be built upon due to the Hampshire County Council ownership.  The North-East corner has the new Ambrose Corner development by Coltens, yet to be completed, but on the basis of what is there already and what has been built further on it will not be unattractive housing so long as there is a reasonable amount of foliage fronting the road.  Again the houses will be facing away from the road into their own cul-de-sacs.  No doubt when the development is finished the roundabout could be made more attractive and some of the street furniture and telegraph poles improved.

 

The problematical area is the two semi-detached houses and large bungalow on the southeast side which could be considered a possible development prospect.

 

Any developer would wish to bring new development closer to the road, although there is a big separation by the layby which presumably cannot be built on.  Any redevelopment of that area would be unfortunate and unnecessary because it would expand and diminish the effectiveness of the sensitive redevelopment which has already taken place on the east side of Southampton Road from Marsh Lane to the railway bridge.

 

That area has achieved its own local distinctiveness by a development which could at first have seemed an unnecessary replacement for individual houses in their own gardens, but having been nearly completed has achieved an attractive frontage to the west side of the road with the possible exception of the unnecessary square “Tesco” Tower building halfway along.  Otherwise the frontage housing is attractive and the rear housing is as attractive as one would expect from a development of that necessary density.

 

Reaching the railway bridge the two new flat blocks of affordable housing have sat well in their surroundings since they were built, contained as they are by both the bank of the road and the railway line.

 

South of them is an area still to be developed subject to planning permission were there has been an argument over the density and the perhaps in the current climate the developers could look to a lesser density.

 

The relatively new development of the Ampress Park industrial side with its garage and reclad units of the Wellworthy factory with extensive areas for building and of course the hospital, has overall been a success.

 

The area has been reserved for commercial use but if that must be changed it would not be entirely inappropriate for there to be housing mixed with commercial use.

 

With the garage shop providing such a wide range of supplies there is almost a community feel growing up with the new developments on Southampton Road using that shop as its local store and also the use of the shop by people working in the Ampress site and the hospital.

 

There is the old Wellworthy car parks site underdeveloped where a hotel is being thought to be the right answer and probably still is, but if necessary similar housing to that on the south side of the railway bridge would not be out of place there.

 

The extent of the redevelopment so far in the town can be appreciated by observing the Marsh Laneroundabout which is the main artery into the town from the North and the amount of continuous traffic coming in to continue both along Southampton Road or Marsh Lane.

 

Marsh Lane is a new connecting road built 30 years ago to access the eastern part of the town and serve the new estates on either side. Those estates are now matured and the road has a wide and pleasant aspect.

 

It leads into the southern Marsh Lane area of functional industrial development of factories of the original Marsh Lane together with local authority depots and an unmade residential road on the west side.  The allotments are undeveloped and during an area of demand for allotments are unlikely to be developed, but if necessary, presumably with low density housing preferably fronting the road to create a street scene rather than another enclosed development would be appropriate.  However retention of the open allotment space would be preferable to create a distinct break between the industrial area to the south and the estates to the north.

 

There is a general area of openness because of the grass verges on the other side of Marsh Lanebetween the road and the railway line and of course the undeveloped marshes beyond.

 

East Hill roundabout with development all round it now completed seems more attractive than theMarsh Lane roundabout having less signs and street clutter.  It is complemented by the new housing fronting the street and reflecting the remainder of Gosport Street.  The developers seem to have achieved the benefit of the houses fronting the road whilst being serviced for vehicles at the rear.  This has led to small gardens and a rather utilitarian parking and garage forecourt area at the rear but it is functional and has allowed the frontage is to be closer to the road and attractive.

 

There is housing on the north east corner of the Gosport Street and Bridge Road roundaboutwhich is possibly part private and part local authority and may be subject to development pressures in the future.  It is at the moment all uniform 1930s housing, and any redevelopment of an individual house into what would be likely to be more intensive development would break up the uniform rooflines.

 

The whole area of the roundabout, whilst nothing special in architectural terms, is established and appropriate in its surroundings quite close to the town.  One bungalow to the use of the roundabout could usefully be redeveloped into a house to reflect the adjoining houses in the same way as the redevelopment of the bungalow in Southampton Road has done.

 

Gosport Street is an attractive mixture of Edwardian and Victorian houses of which there has been a partial redevelopment in Canterbury house which, whilst fussy, is successful.

 

The unknown question in this area is the potential redevelopment of the factory units on the southeast corner of the roundabout which will no doubt occur when there is a new upsurge in housing prices.

 

Any redevelopment must reflect the existing houses to the south of the site and opposite side ofGosport Street and again it may be unfortunate if houses face inwards and away from the street.  They should face the road in some form or other probably with rear vehicle access in order to reflect the distinctiveness created by the other houses facing the road in a similar way in this area.

 

Any redevelopment of the Jewson building or site if that were to take place would need to be on a similar basis and of course in replacing the Jewson building that could reasonably be dense development because of the existing mass of the building.

 

Planning has already being granted for a high building on the corner of Gosport Street and North Close and it is hoped that that will be in keeping but that will be a marker to any further development in Gosport Street as to whether it is successful or not.

 

Canon Street has of course the Jewson Yard as a potential for development and of course it is unnecessary to have a builder’s yard like that so close to the shopping area because it would normally be accessed by vehicles rather than pedestrians.

 

On the north side of Canon Street there is an area no doubt to be susceptible to redevelopment consisting of a row of garages with gardens behind.  Any such development would no doubt reflect the old school (Mosbach Place) development which when looking up from Canon Street is still excessively high at its west end, although the east end frontage is attractive and redolent of a 1930s style development.  That design could be reflected in any development on the corner of Canon Street and North Close.

 

The Tesco’s car park area relates to the High Street and should only be redeveloped for car park purposes in some format but such redevelopment will be dependent on the overall parking issues within the town.

 

Turning into North Close, a most attractive development is the library set, as it is, back into higher ground.

 

The Edwardian houses in the part of North Close running down to Gosport Street are very attractive and their distinctiveness in the environment must be protected, and this to a certain extent has been achieved by the new single storey units on the North East end of the street which could have been slightly more imaginative.

 

Moving down Bridge Street, the same comment as to the redevelopment of the industrial side apply as applied in Gosport Street, although development could be much more setback given the area of openness to reflect the existing housing on the other side.

 

Moving beyond the level crossing is the stand alone planning issue of the Webb Site which hopefully will now achieve its distinctiveness in the low density housing and riverside frontage now anticipated for that site and will not be completely separated from Lymington so that residents can access Lymington by way of a pedestrian accessway.  It is also important that the frontage to the river is attractive as it is viewed so much from the road on the Walhampton side, and the design of the new development on the Webb Site needs to take this into account and it will no doubt be attractive for the occupiers of the new houses to have a frontage view over the River.

 

Waterloo Road has its special distinctiveness in being mixed attractive housing close to or exactly fronting the road in parts.  The Green Marine factory is an unknown quantity and it will be a political decision as to whether that will be replaced by housing or industrial units if redeveloped.

 

The feature of the road is the redevelopment of the old garage site with houses, albeit high but reflecting a river frontage feel of wharfs, which have succeeded without over dominating the remainder of the street and in particular Station Road.

 

Station Road development is now complete with those houses and is again attractive with its uniform terraced housing down both sides.  A similar situation applies in Mill Lane where the redevelopment is complete with the new Britannia Place.

 

The Quayside Marine being a riverside industry presumably will be a permanent fixture.

 

Going up East Hill there are attractive cottages at the lower end on the south side with local authority housing fairly close on the north side which will no doubt not be changed.

 

Back from East Hill is also the, presumably local authority, housing on the south side East of North Street.

 

There is a bungalow, Maycross, on East Hill which with the adjoining bungalow on the corner ofBroomfield Lane could lead to redevelopment.  Apart from the Old Masters House of the infirmary there would be no houses overlooking and there is no sense of a street identity here, which would be in fact created by new development which can be left to the creativity of an architect.

 

The Infirmary is an interesting redevelopment in the new Union Place.  The Infirmary of necessity was made into flats to preserve it and this has been achieved.  The new houses surrounding it are functional if unimaginative and reflect affordable accommodation.  The retention of the Masters House has been a master stroke in its aspect from the West and the East although the replacement of the brickwork of the western extension will blend in hopefully over time. The retention of the Masters House has avoided the isolation of the Infirmary building and put it in context.

 

The retention of the Infirmary wall and the Masters house wall in the East hill is attractive.

 

 

 

New Street now features the Hillcroft Close redevelopment which reflects the original Hillcroftbuilding and provides its own community and distinctiveness.  This will presumably be reflected by redevelopment of the Local Authority home on the other side of New Street.  However that development should not be as high as Hillcroft because of the fact that the ground is higher there and all it would overshadow everything else.

 

The remainder of New Street to has achieved its own distinctiveness of large houses either used as office or residential which sit well.

 

Madrissa Court and New Court House stand out as unfortunate additions and if they became time expired their redevelopment would be beneficial.  In fact Madrissa Court is probably the only example of conventional 60s flatted developments in the town and possibly through that horrific example the town has been saved for from similar development, until the recent permissions for dense development made to look like houses.

 

The McCarthy development of Rapunzel’s Tower is a grotesque confection of cones and peaks — and troughs — overshadowing the vernacular of the Borough Arms and small buildings adjoining.  The worst aspect of it is the Lower Buckland Road aspect where it creates a “Wall Street” effect against the other side of the road including, even the Archgate development.  It has made a mockery of the Borough Arms and the adjoining house which appears to be unsaleable.  Whether this will be significantly improved by the reduction in the height, now going through, remains to be seen.

 

The complete inappropriateness of the McCarthy development is clear from Union Place where the peaked roofs look like dragons teeth towering over the smaller houses of Lower Buckland Road.

 

There are bungalows opposite the McCarthy development on the south side of Avenue Road which will obviously lend themselves to re-development.  Lessons must be learnt and any redevelopment there should be two-storey houses preferably having a street frontage to give the street and an identity to reflect the frontages of the larger houses on the other side for the remainder of the central part of Avenue Road.

 

Those houses give the street a pleasing and open aspect but still retain an integrity and uniformity.  If necessary the two bungalows opposite the town hall exit could be redeveloped to two-storey houses.

 

Plantation Court may well be redeveloped in time but should be redeveloped to reflect the two-storey houses and not reflecting Cavendish Place which is just too overbearing.  When viewed from all sidesCavendish House resembles a beached ocean liner.  Using the example of the recent new houses at the northern end of Southampton Road, a similar density could have probably been achieved on this site without the need for such a huge block.

 

Looking across to the other side of the street is the building one might expect to see on Ocean Boulevard Miami, completely unconnected with any other building in the town and indeed unconnected with Cavendish Place.

 

The new houses adjoining Cavendish House are acceptable but look fairly blank and austere from the rear.

 

We have now reached the position of the new permitted development on the corner of the traffic lights setting a local distinctiveness now to be achieved as overwhelmingly of flatted dense developments in this area.  All that can be suggested is that the distinctiveness of this area is limited to its current boundaries and whilst it is a distinctive area of flatted developments it should not be extended any further and it can be treated during this generation of least as a lesson to those planners and planning inspectors who passed those buildings, particularly the McCarthy development at Lower Buckland Road

 

There is therefore a comparison of the local distinctiveness of this area of the North West end of Avenue Road to be set against any other area of Lymington to show that no other area of Lymington should have its existing local distinctiveness converted into this formula.

 

Some areas had been missed, notably Lower Buckland Road and Hollywood Lane — I only took one tape — and also other areas off the main roads

 

The Society’s view of the Localism Bill

Reform to make the planning system  clearer, more democratic and more effective

The planning system helps decide who can build what, where and how. It makes sure that buildings and structures that the country needs (including homes, offices, schools, hospitals, roads, train lines, power stations, water pipes, reservoirs and more) get built in the right place and to the right standards. A good planning system is essential for the economy, environment and society.

There are, however, some significant flaws in the planning system as it stands. Planning does not give members of the public enough influence over decisions that make a big difference to their lives. Too often, power is exercised by people who are not directly affected by the decisions they are making. This means, understandably, that people often resent what they see as decisions and plans being forced on them. The result is a confrontational system where many applications end up being fought over.

The Localism Bill contains proposals to make the planning system clearer, more democratic, and more effective.

Abolition of regional strategies

“Regional strategies” were first required by law in 2004. These strategies set out where new development needs to take place in each part of the country.   They include housing targets for different areas, set by central government. Local communities had relatively limited opportunities to influence the strategies.

The Government thinks that this centrally-driven approach to development is bureaucratic and undemocratic. Rather than helping get new houses built, it has had the effect of making people feel put upon and less likely to welcome new development.

The Secretary of State has already written to local authorities to tell them that the Government intends to abolish regional strategies. The Localism Bill will fulfil this intention, and get rid of the law that requires regional strategies.

Neighbourhood planning

Instead of local people being told what to do, the Government thinks that local communities should have genuine opportunities to influence the future of the places where they live. The Bill will introduce a new right for communities to draw up a “neighbourhood development plan.”

Neighbourhood planning will allow people to come together through a local parish council or neighbourhood forum and say where they think new houses, businesses and shops should go – and what they should look like. These neighbourhood development plans could be very simple, or go into considerable detail where people want. Local communities would also be able to grant full or outline planning permission in areas where they most want to see new homes and businesses, making it easier and quicker for development to go ahead.

Provided a neighbourhood development plan is in line with national planning policy, with the strategic vision for the wider area set by the local authority, and with other legal requirements, local people will be able to vote on it in a referendum. If the plan is approved by a majority, then the local authority will bring it into force.

Local planning authorities will be required to provide technical advice and support as neighbourhoods draw up their plans. The Government will also fund sources of help and advice for communities. This will help people take advantage of the opportunity to exercise influence  over decisions that make a big difference to their lives.

Community right to build

As part of neighbourhood planning, the Bill will give groups of local people the ability to bring forward small developments. These might include new homes, businesses and shops.The benefits of the development, for example, profits made from letting the homes, will stay within the community.

Requirement to consult communities before submitting very large planning applications

To further strengthen the role of local communities in planning, the Bill will introduce a new requirement for developers to consult local communities before submitting planning applications for very large developments. This will give local people a chance to comment when there is still genuine scope to make changes to proposals.

Strengthening enforcement rules

For people to have a real sense that the planning system is working for them, they need to know that the rules they draw up will be respected. The Localism Bill will strengthen planning authorities’ powers to tackle abuses of the planning system, such as making deliberately misleading planning applications.

Reforming the community infrastructure levy

As well as being able to influence planning decisions, local people should be able to feel the benefits of new development in their neighbourhood. Local authorities are allowed to ask developers to pay a levy (charge) when they build new houses, businesses or shops. The money raised must go to support new infrastructure – such as roads and schools. This is called the community infrastructure levy.

The Localism Bill proposes changes to the levy to make it more flexible. It will allow the money raised to be spent on maintaining infrastructure, as well as building new infrastructure. It will give local authorities greater freedom in setting the rate that developers should pay in different areas. And crucially, the Bill will give the Government the power to require that some of the money
raised goes directly to the neighbourhoods where development takes place.  This will help ensure that the people who say “yes” to new development feel the benefit of that decision.

Reform the way local plans are made

Local planning authorities play a crucial role in local life, setting a vision, in consultation with local people, about what their area should look like in the future. The plans that local authorities draw up set out where new buildings, shops, businesses and infrastructure need to go, and what they should look like. .

The Government thinks it is important to give local planning authorities greater freedom to get on with this important job without undue interference from central government. The Localism Bill will limit the discretion of planning inspectors to insert their own wording into local plans. It will also ensure that rather than focusing on reporting plans’ progress to central government,
authorities focus on reporting progress to local communities.

Duty to cooperate

Not all planning decisions can, or should, be made at a neighbourhood or local level. In many cases there are very strong reasons for neighbouring local authorities, or groups of authorities, to work together on planning issues in the interests of all their local residents. This might include working together on environmental issues (like flooding), public transport networks (such as trams), or major new retail parks.

In the past, regional strategies formed an unaccountable bureaucratic layer on  top of local government. Instead, the Government thinks that local authorities and other public bodies should work together on planning issues in ways that reflect genuine shared interests and opportunities to make common cause.  The duty will require local authorities and other public bodies to work together on planning issues.

Nationally significant infrastructure projects

Some planning decisions are so important to our overall economy and society that they can only be taken at a national level. These include decisions on nationally significant infrastructure projects such as major train lines and power stations. Currently, these decisions lie in the hands of an unelected public body, called the Infrastructure Planning Commission. It is not directly
accountable to the public. The Government thinks that these important decisions should be taken by Government Ministers, who are democratically accountable to the public. The Localism Bill will abolish the Infrastructure Planning Commission and restore its responsibility for taking decisions to Government Ministers. It will also ensure the National Policy Statements, which will be used to guide decisions by Ministers, can be voted on by parliament. Ministers intend to make sure that major planning decisions are made under new arrangements at least as quickly as the present system.

APPENDIX 2

Neighbourhood planning – The Government’s proposals in the Localism Bill

 1.   The Localism Bill (published in December 2010) makes new provisions for neighbourhood planning, which would create a radical new element in the planning system in England. Through these provisions, local community groups (where designated as neighbourhood forums) and parish councils will be empowered to bring forward proposals for a development plan for their neighbourhood area or for an order granting planning permission(s) in that area. They will beable to require the local planning authority (LPA) to assist them in the preparation of their proposals and require them to take the proposals to independent examination. Proposals for plans or orders which are carried in a referendum will need to be brought into force by the local planning authority In this way, neighbourhood communities will be given real power to shape the way that the areas in which they live develop and grow.  Neighbourhood planning also provides for community organisations to bring forward site specific development proposals through a Community Right to Build Order.

2. More specifically, it is envisaged that the neighbourhood planning process will be undertaken as follows:

  • Parish councils and other certain community organisation would approach the local authority with a request to define an area for the purposes of neighbourhood planning. In parished areas, the applicant would have to be a parish council and the expectation is that in considering any application is that such areas will be followed. A local planning authority will need to have clear reasons relating to the planning of its area, if it does not follow parish boundaries in approving neighbourhood areas. In non-parished areas, the applicant would need to be an organisation that is capable of being designated as a neighbourhood forum.
  • Once a neighbourhood area has been designated, a local planning authority will have to start considering applications from organisations to be designated as the neighbourhood forum for that area. Once an organisation has been designated, it will be free to bring forward proposals for neighbourhood development plans and orders. A parish council will be free to bring forward such proposals in respects of its neighbourhood area once that area has been defined, provided it has the consent of the other parish councils (if any) whose areas are wholly or partly within the neighbourhood area.
    • Local planning authorities would be subject to a duty to support the parish councils and forums in the development of their proposals. Support provided might include, for example, the provision of advice or assistance on good practice in plan-making, and alignment with national policy, EU law and local plans. There would be no duty on the local planning authority to provide financial assistance.
    • If the proposed plan or order was compliant with certain legislative requirements, it would have to be submitted to an independent examination by a qualified assessor (normally held only by written representations). The examination would lead to a report which would be given to the parish council or forum promoting the plan or order and the local planning authority. The report would not be binding except in the case of Community Right to Build orders.
    • Following the independent examination (and following any modifications), as long as the draft plan or order meets certain tests including ones relating to national policy, EU law and the strategic elements of local plans, the local authority concerned would need to hold a local referendum on whether the draft plan or order should be brought into force.
    • Where the draft plan or order receives the support of more than 50 per cent of voters at the referendum (subject to compatibility with EU law and Convention rights), the local planning authority would required to bring the plan or order into effect.  Within the neighbourhood planning process is the Community Right to Build.  Under Community Right to Build, community organisations, established as a corporate body for the express purpose of furthering the economic, social and environmental well-being of an area, would be able to bring forward a proposal for a site specific development where the benefit, or receipts, from the development will be retained for the benefit of the local community. The process for applying for a Community Right to Build Order would largely follows that for a neighbourhood development order, but has been adapted so it is proportionate to the types of schemes envisaged. A Community Right to Build Order could be instigated independently of a plan or order being promoted by a neighbourhood forum or parish council.

4.   Neighbourhood planning will be additional to – and not a replacement for – the existing planning system in England. However, following enactment of the Localism Bill, we anticipate that development plan documents prepared by local authorities will be strongly informed by  neighbourhood planning initiatives within their areas.

5.  The contents of a neighbourhood plan or order under the Localism Bill is very flexible and they could be more or less detailed [or] prescriptive. It may contain the following:

A Neighbourhood Development Plan – Generic or specific neighbourhood policies against which traditional planning applications could be judged.  These policies may augment or refine or add to the policies in the local authority plan. Policies within a neighbourhood development plan could cover:

  • planning objectives for the neighbourhood
  • the broad planning context (e.g. transport connections), local facilities, services
  • key neighbourhood projects and infrastructure priorities
  • development management policies on housing, economic development, environment
  • site-specific policies on housing, economic development and environmental issues
  • changes in the coverage of some planning designations.

Neighbourhood Development Orders – A Neighbourhood Development Order which would directly grant planning permission for certain specified kinds of developments within the neighbourhood area. Permission could be full or outline, and could have conditions attached and it could be site specific or an order could grant more generalised development rights across the neighbourhood area. A Community Right to Build Order will be a special kind of Neighbourhood Development Order brought forward under the Community Right to Build and will be subject to similar requirements as a Neighbourhood Development Order in respect of independent examination and its requirements in respect of legal and policy provisions.