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Broads Authority Planning Committee 7 December 2007 Application for Determination Parish Reference Location Proposal Hoveton BA/2007/0246/COND Expires 18 December 2007 Bewilderwood, Horning Road, Hoveton St John Change of condition 12 of planning permission 01/05/1568 to amend opening times Hoveton Fruit Farm Applicant Description of Site and Proposal The application site covers some 22.5 hectares of land located within the parish of Hoveton between Horning Road and Long Lane. The site was given permission as an Outdoor Adventure and Education Park under planning permission 01/05/1568. This consent has now been implemented and the site has been open for one season. Public access to the site is from the A1062 Horning Road. This application seeks to amend condition 12 of the original planning permission which states: The premises subject to this permission shall only be open to the public between the hours of 10:00 and 19:00 on any day between 1 March and 31 October in any year, except for a maximum of 10 days in any calendar year (which shall be subject of at least one week’s written notice to the Local Planning Authority). Any further extension of hours or time of operation of the facility shall be the subject of a further planning application. The proposed amendments are as follows: to allow opening between 1 March and 31 October or the last Sunday of the Autumn half term, inclusive, which ever is the latest; Christmas opening between 20-24 December inclusive. The first amendment is to allow opening till the end of the Autumn half term where this is later than 31 October. The second amendment is to allow for a Christmas event allowing children and families to visit Father Christmas at Bewilderwood. The proposal is for opening on 20-24 December. Bewilderwood would wish to utilise some of the 10 exception days within the condition for further opening for this event MB/JM/rpt/pc071207/Page 1 of 7/221107 on preceding weekends, depending on when dates fell but this does not require a separate consent. Site History 01/05/1568 Application for an Outdoor Adventure and Education Park granted full planning permission on 27 January 2006 subject to conditions. Consultations (i) Hoveton Parish Council – Application should be refused for the following reasons: „Removal of this condition coupled with the events given on the application were against the original “educational” concept of the description of the planning consent. Further the additional traffic to such events, along an already identified dangerous bended road, allocated a 40mph speed limit, further adds to the inconvenience the increase of openings would have on the neighbouring properties.‟ (ii) (iii) (iv) (v) District Member – No response. Broads Society – No objections. Natural England – No comment. Highways – Given the existing and established use of the site I would not offer an objection to this proposal from a highways aspect. Environmental Health – No objections. (vi) Representations One letter of objection from a neighbouring resident making the following comments: no objection to opening dates being changed to accommodate the last Sunday of the Autumn half term holidays; object to any extension of the additional ten days; Broad Authority should consider what activities are appropriate to an outdoor adventure and education centre; having the site open in December will not allow it sufficient time to recover; and prior to any further concessions educational facilities should be put in and site entrance should be improved. A further letter of objection received from a neighbouring resident making the following comments: I object to this until the main gate has been re-planted with bushes along the fence line as this is still an eyesore from my property. I do not wish to see the vehicles parked up against the fence near the main gate as they regularly do. MB/JM/rpt/pc071207/Page 2 of 7/221107 When we first purchased this property we had a view of the bushes and not the fields beyond. Now all we have is view of a car park due to the area not having its original tree line. If this was rectified I think I may well change my opinion. (Officers are investigating these concerns). One letter from a neighbouring resident generally supporting the site‟s use and raising no objections to this proposal. A letter has also been received from the East Hoveton Residents Association raising a number of concerns about the site in general. This letter does not make reference to this planning application. The concerns raised are being investigated. Policies Planning Policy Statement 1 – Delivering Sustainable Development DCLG – Good Practice Guide on Planning for Tourism Norfolk Structure Plan adopted October 1999 (Saved Policies) Policy ENV14 – The Norfolk Broads The overall strategy for the Broads is: (i) to protect and conserve the landscape, waterways and wildlife of the area from inappropriate land use and development; to protect and enhance the built environment by only allowing development which is appropriate in location, scale and form; to allow the development of new facilities for informal recreation and holidays only in locations and on a scale which will not damage the ecological and landscape qualities of the area and its built environment; to give priority to the conservation and enhancement of the Broads landscape, waterways and wildlife over other considerations in the determination of development proposals; and to consider development proposals having regard to the social and economic well-being of the area. (ii) (iii) (iv) (v) Proposals for development inconsistent with the above will not be permitted. Major development proposals will be subject to the most rigorous examination, and include an assessment of: (i) the need for the development in terms of national considerations, and the impact of permitting it or refusing it on the local economy; the cost of and scope for developing elsewhere outside the area or meeting the need for it in some other way; and (ii) MB/JM/rpt/pc071207/Page 3 of 7/221107 (iii) any detrimental effect on the environment and the landscape, and the extent to which that should be moderated. Broads Local Plan adopted May 1997 (Saved Policies) Policy TR 19 Visitor facilities and entertainments Small-scale visitor facilities, particularly those related to environmental education and conservation, will be permitted provided all the following criteria are met: (a) the development would not result in a scale and concentration of similar uses in the vicinity which would be likely to have a significant adverse effect on the ecological and landscape qualities of the area; and the siting, design, external materials and colour of any new buildings would be appropriate to the character and appearance of the Broads landscape, waterways or built environment; and any resulting visitor activity would not have a significant adverse effect on wildlife or wildlife habitats; and the development would not have a significant adverse effect on the residential amenities of any adjoining occupiers. (b) (c) (d) Amusement arcades, funfairs or other entertainment facilities likely to generate a level of traffic or visitor activity incompatible with the above criteria will not be permitted in the Broads area. Policy TR21 Local recreational facilities New recreational facilities for local residents or visitors will be permitted provided the proposal complies with all the following criteria: (a) if permitted, the development would not result in a scale and concentration of similar uses in the vicinity which would have a significant adverse effect on the ecological and landscape qualities of the area; and it would not have a significant adverse effect on open space of recreational or amenity value in accordance with Policy C12 of the Local Plan; and it would not have a significant adverse effect on the landscape, on wildlife habitats or on the residential amenities of adjacent occupiers. (b) (c) Broads Core Strategy adopted September 2007 CS1 – Landscape protection and enhancement Development and changes in land use / management must ensure that all aspects of the environmental and cultural assets of the Broads distinctive landscape are protected, enhanced and restored. Proposals should ensure opportunities for positive impacts on the following core assets have been addressed and adverse impacts avoided: (i) (ii) the defining and distinctive qualities of the varied landscape character areas formed by the built and natural environment; tranquillity and wildness as part of the Broads experience; MB/JM/rpt/pc071207/Page 4 of 7/221107 (iii) (iv) the value and integrity of nature conservation interest; and the character, appearance and integrity of the historic and cultural environment. Opportunities to mitigate the visual impact of currently intrusive features should be sought. CS9 – Sustainable Tourism The tourism base in the Broads will be supported, widened and strengthened by: (i) (ii) (iii) (iv) encouraging a network of tourism and recreational facilities throughout the system and protecting against the loss of existing services; protecting waterside employment sites to contribute to the local economy; incorporating employment uses in new schemes; supporting diversification of tourism where economically and environmentally sustainable and promoting low-impact tourism. Assessment The main issues to consider in the determination of this application are an assessment as to the appropriateness of the use of Bewilderwood for the Christmas events and an assessment of the impact of the increased opening. Other than bringing members of the public into a Broads environment that they may not normally be able to visit, the Christmas events are unlikely to have any educational content. Nevertheless the event could be classed as an „Outdoor Adventure‟ which by its very nature would be limited to a short space of the year. Increased opening will involve an additional four days at Christmas in any year and occasionally some additional opening at the beginning of November. For example, in most counties in 2008 the last Sunday of the Autumn half term will be 2 November. In terms of the impact of this increased use, the number of additional days applied for is not considered to be excessive, particularly in the context of a permitted 10 month opening season and therefore any impact as a result of the increased opening would be minimal. The opening during the Christmas period could also promote tourism and use of the surrounding areas of Hoveton and Horning. In terms of the criteria within policies TR19 and TR21, as the application is simply to amend a condition and does not involve any physical development or expansion, many are not relevant to this proposal. Nevertheless, the principles of the policies to preserve the wildlife environment of the Broads, neighbour amenity and use of the highway need to be considered. In terms of impact on the natural environment, the proposals involve use of the site during a period of the year when natural light is restricted. Separate conditions on the original consent restrict the use of artificial light, however it would be inappropriate for any use during 20 December to 24 December to operate until 19:00, due to the lack of natural light. Any use of artificial light, which could have a MB/JM/rpt/pc071207/Page 5 of 7/221107 detrimental impact on the wildlife and landscape quality of the area, would be inappropriate. Therefore it is considered that the public use of the site between 20 December to 24 December should be restricted to the times of 09:30 to 16:00. With reference to neighbour amenity, the increased opening would not result in any detrimental impact to nearby residents. There will be an increase in the use of the highway, however this is not at a peak time of the year. There is no objection from the County Council as Highway Authority. On balance the proposals are considered to be appropriate for the site and are not considered to increase excessively the opening of the site in a way that would be detrimental to the surrounding area, local amenity or the site itself. The recommendation is therefore to approve the application subject to the following condition. Recommendation Approve subject to the following condition: The premises subject to this permission shall only be open to the public between the hours of 10:00 and 19:00 on any day between 1 March and 31 October in any year or the last Sunday of the Autumn half term, whichever is the latest, inclusive and between the hours of 09:30 and 16:00 on any day between 20 December and 24 December inclusive, except for a maximum of 10 days in any calendar year (which shall be subject of at least one week‟s written notice to the Local Planning Authority). Any further extension of hours or time of operation of the facility shall be the subject of a further planning application. Informative note: All other conditions attached to planning permission reference 01/05/1568 still apply. Reasons for Recommendation The proposals to amend condition 12 of permission 01/05/1568 is considered to be appropriate and in accordance with policy ENV14 of the adopted saved Norfolk Structure Plan, policies TR19 and TR21 of the adopted saved Broads Local Plan and policies CS1 and CS9 of the adopted Broads Core Strategy Development Plan Document. Background Papers: Application file ref BA/2007/0246/COND Author: Date of Report: List of Appendices: Mark Brown 16 November 2007 APPENDIX 1: Site Plan MB/JM/rpt/pc071207/Page 6 of 7/221107 APPENDIX 1 MB/JM/rpt/pc071207/Page 7 of 7/221107
"BA20070246FUL Bewilderwood_ Horning"