Agenda item

Planning Application DC/22/0850/FUL - Brandon Remembrance Recreation Field, Skate Park, Victoria Avenue, Brandon (Report No: DEV/WS/24/010)

Report No: DEV/WS/24/010


Planning application - installation of reinforced concrete skate park


(Councillor Phil Wittam declared a non-registrable interest as he had voted in favour of this application in his capacity as a Brandon Town Councillor when the Town Council considered the application. He left the meeting and therefore did not take part in the debate or vote on the item.)


Planning application - installation of reinforced concrete skate park


This application was referred to the Development Control Committee following consideration at the Delegation Panel.


Brandon Town Council supported the application which was in conflict with the Officer’s recommendation for refusal, for the reasons set out in Paragraph 54 of Report No DEV/WS/24/010.


Members were advised that since publication of the agenda Brandon Town Council had submitted a further representation reiterating their support for the proposal.


In response to questions posed during the debate, the Service Manager (Planning – Development) assured the Committee that Officers had sought to work with the applicant over some considerable time, mindful of the fact that the application was initially considered by the Delegation Panel in early 2023.


The Service Manager (Planning – Development) also highlighted the duty of the Planning Authority to be able to fully establish the impact of any development, hence the policy requirements for various tests and assessments.


Councillor Lora-Jane Miller-Jones voiced support for the proposal in principle, but also remarked on those aspects of due diligence the applicant needed to address. Accordingly, she proposed that the application be refused, as per the Officer recommendation. This was duly seconded by Councillor Carol Bull.


Upon being put to the vote and 7 voting for the motion, 4 against and with 2 abstentions it was resolved that




Planning permission be REFUSED for the following reasons:


  1. Paragraph 140 of the revised NPPF (2023) states “Local planning authorities should ensure that relevant planning conditions refer to clear and accurate plans and drawings which provide visual clarity about the design of the development and are clear about the approved use of materials where appropriate.”

The red line application site plan attributed to the development does not encompass the entire development proposed, excluding mounding and pedestrian access to the site or connecting to a highway. There are therefore technical inaccuracies attributed to the presented drawings, which to give weight to in the planning process would be contrary to paragraph 140 of the NPPF.


  1. The proposed site is within Flood Zone 2, whereupon the site is “vulnerable" to flooding. The site is also at risk from surface water flooding. The Flood Risk Assessment which has been submitted does not adequately take into account the context of the site and increased risks of flooding as a result of the proposed development, not outlining suitable mitigation measures to reduce the impacts of flooding on the proposed development; or considering safe access and egress from the proposed development in a flood event. Furthermore, no Exception or Sequential tests have been submitted. In the absence of an adequate Flood Risk Assessment, the applicant has failed to demonstrate that the proposal will not cause or exacerbate flooding on site or elsewhere contrary to Policy DM6 of the Joint Development Management Policy Document 2015 and provisions of the NPPF.


  1. Policy DM13 states that development will be permitted where it will not have an unacceptable adverse impact on the character of the landscape, landscape features, wildlife, or amenity value. The supporting text to the policy confirms that landscape features such as trees are essential components of the landscape, enhancing visual amenity.

The application includes mounding which is not encompassed by the red line application site plan attributed to the application. Furthermore, no Arboricultural information has been provided in relation to the protected Lime Tree to the west of the site. Although elements of Arboricultural impacts could be conditioned, the LPA have received insufficient information in order to comprehensively assess the likely Arboricultural impacts attributed to the proposal, noting the wider technical details. The proposal is therefore contrary to the provisions of DM13.


  1. Policy DM2 seeks to secure development proposals which do not have an adverse impact on existing or indeed proposed residential amenity. Furthermore, Policy DM14 requires that all applications where the existence of pollution is suspected (for example, in this case, noise from the utilisation of the adjacent skatepark, and play areas) to contain sufficient information to enable the Authority to make a full assessment of potential hazards. In this case no information has been submitted.

A concrete skatepark is a noise generating proposal. No information, nor noise impact assessment has been submitted in support of the proposal, despite this being requested. Whilst it is noted from discussions with the applicant that the existing skatepark is to be removed, and noting that the nearest residential property, 20 Church Road, is approximately 200 metres south of the application site, with Brandon Leisure Centre and the associated car park in between the two aforementioned sites, no details of this have been submitted. The LPA considers insufficient information has been submitted in relation to policies DM2 and DM14 to demonstrate that there would not be an adverse impact on residential amenity.


5.   Section 40 of the Natural Environment and Rural Communities (NERC) Act 2006 states that:

“Every public authority must, in exercising its functions, have regard, so far as is consistent with the proper exercise of those functions, to the purpose of conserving biodiversity.”

The Duty applies to all public authorities in England and Wales, including all local authorities. Conserving biodiversity includes restoring and enhancing species and populations and habitats, as well as protecting them.

Furthermore, The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF, 2023) states that “the planning system should contribute to and enhance the natural and local environment by… protecting and enhancing …sites of biodiversity or geological value…” and “minimising impacts on and providing net gains for biodiversity …” (paragraph 174).

The LPA have a duty to consider the conservation of biodiversity and to ensure that valued landscapes or sites of biodiversity are protected when determining planning applications. At a local level, this is exhibited through policies CS2, DM10, DM11 and DM12.

Although the proposed site of the skate park is within the existing playing field area it is located within 2m of the adjacent ditch and there are records of reptiles in the vicinity. The site is also partially within the great crested newt amber risk zone. An Ecological Impact Assessment is therefore required. However, this has not been submitted by the applicant to support the proposal. As such, there is insufficient information before the Local Planning Authority in order to comprehensively assess the ecological impacts of the proposal. The application is therefore contrary to the provisions of policies CS2, DM10, DM11, DM12 and the NPPF.


(Councillor Susan Glossop left the meeting during the Senior Planning Officer’s presentation on this item.)


Supporting documents: