Worcestershire Campaign to Protect Rural England

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Current Planning Objections


Autumn 2018/Winter 2019

18/000040/SCO Pinches Quarry Phase 4

Formally this is an objection, but our objections ought to be capable of being alleviated by appropriate conditions and contributions.  The only acceptable route to the quarry would be for trucks to enter and leave the lane from A491, so that they do not use further narrow lanes to the south of the quarry.  The high volume of traffic on A491 means that direct access off it, or off the motorway junction roundabout ought to be unacceptable.

On the other hand, A491 is at times highly congested. The works done by Highways Agency to the Lydiate Ash junction have improved it, but they have not dealt with the fundamental problem with it that at peak times, traffic can back up all along A491 westbound, so that traffic cannot enter A491 from the junction roundabout. 

Alleviating these highway issues is something, for which your council might seek funding from the developers.  It may also be necessary to limit the times when truck movements would be permissible.  At a more strategic level, we are not opposing the principle of this application.  Phase 3 and Phase 4 represent different parts of a hill.  It is clearly sensible that the whole hill should be quarried, rather than leaving part of it fossilised.  Your council’s emerging minerals plan identifies a dearth of sand and gravel resources in the north of the county, which has led to a proposal to designate a site (which we consider an unacceptable one) at Wolverley Road in Cookley and Wolverley.  We would hope that the grant of a planning approval for the Pinches site would enable your council to refuse planning consent for the Wolverley Road one. 

Girls School Proposal

There is a very major objection to this proposed site, as it is in the Green Belt.  It is presume it is part of Racecourse Farm, which we believe to be the part of the Hospital’s original endowment.

The Green Belt has five purposes, one of which is to keep towns apart.  In this case it is about keeping Stourbridge and Hagley apart.  Near Treherns Farm, the gap has been narrowed to a mere 500 metres.  The distance between the west end of Racecourse Lane and Hagley is rather greater, but Racecourse Lane provides a strong landscape boundary for the edge of the Green Belt.  Beyond that there is no strong boundary at all. 

The starting point for any planning application for land in the Green Belt is that the application should be refused, unless the application falls into certain exceptions, none of which applies here, unless there are “very special circumstances”.  The fact that you already own the land is not a “very special circumstance”; if it were, it would drive a coach and horses through the concept on Green Belt. 

18/01302 85 Brook Road, Fairfield

Though it is described as “holiday lets”, this is in effect an application to build two new houses in the Green Belt.  This is a place where a new house would never be permitted under current planning policy.  Fairfield has a village envelope, but this is some distance from its edge.

In defining village envelopes, your council has provided an area in which infill is allowed.  Fairfield and Bournheath each have village envelopes.  These envelopes are washed over by Green Belt, but the full rigour of Green Belt is qualified by village envelope policy.  The corollary to that is that it is not (and should not) be allowed elsewhere. 

In Fairfield, there are significant areas of ribbon development beyond the envelope (an example of urban sprawl), which are (like this property) in unqualified Green Belt.  It would set a dangerous precedent for the erosion of Green Belt. 

The applicant is wrong in saying that the site contributes nothing to the five purposes of NPPF, para 134.  The development would in itself constitute sprawl, contrary to 134(a). 

This is in effect a case of tandem housing – one house behind another.  While this is now sometimes allowed in urban areas, it creates a dangerous precedent if allowed in rural areas, where houses invariably front to existing roads. 


If your council should be so misguided as to grant this application, we would suggest that it should be subject to a planning condition that the premises should not be occupied for more than six months in any year and not for more than one month at a time by any one person or family.  This would be necessary to ensure that the premises were in fact used as a genuine holiday home and not as additional general housing. 


If you would like full details regarding CPRE Worcestershire Planning Objections, please contact us at: Secretary@cpreworcestershire.org.uk


Spring/Summer 2018

Travellers’ site at Rous Lench
Objection raised - SWDP Policy 17C sets out criteria for the choice of sites for Gypsies’ and other Travellers’ pitches. This includes that the site should be in or near a town or a category 1 2 or 3 village. Rous Lench, and most of the villages around, are too small to belong to any of these categories. In effect they are category 4 villages, which are too small for any significant development to be allowed. However this site is not even part of the village; it is a detached site in open countryside.

Land at Yew Tree Farm, St Kenelms Road, Romsley
We note that this site is among those labelled as “Green Belt Possibilities” in the SHLAA (site BDC418). This is indeed its status. The site adjoins the Romsley village envelope, but is beyond it, so that the site is unqualified Green Belt.

Ministerial Statements have made clear that a lack of housing land is not a very special circumstance for enabling development top take place in the Green Belt, where it would not normally be permitted.

Rear of 1-3 High Street, Belbroughton
Our objection is with the view that it is certainly not right that the buildings on this property should be left to moulder, but we do not think this is an appropriate scheme and object.

The starting point has to be the policies for the reuse of rural buildings, such as agricultural ones though agriculture is not involved here. Belbroughton has been subject to ground heave and shrinkage, so that a more detailed structural survey than so far provided should be required. This may be particularly relevant as some of the buildings appear not to be rectangular, suggesting the less-than-careful building that is common for outbuildings.

There is no objection in principle to the demolition of a pre-fab garage, but if this is done, it must be a condition that the boundaries left open should have a suitable treatment, probably a brick wall to match nearby buildings


Winter 2018

Rear of Smedley Place, Hopwood
Objection raised due to the site remaining on Green Belt land.

Land off Butts Lane, Stone
Objection raised primarily because it is liable to create an unwelcome precedent. The owner of this land has repeatedly applied for planning consent for various kinds of residential and semi-residential development and has generally been refused.

Great Comberton Golf Course
Objection raised as NPPF places a value on open countryside: NPPF para 17 point 5 requires that Planning should recognis[e] the intrinsic character and beauty of the countryside. This applies particularly in a location such as this which is highly visible from Bredon Hill, which is part of the Cotswolds AONB.

Ravensbank Employment Development site and Winyates Triangle
CPRE Worcestershire has long fought to preserve the Winyates triangle from development. Our concern has long related to the ecological interest of the site.

Site of Former H & H Chilled Foods- Hackmans Gate
Objection raised as the present proposal is too intensive to be suitable for a rural location in the Green Belt and thus out of keeping with the area.

Cemetery at New Inn Lane, Rubery
The fundamental issue here is that this site is part of the Green Belt. The Green Belt provisions in NPPF are not merely one factor to be balanced against others. If development is declared by policy as inappropriate, it should not be permitted at all.

A single detached dwelling | 16 Cofton Church Lane Cofton Hackett
Objection due to site being part of Green Belt. Cofton Church Lane forms part of the settlement of Kendall End, which is washed over by Green Belt. It is not a ‘small settlement’ with a village envelope under BDP policy 2.3, within which infill development is permissible. In this it differs from (for example) Hopwood.

Land Adjoining New Rose & Crown, 217 New Road, Rubery
A formal objection if the land is to be used for housing instead of car parking purposes as proposed.

Stourbridge Road Car Park, Bromsgrove
If this car park is redundant, in the sense of being under-used, this application is certainly to be supported. However; this is effectively the car park for Parkside, which is the means by which the public access such services as the Library and council meetings. It is important at least that the remainder of the car park should remain a public car park.

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