As you may be aware, Corby Borough Council refused planning permision in July for additional pitches and the new entrance to the existing Travellers’ site on Ashley Road, Middleton. An appeal was lodged in September but the period for comments to the Planning Inspectorate has not yet started as the case has not yet been allocated to an Inspector.
Once this has happened and a deadline for comments is known, Middleton Parish Council will inform residents how they can send their comments to the Planning Inspector.
New planning application, ref: 20/00458/COU
A further planning application has now been submitted for the field to the south of the current travellers’ site (the side nearest to Middleton), for 6 pitches (each comprising a static van, a travelling van and an amenity building) and changes to the existing field access. The proposal will take up part of the field with the remainder proposed as a grass paddock.
You can view the application details, accompanying documents and plans, on the Corby Borough Council Planning Portal, entering the application number 20/00458/COU in the search box provided.
Making comments and objections
The deadline for comments on this planning application is 20 December.
- You can log your comments through the Planning Portal;
- Email your comments to Iain Smith, Head of Planning and Environmental Services at email@example.com; or
- Write to Iain Smith, Head of Planning and Environmental Services, Corby Borough Council, One Stop Shop, George Street, Corby, Northants NN17 1QB
Comments need to be constructive, relevant and relate to planning issues. You are not confined to one response per household.
Parish Council responses to the planning application will be made available once they have met and agreed their submission but, in the meantime, here are some of the issues you might want to consider.
- If approved, it would double the number of sites on the edge of Middleton and if the ongoing planning appeal in relation to Oakley Park is successful, it would treble the number of sites on the edge of Middleton.
- With the Little Meadow Travellers’ site at the other end of Cottingham, an additional site in this location would be disproportionate. No assessment has been undertaken of the impact of an additional traveller site on the small village of Middleton. Paragraph 14 of the Planning Policy for Traveller Sites clearly indicates that when assessing the suitability of sites in rural settings Planning Authorities should ensure that the scale does not dominate the nearest settled community. The current Oakley Park site comprises 12 large static vans and a number travelling vans with more arriving every week.
- The application doesn’t comply with the criteria detailed in Policy 31 of the North Northamptonshire Joint Core Strategy 2001-2031 (adopted July 2016) setting out the criteria against which applications for new sites should be considered. The application relies heavily on appeal decisions pre-dating the adoption of the JCS in 2016 and the Planning Policy for Travellers’ Sites issued in August 2015. The appeal Inspectors did not have access to either document and therefore limited weight can be placed on their decisions.
- Corby’s Part II local plan (not in place when the earlier Appeals were upheld) says sewage works are bad neighbours. The appeal Inspector in 2012 stated that residents on this site would be adversely affected on occasions by unpleasant odour emissions from the Middleton sewage works and the sewage works is carrying more load since then. The application does not include an odour assessment and the statement from the applicant fails to address the health and well-being of residents in this regard.
- The foul water discharge arrangements are inappropriate, especially when the site is across the road from a sewage works. Advice from the Environment Agency is that private sewage treatment facilities should only be used when it is not reasonable for a development to be connected to a public sewer because of the greater risk of failure of private sewage systems. The application would therefore be contrary to criterion (d) of Policy 31.
The proposed site is across the road from a stream that feeds through to the River Welland and this would quickly become contaminated if there are any failures in the sewage system. The planning application form denies that the site is near a water course.
Six new amenity blocks supporting six families will produce a large amount of foul water and should link to the main sewage system to be sustainable.
- The site would have an impact on the rural character of the area in contravention of criterion (h) of policy 31. The applicant has already removed metres of mature hedging between the site and Oakley Park and plans to erect 2-meter-high wooden boundary fencing, totally out of keeping with the local character of the rural environment.
- High boarded fencing is in contravention of the Planning Policy for Travellers sites, giving the impression that the residents are ‘deliberately cut off’.
- The introduction of hard standing will reduce the possibility of natural drainage and aggravate the water run off problem in the area which is currently one of the hotspots identified in the Middleton Pathfinder Resilience Project coordinated by Northants County Council.
- Approval of a second traveller site (or third site if the current appeal is upheld) in this location will significantly increase the vehicle movements close to a very sharp bend which is effectively a cross roads as it also accommodates the entrance to the Water Treatment works and to Occupation Lane used by farmers accessing fields north to the Welland and those parking to walk the Jurassic Way. The introduction of dwellings for six extended families on this site will lead to more than 12 vehicles coming and going from the site.
- There is no information available in the plans for the gateway to the site. The details of the access are important to consultees to allow them to assess the implications for highway safety and visual impact and should not be held for subsequent consideration.
The application does not have appropriate landscaping or boundary treatments that are in keeping with the rural landscape of the area.
Misleading information in the planning application
In Section 7 of the form the applicant states it has made no plans for waste storage or collection which surely cannot be acceptable to the Borough Council.
In section 11 on trees and hedges the applicant says there are no trees and hedges on or adjacent to the site. There are trees and hedges surrounding the site in question and a mature hedge has already been removed to make an opening with the existing Oakley Park site. The application is misleading in this respect.
In section 12 the applicant says that the site is not within 20 metres of a water course. It is in fact across the road from a stream that leads north directly to the River Welland and therefore the planning application form is incorrect.
If you would like to speak to someone about the planning application, please contact your local Parish Councillor.