Local Planning Guidance - the Planning Policies that matter
This is a summary of the key sections of local planning policy guidance documents for Swansea and Gower that are relevant to planning application 2007/0172. It quickly becomes obvious that the proposed development would go against all planning guidance.
Note: planning guidance documents form part of a 'Unitary Development Plan' (UDP) for the area. The current UDP was due to expire in 2003 but has been kept on while the new one is finalised. So it is the current (old) UDP that is relevant here. But for what it's worth, the new 10 year UDP (probably 2008-2018, depending on when it's adopted) clearly indicates that the land in question has been rejected for housing use. (source: Plan 7, Item 141)
Bishopston Valley/Pwlldu/Caswell (Policy GZ 7)
"The area will be protected from further development."
Bishopston area (Policy V 6)
"Within Bishopston development will be limited to existing commitments and small infill plots." (editor's note: this site is neither)
"The separate identities of Manselfield, Murton, Oldway, Pyle, Copley, Bishopston and Kittle will be preserved by the retention of the land between these settlements primarily for agricultural or horticultural use."
Agricultural land (Policy A 1)
"To protect the best and most versatile agricultural land, the loss of grades 1, 2, 3a and 3b will not be permitted." (editor's note: the specific field can be shown quite clearly to be Grade 1 - the best land. You can see a land use map and read more about agricultural land policy here
Landscape conservation - general (Policy CL 1)
"It is intended to conserve and enhance Swansea's countryside, including Gower, and to minimise the depletion of its natural resources."
"…the fundamental test for compliance with this policy is whether any development proposed in the area covered by the policy ideally adds to the net environmental capital, and at the very least avoids a net reduction."
"This policy incorporates in its intentions the need to 'conserve the countryside for its own sake' as required in Welsh Office Planning Policy Guidance (PPG7(2.1))…..and to 'secure the conservation of natural beauty and amenity of land' (PPG12(6.23)).'"
Rural lanes (Policy CL 6)
"The character of rural lanes will be protected. Development proposals that include requirements to set back to improvement lines, remove hedgerows, and provide new access and visibility splays likely to result in a loss of character will be resisted."
Housing and local services in the countryside (Policy CL 7)
"Residential development will be tightly controlled. ...there is a good stock of housing in the rural area. There is no overriding need therefore for significant new building in the countryside, or for intensification of the villages. …..in the larger villages to the east edge of Gower, the emphasis is on containment…."
Intrusive land uses (Policy H 10)
"The introduction and intensification of intrusive land uses within a residential area will not be permitted where the proposed development would cause loss of amenity arising from traffic generation; noise; atmospheric pollution; vibration; visual impact or other general disturbance including unsocial hours of operation."
Protection of amenity (Policy BE 2)
"Particular aspects to be considered will be loss of light or privacy, increased activity and traffic movements…"
Designated areas (including the Gower AONB) (Policy CL 2)
(editor's note: unlike the previous application (2006/1031), none of the proposed development site is within the AONB area. It is in fact just outside and right on the border. So while development on the external edge of the AONB still threatens and compromises the AONB itself, care should be taken when writing letters of opposition not to make invalid points about building in the AONB area - which is not currently proposed here.)
"No development will be permitted which will directly or indirectly adversely affect the landscape, wildlife and nature conservation interests (of the AONB)"
"…the primary objective……is conservation of the natural beauty of the landscape………Development control decisions affecting AONBs should favour conservation of the natural beauty of the landscape."
You can find all this and more on the Government Planning Portal website
If you've read all the way down to here then - WELL DONE!