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17/01543/1 Outline planning application for the erection of up to 99 dwellings with public open space, lands... at Land off Holwell Road, Pirton - Planning Application (Direct link to original NHDC documents).

17/01543/1 Outline Application: Outline planning application for the erection of up to 99 dwellings with public open space, landscaping and sustainable drainage system (SuDS) and vehicular access point from Holwell Road. All matters reserved except for means of access.

The appeal against NHDC’s rejection

 Deadline for Comments is 29/5/2018

Current situation:

The original application was 17/01543/1, commonly known as Holwell Turn for 99 dwellings and was refused by North Herts District Council.

The second application was 17/02563/1 for the erection of up to 85 dwellings, this too was refused.

Gladman have currently registered an appeal against the refusal of 17/01543/1 (99 dwellings).  They could also appeal against the second application.NHDC Explanatory letter

Although the Pirton Neighbourhood Plan (PNP) is now in force and therefore adds strength to the defence of the village development boundary, because the NHDC Local Plan (LP) is not yet in place, there is still dispute over whether NHDC have five-year housing supply.  

My understanding is that the Local Plan cannot be adopted unless it demonstrates a five-year housing supply plan and therefore its adoption would demonstrate that it has one.  I do not think that NHDC can actually confirm that it has a five-year plan until that has been 'demonstrably accepted' i.e. by the successful passing of the examination and then adoption - has anyone read Catch 22!  However, as it is a fundamental requirement, I would expect NHDC to strongly argue the case that the LP does represent a five-year housing supply plan and it is disappointing that they seem reticent to do so.  This strengthens Gladman's hand, and this is probably the only chance of Gladman have of getting permission within the life of the PNP and LP and that explains why they are acting so aggressively on behalf of the land owners.

We have until the 29th of May to make any additional comments.  

Thoughts and Guidance (with help from others including the PAG information): The following text was updated on 19/5/2018.  Further text may be provided later, so please revisit this page to review any new (red) comments.

Please remember I am not an expert and you should always consider the matter in question, the documentation available and form your own opinion.

Important points to remember:

  1. If you did not previously submit comments, then I do not believe that you can do so now.
  2. The Inspector will receive copies of all previous comments, objections and support.

Given the above the above, my advice is, if you previous submitted lengthy comments (as I did) do not simply repeat everything that you have previously submitted, but briefly:

If your previous comments were short and brief, then you could consider expanding them now.

The points I shall be making appear below, but not necessarily in the order that they appear here, and hopefully they will be in a shorter form.  It would be best not to copy the text, but to re-write to reflect your own wording and opinions and, if possible, shorten the text!

At some point I intend to make a personal statement pointing out that we have supported significant development within the Plan and urging the Inspector to give full/significant 'weight' to the Pirton Neighbourhood Development Plan and therefore the wishes of the community.

New Circumstances:

  1. Emphasise the position and weight that the 'Made' Pirton Neighbourhood Plan (the Plan) now has.

When this application was submitted the Pirton Neighbourhood Development Plan (the Plan) was in a reasonably advanced stage with the pre-examination draft published, albeit it did not then carry full weight.  However, there had been extensive community consultation and the community's interest and involvement was clear, and that included an extensive questionnaire returned by 80% of households and 76% of adults (16+).  The draft Plan objectives and policies therefore demonstrably reflected the wishes of the clear majority of the community.  Despite this the applicant had virtually ignore the Plan and its policies, for instance:

In short, the applicant has made very little, if any, effort to meet the communities wishes, nor the policies for housing mix to meet local and wider needs (PNP 1) and design, scale and density of housing - Design and Character policy (PNP 2).

The applicant also ignores the existing village development boundary which is proposed and supported by the both the Plan and the North Herts District Council (NHDC) Local Plan.

The Plan is now 'Made' and will be considered by the NHDC Planning Officers and Planning Control Committee in relation to every planning application, large and small, within the parish of Pirton.  So, I urge you to do the same.  The Plan has the overwhelming support of the community, with the referendum receiving 520 votes in favour, 18 against, plus 1 spoilt vote in a turnout of 56.7%.

Specifically, the application is contrary to the Plan’s policies in that:

In addition, the application is premature because of inadequate archaeological investigation and therefore it cannot comply with PNP 8 Heritage Assets and Archaeological Heritage.


When assessing this application please note:

To be clear there is no route for construction traffic for the adjacent site, it is therefore premature to consider and agree access for this application.

For the reasons given above, I believe that the appeal should be rejected, however, my understanding is that pending the NHDC Local Plan being in force, an application may be considered acceptable if its detrimental impact does not demonstrably outweigh the benefit of the proposal.

In my opinion, for this application, the detrimental impact does outweigh the benefit because:


Frankly, I am struggling to recognise the benefit that this development would bring to the wider area and certainly I cannot see the benefit to Pirton.  Pirton is already accepting a higher than average proportion of district development with no improvement to facilities and that fact alone suggests that the impact will be detrimental.  I do not mean this to be a glib statement, but:

Detrimental Impact:

Impact on the Community:

Traffic and Safety:

There are currently no proposals to facilitate and improve roads in the area so any increase in traffic will have a detrimental impact.

Impact on the Community Facilities:


If approved top quality, Grade 3 agricultural land will be lost.

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