Reasons against any building development on this land taken from HBBC documents

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Reasons against any building development on this land taken from HBBC documents

Post  David Sprason CC on Sun Feb 01, 2009 11:00 am

Why the proposal is against HBBC current Local Plan regarding development in the National Forest, as follows:
- that such development would be detrimental to the flora and fauna encouraged as part of the National Forest
- that such facilities, developed and paid for by HBBC/LCC are therefore subsidised by the local rate/tax payer
- that the facilities will cater for ‘travellers’ who may pitch for a period of 9-10 months and contradicts the term traveller?
- that such a development would not of course be located in close proximity to Hinckley
- that the HBBC Local Plan states:
- 2.28.3 The Borough Council have recently reviewed the current level of provision for gypsies in the area and consider that there is adequate provision in place for the Borough as a whole. Moreover in the parishes of Bagworth, Barlestone and Ratby, where any further increase in provision would lead to an over-concentration of gypsy accommodation, proposals for gypsy development will be discouraged. The Borough Council will consult with representative bodies on the accommodation needs of the gypsies in the Borough and continue to biennially review the results of the district wide count of encampments.
- 2.28.4 In considering applications for gypsy caravan sites, the Borough Council will have particular regard to factors such as noise disturbance, which could impact on the amenities of neighbours. Furthermore, consideration of local topography and careful site selection can minimize the impact of a site on the character and appearance of the countryside. Generally small sites are a preferred option.
3.9 Day visits currently make up the backbone of the tourism industry. The borough has a range of very attractive and distinctive landscapes with several significant visitor attractions and areas of historic importance, including Mallory Park, Twycross Zoo and Bosworth Battlefield. The inclusion of part of the National Forest in the north and east of the Borough has recently expanded recreational and tourism possibilities as well as opportunities for wildlife habitat creation – particularly woodland cover, which is planned to reach 30% across the Forest as a whole. In addition, part of the Charnwood Forest extends into the borough, an important green infrastructure resource. Surveys have confirmed that the countryside is one of the local assets which is most highly valued by the local community and that it is well used for recreation by local people.

3.29 9. Protect and enhance natural habitats and biodiversity – Despite popular natural attractions such as Burbage Common, Charnwood Forest, Ashby Canal and part of the National Forest, biodiversity is not particularly high overall. In fact, the East Midlands has one of the lowest percentages of woodland cover compared to the UK as a whole. There are 7 Sites of Special Scientific Interest in the Borough, of these 60% are in an unfavourable condition and are continuing to decline. There are also numerous local wildlife sites/Sites of Importance for Nature Conservation. There is a strong need to provide protection and enhancement to these sites and the nature conservation sites, habitats and species listed in the Leicester, Leicestershire & Rutland Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP). The development occurring in Hinckley & Bosworth up until 2026 is likely to increase the pressure on the Borough’s landscapes and green spaces as well as presenting opportunities for enhancing and extending green infrastructure assets, linking and improving biodiversity within the Borough.

Tourism support- Continue and develop relationships with the National Forest, Stepping Stones Project and the Charnwood Forest to enable the continued implementation of these initiatives. Protect existing access routes and create physical connections between settlements and the National Forest and Charnwood Forest areas to increase the potential for tourism income and protect existing assets from possible overuse as a result of growth within and outside the Borough. Promote the settlements within the National Forest (Markfield, Thornton, Stanton under Bardon and Bagworth) and on the fringe (Groby, Ratby, Newbold Verdon, Desford, Barlestone and Nailstone) as‘gateway’ villages to the National Forest.

Improved Access around Thornton Reservoir- Develop Thornton Reservoir as a major recreational feature in the north east of the Borough. Provide additional multi-user access routes in conjunction with any recreational/ tourism development.

National Forest
4.59 An important component of green infrastructure within Hinckley & Bosworth and within Leicestershire is the National Forest. Embracing 200 square miles of the Midlands, the National Forest is taking root in the heart of England across parts of Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Staffordshire. It is transforming the landscape with the aim of linking the two ancient Forests of Charnwood on its Eastern fringe with Needwood Forest to its West. The aim of the National Forest is to increase woodland cover to about a third of all land within its boundary for the pleasure and benefit of the community, landscape and environment.

4.60 The National Forest is transforming the landscape to create a mosaic of land uses and enhance biodiversity; making a small but significant contribution to the UK’s efforts to reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide; creating a major resource for tourism, recreation and education; providing a productive alternative use for farmland and enabling farm diversification; contributing to the UK’s timber needs; and stimulating the economy and creating jobs.
4.61 In Hinckley & Bosworth, the National Forest covers a small proportion of the north eastern corner of the Borough and encompasses the Key Rural Centres of Markfield, Bagworth, Thornton and parts of Groby and Ratby.

Policy 20: Green Infrastructure Policy 21: National Forest

To support the implementation of The National Forest to the north east of the Borough, proposals that contribute to the delivery of the National Forest Strategy (increasing woodland cover; enhancing biodiversity; developing a new woodland economy for timber products and wood fuel energy; outdoor recreational and sports provision; and tourism developments, especially overnight quality accommodation linked to tourism in the Forest) will be supported provided that:

• the siting and scale of the proposed development is appropriately related to its setting within the Forest;
• the development respects the character and appearance of the wider countryside and ;
• the development does not adversely affect the existing facilities and working landscape of either the Forest or the wider countryside.

Within the National Forest new developments will be required to reflect the Forest context in their accompanying landscape proposals. Developments shall provide on-site or nearby landscaping that meets the National Forest development planting guidelines. Landscaping will generally involve woodland planting, but can also include creation and management of other appropriate habitats, open space provision and the provision of new recreational facilities. The appropriate mix of landscaping features will depend upon the setting and the opportunities that the site presents.
LDF Proposed Submission Core Strategy 2008

In exceptional circumstances, where planting and landscaping cannot be accommodated on or nearby the development site due to lack of land, a commuted sum will be negotiated. This will be towards the cost of purchasing land for planting, creating a new woodland, providing public access to it and maintaining the site for at least 5 years. Commuted sums will normally be paid to the local authority, who in partnership with the National Forest Company will decide how they should be utilised. Best practice guidance on the creation and future management of Forest-related planting and landscaping schemes should be followed, as set out in the National Forest Company Guide for Developers and Planners.

An option was considered for the location of a potential gypsy and traveller site (THO10). This land lies north of Reservoir Road to the east of Thornton. This site was not considered a preferred option due to the site’s proximity to the Costalot gypsy and traveller site, along with potential issues relating to highways access. Further details on specific sites are contained in Appendix 6.

The majority of households within Thornton are within a Local Equipped Area of Play Buffer Zone (Green Space Strategy: Audit of Provision; 2007 Update). The southern part of Thornton is not included as a buffer zone; however this area is close to Thornton Reservoir which provides an important recreational facility. As a result no additional green space has been identified.

THO07: Thornton Reservoir
Previous Ref: n/a SHLAA Ref: n/a
Description: Located to the east of the settlement boundary, this site is an established reservoir with extensive walking and cycling networks and wildlife habitats.
Suggested proposal: Allocate as open space.
Justification for the proposal
Listed in the Council’s Green Space Strategy, the Thornton Reservoir is a 75 acre valuable site for recreation set within the National Forest.The identification of this open space will therefore aid the quality score being achieved. Policy 10 of the Core Strategy notes the importance of Bagworth and Thornton as Forest Settlements and how they are characterised by the wildlife and planting which is unique to the wider National Forest area. Thus supporting the retention of Thornton Reservoir as a valuable open space for recreation and tourism. Policy 20 of the Core Strategy also supports the importance of developing Thornton Reservoir as a major recreational asset.

THO08: Access surrounding Thornton Reservoir
Previous Ref: n/a SHLAA Ref: n/a
Description: Located to the east of the settlement boundary, this site is an established reservoir with extensive walking and cycling networks and wildlife habitats. THO08 relates specifically to the access route surrounding the reservoir.
Suggested proposal: Allocate as a green corridor.

Justification for the proposal
Listed in the Council’s Green Space Strategy, the Thornton Reservoir is a 75 acre valuable site for recreation set within the National Forest. Policy 20 of the Core Strategy and the Councils Green Infrastructure Strategy also supports the importance of developing Thornton Reservoir as a major recreational asset and the intentions to provide additional multi-user access routes for the benefit of the area.

36 135 Land at Reservoir Road Thornton
The Council’s Submission Draft Core Strategy document (2008) has not allocated any housing and/or employment requirements to this settlement, therefore no allocations are required. However, infill development will be considered on its merits through the development control process. In addition, development in line with Submission Draft Core Strategy Policy 17: Local Choice, may be applicable.

The Ashby Canal runs from the north to the south of Hinckley and Bosworth and is a major recreational / ecological resource. The canal towpath forms part of the proposed Midlands Long Distance Footpath. The National Forest, situated in the north east of the Borough has significant potential for enhancing tourism and recreation in the area. The plans for the National Forest include the development of visitor centres, woodland trails, cycle ways, woodland / field based sports and visitor car parking.

In addition, a BAP for the National Forest has been produced, which outlines the work required to achieve the necessary protection and conservation of habitats and species at a local level within the National Forest. The National Forest covers 200 square miles of the Midlands, spanning across areas of Leicestershire, Derbyshire and Staffordshire, including the Charnwood and Needwood Forests. This area is important for wildlife, comprising of a range of protected and priority species and habitats including water vole, bats, otter, adder, barn owl and redstart. The National Forest contains 1143ha of ancient woodland accounting for 2.3% of the land area. Part of the National Forest is situated in the north east of Hinckley and Bosworth Borough.

B) Forest Hills Character Area
Gently undulating landform with small plateaus on higher ground. Highest point centred around Bagworth.
Predominantly rural landscape with arable and rough set-aside, influenced by industrial / urban features such as masts, poles and pylons. Fields enclosed by hedgerows with scattered trees. Industrial heritage of quarrying and mining resulting in areas of restored land and new woodland within the National Forest. Generally large scale field pattern with groups of smaller fields surrounding settlements. Linear settlements of former mining villages with sparsely scattered farms on slopes in between. Good public access and footpath network throughout, especially within National Forest area. Visually open due to immature plantations. Wide ranging views from higher ground. Thornton reservoir is an attractive focal point.

David Sprason CC

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Re: Reasons against any building development on this land taken from HBBC documents

Post  Admin on Sun Feb 01, 2009 2:23 pm

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