Thursday, 5 March 2020

GLA say Woodfield Nursery development at Welsh Harp does not conform with the London Plan

The GLA have raised objections to the controversial plan LINK to build on the Woodfield Nursery site, Cool Oak Lane, Barnet, near the Welsh Harp Metropolitan Open Land. This means that if Barnet Council make a draft decision in favour of the planning application they have to give 14 days to allow the Deputy Mayor for Planning, Jules Pipe, to decide whether to allow the application to proceed unchanged, direct the Council to refuse the application, or to take over as planning authority himself.

The conclusions of a much longer report (available BELOW) are:

London Plan and the Mayor’s Intend to Publish London Plan policies on Metropolitan Open Land is the key strategic issue relevant to this planning application. The development constitutes inappropriate development on Metropolitan Open Land and very special circumstances have not been demonstrated in this case. The application therefore does not comply with the London Plan as set out below:
  • Principle of development: The proposed residential development in an inaccessible location constitutes unsustainable development contrary to London Plan and intend to publish London Plan
  • Metropolitan Open Land: The development would have a substantial impact on the openness of the MOL and would be inappropriate development; the development does not therefore meet the NPPF exceptions tests and no very special circumstances have been demonstrated. The proposals thus fail the requirements of Policy 7.17 of the London Plan, Policy G3 of the Intend to Publish London Plan and the NPPF.
  • Housing and affordable housing: 41 units proposed. Notwithstanding the objection to the unsustainable location of the housing proposals, the principle of 35% affordable housing is supported, but this provision does not constitute ‘very special circumstances’ that would justify the development with substantial impact on MOL. The application currently does not fully comply with Policy H5 to be eligible for a Fast Track Route. The applicant should clarify the affordable housing offer by habitable room, and appropriate tenure split in favour of affordable rent. The on-site playspace provision should be appropriately demonstrated and secured by condition.
  • Urban design: The development would significantly reduce the openness of MOL and is thus inappropriate in principle. Notwithstanding this, the applicant should provide information on equal distribution of affordable and market units within the site to avoid segregation. The application should re-consider the positioning of single aspect north facing units.
  • Climate change: Further information has been requested on the energy strategy, urban greening and air quality.
  • Transport: An entirely car dependent development in a PTAL 0 area is unsustainable and contrary to London Plan and Intend to Publish London Plan policy. 
    Click on bottom right corner to enlarge document

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