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Planning Application Progress on Land to the East of St Nicholas

posted 4 Jan 2014, 08:09 by Ian Perry   [ updated 4 Jan 2014, 08:49 ]
A formal request for a "screening opinion" as to whether an Environmental Impact Assessment is required, has been made to the Vale of Glamorgan Council for the 4.4 hectares of land to the east of St Nicholas.  The land, put forward as a candidate site by the landowners and the Vale Council in the LDP Deposit  is grade 2 agricultural land, currently used for farming.  This application appears to include access from Ger-Y-Llan that was not included in the LDP.  In recent weeks, a survey has been conducted on the land a the end of Ger-Y-Llan to measure the feasibility of access to the proposed development from Ger-Y-Llan.

The Vale of Glamorgan Council has no LDP, and does not have the required 5-years supply of land required by law for developers.  As a result, developers may put in planning applications on any land they can get hold of.  The LDP deposit that was consulted upon at the end of 2013, will probably  not become a full LDP until 2017 -  and until such time, it's policies and constraints are not enforceable.

The Welsh Government Spatial Plan is the planing document that has been approved and that guides planning in the Vale of Glamorgan. the LDP, when finally approved, has to reflect the policies of the Wales Spatial Plan.

The following letter has been received by the Vale of Glamorgan Council:


I am writing to you on behalf of the land owners who are keen to prepare and submit an outline application for the residential development of the above site which is allocated for housing in the Deposit LDP under policy MG2 (43). The purpose of this letter is to request a screening opinion as to whether an Environmental Impact Assessment is required. In accordance with paragraph 55 of Welsh Office Circular 11/99 1 enclose a plan indicating the proposed location of the development and set out below a brief description of the proposals and its possible environmental effects. 

The site covers an area of 4.4 hectares and is located to the east of the village of St. Nicholas. Access would be obtained via Ger-Y-Llan ensuring that the site integrates well with the existing village. The western and the majority of the southern boundaries of the site are adjacent to existing properties and with the remainder of the southern boundary adjacent to the A48. The eastern and north-western boundaries adjacent to open countryside. The site is currently in agricultural use and consists of mainly open fields with some hedgerows dividing field parcels. 

Initial investigations have been carried out in relation to landscape, ecology, archaeology, which conclude that there would not be any major environmental effects. It is therefore anticipated that the development of the site would have limited environmental impact but there would be a requirement to undertake updated and further reports on transport, archaeology, ecology, landscape, agricultural land quality, to accompany the outline planning applications. 

As the site is in excess of 0.5 hectares it falls within Schedule 2 of the ER regulations. 

Paragraph 32 of Welsh Office Circular 11/99 states that when considering whether an EIA is required for Schedule 2 Development, the basic question to be asked is “Would this particular development be likely to have a significant effect on the environment?” We consider that the proposed development at St. Nicholas does not represent EIA development because: 

(a) The proposed development is not of greater and local significance; 

(b) The site is not particularly environmentally sensitive or vulnerable location; 

 (c) The 
proposed development is not unusually complex with potentially hazardous environmental effect. 

I should therefore be grateful if you would provide me with a screening opinion on whether an EIA is required for the proposed development of the land to the east of St. Nicholas.