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6. The impact of the proposed development on the Battlefield
6.1. The proposed access road to the development will permanently destroy the
visual integrity of the battlefield. The planners have failed to require the
developers to provide suitable visualisation as has already been noted when
discussing the errors and omissions of the planners.
- 6.1.1. The call-in letter from ODPM asks if the development ‘will harm the
visual amenities of the green belt’. While F i) of the same letter asks if PPS7
guidelines on siting, location and accessibility principle followed. PPS 22
suggests that an objective analysis is carried out:
- 18.104.22.168. Para 5.14 of PPS22 states that landscape and visual effects should be
assessed on a case by case basis. It also states that “proposed developments
should be assessed using objective descriptive material and analysis wherever
possible” (para 19). This section describes a number of common approaches to
landscape and visual assessment that may assist local planning authorities in
this task. (PPS 22 guidelines) This analysis is lacking.
- 22.214.171.124. Requests have been made in writing and verbally during the site visit
with the developers and city councillors, at the planning meeting itself and
during the pre-inquiry meeting that a three-dimensional model should be provided
to allow the visual impact of the proposed development to be assessed.
- 126.96.36.199. The same guidance (5.20 ff) gives some very specific examples of the
range of visual material required to allow the public as well as the planners to
assess the impact.
- 188.8.131.52. In particular, the impact that the route of the road will have on the
visual amenity of
- 184.108.40.206.1. those living there,
- 220.127.116.11.2. people approaching on the A19 and
- 18.104.22.168.3. those using the surviving green spaces of Walmgate Stray or
- 22.214.171.124.4. and those using the golf course
- have nowhere been addressed.
6.2. The city archaeologist lists three criteria for assessing the impact of the
proposed development: (2.1)
· The landscape of the battle,
· The amount of change that has taken place and
· How much the development might be prejudiced.
6.2.1. The outline of a wall might indicate a castle or abbey. However a
battlefield needs to arrest the imagination so the troops can be imagined
fighting across the landscape or the line of the shield wall inspected. The
modern landscape in which the battle is set is therefore very important. This
site is remarkable. Because it is so well preserved, and enjoys so much public
access, two major re-enactments have been undertaken and three short films have
been shot on the site.
6.2.2. Reconstruction of the 1066 landscape was at the core of the investigation
work. The landscape as it stands therefore does fulfil the function of a place
to allow the battle to be understood.
6.2.3. Moving on to last of the test applied by the City Archaeologist, the
development proposed would destroy any chance that visitors would be able to
envisage the landscape of 1066. The proposed access road implies the complete
destruction of the battlesite.
6.3. PPG13 sets out advice to be followed when planning the transport for a
development. It sets out these principles:
- 6.3.1. “By shaping the pattern of development and influencing the location,
scale, density, design and mix of land uses, planning can help to reduce the
need to travel, reduce the length of journeys and make it safer and easier for
people to access jobs, shopping, leisure facilities and services by public
transport, walking, and cycling. Consistent application of these planning
policies will help to reduce some of the need for car journeys and enable people
to make sustainable transport choices.”
- 6.3.2. How a site, with a single access, that enters the development at one edge
can be deemed to be reducing journey times and traffic is hard to understand.
Every journey has to add two transits along the access road. The proposed
disposition of shopping near this road will not only entice others to drive into
the development but is far enough from the ‘centre of accommodation’ that it is
likely to require people to use their cars inside the estate as reported by CABE
in the Consett study.
- 6.3.3. The road is as misplaced as it could possibly be for the adjacent
proposed development at the York University. On 30 April 2005 the city’s traffic
officer asked the developer to comment on combined impact with university.
However, the University developers refuse to cooperate so no impact assessed. It
would be unwise to proceed until the impact on the traffic flow can be assessed.
This is too much, too fast.
- 6.3.4. It was also suggested the PICARDY and LINSIG software be used to assess
traffic impact but the results of that are unknown. Even the Highways Agency
have not been able to help to assess the impact that the traffic will have
because it is not their ‘policy to consider tentative planning applications in
Transport Assessments until such time that the application s have been
approved’. The net effect is that we really do not have any model of how the
proposed access will impact the area. This is not acceptable.
- 6.3.5. Finally, the bus companies have declined to run busses to the estate
because the access does not allow them to be fitted into any sensible bus
routing. The provision of a short-term subsidy from the developer was the
ridiculous solution accepted by the planning committee.
- 6.3.6. The developers will have completed the development when their transport
subsidy expires, leaving the problem with the Council. At that stage they will
probably have to provide further access routes for public transport but what is
far more likely, the site will by then have developed as a ‘car-only’ estate
where every resident will require a car just as at Persimmon’s estate in Consett.
- 6.3.7. The access route breaches the key principles set out in the planning
guidance. If proper access was provided at the eastern end of the development,
it would give speedy access to the university. A series of small-scale
developments that linked to the existing access roads is another solution but
one that will require negotiation with those affected. This solution to
road-access would oblige the planners and the developers to meet and address the
needs of the local people.
6.4. The real fear for the battlefield that if the disastrous route along
Germany Beck was approved, further developments would be needed to cope with the
traffic at the junction with the A19.
- 6.4.1. Over the years the proposed junction will prove inadequate. That has been
the pattern around the northern ring road where two decades of disruptive
enhancements followed the construction of housing and shopping estates.
- 6.4.2. One can almost hear future planners saying that since the battlefield has
already been damaged by the access road, there is little point in resisting the
need for a complex junction at the junction with Germany Beck. This is why it is
vital that no road along Germany Beck is allowed.
6.5. The impact of the road would be disastrous. It would destroy the
battlefield. The only mitigation if this format for the site is approved is to
relocate the road so that it does not impact on the visual impression of the
site. Locating the access nearer the houses in the east and north would be