BSCF Objections to Proposed Aldi development at London Road

Letter to Bishop's Stortford Town Council's Chief Executive setting out objections to the proposed development of the Lancaster Garage site at London Road.

James Parker
Chief Executive
Bishop's Stortford Town Council
Windhill
Bishop's Stortford
CM23 2ND
8 July 2012

Dear Mr Parker,

Re: Planning Application: 03/12/0977/FP Proposed Development of Former Lancaster Garage, London Road

I write on behalf of BSCF to object to the proposed development of the former Lancaster Garage site at London Road. The location of the proposed store is in the Conservation Area. The design proposed is wholly inappropriate for such a site close to historic buildings at Hockerill dating back to 1547.

Policy BH6 states “New developments in or adjacent to a Conservation Area will be permitted where:
a. they are sympathetic in terms of scale, height, proportion, form, materials, and siting in relation to the general character and appearance of the area or are otherwise of such quality as to be highly likely to enhance the character and appearance of the area; …
d. important views within, into, and out of the Conservation Area or its setting are respected.”

Policy ENV1 states “All development proposals … will be expected to be of a high standard of design and layout and to reflect local distinctiveness.”

PPS5 states that planning authorities should take into account the ‘particular significance of the nature of the heritage asset and the value it holds for this and future generations’ and should ensure that ‘the desirability of new development [is…] making a positive contribution to the character and local distinctiveness of the historic environment’.

The planning proposals clearly do not meet those criteria.

Both the Vision 2020 document and the BSCF People’s Vision document set out that residents of Bishop’s Stortford expect that new development respect the town’s heritage. I would argue that this design fails to do that and that the use of the land as proposed goes against the spirit and the detail of the Vision 20 20 report.

The Design & Access Statement refers to materials being ‘readily observed in the neighbouring buildings’, yet ‘curtain glazed walling’ or ‘blue brickwork’ are not evident in this area.

I urge the Town Council to defend the Conservation Area and to promote architecture which is sympathetic to our historic market town by recommending refusal of this application.

In addition, I remind the Town Council of the seeming avoidance of the major traffic issues that will be triggered by approving and hence building an Aldi store on this site. That this is still progressing without a major review of the reports re traffic and congestion produced thus far, is beyond our understanding.

Yours sincerely,

Signed

David Fitzpatrick
Chair