Thursday, 3 July 2008

What's more important?

Land to the rear of 86 Boundstone RoadThat's the question I'm asking myself when thinking about a planning application for the land behind 86 Boundstone Road (which I previously posted about on 29th May). It has permission to be used as a turfing business, but over many years this has morphed into a more generic use as a builders yard, thus serving to frustrate and annoy neighbours living in such an otherwise peaceful part of our ward.

In addition, it's designated as land beyond the greenbelt, (not quite greenbelt), which, under policy C2 of our local plan should not be developed... unless consideration is given only under 'special circumstances'. The fear is that if permission were to be granted, it would provide an example that could be pointed to by other similar applications in the future, and thus be the top of a slippery slope for such near-but-not-quite greenbelt land around the borough of Waverley.

However - and it's a big 'however' - the reality is that the surrounding properties are suffering because of the present use of the land. It's a bit of an eyesore, noisy, and used at unsociable hours. Heavy machinary, including cranes, are sometimes parked on the land, providing what can only be described as the antithesis of what would otherwise be an uninterrupted view of countryside, or sky, depending from where one is looking. And the access to this builder's yard / turf business? A small lane off Boundstone Road - an otherwise neighourly street with little heavy traffic.

So, that's my conundrum. I'm presently crafting an email to ask if the application could be brought before a planning committee for a decision. It's an important decision for many neighbours, and one that deserves a sounding in public I think, to air both sides of the argument, and see whether in open debate we can as councillors determine if a decision in favour would endanger the future direction of planning in the borough.

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