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Harcombe Valley Peace Again Threatened

 
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Rhodie



Joined: 14 Sep 2005

Posts: 425
Location: Rhode Hill, Uplyme

PostPosted: 18/08/13, 11:39    Post subject: Harcombe Valley Peace Again Threatened Reply with quote

It is over seven years since we have heard from the Lyme Regis Golf Club with a planning application http://uplyme.com/debate/viewtopic.php?t=206&highlight=golf. The latest planning application 1/D/13/000972 is for, ‘Landfill with inert material to facilitate improvements to golf driving range and practice area’.

Go to: http://countyplanning.dorsetforyou.com/ePlanningOPS/loadFullDetails.do?aplId=5111 and go down and click documents and if you have the stamina take a look at ‘13.06.25 Final Lyme Regis Driving Range Planning Statement.pdf’ but as it has 29 pages perhaps you would care for the following brief synopsis which may encourage you to read further.

The club’s agent would like us to think the prime reason for the application is to improve the clubs driving range by dumping inert material such as building material, bricks, concrete and soil on the entire field to iron out the slight depressions and humps. This material will be applied to a depth of 2.75 metres in the centre and taper off to zero towards the sides. To achieve this up to a maximum of 50 HGVehicles will bring landfill material each day and machinery that will include excavators, bulldozers and compactors (these machines were given in the plural) will set about spreading and consolidating the stuff. In total they are catering for 40,000 cu.metres, roughly 40,000 tons and the time taken to do this will be four or five years. The driving range will remain in use for the work will be carried out in sections. Cracking nuts with a sledge hammer comes to mind!

Therefore for a period of up to five years there will be bare soil, mountains of stored topsoil and material liable to erosion on this sloping site. When the adjacent field was used for taking the spoil from the A35 cutting some 23 years ago there was serious erosion that the Environment Agency was concerned about. At that time Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty did not have the protection that is now given them regarding this kind of use. Additionally there will be noise, which carries across the Harcombe Valley surprisingly well, bare earth and piles of debris and top soil with working machinery on most weekdays for probably five years. All within a presently peaceful and beautiful landscape within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The Harcombe Valley was described in the Uplyme Parish Plan as ‘One of the most beautiful of the valleys is that of Harcombe. It has a feeling of being secluded - is sometimes referred to as the "hidden valley" - yet is the most vulnerable, because it is on the eastern edge of the parish and county’. As with previous application on this site and the adjacent Strawberry Field the site is virtually out of sight from the Dorset side of the valley but in your face and ear from the opposite Devon side.

You may think that an operation to iron out the humps and bumps could be done with a bulldozer in a matter of weeks. But of course that would entail considerable cost to the club whereas setting up a landfill site, which we are told the area desperately needs, will be a nice little earner. This exercise is primarily a money making one and should be viewed as a straight forward landfill operation.

So the Harcombe valley is once more under threat of noise and disturbance. As with previous planning applications the Devon side of the valley will bare the brunt of this. The site is still within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and as such there are many planning laws prohibiting such development for instance:
 Proposals for waste developments within AONBs will be subject to the most rigorous examination. They will only be permitted in exceptional circumstances and when it can be demonstrated that the development would be in the public interest
 Applications for waste facilities will be permitted where there are no unacceptable adverse impacts on the local character of the Landscape
 Development which would harm the natural beauty of the AONB will not be permitted. Development will only be permitted if its scale, siting and design conserves the quality of the Landscape .

The agents are putting forward the view that they are doing the community a favour by setting up a much needed landfill site. But under the:

Local Planning Policy Context
5.1 The Bournemouth, Dorset and Poole Waste Local Plan
Policy 4 [1] – Landfilling Inert Waste in North and West Dorset

It is stated that:
'Permission will be granted for combined recovery and disposal facilities for inert waste provided that:
i. the facility proposed will include recycling/recovery of inert waste; and
ii. the need for recover and disposal capacity is not already met by existing facilities in the local area'.

Therefore it is obvious that altruism is not their prime motive for they don’t intend giving the area a proper facility that the county council requires.
In answer to which the golf club’s agent says, ‘this site is intended solely for landfill operations. No recycling facilities will be offered on site. A recycling facility would run counter to the objective of the golf club that landfill operations progress as quickly as possible in order to deliver an improved golf driving range and practice area as soon as possible’.
Then surely this should rule out any chance of the club obtaining planning permission. If time was really of the essence then the single bulldozer operation would be the one to choose. I suggest that an alternative inland landfill site be sought outside the two AONBs and one that would have recycling facilities.

This should be a clear-cut case for refusal but that outcome is not necessarily so. The Dorset County Council’s Planning Department must convince the Planning Committee that this application contravenes the county planning policies. Already the local county council member Daryl Turner has given his approval of the proposal and this is from the man who on the Lyme Regis Town Council website says, ‘I love this beautiful little town’ but perhaps not the surrounding countryside. If you have objections to this planning application it would be greatly appreciated if you could make your views known to the planning department. You can do so online by clicking on 'Online Representation Form' at the top of the page: http://countyplanning.dorsetforyou.com/ePlanningOPS/loadFullDetails.do?aplId=5111
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Rhodie



Joined: 14 Sep 2005

Posts: 425
Location: Rhode Hill, Uplyme

PostPosted: 20/08/13, 07:30    Post subject: Reply with quote

For all those of you who have been having difficulties viewing documents connected with the above planning application on the Dorset CC website I can report that I have been in contact with the planning office and they replied that there must have been a 'gliche' in the system. Also you may have been worried why the date given on the website by which representations should have been made was 15 August. I am now informed that the consultation period has been extended to 3 September and the website has now been accordingly updated.
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Rhodie



Joined: 14 Sep 2005

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Location: Rhode Hill, Uplyme

PostPosted: 25/11/13, 14:17    Post subject: Delay on Driving Range Landfill decision Reply with quote

We are told that because of the number of objections received for this planning application the Planning Department has requested further information and clarification from the applicant. Obviously our comments were significant enough to elicit this unusual response from the planning office. The additional documents, together with the originals, can be viewed on the planning website http://countyplanning.dorsetforyou.com/ePlanningOPS/loadFullDetails.do?aplId=5111. The applicant's original statement of 29 pages has now been joined by one with a further 12 pages. There is also a new Visual Appraisal from a Bristol company dealing mainly with views of the site from various locations. All these additional documents bear November dates in the list of documents.
So what new light is thrown onto this matter? Not much, at least of any significance

The latest statement refers to the future of the site in 'Short', 'Medium' and 'Long' terms. Other than the Short Term, which covers the expected five year duration of the project, we have no complaint for I believed we understood that the site will be reinstated to its original status barring a little imperceptible increase in height at the end of the five years. Our objections lie in the short term.

On reading the statement you could come to the conclusion that the 'improvements' to the site will be primarily that of the natural environment with tree planting, hedgerow improvements and a wildflower meadow. Nowhere in the total of 41 pages of the two statements is it clearly stated how the driving range will be improved for the golf player. This is because of the fact that what little changes there will be to the contours of the field they could easily be carried out in a few weeks with a bulldozer. This further emphasizes that this is primarily a landfill operation looking for a site.

As for the Visual Appraisal well it is just that, a collection of views taken from publicly accessible points around the valley and beyond. With comments that you would expect from a company paid nicely by the developer. There is not an equivalent Noise Appraisal and the matter is not addressed at all.

The reason Lyme Regis is their chosen site is covered in detail. A map is even included to show that there is no other suitable site between Sidmouth and Weymouth outside an AONB where a more suitable site could be set up. The map has been carefully cropped to go no further north then just north of Axminster. North of the pinch point between the Dorset and the Blackdown Hills AONBs there is any amount of suitable landfill sites not in AONBs. A table also indicates that the closest current landfill sites are 32 miles to the east at Dorchester and 33 miles to the west at Exeter. It will be obvious that not only would a landfill site in Lyme be hoist to the materials created in Lyme itself but to those from areas half way to these present sites at least as far as Bridport, Honiton, Sidmouth, Chard and Axminster. A coastal holiday centre noted for its hinterland beauty and particularly the tranquility of the Harcombe Valley is not the place to centre the movements up to 50 HGVs per day and the spewing out of their contents onto an in your face hillside.

You can add to your previous comments regarding this planning application by clicking on 'Online Representation Form' at the top of the application page http://countyplanning.dorsetforyou.com/ePlanningOPS/loadFullDetails.do?aplId=5111 Alternatively perhaps you missed the previous deadline. In which case you now have a second chance to do so. Your comments must be in by 19th December.
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Rhodie



Joined: 14 Sep 2005

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Location: Rhode Hill, Uplyme

PostPosted: 04/05/14, 08:17    Post subject: Reply with quote

It being nearly ten months since this planning application was originally submitted to Dorset County Council it is quite understandable that I often speak to people who were of the impression that this planning application was determined ages ago.

It wasn’t but will be very soon in fact on 9 May.

It’s not too late to comment on the application. But first go to http://rhodehillgardens.co.uk/straw/golf.html and further click on Golf News Page for an update.
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Rhodie



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Location: Rhode Hill, Uplyme

PostPosted: 26/06/14, 15:30    Post subject: Reply with quote

Time having moved on approval was surprisingly granted on 9 May 2014 and conditions attached to the permission were approved on 20 June 2014. But we are still in the dark as to what are these conditions. Several people suggested a number of conditions but the general feeling of those in attendance was that they were ‘ brushed aside’.

We can’t go ahead with the next stage that of interacting with the Environment Agency in respect of the applicant’s request for a license to commence work, until we know the conditions. This will be our last chance of stopping the landfill, but there are several possibilities for doing this.

As usual for more information go to: http://rhodehillgardens.co.uk/straw/golfnews.html
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Rhodie



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PostPosted: 19/07/14, 08:25    Post subject: Reply with quote

Latest update on this with details of the Permit application to the Environment Agency and why it must be rejected on

http://rhodehillgardens.co.uk/straw/golfnews.html
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Rhodie



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Location: Rhode Hill, Uplyme

PostPosted: 05/09/14, 11:03    Post subject: Reply with quote

It was rejected. It being the submission of a Waste Recovery Plan by the landfill applicant to the Environment Agency.

But it may not be over just yet. Go to:

http://rhodehillgardens.co.uk/straw/golfnews.html

to see the options that the applicant now has.
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