Council finds ‘no violation of planning control’ after concerns raised about work at Heybridge Garden Suburb
Image above: An illustrative image of the northern suburbs of Heybridge Garden. (Credit: country properties)
Maldon District Council said it had investigated complaints filed for alleged violation of planning control in the suburban Heybridge Garden project.
He said concerns had been raised about the wildlife and the work being done at the site.
More than 1,100 homes are planned in the proposed northern suburb of Heybridge Garden, located just north of Heybridge, Essex.
The council explained in a statement that the work currently underway relates to archaeological research and does not constitute development.
A spokesperson for Maldon District Council said: ‘The council can confirm that it has investigated complaints about an alleged violation of planning control at the site and has concluded the following.
“The work undertaken on site concerns archaeological research which must be submitted under condition 8 of the building permit.
“These investigative works do not constitute a development, nor a beginning of the building permit.
“The extent of the excavation is detailed in the Written Survey Scheme (WSI) and that’s what the developers are working on.”
Council went on to say that condition 8 is the relevant condition of the OUT / MAL / 15/00419 framework building permit, which states:
“No development, including site clearance or background work of any kind, should take place on the site until an archaeological assessment (prepared by an accredited archaeological consultant) to establish the archaeological significance of the site. site has not been submitted and approved in writing by the local planning authority.
“The archaeological assessment should inform the implementation of an archaeological work program, which may include a phased work program to allow for the gradual implementation of development.
“Archaeological work must be carried out in such a way as to take into account the approved program of archaeological work.”
The council spokesperson continued, “The condition has two parts, the first part is to agree on an archaeological assessment before development.
“The second part is to implement the archaeological work program agreed in accordance with the first part.
“The work concerns part 1 and has been approved by the archaeologist of Place Services.
“Steps are being actively taken to avoid impacting ground nesting birds, badgers and other sensitive areas.
“Ecologists have been retained on the project, visit the site periodically for prospecting work, establish mitigation measures and have given advice on how to avoid impacts on the ecology during ecological surveys in Classes.
“The developer has indicated that the measures below are appropriate, as confirmed by the environmentalists of the project, that is to say: 60% of the site has been recently plowed, so there are no problems birds nesting on the ground in these areas of the site.
“There are cultures that are starting to grow on part of the rest where trenches are identified to be undertaken as part of archaeological research.
“In these areas, archaeologists take the path the excavator should take and walk the trench to make sure there are no nesting birds.
“If something is found, then we give it a large spot and go around if possible, otherwise the trench is missed.”
“This investigative and avoidance approach has been verified with the project Environmentalists believe it is appropriate.
“The campaign has also fenced around the tree root and badger protection areas to ensure that no machines enter these areas..
“Actively taken measures are considered appropriate and proportionate to avoid disturbing ground nesting birds, trees and badgers.
“The Historic Conservation Officer of Place Services, Essex County Council has already confirmed in writing to council in his response to condition 8 (21/05054 / DET) of the discharge request on 7/4/21 that the Survey Scheme (WSI) submitted by the applicant is acceptable and I am happy to unload Part 1 of Archaeological Condition 8 to allow archaeological work to proceed as described in the WSI ”.
“The Council is therefore convinced that all the necessary protocols are followed and controlled in an appropriate manner throughout the duration of the work.
“In this regard, there is no violation of planning control at this point.
“The planning department would also specify that any impact on habitat or damage to nesting birds is not covered by land use planning legislation.
“In this regard, Countryside Properties has stated that it is aware of its legal obligations with regard to the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981 and other laws relating to the protection of animals, plants and habitats.
“Discussions are continuing with the developer.”
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