ACE responds to Lord’s Close development proposals

Barry White

ACE  has responded to the planning application submitted by Giggleswick School and Wellesley Homes to Craven District Council for a mix of 41, one, two, three and four-bedroom houses on two parcels of land at Lord’s Close, Giggleswick. Following discussions by the campaign’s energy working group and at the virtual Green Café meeting on Saturday 15 January, Sarah Wiltshire ACE Coordinator has written to the Council’s planning department as follows:

‘ACE is a coordinating body of people with local knowledge and relevant environmental expertise who recognise the seriousness of the Climate Emergency declared by Craven DC and many others. ACE works in partnership with the local authority and all other local and statutory authorities, voluntary organisations, charities and persons who share the vision and requirement to make a just transition to a sustainable net zero carbon community. In that context we offer the following comments on the Lord’s Close plan so that it can be aligned with local and national objectives.

New developments need to maximise their contribution to increased biodiversity and to mitigate and adapt to the climate emergency and ones on this scale give applicants a leading role in this. We believe that a more ambitious scheme that more fully implements CDC’s ‘Climate Emergency Strategic Plan’ & ‘Carbon Reduction Strategy’ that follows from it along with its ‘Spatial Planning’ ‘Green Infrastructure and Biodiversity’ and ‘Good Design’ documents, would better serve the local community.

Carbon Neutral Development:
– With ref. to ‘Policy ENV3 Criterion (t) – Designing in Sustainability’, include at the build stage solar pv (orientated and designed to give maximum benefit), air source heat pumps and electric charging points as well as a high standard of insulation rather than the minimum, use of building materials that are constructed with low or net zero CO2 outputs e.g. paving blocks not made from concrete and ‘incorporating passive solar gain’ and ‘low embodied materials’.
– Number of dwellings – density of housing is in excess of neighbouring developments. Density should be reduced to not greater than the density of adjacent developments. This will also ensure that it is set at a level that will cool properties as temperatures rise, rather than requiring post build measures such as air conditioning.

Land & Nature:
– Landscaping – in addition to the proposed tree, shrub & beech hedging planting, include within the hard works such as fence boundaries gaps to permit passage of wildlife such as hedgehogs in line with ‘Policy ENV4: Biodiversity (vii) ‘enable wildlife to move more freely and easily throughout the local environment, including both the natural and built elements’ and erection of bird boxes
– No street lighting plan has been submitted so no plan to relate light levels to those established elsewhere in the village setting, to minimise stray lighting and it’s adverse effects on flora and fauna, and to minimise light pollution with its associated adverse effects on characteristic local amenity.
– Include a ‘Sustainable Design and Construction Statement (SDCS)’ – which doesn’t appear to be part of the planning application documents, as yet.
– We note that ‘Futures Ecology’ – ‘Ecological Appraisal Report’ contains examples of good practice but would like to see these points specifically covered in the planning applications rather than being ‘could’s or ‘should’s’ as currently stated

Travel & Transportation:
-There are no dedicated pedestrian and cycle access routes on the site.
– Access and manoeuvrability of cleansing department collection vehicles will be problematic.
* There is no provision for visitor car parking

– It appears that the areas earmarked for this development lie within/directly adjacent to Flood Zone 2 as shown here In the context of increasing storminess and flood risk associated with climate change we would question the appropriateness of development in this location.
– Provision for surface water drainage of the site does not comply with hierarchy as defined by the Building Regulations Part H, i.e. surface water body first, surface water sewer second and combined sewer third. The River Ribble and Tems Beck would fall into the first category.’

The application was lodged with the council on 30 November 2021 and we understand comments have also been sent to the Council by residents and the Giggleswick Parish Council. At the time of writing it is not known when the application will be considered by the planning committee.

(Send your comments to: acesettleandarea at (replace at with @))

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