Although it may not be obvious, Lydiard Park has two boundaries, the ‘Historic England Registered Boundary’ and a larger area called the ‘Essential Setting and outlying features to the designated landscape’. The Essential Setting, which was established many years ago, is designed to be the minimum line required to protect the Lydiard Park landscape. This minimum line is now under threat from a planning application for nine houses within the Essential Setting, off Hook Street. The planning application may be viewed here. It is an outline application which means all the detail is left until after the application has been approved in principle. As we have seen before, precedent can be a key factor.
For Lydiard Park, developers must prove that the ‘benefit’ outweighs the ‘harm’ to the heritage value. Two strategies can be used, either:
- apply for many houses, and maximise perceived benefit; or
- apply for a few houses, and minimise the perceived harm.
So, it does not matter whether the application is for a single house or for a housing estate, once one is approved it is extremely hard to stop further encroachment. This application is for a few houses, yet it is known that another developer is ready to return with a much larger application, also within the Essential Setting.
The prime objections are:
- the site is not allocated in any planning document; and
- it lies within the Essential setting which has been established to ensure that the Lydiard Park landscape is protected.
So, if you enjoy Lydiard Park it is necessary make your voice heard by commenting here
Comments must be in by Tuesday 2 July.