BNC Text J9V

EIP meeting at Strensall Village Hall, day 7, morning session: public county council planning meeting. Sample containing about 18555 words speech recorded in public context

11 speakers recorded by respondent number C506

J9VPS000 X u (No name, age unknown) unspecified
J9VPS001 X u (No name, age unknown) unspecified
J9VPS002 X u (No name, age unknown) unspecified
J9VPS003 X u (No name, age unknown) unspecified
J9VPS004 X u (No name, age unknown) unspecified
J9VPS005 X u (No name, age unknown) unspecified
J9VPS006 X u (No name, age unknown) unspecified
J9VPS007 X u (No name, age unknown) unspecified
J9VPS008 X u (No name, age unknown) unspecified
J9VPSUNK (respondent W0000) X u (Unknown speaker, age unknown) other
J9VPSUGP (respondent W000M) X u (Group of unknown speakers, age unknown) other

1 recordings

  1. Tape 116301 recorded on 1993-11-25. LocationNorth Yorkshire: Strensall, Near York. () Activity: Public county council planning meeting. Legal representations and discussion.

Undivided text

(J9VPS000) [1] We certainly will be today.
[2] Erm I it looks as though everybody's gone anonymous on me today.
[3] Could you please turn your name boards round so we can see who's who.
[4] Thank you very much.
[5] Er the other rule with well method of procedure, most of you know about it, but if you want to attract my attention during the course of the discussion simply put your name board up on end and we can see who wants to speak.
[6] We also yes I must remind you that we have read the papers so I don't necessarily want to go through it word by word line by line er but obviously when you want to make a point you will refer back to those papers but don't you must assume that we have read them and that everybody else has read them.
[7] Er today we're going to look at this Policy E two, the op open countryside, and there are presented to you for the discussion three matters.
[8] And the first one is, Is the policy required and if so does it give sufficient guidance.
[9] The next matter is, Is the proposed policy too restrictive and does it adequately reflect national policy guidance on the need to rural enterprise and diver diversification of the rural economy.
[10] Now obviously B does follow quite properly from A but let's start off with Mr Williamson picking up the question, Is the policy required and if so does it give everybody sufficient guidance.
[11] Mr Williams.
(J9VPS001) [12] Thank you Chairman.
[13] Ken Williamson North Yorkshire County Council.
[14] Chairman, much has been said during the course of this examination about the quality of the environment in North Yorkshire.
[15] Particular emphasis has been placed on the fact that the county embraces the best part of two national parks as well as two and a half areas of outstanding natural beauty and a heritage coast.
[16] Collectively these areas of national designation cover about forty five percent of the three thousand two hundred square miles which constitute the county of North Yorkshire.
[17] As befits their status they are the subject constructed on Policy E one which affords high priority to conservation [...] landscapes and general amenity.
[18] The majority of the remaining seventeen hundred square miles or so of the county also comprises open countryside.
[19] Most of it's vastly populated and punctuated by well defined compact small market towns and villages.
[20] The majority of this remaining countryside is also of a high quality deserving in the County Council's view protection in the words of P P G seven for the sake of its beauty, the diversity of its landscapes, the wealth of its natural resources and its ecological, agricultural and vacational value.
[21] There is however no existing [...] policy, control development and change across this wide countryside.
[22] This represents in our view a major gap in the strategic policy framework for such an extensive rural county and one which is becoming increasingly in need of filling.
[23] Chairman, back in nineteen eighty when the County Council's original structure plan submission was examined, the panel who subsequently the Secretary of State rejected the proposal for a policy to control development in the open countryside outside the nationally designated areas, primarily to suggest that on the grounds that the agricultural policy in the plan were equally capable of achieving the objectives sort by the proposed open countryside policy.
[24] Chairman, I think in nineteen eighty this was quite possibly true.
[25] Thirteen years on er the situation has changed and changed quite dramatically.
[26] It is no longer Government policy to retain as much agricultural land in productive use as then.
[27] At the same time new places have been exerted on the countryside almost daily.
[28] Although they were at the [...] agricultural policies undoubtedly continue to be relevant, still have a significant part to play in many current situations.
[29] It is undoubtedly true their role and application in the nineteen nineties is significantly different from that envisaged back in nineteen eighty.
[30] County Council believes therefore that is is now appropriate to clarify the strength of the general thrust of strategic policy as regards the development of the open countryside by introducing its new Policy E two.
[31] County Council's encouraged by the fact that the introduction Policy E two is supported by all the North Yorkshire Districts and they are after all at the sharp end of implementing structure [...] policy.
[32] It's largely on the alerting of the County Council's decided to incorporate such a policy in this alteration.
[33] County Council's similarly encouraged by the widest support inclusion of the policy has elicited, as I say at least in principle Chairman, and most of the respondents to alteration number three.
[34] I think in this context there are very few people who have actually said it is not relevant or appropriate to introduce introduce the policy at this stage.
[35] Chairman, I think I should say in proposing the proposed Policy E two it should be stressed the County Council's not seeking to introduce a policy of restraint and restriction on the development which attempts to mirror that already applying within any of the nationally designated areas.
[36] The County Council fully recognizes that this would be appropriate, inappropriate sorry, and unacceptably constraining.
[37] Nevertheless it does believe it is appropriate that the strategic thrust of the policy should be based on the premise that development proposals likely to be consid considered acceptable in the open countryside will in a sense represent the exception rather than the rule.
[38] And the early reading of P P G seven it seems to me it's apparent that the principle messages are that the development in open countryside should be strictly controlled, and I would underline that point strictly controlled, and that the countryside should be safeguarded for its own sake and non-renewable and natural resources should be afforded protection.
[39] It is I would suggest similarly evident that P P G seven expects most new development in rural areas to be directed to rural villages and small country towns and that it should be sensitively related to existing settlement patterns under the historic wildlife and landscape resources of the area.
[40] County Council believes that this advice and guidance is synonymous with the view that is taken that development of the open countryside will in fact represent the exception rather than the rule and that new development would not normally be permitted.
[41] The policy as now presented to the panel for consideration in the County Council's view therefore represents and provides a clear strategic statement covering the processes involved in changing the wide open countryside and beyond rural settlements and such areas identified for development purposes within those settlements could maybe identified in the appropriate drawn up plans.
[42] As such it is considered to pro provide an appropriate level at the strategic policy guidance within which District Councils can development their local planned policies, taking into account local circumstances and conditions and indeed the appropriate balance to be struck between the rural economy and protection of the environment.
[43] This view is supported by the District Councils who are united in their opposition for a policy incorporating more detailed guidance, particularly if it is sort to identify specific categories of exceptions likely to be considered to represent appropriate development in the countryside.
[44] Thank you Chairman.
(J9VPS000) [45] Thank you.
[46] Anyone want to pick up the ball and run with it and would question whether it is considered necessary and does it give you sufficient guidance at strategic level?
[47] Mr Donson.
(J9VPS002) [48] Thank you Chairman.
[49] Roy Donson House Builders' Federation.
[50] I would very much like to pick up the ball and run with it as to whether this policy is necessary or not.
[51] Erm we've heard from Mr Williamson that it fills a strategic gap and guidance and that pressures on the countryside are exerted daily and curiously enough it wasn't a policy of restraint or restriction.
[52] I can't agree with any of those things.
[53] The reason for bringing forward this policy was because it, as Mr Williamson said, is the District Councils felt there was a need to fill a strategic er a gap in strategic guidance.
[54] And not until this morning when erm Richmondshire cir circulated their erm evidence have I seen any example of er be given a pressure which er which is being exerted.
[55] You will remember erm er er as Mr Williamson outlined the counties covered by wholesalers and designations already protecting er the countryside.
[56] And you will recall that in relation to Policy H one that I I I submitted to table which is called from Selby District Council showing the extent of that coverage both not only national designation but also of local designation.
[57] And that showed that sixty eight percent of the county is actually covered by one form of national or local environmental restraint.
[58] But that did not include agricultural land grades one two or three A which are also covered by another policy, Policy A three.
[59] If you also take that away and you also take away land which is already covered by settlement, I would suggest that you're left with very little and so what's the strategic gap?
[60] I think I would submit that there isn't really a strategic gap.
[61] There may have been one or two planning applications which have been a little bit difficult to deal with but that's life surely.
[62] We have to make decisions, that's what planning is about coming to decisions.
[63] And that in fact what we already have in this county is a balance of policies which substantially favour environmental protection and this is just a means of adding another one which is another hurdle for any department to erm to to actually er meet.
[64] If there is if there are no er examples of er er dev individual examples of development pressure, as I say we have one apparently presented to us this morning I think one over a period er since nineteen eighty seven, it's not a basis for a policy.
[65] And you you will know as well in relation to Policy H one [clears throat] that it was said that if fact development housing development in particular 's kept pace more or less with the er the policy of er the the policy set out in the structure plan.
[66] The exception to that of course is York but York wouldn't be affected by this open countryside policy er at all.
[67] ... What I would see this policy as doing would be simply to bring an element of restraint er which er would be formulated in way in which it would within the local plans so that tight boundaries would be drawn around settlements, the rest of the land would be designated as under this policy as E two land and the debate as to whether the extent of that land was necessary or not would be negated because it would be subsumed as being there simply er meeting the strategic policy.
[68] If we contrast that er view of what will happen in future district [...] plans with what has actually happened under the Hambleton District [...] plan which I know you have a copy of.
[69] There in the absence of an E two policy the council has undertaken a full landscape assessment of its area outside the settlement.
[70] Now it may well be that er the Federation of Hambleton disagree about what the importance of of that landscape assessment is precisely.
[71] But nevertheless it's been done and the debate can be held under the auspices of the District [...] Plan.
[72] We aren't prevented from having the debate and indeed in having that debate Hambleton will have to prove they've made drawn the right boundaries.
[73] We wouldn't they wouldn't be have to deal with that it was simply having a poli a blanket policy.
[74] ... There also seems to me to be some confusion of emphasis which which adds to my concern that in fact the Government policy talks about strict control of development away, and I emphasize the word away, from settlements.
[75] Yet this particular policy is intended and it says so in the explanatory memorandum, that it's to be once established as open count [...] open countryside would be out immediately outside the settlements.
[76] We will fight all land which is not er part of the settlement.
[77] And it seems to me there is a grave danger that once established as open countryside and in an area in need of protection, it will be heavens only job to move that in future years.
[78] And in fact the intention would be in effect that this will in fact like greenbelt and I would point to the Harrogate District er Harrogate Rural Area Study and er that's been submitted by Harrogate Council as an example of er showing that that is the precise intention of this sort of policy.
[79] Because even in the absence of strategic guidance in the past it hasn't stopped local authorities actually bringing forward policies in their local plans.
[80] The difference is, of course, that those policies have got to be tested if each individual case [...] appropriateness and er I I do feel that if we have a blanket policy then we won't be able to test it.
[81] You then have to ask yourself the question, If there isn't any Government, if there isn't any er local development pressure of any substance which has brought about the need for this policy, has there been some sort of quantum change in Government policy which has necessitated that we give emphasis to this particular issue.
[82] Well my view of that is that yes we do have new P P G seven which we didn't have at the time of the last structure plan alteration.
[83] But by and large that's just a further clarification of some aspects and it's not a quantum change of policy, all it did is collect together wholesalers of circulars etcetera er and and present them in a in a slightly er more concise way.
[84] But there's no, it seems to me there's no fundamental change in Government policy and if you are only bringing forward er a change in policy er to this alteration on the basis that er there was some extra P P G guidance we wouldn't just be dealing with countryside policy here we would be dealing with a policy about telecommunications, wind farms, a whole raft of things er which which we ought to be really dealing with.
[85] It may be at the end of end of all this that you you are nevertheless convinced that there ought to be a policy.
[86] If that were the case then I would say to you that there must be some exceptions to it and the one exception I am particularly concerned with, and it's up to others to bring forward their particular exceptions, is that of rural affordable housing.
[87] I have more than made that point in my submission.
[88] But it does seem to be again if we're going back to Government guidance who are justifying extra policies to be brought forward to this alteration, it is a serious omission this alteration that there is no policy which deals with rural affordable housing.
[89] Surely that has been one of the major changes of Government policy over the last few years.
[90] So I would say to you as part of this opening submission that there is no need for this policy, it is various, there must be a safe plan for rural affordable housing.
(J9VPS000) [91] Thank you very much Mr Donson.
[92] Anyone else want to
(J9VPS003) [93] Hello.
[94] Can I ask Mr Donson for a bit more explanation.
[95] You've argued that the very fact of E two will result in tight boundaries around rural settlements.
[96] Surely where the boundaries are around rural settlements, whether or not there are boundaries around rural settlements, doesn't flow from E two but flows from decisions that district councils are free to make at the moment.
[97] I don't understand your argument that having an E two type policy and without prejudice to what it may say, will make discussions at the local plan level about where boundaries are, more difficult or less difficult.
[98] It doesn't seem to me to affect it in any way.
(J9VPS002) [99] Well I I erm Roy Donson House Builders' Federation, I I think it will because if you take Hambleton as an example and and and and we've seen in more detail [...] stage one er more detailed justification for the boundaries of some particular settlements in the Hambleton District Plan er based on a based on a landscape analysis.
[100] Now it seems to me that they are challenging on that basis that they can it can be it can be detailed at the local level that individual boundaries can be challenged.
[101] If, however, you simply have a designation which says, This is E two land this is in conformity with the structure plan which, incidentally, hasn't been proved in my view in relation to development pressure nor landscape quality, nevertheless you just say this is E two land, then it seems to me that it's very difficult to argue that it is open countryside.
[102] It may well be open countryside, we can all agree that it's it's it's beyond this it's currently beyond the settlement.
[103] But is the boundary drawn in the right place or not.
[104] Could well be negated because all we're saying is that the counter argument to it is we're simply conforming with the structure plan.
(J9VPS003) [105] I'm still not sure I understand why ... the effect of the E two words is to make ...
(J9VPS002) [106] Because it applies
(J9VPS003) [107] the situation's significantly different bearing in mind the primary requirement on the planning system by virtue of P P G one to provide ade adequately for development.
(J9VPS002) [108] That erm well two things.
[109] One one one first of all the policy is meant to apply to all land which is outside outside of the settlement.
[110] That is what it says in in in the in the explanatory memorandum.
[111] That's the first point.
[112] The second point is that once established that that is open countryside under the terms of this particular policy then it would be very difficult to make a future change to that.
[113] Now it may well be that the whole balance of things is that we're generally okay for the moment but it seems to me that as time goes on and there's a need to review plans and there's a need to make further provision that it would be very very difficult indeed against a blanket policy as opposed to individual justifications around ind er individual settlements.
(J9VPS000) [114] But surely Mr Donson, E two, and I use your phrase, E two land doesn't carry with it anywhere near the same degree of status er as A O N B or triple S I
(J9VPS002) [115] I I I I I I
(J9VPS000) [116] [...] or greenbelt surely?
(J9VPS002) [117] I I I sir that we we may be able to erm argue that here today it may be very difficult once it's established, especially in the public mind that that that there is that there E two land I fear would be not only interpreted unless there's some justification for me saying this because that's what it says in the in the in the Harrogate Rural Areas Plan.
[118] They they something like, and I'll look it up for the precise wording, that this would be acting like greenbelt.
[119] I think once that sort of phrase gets within the public domain then it would be very difficult to shift that er in the future.
(J9VPS000) [120] Yes I mean that may be a public perception.
[121] I suppose it would depend very much on how it was presented.
[122] Er now let me ask the Planners whether they see that as the way in which they would be trying to operate this policy through the local plan.
[123] Mr Jewitt.
(J9VPS004) [124] Er Michael Jewitt, Hambleton District Council.
[125] Er well Chairman I don't think that erm E two erm as proposed will weaken people's ability to challenge our District [...] Local Plan policies.
[126] Our District [...] Local Plan policies will be our interpretation of the application of E two erm in the light of er national planning [...] policy guidance.
[127] Erm the development limits the landscape policies that have been referred to are our response to a number of considerations, erm protection of the open countryside is just one of those.
[128] Now that's our inter purely our interpretation of the policy and clearly that would be open to challenge in the District [...] Local Plan Enquiry.
[129] I don't really see how erm it is going to in any way weaken people's ability to make an effective er objection.
(J9VPS000) [130] Mr Williamson.
(J9VPS001) [131] Thank you Chairman.
[132] Er Ken Williamson North Yorkshire.
[133] Really just a point of clarification on one popular matters that erm Mr Thomson raised about er limits of settlement.
[134] I think [...] it seems to me he's missed er the point in the explanatory memorandum that he made.
[135] The relevant statement reads, The policy will fight all land outside existing rural areas other than when [...] is specifically indicated in the structure planning in local plan.
[136] So it takes into account er what what the development plan should be doing which is to make adequate reasonable allocation in the context of the the the broad strategy of the structure plan erm and I don't see any reason to believe that once that has been done erm the remaining plan outside those areas shouldn't be treated as open countryside.
(J9VPS000) [137] Professor Markham.
(J9VPS005) [138] Er David Lock sir.
[139] Erm I should like to reinforce and supplement what er Mr Donson has said er from the house building point of view perhaps with a broader perspective of er development than just the house building industry.
[140] I notice from the erm County Council's own er document for today that they remind us that the Panel in looking at the present structure plan in nineteen eighty erm considered whether the county's wish at that time to have this broad erm kind of sweeping up policy was appropriate.
[141] He reminds us of this erm he says that, At that time in nineteen eighty the Panel felt that they weren't convinced it was necessary to include such a sweeping up policy since there's a whole battery of other policies in the plan which were designed to protect erm the special parts of the countryside in the county.
[142] Now what we're hearing today in in the document that's been put in by the County is that their assertion is that since nineteen eighty the changing erm common agriculture policy has meant that more farm land in the county is coming into play for development than was the case in nineteen eighty erm not least of all through set aside and general policies of diversification.
[143] And that the county feels that there is a case for this sweeping up policy now in nineteen ninety three whereas in nineteen eighty the Panel had felt it to be inappropriate.
[144] So the main reason, that's just sorry it's a long way of getting to it sir but, the main change in circumstance that the county is putting forward since nineteen eighty compared with today is that agricultural policy means that more farmland is being diversified and they feel the need at county level to have a sweep-up policy to control that process.
[145] The other reason, there is only two reasons, the other reason the county gives for wanting this Policy E two now in nineteen ninety three erm is that the districts have all asked for it.
[146] A popular expression of demand from the district councils.
[147] Now I think what erm and my feelings on this er are very much er similar to Mr Donson's and I'm grateful for the calculation he has done for us all.
[148] But this particular county is extremely well covered by special forms of countryside protection both through national park, heritage coast, A O N B and as was mentioned in a rather a throwaway fashion but in terms of grade one, two and three A O N agricultural land.
[149] There really isn't much of the county that isn't covered already by those kinds of protections.
[150] And it seems to me perfectly understandable that the local planning authorities in the county would like to take one hundred percent control of the unbuilt upon part of the county.
[151] But the fact of the matter is that that isn't Government policy.
[152] It is not Government policy that all land everywhere should be subject to special constraint.
[153] Explicitly Government policy to the opposite.
[154] So it seemed to me, sir, that we need a very very special justification for this all embracing E two policy which brings me to the other thing to say about it as a general principle.
[155] Erm the questions you were asking just now were testing a possible implication that this policy is so weak in general, no no not weak, so general in its application that it really doesn't get in the way, it's testing that kind of hypothesis, and erm all I can say is from experience in North Yorkshire that, even without this policy since nineteen eighty, the county has been using its assertion of its need to protect the countryside generally as its policy position to stop things happening outside towns and villages and that with this policy in place we could see that a general position of the county maintained and then reinforced.
[156] And somebody has to say that under Section fifty four A if this kind of policy exists in the county structure plan it will be extremely difficult for any proposer erm of development outside built-up areas, existing built-up areas, to proceed.
[157] This is a genuine obstruction in this Policy E two of the most serious kind.
[158] And so in conclusion I [...] looking at it and the exhibitions we've made to you and to the county in the course of the consultation draft is that this county does not need this policy and that it is in fact an insidious and repressive kind of policy that it contrary to national planning guidance and should not be included in the alterations.
(J9VPS003) [159] Can I pick up on that last point Professor Lock and throw out a question generally in response to what you and Mr Donson have said.
[160] ... What would be the effect on a Policy E two which said development in the a , applications for development in the open countryside would be determined in accordance with national policy set out in P P G seven.
[161] No not the last bit because there's there's bits of Government policy related to the countryside that isn't in P P G seven it's normally under P P Gs.
[162] I throw that into the arena on the basis that ... P P G seven exists it is not ... a policy in the terms of Section fifty four A unless it is made a policy in the terms of Section fifty four A. Nevertheless it is a material consideration in all applications be before the local authority or before the Secretary of State.
(J9VPS005) [163] If I could just say something, I know Mr I know you will sir, but erm just.
[164] That would work for those kinds of developments which P P G seven is addressing.
[165] Erm what would present problems in real life I think would be developments of a larger kind than that in which a new settlement er might be one strategic site if we had such a policy might be another.
[166] Erm and er P P G seven doesn't really give us a way through on that.
(J9VPS003) [167] I I was leaving the the sort of exceptions part of it and the game at the moment and asking, because I appreciate that you and Mr Donson for different reasons both want erm a policy that provides for exceptions.
[168] Can sticking with the sort of the general non-strategic development in the countryside, would such a policy work, would it be better than E two as proposed, would it be worse, would it be weaker?
(J9VPS005) [169] Er I will I will hand over but let me just say this that my instinct is that it a policy expressed in the way you've you've suggested is just superfluous because all you're doing is describing in in a po in upper case letters, the situation as it is and that that my answer is that it would that there would be no need for such a it would be gratuitously ap it's an unnecessary statement.
(J9VPS003) [170] Oh my reason for including it was Section fifty four A.
(J9VPS005) [171] To bring P P G seven and so on into the statutory plan
Unknown speaker (J9VPSUNK) [172] Yes yes.
(J9VPS005) [173] and therefore make it enforceable.
[174] I I I mean I don't think you need to do that but er that's my response to your question.
(J9VPS002) [175] Roy Donson House Builders' Federation.
[176] I I I I think the erm situation that Miss Whittaker describes is the situation that we have today.
[177] What what what we have is a serious of local plans which include policies for protecting land and they are working perfectly well in achieving that objective.
[178] And the other material consideration or one of the other material considerations that comes into play for to determine particular applications is indeed Government guidance.
[179] So that's exactly the position that we have and there had been no proof as far as I can see to to demonstrate that in fact the present situation is not working.
[180] Patently the present situation is working and therefore that's part of it and what I would say is that that this additional policy if it isn't necessary because there there isn't any development pressure, then what is its purpose.
[181] I would submit its purpose is another piece of anti-development er strategy for for this particular county.
[182] I think there is there there is there is an issue that it isn't as simple as just where are we today and and and where are the boundaries of the settlement as Mr Williamson said.
[183] We've got to consider the situation of some form of flexibility and it presupposes that if you have a policy in which the settlements are drawn and I suppose I I think they will be tightly drawn, development yes is allocated in accordance with the structure plan.
[184] But that and then the rest of the land is is open countryside E two land.
[185] It presupposes that that is right that those boundaries have been rightly drawn essentially for all time.
[186] Or or certainly in the long term.
[187] And erm I think that that is a very dangerous situation to get ourselves in even in a county where the emphasis is on to protecting er er on environmental protection.
[188] I still feel it is a dangerous proposition to be in and we could end up in a situation where development comes to a full stop.
(J9VPS000) [189] Mr Heselton and then Mr Collier.
(J9VPS006) [190] Thank you sir.
[191] Terry Heselton Sel Selby District.
[192] Erm I think my answer to the to the questions being thrown out by by the Senior Inspector is is that surely Government policy is to protect the countryside for its own sake, and and why is it therefore wrong for a county with erm areas of acknowledged environmental importance to try and give expression to that in in its structure plan.
[193] Erm the the point I really wanted to make erm is response to to a comment from Mr Donson and and also Profe Professor Lock erm it it goes back to erm to my constraints map of the county, the one I submitted er as an appendix to my erm submissionary inspector of the H one issue, erm which rather unfortunately throughout the course of the examination has been er exploited by a number of other parties constr for their own purpose.
[194] But it it now gives me the opportunity to use it er for the purpose in which
Unknown speaker (J9VPSUNK) [195] Have you charged a fee for that?
(J9VPS006) [196] Well yeah it has crossed my mind.
[197] But basically turning to the Selby situation erm I mean here here we have a district that doesn't have any areas of acknowledged national [...] or landscape im importance at all but as as I mentioned previously that's not to say that there aren't valuable areas of countryside within the district and areas which to use use the words of of P P G advice are valued by the people that live and and work in the district and and also by visitors.
[198] Erm at various times throughout the course of the enquiry Selby seems to be gathering a bit of a growing reputation that that the district have let it rip or or the or the collecting point for the remainder of the county.
[199] And and I think that's why this particular policy is very important to the Selby district because it allows us to address the balance between meeting what I would call the justifiable development [...] but also the equally important environmental consideration.
(J9VPS000) [200] Thank you.
[201] Mr Collier.
(J9VPS007) [202] David Collier National Farmers' Union.
[203] It seems to to me that erm Policy E two does not add erm much if anything to to Government policy which after all is fairly comprehensive in its dealings with development in the countryside.
[204] Not only in P P G seven but as has been pointed out in other erm guidance notes such as four erm and three.
[205] Perhaps the er chief of a Policy E two in an acceptable form is that it would give a clear signal to the district that it would not be appropriate to have a policy on rural diversification or in in development in the countryside more generally, which is stricter than Government guidance.
[206] And and so we certainly don't have strong views either way as to the need for the policy in principle but I can certainly see an advantage in having a policy in the right terms.
Unknown speaker (J9VPSUNK) [207] It seems to me that E two as it is currently drafted is a great deal less comprehensive than P P G seven and a great deal more restrictive, possibly as a consequence of being less comprehensive.
[208] And I [...] I thought I'd put to Mr Donson and Mr Loc Professor Lock to the district councils.
(J9VPS000) [209] Mr Earle.
(J9VPS008) [210] Thank you Chairman.
[211] Erm first of all if I may just er point out that the example I put with my paper that I have submitted today, and I thank you for the er indulgence in allowing me to produce it so late, was simply that there was one particular appeal of decision where an inspector remarked particularly on the lack of a local or a development plan policy relating to generally relating to the countryside.
[212] In other words it wasn't the one and only example where we felt this gap but it's simple one where [...] remarked on it.
[213] If I may just refer you sir to er my appendix which it actually the last page of your papers erm er if you see on it is actually page numbered thirty one and it's paragraph thirteen thirty six at the very back of the papers.
[214] Erm and the inspector simply pointed there that the county er the council has quoted no approved policies to protect the countryside for its own sake.
[215] Well the plain fact of the matter was Chairman there were there were none to quote to him and erm we see the the structure plan Policy E two er as fulfilling a bridging role between national policy and the more specific guidance which would necessarily be contained in local plans.
[216] The county at first stage did try of course to produce some exceptions and and I think all the districts found ones they liked and ones they didn't like and I think quite reasonably the county said well er possibly the role of E two is simply to produce this broad policy goal and er this will er and as Richmondshire see it it'll be er for us to refine it as we see fit at district level.
[217] And I have pointed out in my papers that you must bear in mind perhaps that er quite a number of Rich er quite a number of the districts in North Yorkshire are of county scale in their sheer size and that therefore it is not inappropriate that at that level that the policies would be refined.
(J9VPS000) [218] Mr Sedgewick.
Unknown speaker (J9VPSUNK) [219] Sedgewick Michael Courcier and Partners.
[220] We've approached this from a a slightly different angle and recognized that local planning experience within the county now and in the forthcoming district [...] plans shows that there are going to be policies that restrict development in the open country.
[221] Therefore my clients would much rather deal with this at a strategic level than in individual district [...] plans.
[222] But to do that we need to be sure that the policy is appropriate, does reflect national policy.
[223] As it stands the districts seem to be wanting their cake and eat it in that they would like er a policy restricting development in the open countryside but they don't want it to come with baggage that is specific which says what the exceptions should be.
[224] I don't think that that is the right way forward.
[225] If we are going to have Policy E two then it does need to be very clear as to the direction that the the strategic direction that the districts need to take with regard open land and that is the the subject of the the other questions that you've put before us.
(J9VPS000) [226] Thank you.
(J9VPS003) [227] Can I
(J9VPS000) [228] Sorry.
(J9VPS003) [229] come back to Mr Searle
(J9VPS000) [230] Mr Earle.
(J9VPS003) [231] Earle I beg your pardon, and I hesitate to raise any appeal decision.
[232] However, if I can use this example.
[233] It doesn't seem to me from what I read of page thirty one of that inspector's report that he was in any different position by the absence of the Policy E two than he would be if he'd got it.
(J9VPS008) [234] Yes I it's a it's I've contemplated because at the end of the day any appeal decision was er one in favour of the council's position.
[235] Erm and I have to er pick up the point made opposite that the protection has been pretty good over the last few years without the policy.
[236] That it is simply being this is why we feel that the role of the structure [...] policies is to provide that er into local plan policies.
(J9VPS003) [237] But there is nothing anywhere in the P P G twelve in particular which says that before a district can have policy in their local plan there must be a lead policy in the structure plan.
[238] Is there?
(J9VPS008) [239] No.
(J9VPS003) [240] And within a couple of years districts will have district wide local plan coverage we hope.
(J9VPS008) [241] The er the county council came forward with these policies as a result of comments that er districts made a number of years ago and perhaps er over a passage of time erm makes at least validity your point but I I remain of the the view that there is in the there is nothing in the county structure plan that sets out the basic objective of protecting the countryside and still feel that's a valid objective within the structure plan erm within the structure plan er context.
(J9VPS003) [242] I notice Mr Allenby is nodding his head.
(J9VPS000) [243] Yes Chairman.
[244] David Allenby Harrogate Borough Council.
[245] Erm really just to reinforce that point.
[246] Erm Mr Donson was quite right that in the absence of erm structure plan policies er the districts have moved forward and prepared their own countryside protection policies er and these have been effective to a a greater or lesser degree.
[247] However I think in my view anyway this doesn't negate the point that the protection of the countryside is a strategic issue and should properly be covered in the structure plan.
[248] Erm there is then a case for that policy to be covered in the structure plan and of course in local plans and at the local plan stage there is an opportunity for councils to er interpret the structure plan policy to add er exceptions if they so wish and for those to be tested at a local plan enquiry.
(J9VPS000) [249] Mr Donson.
(J9VPS002) [250] Roy Donson House Builders' Federation.
[251] We've erm we've had quotes from from from Government policies from P P G seven's been mentioned twice quoting paragraph two point one protection er that the countryside should be safeguarded for its own sake and I know that there is a tendency to quote Government policy to back your own case.
[252] But erm it [laugh] it it would seem to me that erm that the the basis of Government policy in writing to the countryside is para one ten of P P G seven, that talks about a balance essentially.
[253] And I also rely on my evidence of of quoting another custodian of Government policy namely the Prime Minister and its current Prime Minister erm who makes the point that proposals for development must not be turned down simply because it is the safest course.
[254] But also more importantly within that says that these, The siting of development is essentially something to be decided locally.
[255] And I think that that is very important.
[256] And that seems to me to go against having a strategic policy but what we're talking about is the interface at a local level between development and and protecting the countryside and that's quite rightly where the decisions should be made.
[257] It is not appropriate that we have a blanket policy at the strategic level and the need for this particular policy it would seem to me is unproven.
(J9VPS003) [258] Can I, Mr Donson and I are in danger of getting into a game of seeing who can next pick the most relevant bit out of a P P G.
(J9VPS000) [259] Yes.
(J9VPS003) [260] Nevertheless I shall continue.
(J9VPS000) [261] P P G twelve?
(J9VPS003) [262] P P G twelve paragraph five fifty three, reactions from the county and district councils please as to how Policy E two satisfies that advice and what follows in that part of the P P G. ...
Unknown speaker (J9VPSUNK) [263] [whispering] [...] []
(J9VPS000) [264] Do you want do you want to come back Mr Williams do you want to pick up this point or something else?
(J9VPS001) [265] Well it it perhaps picks up this point
(J9VPS000) [266] While your colleagues are all perusing P P G twelve.
(J9VPS001) [267] It is was really erm the question of how many other P P Gs could be taken as read er if we decide that P P G seven could just be left on its own and not included in the structure plan.
[268] Er it seems to me that erm there are probably quite a few policies in the structure plan that could be omitted if we just took the all the P P Gs as read.
[269] Erm as far as I'm concerned Mr Donson's point that there are significant areas of the county which are covered by other policies, national parks, heritage coast, high quality agricultural land, Erm that may be true but there are significant areas which are not covered by those policies and it seems to me that if erm the county structure plan is going to provide a strategy then it should be relatively comprehensive.
[270] And for that reason alone I would say that erm Policy E two is necessary and should be included.
[271] Thank you.
(J9VPS000) [272] Mr Heselton.
(J9VPS006) [273] Thank you sir.
[274] Terry Heselton Selby District.
[275] Er quite fortuitously the question thrown out by the senior inspector anticipates the point that I wanted to make that that surely it's the structure plan that sets the strategic context and it and it's wholly appropriate for local plans to put local interpretation on that.
[276] Both in terms of er bringing forward more detailed criteria based policies but also determining specifically the areas to which the policy would apply.
[277] So, for example, by designation village envelopes you would give clear guidance as to what constituted countryside and what didn't.
[278] And equally by bringing forward other proposals and allocations in the plan you would make it clear where proposals wouldn't work.
[279] And then that could even em em embrace a new settlement for example.
(J9VPS000) [280] Mr Williamson.
(J9VPS001) [281] Thank you Chairman.
[282] Ken Williamson North Yorkshire County Council.
[283] Chairman having read again the relevant paragraphs P P G twelve to which er the senior inspector referred, I I think it's entirely consistent with that that the county should seek to erm include a policy now in the plan which in effect seeks to to clarify the basic intentions of the structure plan in in regard to the attitude to development in in open countryside.
[284] I think obviously I would agree with a lot of what what the districts have said there about the strategic importance of having such a policy.
[285] Chairman I think going to the points that Mr Donson made, there have been major changes.
[286] I think it's very true to say major changes since nineteen eighty when our plan was approved.
[287] Erm we have er increasing pressures it seems to me for er a lot of er non-agricultural developments in in the countryside.
[288] Wind farms, M S As , golf courses, associated hotels etcetera, development major recreation policies, and I think it the plan needs to have a a generic policy which addresses the issue of what is likely to be appropriate and acceptable in the countryside as a framework for the development of more detailed policies in in local plans.
(J9VPS000) [289] Mr Donson.
(J9VPS002) [290] Roy Donson House Builders' Federation.
[291] We've just had a golf course defined as a strategic issue and I think that in a way goes goes goes to the heart of what this is what this is all about.
[292] That it is it it doesn't seem to me that we there is a strategic case for this for this policy.
[293] That the strategy's working perfectly well.
[294] Er and and and because they are struggling to bring forward examples it seems to me that that rather proves the point.
[295] No one on this side has suggested that we don't have policies in the structure plan because we've got P P G guidance.
[296] That's that's that's not that's not part of part of our er our proposal.
[297] The proposal really is what er do you have a policy which is not in line with P P G guidance.
[298] And it seems to me that this Policy E two is not in line with with strategic guidance and if you're not if you're having that are there some special circumstances that mean that you have to explain particularly what it is that you you have to do.
[299] And that seems to me equally not proven.
[300] Er and and on all counts the necessity for bringing forward this policy, given the existing controls that exists, given the controls that will exist in the normal operation of the development plan system, development plan lead system should I say, erm mean that that this policy is totally unnecessary.
(J9VPS000) [301] Mr Broughton.
(J9VPS001) [302] Frank Broughton Ministry of Agriculture.
[303] In principle [...] is er not opposed to this policy er as we've made clear in our erm responses to the county provided that the wording is in our view right.
[304] We still regard the present form of the policy and the explanatory wording as being rather too restrictive.
[305] As far as the wording of the actual policy itself is concerned I think we would er certainly prefer er wording on the lines of strict control, in other words quoting er P P G rather than the not normally permitted approach.
[306] Er and the accompanying memorandum although it has er gone through several alterations which have improved it in our view is is still over negative we would see.
[307] As a whole it doesn't reflect the the encouragement to diversification in P P G seven or the er we think the recent erm quite vigorous policy statements by the Secretary of State about the importance of erm employment creation in rural areas.
[308] As far as the exceptions to the policy is concerned, we, again I I wouldn't say we had a strong feeling on this, but on balance I think it that if it is considered that they are needed they would probably be better dealt with in a separate policy.
[309] One final point I would make is is that there has been a a little bit of an impression given I think in some comments this morning that we have a a virtual free for all as regards the availability of agricultural land and er the marked change that it has been said to occur since nineteen eighty.
[310] And I would just erm remind everyone that er the clear guidance is still there in P P G seven about the considerably weight attached to protection of better quality agricultural land er and that the structure plan policy A three still remains in force, a very clear and strong policy.
[311] It's true that the protection has perhaps focused more on the higher quality land but that it is still there under clear policy guidance.
(J9VPS000) [312] Thank you.
[313] Is it is it Mr Feist?
[314] Is that how you pronounce it?
(J9VPS002) [315] Thank you.
(J9VPS000) [316] Could you announce announce your
(J9VPS002) [317] Yes.
[318] Mike Michael Feist .
(J9VPS000) [319] [...] .
[320] Sorry?
(J9VPS002) [321] Michael Feist Countryside Commission York and Humberside Regional Office.
[322] I think one of the main reasons why we would support the inclusion of a Policy erm E two in the structure plan is because North Yorkshire is adamantly a very rural area and therefore whatever happened in that rural area must be a strategic issue.
[323] And therefore in our view it is appropriate that there should be a structure plan policy that gives broad guidance on how development proposed is affected in that rural areas could apply.
[324] Now there are various ways in which a policy could be expressed but the policy that's come up erm from North Yorkshire and the fact that it is deported by the district who would be defining that policy and interpreting it in view of their local circumstances in due course, I think er makes it a powerful factor in arguing why it should be included in the structure plan as to whether such a policy may or may not be necessary.
[325] And certainly I can think of very few other structure plans that do not attempt in some way to er give some form of er recognition to the er Government policy as set out in P P G seven.
[326] So I think it is a matter of erm importance for the structure plan [...] its inclusion er and I think to put the [...] an answer to one of the questions that was put earlier, if it is not to be left to the district to decide on where development is or is not appropriate in open countryside as defined in the structure plan policy, who it is intended could be making the decision on where development would be appropriate.
(J9VPS000) [327] Thank you.
[328] Mr Saunders.
(J9VPS003) [329] Les Saunders Department of the Environment.
[330] We have made no formal objection to the to to Policy E two in indicating in in many respects the department is er regional office is content for the issues to be erm as to the need for the strategic policy to be debated E I P.
[331] However if the the panel was to find in favour of Policy E two er the regional office have reservations regarding the the the tone and tenor of of the wording in the policies.
[332] You've had various references to to P P G seven, er I'm sure if we went through all the various proofs of evidence you could reconstruct the entire of P P G seven.
[333] Er the difficulties with P P G seven and the countryside are exemplified in paragraph one ten which Mr Donson refers to as his guiding principle, in one single paragraph it manages to include three separate uses of the word countryside, wider countryside, the countryside and open countryside, indicating perhaps some of the difficulties in in erm identifying exactly what area it is that would be covered by a Policy E two.
[334] The regional office's particular concerns are that the wording of the policy appears unduly restrictive because within policy P P G within P P G seven itself, no only as is the reference to protecting the countryside, there is also considerable reference to rural diversification and promoting the rural economy where as as erm the county council have said that that P P G refers to most of that development taking place er within are anticipated to take place within the rural villages and and small towns in the countryside.
[335] However, the policy itself or the wording of the of of the policy refers to exceptionally in referring to development needing to be in the countryside.
[336] It's difficult er it's the regional office's view that that is open to er an over restrictive interpretation.
[337] It's clearly a matter of balance between the various elements erm in considering erm proposals for or development in the countryside.
[338] Erm and the principle of para one of P P G one para five of P P G one applies that that erm there's no good reason for turning for for refusing applications for development in the countryside.
[339] The fact that it's in the countryside shouldn't be a reason in itself for for refusing permission.
[340] Therefore, if if the panel were minded to accept the need for Policy E two we'd have we we consider that there needs to be changes to the wording er in in order erm to make it less restrictive.
(J9VPS000) [341] Thank you for that.
(J9VPS003) [342] Mr Williamson, can I ask for your confirmation that the reason that the Secretary of State deleted Policy E two in the nineteen eighty structure plan was one of the many reasons under the heading, General, there is no specific reference in the notice of approval to the deletion of this policy and therefore I am assuming it fell for one of the reasons given in paragraphs five point two to five point four five.
[343] Is that correct please?
[344] ... It's not listed there.
[345] ... But it's nowhere listed in any of the other proposed modifications the Secretary of State or any of the other modifications the Secretary of State made.
(J9VPS001) [346] Chairman, Ken Williamson er North Yorkshire County Council.
[347] Er [...] I thought I had my copy of the certainly the panel's report of nineteen eighty available, it it seems to have disappeared somewhere.
[348] My understanding of what what the panel said and what the what the Secretary of State agreed was that neither the panel nor the Secretary of State disagreed with the erm the general sense of the policy but felt that that sense was er embodied and and was able to to be applied through the erm provisions of other policies in the plan at that time.
[349] Er E one was mentioned I believe and er but the main emphasis was on the range of agricultural policies A one I think to A four.
[350] So it seemed to us that the the general sense and purpose of the policy was was not in a sense disputed but that er in order to avoid a leng what was considered at the time to be perhaps unnecessary detail and going into erm too much detail that er we felt that the agricultural land policies could be left to to perform the sort of main objective that we were seeking through, I think it was E three at the time, was was the proposed policy.
(J9VPS003) [351] There is nothing in the notice of approval which says that.
(J9VPS001) [352] No I think erm ... para five three I think was probably one of the er unless the panel found that some of policies were unduly restricted and detailed or er which were not a struc structural significance erm yeah probably the first rather than the second reference.
(J9VPS003) [353] What unduly restricted?
(J9VPS001) [354] And detailed.
(J9VPS003) [355] And detailed.
(J9VPS001) [356] I think because a the sense
(J9VPS003) [357] Do you have
(J9VPS001) [358] at the time the erm, as I go back to what I said before about the the the reliance which was then place on on the agricultural policies
(J9VPS003) [359] Yes.
(J9VPS001) [360] it seems to me to perform the functions which we were er seeking through through the proposed Policy three.
(J9VPS003) [361] to me that it would be perverse of us to fall into the trap if we were to do so of endorsing Policy E two and not know that what we were endorsing was in fact what the Secretary of State specifically rejected on the grounds perhaps that it was unduly restricted or detailed or inappropriate for some of those other reasons that are set out in the earlier part of that notice of approval.
Unknown speaker (J9VPSUNK) [362] Chairman the erm proposals in the what was the submitted plan in reference seventy nine read er Policy three, Subject to the provisions of Policies I four I eight and I nine there will be a general presumption against development in open countryside except for the purposes of agricultural policy and recreation and other uses appropriate to a countryside location.
(J9VPS003) [363] It does read a bit like a greenbelt policy.
Unknown speaker (J9VPSUNK) [364] That does in fact [...]
(J9VPS003) [365] But erm Policy E two was also deleted at the same time.
Unknown speaker (J9VPSUNK) [366] Yes erm Policy E two was at that time was er relating to programme of tree planting er [...] .
(J9VPS003) [367] I can guess [...] .
Unknown speaker (J9VPSUNK) [368] That was obviously er.
(J9VPS003) [369] Could we trouble you to submit those two policies as they were submitted.
Unknown speaker (J9VPSUNK) [370] E two and E three yes certainly.
(J9VPS003) [371] Thank you.
(J9VPS000) [372] I think that might be a useful point to break for coffee.
[373] While and that will give you a chance.
[374] Can we resume at twenty past eleven please?
[375] [break in recording] Mr Collier?
[376] ... Can you just hold fire gentlemen a moment?
[377] It it seems to me we've spent about an hour and ten minutes or so almost shadow boxing over this particular policy erm and we we keep running into well running both matters together and it seems right and proper that we should do that.
[378] There is obviously a divergence of view as to whether there's a need for this policy.
[379] Erm there's also a view been expressed that well if you're going to have it it may need some more guidance than is presently written into it.
[380] I think that's Mr Sedgewick's view if you have it.
[381] Erm the other point of course, this is raised in matter B, as it's written is it considered to be restrictive too restrictive er and third and secondly, is it giving you er guidance which properly reflects national guidance.
[382] And Mr Donson er has said that he doesn't think it, it in fact exceeds that.
[383] So can sort of we point the discussion in in that direction but before we do Miss Whittaker has a corollary to push with that point.
(J9VPS003) [384] Thank you Chairman.
[385] I think in fact what I would like in particular from the local planning authorities around the table is given Mr Donson's view that E two as drafted is more restrictive than national guidance [...] P P G seven or any other P P G, what is it in North Yorkshire that justifies that departure from national guidance.
[386] This in my view is a critical determinate of leaving aside the question of fifty of fif the application of section fifty four A that determines whether the policy is required.
(J9VPS000) [387] Mr Earle.
(J9VPS008) [388] Thank you Chairman.
[389] We've now moved on in part of question your question five B and erm in my response to that I'm suggesting, and I hope it's not just semantics, picking up the point made just before we broke for coffee, is that there's all sorts of things called the countryside, and this policy is is directed at the open countryside.
[390] Now I've heard about you know the question of definition of where the edge of the open countryside is and that's a valid point but if we if we have in mind the open countryside, it seems to me that P P G seven does clearly differentiate between the [...] countryside, the countryside, rural areas and the open countryside where it refers to development being strictly controlled.
[391] Now this phrase strictly controlled erm I I I wanted to ask it myself because I you know trying to push it through to what it actually means I think the county council if you like has taken it at what may be face value and said well strictly controlled must mean something.
[392] It must mean that there is a er an approach that says that development in the open countryside isn't normally permissible erm unless unless unless.
[393] But at least it I don't see that that that E two is inconsistent with the phrase development in the open countryside being strictly controlled.
[394] Because then the P P G seven then goes on to make the implicit point about other things that in the countryside such as the small villages and towns and other development opportunities, do occur which provide the rural diversification and employment development that is that is required by the P P G.
(J9VPS000) [395] Mr Williamson .
(J9VPS001) [396] Oh I've lost my er [laugh]
(J9VPS000) [397] Ah, it's alright.
(J9VPS001) [398] Your billy do then.
[399] Thank you Chairman.
[400] Ken Williamson North Yorkshire County Council.
[401] Er Chairman I I really have to say [laughing] I don't [] I don't really agree with the assertion that the policy is is essentially more restrictive than than er P P G seven will indicate and I would endorse what er Patrick Earle has said in in that regard.
[402] Erm the policy that we were putting forward is is essentially not the one that er was was debated in nineteen eight.
[403] It seem to me erm that was er much more intended to be much more restrictive I think than than I would suggest our policy E two is now.
[404] Erm it it in a sense er smack of sort of greenbelt policy [laughing] I think [] .
[405] I don't think our er proposed policy two does that.
[406] In considering or interpreting what strict control means for a start erm do we actually mean, does P P G seven actually mean strictly control?
[407] If so what what does that imply?
[408] It's not sort of er moderate control or a little bit of control it is strict control.
[409] Er and we are talking about open countryside outside erm rural settlements and if you look at the wider countryside and that includes in my judgement er the pattern of settlement which is where most people actually do live in in the countryside.
[410] They're they're not living out in the in the sticks the vast majority of people, they actually live in in settlements.
[411] The policy er doesn't prevent or doesn't seem to prevent er proper development which is associated with settlements in rural areas.
[412] And there are other policies in the structure plan erm you know we shouldn't be looking at this policy just in isolation.
[413] We have a whole host of policies, some of which give guidance on erm controls [...] in the open countryside but other ones actually sort of seek a more positive attitude to the problems and the needs of rural diversification.
[414] Erm I've mentioned one or two some of the industrial land policies as they er as they still stand policy in in structure plan policy I eight I think and particular policy I six doesn't preclude reasonable and necessary development taking place in rural areas.
[415] If one looks through P P G seven erm one sees lots of references to villages and settlements and erm more activity taking place, more people moving into those settlements.
[416] When we look at the open countryside it doesn't really to my mind say a great deal about er what is what should be considered acceptable.
[417] Erm para one ten I mean it talks about the countryside being able to accommodate many forms of development without detriment.
[418] It then goes on to say of course new development in relation should be sensi sensitively related to existing settlement patterns.
[419] And there are other references throughout to, what I reply is a clear direction that most developments should be in erm in or closely related to settlements and, of course, that will be a matter addressed through through local plans.
[420] The structure plans giving broad guidance [...]
(J9VPS003) [421] Is it your intention that Policy E two should be interpreted as saying anything different from what is in section two of P P G seven ... which covers
(J9VPS001) [422] Chairman I think we
(J9VPS003) [423] farm diversification, housing, horses, agricultural development.
(J9VPS001) [424] I think probably the implications and a lot of people have er picked up on this as the policy has developed, is that er well they're they're concerned that the policy is in fact too flexible now because of how it is being interpreted by other people.
[425] Certainly this policy is not intended in any way to erm prevent what P P G seven actually seeks er to promote in in the open countryside, ie outside the areas which we would expect most development to take place in.
[426] Certainly the the re-use of er adaptation of existing buildings and would have thought that wouldn't be er er something which the county council would want to prevent.
[427] And I don't think the policy er as we proposed it er actually does prevent that.
[428] As far as the exceptions Mr Donson is rightly concerned about erm affordable housing.
[429] The county council is equally interested and concerned about that.
[430] What we have in terms of the advice for the open countryside outside the areas that would normally be looked at and allocated for development is the rural exceptions policy that forms part of P P G three.
[431] Erm this policy in my to my mind doesn't actually er exclude those exceptions being made.
[432] That would be a in the context of our policy a perfectly acceptable addition to the countryside if you like.
[433] Provided that I mean we're not talking about rural exceptions being erm appropriate everywhere and anywhere.
[434] Even with the exceptions policy there's still consideration of the the impact of that development and whether it would be acceptable or not and would be treated in in those terms I'm sure by the districts.
[435] And I'm sure the districts a lot has been said about er it being the districts' view that well you know we've got this policy so we will we will exercise a high level of restraining to protect the countryside against all comers etcetera etcetera.
[436] I don't really think that's a fair reflection of what er what what the district councils as I understand it er would intend to do.
(J9VPS003) [437] Do I take it your answer to my [laughing] question is [] no?
Unknown speaker (J9VPSUNK) [laugh]
(J9VPS001) [438] Yes.
(J9VPS003) [439] Thank you.
(J9VPS000) [440] Mr Jewitt and the Professor Lock.
(J9VPS004) [441] Er Michael Jewitt Hambleton District Council.
[442] Er there are three points erm I'd like to make.
[443] Erm the first point erm er Mr Donson's Mr Donson's comments.
[444] Erm Mr Donson seemed to accept that it was er right for local planning authorities through their district wide open plans to give effect to policies in P P G seven for protecting the countryside for its own sake and he er mentioned landscape policies and then development minutes amongst other things.
[445] In the context of those comments my question really, Isn't it right er for local authorities to expect that there is some strategic basis for their policies in the structure plan?
[446] Erm and I I can't help wondering, this is perhaps something that Mr Donson may well want to come back to, erm what Mr Donson's position would be at subsequent local plan inquiries where local plans were to contain such policies and there was wasn't to be a strategic basis er for those policies.
[447] And I would, and this is my second point, I would point out to erm erm point out to the panel erm that the structure plan at present erm only erm mentions in landscape terms in countryside terms those at statutory designated areas.
[448] The rest of the countryside is in effect erm a white area which tends which to me erm in a county context tends to convey the impression that er countryside issues do not matter across the rest of the countryside and that's clearly not the intention of Government advice and it's clearly not the intention behind the statutory of the structure plan which has a strong environmental basis.
[449] I think it's right and proper that there is a strategic policy which erm emphasizes protection for the countryside across the whole of the area.
[450] The third point er relates to erm is the policy stricter than Government guidance?
[451] Erm my view is that it's erm it's very flexible.
[452] Erm the margin of flexibility in the policy has yet to be determined because it will be local plans which give effect to erm erm what is erm what development needs to the statement of what development needs to be in the countryside.
[453] And that's something that can be debated through local plan inquiries.
[454] But there is the mar there is considerable potential for flexibility in the policy and that would be determined my local planning authorities in the light of P P G seven but also in the light of er local circumstances and conditions which is quite right and proper.
(J9VPS000) [455] Professor Lock.
(J9VPS005) [456] In the spirit of erm words after coffee sir, er no more shadow boxing some straight shots here.
[457] Erm in response to er Miss Whittaker's question we did not hear of anything special in this county that justifies the policy in excess of that exceeds should I say erm national guidance.
[458] There was no answer given to that question by anybody.
[459] Secondly we have not heard of anything that has changed in this county since nineteen eighty sufficient to warrant or justify in this alteration the addition of a policy the effect of which, one one with a similar effect having been thrown out at that time.
[460] And thirdly, there is a Government obstruction they don't like policies which are presumptions against development.
[461] Policy E two as proposed is a very common form of phrasing used by planning authorities to circumvent the Government objection to presumption against policies.
[462] The policy as proposed says, Development in the open countryside will not normally be permitted.
[463] If that is not in practice a policy which is presuming against development in the open countryside I don't know what is.
[464] Fourth, we've heard from Mr Williamson his interpretation of what strictly controlled means.
[465] The phrase from P P G seven.
[466] And what we can see is that Mr Williamson's interpretation of strictly controlled means not normally be permitted.
[467] And that is not strict control that is not normally be permitted.
[468] Strictly controlled should mean consented after the most careful deliberation and under the most carefully contrived er conditions.
[469] North Yorkshire's interpretation I repeat is not strictly controlled means not normally be permitted.
[470] And none of this would matter Chairman I don't think er whether E two [...] whether E two was in or out of the structure plan only matters in so far as it bears a part of the making of local plans and the making of planning applications in the county.
[471] On the first point about the making of local plans, we're hearing that this policy has the great support, in fact was requested by all the districts in the county.
[472] I don't think they've seen it's obverse side.
[473] Having E two in place is alright for the local planning authority that wants a local plan that has no development in the countryside in it.
[474] You would be drawing sucker from E two in your anti-development policies in your local plan.
[475] So that works doesn't it?
[476] But supposing a local authority in its local plan wanted to allocate land for development in what is currently open countryside.
[477] And as I was saying to Terry Heselton over coffee it could be Selby looking for its two hundred and fifty hectares.
[478] You're never going to find those in existing towns and villages.
[479] Now supposing a local authority that wants to go into a open countryside in its local plan, E two would stand in the way of that.
[480] Such allocation would be contrary to county structure plan Policy E two.
[481] Now what we could say is well there would be trust.
[482] We have to trust the districts can trust the county the county can trust the districts and that in practice they would make this work at local plan level.
[483] For the development industry this that sort of concept of trust isn't safe enough.
[484] Section fifty four A makes your local plan structure plans extremely important governors on what happens on the ground and it's for that underlying reason that we find E two unjustified and reasonably repressive and an unreasonable extension of constraint by the county on the freedom of districts in their local plans to choose the geography of their of land allocations.
(J9VPS000) [485] Mr Earle and then Mr Donson.
(J9VPS008) [486] Thank you Chairman.
[487] Patrick Earle Richmondshire District Council.
[488] Erm I wonder if can just er continue slightly the debate about the nineteen eighty erm decision to exclude the then Policy E three.
[489] Erm I I'm speaking from recollection sir at having looked into this in the context of planning appeal which is now a little while ago, but it did strike me at the time that er there was a definite feeling that the agricultural issue was very strong protection of ag agricultural land throughout was a strong issue up to er the mid nineteen eighties and certainly was up to the time in late seventy nine early nineteen eighty and er therefore there was a feeling that Policy E three simply er was supplementary to those other policies.
[490] Also at the time I don't think that in terms of national recognition that the idea of protecting the countryside for its own sake was terribly well developed.
[491] Erm to an extent it it was er on the back of protec protection of agricultural land.
[492] Now of course during the nineteen eighties the protection of agricultural land for its own sake er lost weight as an issue and the relevant structure plan policies er lost effective weight and were seen to do so but Government policy was quite explicit in the nineteen eighty seven circular, I think it was num number sixteen, was that although agricultural land protection as a farming resource was diminished as an issue, the protection of the countryside for its own sake was not.
[493] And, therefore, the sit situation where you find yourself today erm is not the same as it was I think in nineteen eighty.
[494] Erm the second point I'd like to make is er we danced round this phrase presumption this morning, I've tried to avoid using it because its its it gets all sorts of er connotations going.
[495] I read in the Planning Press that the Newbury District Council managed to browbeat the the Department of Environment into accepting the phrase in their in a local plan, so perhaps presumptions are er the word presumption may or may not be acceptable, but then to extend it into saying well you can't even say, not normally be acceptable, and, not normally be er agreeable, for any sort of policy er means that strategic policies or general policy approaches are simply ruled out ri right across the board.
[496] And I'm sure that's not really er acceptable.
[497] And finally, if I may, the question you raised earlier and I didn't respond to it as erm I might of done, er the question about whether North Yorkshire is particularly unique.
[498] Well plainly erm whatever the er Yorkshire people may think and I was born in Nottinghamshire, erm that it is you know you cannot say it is absolutely unique.
[499] But I would like to refer you to the erm notice of approval of the nineteen eighty structure plan where I think erm there there is a phrase to the effect that a policy of broad restraint of development is erm erm er accepted by the was accepted by the then Secretary of State on the basis of the high environmental quality of the county.
[500] And that doesn't just refer to the A N Bs and the national parks and the rest of it.
[501] Erm important though they are they do not cover the the great majority of the county.
[502] The countryside in the county is is undesignated area erm outside the area er the the main designation.
[503] But that that phrase in the structure plan approved in nineteen eighty I think does give some weight to to what we're trying to address this morning.
(J9VPS002) [504] Roy Donson House Builders' Federation.
[505] I think mo a lot of the points I wanted to make were were covered by Professor Lock but I would just draw the panel's attention to erm the policy that was rejected.
[506] And if you take into account that the words, A general presumption against, were common phraseology in policies in the nineteen eighties and we now use the er [...] play against presumption we now have to use the phrase, Will not normally be permitted.
[507] I would suggest to you that given that and also the wording in the justification under the old Policy E three, that in fact you could hardly get a tissue paper between this policy that is now before you and the previous policy.
[508] They are in fact almost one and the same and they use er one and the same justification.
[509] And so it seems to me that what has got to be proven, and I come back to the point, is that something has changed and we haven't heard anything that has changed er in in that time.
[510] In fact the justification er for the present policy actually talks about erm the ... erm, This policy has generally been successfully implemented across the county.
[511] That is concentrating development in partic particular places.
[512] So it seems to me that there is nothing new there is no further justification and er on those grounds alone there is no reason to have this policy.
(J9VPS000) [513] Mr Heselton and Mr Allenby.
(J9VPS006) [514] Thank you sir.
[515] Terry Heselton Sel Selby District.
[516] Erm it seems it seems to me that wha what's crucial here is the er the spirit behind the policy or or rather the the way in which it's going to be interpreted.
[517] And I'd I'd like to turn to the point that erm Professor Lock raised in in terms of the potential clash of interest if if you like between the restraint of of the policy and the er the development proposals as regards Sel Selby district.
[518] But nothing has has really changed it's surely implicit that green field sites will have to be released to meet the justifiable needs for development erm that there are ways clearly to minimize the impact by by first redeveloping the existing sites by by releasing sites in less sensitive locations, or developing sites that have minimal impact on on existing settle settlements or patterns of development un unless in exceptional circumstances there is for example the need for a new settlement.
[519] But I don't I don't think that the situation's any any different with the proposed policy as regards existing situations.
[520] But clearly it it's quite an important point so er so of course I'd be interested to to hear the county council's view on on the point raised.
[521] Erm one possible way round the [...] I suppose would be for the county council to amend the explan explanatory memorandum er as a matter of urgency and to bring forward in it er or or at least to acknowledge some of the the matters that have been raised.
[522] Such as, for example , erm the affordable housing issue and others.
[523] Because clearly in in debating this policy I think a number of the districts have also raised diff different points of interest in terms of what should be recognized as exceptional development and we we went down that that road a couple of years ago and unfortunately the districts came to the conclusion that it wasn't appropriate to try and list the exceptional circumstances.
[524] I mean in some respects that's almost an imposs an impossible task it's simple impracticable.
[525] As soon as you publish a list for the exceptional circumstances it it will be overtaken by er evolving new forms of development for example.
[526] So I don't I don't think anything anything's really changed.
[527] There there may well be a way round the problem by amending the explanatory mem memorandum.
[528] I I think Selby District Selby District's attitude is is that we're we're perfectly happy.
[529] We we think we see eye to eye with the county council on this er provided it is clearly in the [...] the acceptable needs of the district will be met by taking areas of countryside.
[530] Erm but I would, as I say, I would like to hear from the county on.
(J9VPS000) [531] Yes Chairman.
[532] David Allenby Harrogate Borough Council.
[533] It's a similar point to the one that Terry Heselton has has just made.
[534] I think my impression was that er Professor Lock was suggesting that because of Policy E two local planning authorities would have some difficulty in in making allocations to meet the structure plan requirement.
[535] Now I don't think that's the case.
[536] Erm it's obviously right and proper that a local planning authority if it's releasing green field sites has to justify why those sites should be released.
[537] And that's er that's a process that we've just been through with the Harrogate and Knaresborough local plan.
[538] We have released sites er in the countryside and we expect the countryside protection policy to apply outside the urban areas and outside of the sites that we've allocated for development.
[539] So I I don't think that er would would cause a problem.
[540] I'd like to pick up on a point that er that Roy Donson made also right at the outset of of the discussion and that was that there's no evidence that local authorities have have faced pressure for development in the countryside.
[541] And that simply isn't the case.
[542] You know we've had intense pressure for development in the countryside, certainly in Harrogate district.
[543] Erm quite recently, for example, we've had applications for motorway service areas, that's just one example.
[544] And that sort of application has to be considered in the context of countryside protection policies.
[545] The need for development has to be established and so erm I refute the fact totally that there hasn't been pressure for development in the countryside, that's certainly not the case.
[546] Er finally I'd like to reinforce what I said this morning about the strategic importance of a countryside protection policy.
[547] It's a matter of fact that the strategy of the county council is to locate development as far as possible in and around the main settlements of the county.
[548] The corollary of that is that there shouldn't be development by and large in the countryside.
[549] And it's right therefore that a policy should express that explicitly within the structure plan.
(J9VPS000) [550] Mr Sedgewick and then Mr Rudd.
Unknown speaker (J9VPSUNK) [551] Sedgewick Michael Courcier and Partners.
[552] Er my answer to Miss Whittaker's originating question, there has been no argument at all that the area where this policy will operate, which is the open countryside outside of the A O N Bs and national parks, has got any special character that requires a more restrictive approach than national policy.
[553] Indeed Mr Mr Williamson has argued that the policy is not more restrictive than national policy, it is clearly not in the county council's mind that a more restrictive approach is needed.
[554] Moving moving on from that point, it does seems to me that the policy clearly is more restrictive than P P G seven and arguably in some respects it's more restrictive than greenbelt.
[555] At least in the greenbelt development that is appropriate to rural areas would be permitted.
[556] In the proposed E two the only development that would be permitted is that which needs to be in the open countryside and that's a much more rigorous test.
[557] Within the greenbelt policy there are there is a list of exceptions, a private [...] strategic level.
[558] I think it is appropriate if you are to have an E two policy it is appropriate to apply restrictions to to identify the exceptions in that.
[559] I I if it can be done in the greenbelt policy it must be done in E two and there can be no argument that it is not too detailed a matter in greenbelt policy but too detailed a matter in E two.
[560] Development in the open countryside would not normally be permitted is the way that the the draft policy's guidance.
[561] P P G seven para one ten says that new building in the open countryside would be strictly controlled.
[562] Development is far more than new building.
[563] Mr Williamson has recognized that the adaptation of existing buildings would be allowed.
[564] The policy does not say that, the policy put a strict limitation on all forms of development.
[565] As I said earlier I do not think that this is an area where the district councils should be given a completely free rein to interpret the matter within their own local plans.
[566] There has to be a strategic theme particularly in counties such as North Yorkshire which is predominantly rural, it is a major area of planning control, fully merits strategic control and that strategic control must be applied or if it if it is to be applied in the structure plan if you do agree that there should be a Policy E two, then the control of development must be applied consistently over the districts.
[567] I think within the terms of er P P G seven the scope for discretion is limited.
[568] The P P G seven has a very clear theme about supporting rural diversification, it is positively worded P P G. I think the restrictive nature of the existing policy and the district's support for that is something that cannot run forward in the structure plan and be consistent with national policy.
[569] Thank you.
(J9VPS000) [570] Thank you very much.
(J9VPS003) [571] Can I pick up on a point that you've just made Mr Sedgewick and also points made by those on your right about exceptions and presumptions.
[572] The only place in which a presumption now appears in national guidance is in P P G two and it'll be it is no secret that erm P P G two will be the subject of a revision.
[573] It seems to me however that the terms presumption and exception as national guidance stands at the moment go together in the context of greenbelt.
[574] And if we are not looking for something which is as restrictive as greenbelt we ought neither to be expressing in whatever terms a presumption or describing something which is permissible as an exception.
[575] ... Would the objections of those on my left this end of the table, if the panel were minded to have an E two policy, be overcome by, Development will only be permitted provided that, and they set a criteria?
Unknown speaker (J9VPSUNK) [576] That's how you finish the sentence [laughing] [...] []
Unknown speaker (J9VPSUNK) [laugh]
Unknown speaker (J9VPSUNK) [577] Erm yeah I certainly would encourage you down that path Miss Whittaker that if it helps, I don't know whether you've got all the documents, but in our our submissions to the county we suggested that if E two has to survive erm and to add the words, sorry, exactly as you started the sentence but finishing that the exceptions were areas of the sites allocated for development in local plans, it would seem to me to make it absolutely clear what the freedom of local interpretation was in the statutory plan process whilst giving the county the the [...] that it wanted on all the other areas of the county.
[578] So erm in response immediate response to your question would be, yes and erm to finish the sentence by referring to areas allocated for development in local plans being okay.
(J9VPS000) [579] Mr Broughton you wanted to come in earlier yep.
(J9VPS001) [580] Frank Broughton Ministry of Agriculture.
[581] I think it was Mr Heselton raised the er issue earlier of the wording in the explanatory memorandum and er [...] would certainly regard that as being very important in the interpretation of this policy.
[582] Er being an agriculturalist rather than a planner I tend to get a bit confused by higher planning semantics of the difference between strict control and presumption against not normally.
[583] Er so what I did was something a bit simpler than that I just went through the memorandum and and ticked off what I regarded as restrictive statements as against positive ones.
[584] Er and I think I came up with six negatives and and one very feeble positive.
[585] And er if I just run through them in in the amended version as I understand it.
[586] Paragraph one talks about generally preventing inappropriate development.
[587] Paragraph two er development generally should be the exception rather than the rule er building in the open countryside should be strictly controlled.
[588] Paragraph three, discourage most forms of development.
[589] Paragraph four, a limited number of exceptions and paragraph seven, promotion of a restrictive approach to development.
[590] Now to counteract that the only positive one I could find was, while accepting that some development in the open countryside may prove to be necessary.
[591] Now it seemed to me that wasn't a very erm reasonable balance and er comparing that with the with the Secretary of State's recent pronouncements where he talks about local planning authorities needing to breathe fresh life into the countryside through their development plans and I want local planning authorities in rural areas to give the need to diversify the rural economy as much priority priority in their thinking as protecting the countryside and the two go hand in hand, and comparing those two er points I I would I would put to North Yorkshire the question, Do they think that the explanatory memorandum is is consistent with that er policy statement from the Secretary of State?
(J9VPS000) [592] Mr Collier.
(J9VPS007) [593] David Collier National Farms Union.
[594] I share the reservations of erm Mr Broughton about the the tone of the policy erm and as Professor Lock was concerned about the interpretation of strictly controlled, erm we are too.
[595] Erm I think if someone er told me I need to control my car whilst driving I would have erm one hand on the steering wheel.
[596] If somebody told me to strictly control the car I would put both hands on the steering wheel but not necessarily both feet on the er brake pedal.
[597] Erm I certainly er would agree that the starting point would be erm a policy which talks of development being permitted in certain circumstances erm and that the county council wishes to support development which benefits the rural economy erm subject to satisfying certain criteria.
[598] And I think that to a large extent erm an alternative wording that that we've been working on would erm meet those concerns.
[599] Erm I'll be happy to distribute copies but perhaps I could run through that draft quickly now erm and go through what I would say are the advantages.
[600] The alternative we suggest is, Development in the open countryside outside the national parks, areas of outstanding natural beauty, areas that heritage coast and greenbelt, will be strictly controlled.
[601] Proposals intended to benefit the rural economy will normally be supported provided that they would not unacceptably detract from the character and appearance and general amenity of the surrounding area.
[602] And you will have noted that er much of the wording in that er er latter sentence is taken from the the latest draft of the county council's suggested policy.
[603] I would say that the five advantages of our alternative draft is that er it makes it clear that the policy applies to land outside the national parks and so forth but with less repetition than the proposal put forward by the county council.
[604] Erm it's secondly more positive in its tone than that erm presently before us.
[605] Thirdly that there is no requirement to demonstrate a need to locate development in open countryside erm and we've been reminded this morning that erm one of the erm flaws in the policy put forward back in nineteen seventy nine or eighty erm appears to be that it erm required, certainly in the explanatory memorandum, that the development be erm essential erm to er essentially have a countryside location.
[606] Erm the fourth advantage I would say is that it focuses on the balance between the need to promote rural enterprise and the need to protect the countryside.
[607] Erm and finally, erm in an effort to make it er acceptable, wherever possible it makes use of the wording already agreed between the county council and interested parties.
(J9VPS000) [608] This wording is as set out in your appendix two isn't it?
(J9VPS007) [609] No sir.
[610] Erm it's it's erm a further alternative erm in that the attempt has been made to to fall in more closely with the county council's wording erm and yet introduce a more positive tone.
(J9VPS000) [611] Thank you.
[612] We've got we've got a note of it anyway yes.
[613] Er ... but you'd better let the panel secretary have it.
(J9VPS007) [614] Certainly.
(J9VPS000) [615] Mr Clayton.
(J9VPS004) [616] Er David Clayton English Nature.
[617] Erm I'd just like to say we broadly support the E two policy.
[618] Erm it is outlined in my statement we do have concerns about the wording er of the first part and the second part of the policy, particularly of the emphasis on amenity and landscape.
[619] Now I know in the original draft nature conservation interest was mentioned and er I'd like to hear from North Yorkshire why that factor is taken out of the policy.
[620] Er we have suggested an alternative wording erm which is in my statement I won't go on to now.
[621] I do feel that the E two policy does reflect P P G seven particularly section one ten and two one where it does mention wild life interest or nature conservation interest.
[622] Just picking up on Professor Lock's point earlier on about changes in the nineteen eighties or since the nineteen eighties, erm as in my statement I have suggested that there has been a substantial loss of nature conservation interest and wild life habitats both in this county and throughout the country.
[623] And that really is the reason I think for one of the reasons for P P G seven being brought out.
[624] Erm that's for that reason I think there is a need to address these sort of er approaches in the the new structure plan policy and er I would dispute very much Professor Lock's statement on them being being no changes since the nineteen eighties.
[625] Erm we we have actually got data to prove that actually as well in our phase one surveys er so it's not just as a general statement.
[626] Thank you.
(J9VPS000) [627] Thank you.
[628] Mr Donson.
(J9VPS002) [629] Thank you.
[630] Roy Donson House Builders' Federation.
[631] Erm we were asked by Miss Whittaker to erm respond to her suggestion of an alternative wording.
[632] My general position would be that if this policy is to go ahead the more it's worded in the positive rather than the negative the better.
[633] And indeed I would remind the panel that we still have in P P G one that the basis of appli applications for development should be allowed having regard to development plan and all material considerations unless proposed development would cause demonstrable harm to interests of acknowledged importance.
[634] And it seems to me that in order that that ought to be reflected in any revised wording of the of the policy that the development should be permitted unless it would could demonstrable harm.
(J9VPS000) [635] Mr Earle.
(J9VPS008) [636] Thank you Chairman.
[637] Patrick Earle Richmondshire.
[638] Erm I'd like to refer to my page three or er section four in my conclusions because I think if I if I heard Professor Lock correctly I think he and I are at one in in a suggestion which is is put to you in in if you like without prejudice to the generality of what I have been saying in support of the council's policy.
[639] I I do suggest that if you feel that some easing is required that er you could specifically refer to exceptions that will be set out er in local plans.
[640] Now Professor Lock referred to allocations and I think that's probably and the front of his mind er having regard to his own comments, but I I would put it more widely as just erm exceptions which could be either individual allocations or indeed erm policies of of a local plan.
[641] Because in Richmondshire for example we erm find it helpful to encourage er barn conversion in circumstances which some of our colleague er councils er do not feel sympathetic.
[642] Er but that's er as I see it the role of the local plan in relation to policy such as E two.
[643] I would also actually suggest that again if you wanted to ease it a bit I'd pick up a point also made just now er in that P P G refers to building and the E two refers to development.
[644] Er development of course being a wider category of activity than building.
[645] And so I think you you may feel that there's a bit of room for manoeuvre by bringing out the reference to re-use of existing buildings.
[646] Erm I I think in fairness to the county council and and er you know referring to the restrictive nature of their E two memorandum is perhaps a little unfair.
[647] I I one's always got to er balance that against for example Policy I eight which refers to small scale industrial development appropriate normally permitted in rural settlements.
[648] Now that may not go quite as far as as as [...] would would favour.
[649] But it certainly is giving that that degree of balance which er which I think we need to recognize.
[650] And finally er as I as I make the point in my in my written statement, there are going to be exceptions, exceptions are part of the the game.
[651] Erm and certainly when it comes to local needs housing that is in that is explicitly to be an exception and and erm I I see no particular problem with that.
[652] And either section fifty four A applies or it doesn't.
[653] I mean it if it applies then the local development plan has to be followed unless material considerations indicate otherwise and among the material considerations explicitly by Government policy is the existence of a local needs housing requirement.
[654] And so I see no particular problem about the E two in relation to local needs housing policy.
[655] But I mean the the panel is going to have to explore this apparent conflict which I don't think's been properly papered over between what is in paragraph five of P P G one and section fifty four A. Er it's a nice dilemma which we're we're faced the planning profession [...] as a whole is faced with erm and and I think that either it's section fifty four A or it's paragraph five of P P, P P G one.
[656] I know that's not the received wisdom of the profession at the moment but that's the way I see it at the moment.
(J9VPS000) [657] Mr Williamson.
(J9VPS001) [658] Thank you Chairman.
[659] Ken Williamson North Yorkshire.
[660] Really just to come back I think there were one or two sort of questions which were posed by various people which er probably we need to to respond to.
[661] Erm if I could go back to to what Mr Broughton was saying.
[662] Erm I would just like to stress that er again that the structure plan needs to be read as a whole and that there are in fact erm several of the policies in the plan which are certainly encouraging of development, certain forms of development in the countryside.
[663] Erm I think that would apply to er some of the existing tourist policies erm certainly and some of the recreation policies.
[664] However, I think it it to re-stress again it remains the county council's view in the context of the advice in P P G seven that most most development erm which is going to serve to promote diversification in rural areas should in fact be directed to and located within and adjacent to existing settlements rural settlements which is where, as I said before most people actually do live and it maintains a close relationship between the jobs provided and the residence of people, and that that level of allocation appropriate level of allocation is in fact something for the local er planning authorities to decide through their development plans and to make adequate provision for it.
[665] As far as Mr Collier's point er alternative policies concerned, I think listening to it and only half having perhaps digested the full implication, I think really as a matter of principle we're not un unsympathetic to a lot of what what a lot of people are suggesting there.
[666] However, I think we do still have some certainly some reservations about erm the policy and how it perhaps fudges some of the loca locational provisions of existing policies.
[667] Er and I would highlight again erm Policy I eight which which Mr Earle referred to and also perhaps er Policy I three.
[668] On Mr Clayton's point er I think my answer quite simply is that the the the interest of nature conservation are in the county council's view adequately covered by what Policy E six says.
[669] ... Just one point on perhaps on what Mr Donson was saying about the need for polity statement.
[670] I it it still seems to me every time I read the policy that it's a lot more flexible than most people are giving it credit for [laughing] frankly [] .
[671] It doesn't er really sort of er er in a sense prevent er or mitigate against a lot of a lot of developments in the countryside.
(J9VPS000) [672] Is that it?
(J9VPS001) [673] Provided they need to be there.
(J9VPS000) [674] Professor Lock.
(J9VPS005) [675] There there are three of us er, that is Mr Allenby Mr Heselton and me looking for an answer to a question which was about
(J9VPS000) [676] Yes.
(J9VPS005) [677] how, so you haven't missed it, E two and how it would be imposed or not imposed on er as a constraint on local plan making.
[678] Would it inhibit local authorities in their local plans
(J9VPS001) [679] Yes thank well yes er thank you very much [laughing] as you say several pages back [] .
[680] Well the short answer is it to my mind it doesn't impose any restraint at all.
[681] ... I mean it's it's their responsibility to er prepare the local plan in the context of what the structure plan strategy as a whole is saying and I think it's it's necessary not to just look at this particular policy in total isolation and assume that that is going to give er what you fear to district councils the ability to to [...] nothing.
[682] They they are obliged to take the structure plans strategy and proposals on board and to interpret them in the in the local plan in the round.
(J9VPS003) [683] But we heard yesterday Mr Williamson about a dispute and I can't remember which district council it was with, it may have been Harrogate, between the county and the district councils on one allocation in the local plan.
[684] Does this policy not in effect strengthen the county's arms in, arm in such disputes?
Unknown speaker (J9VPSUNK) [685] Could I ask Mr Potter, Mr Potter's familiar particularly with this I think it was Richmondshire wasn't it?
(J9VPS003) [686] I can't remember.
Unknown speaker (J9VPSUNK) [687] Yes.
[688] Yes it was.
(J9VPS005) [689] David Potter North Yorkshire County Council.
[690] Er yes I raised an example without referring to a specific site and the site is in Richmondshire where the county council has objected to a proposal in erm what is a a local plan in its very formative stages and the proposal conflicts with Policy I five in so far as I five directs development to the main towns and urban areas.
[691] And I believe quite properly directs development to those locations.
[692] Erm the proposal I'm referring to is in the view of the county council in the open countryside.
[693] In so far as this policy is concerned I think is all it does is give greater clarity to what is the strategy of the plan and what is perhaps implicit within those other policies.
[694] I don't think it adds any greater restrictions to the existing policies.
[695] I think when you look at the the policies collectively and the policies individually the strategy of protecting the open countryside is implicit within those policies.
[696] I think that all that this policy does is make that more explicit, it gives it greater clarity.
(J9VPS003) [697] Doesn't it give you two policies rather than one to batter Mr Earle with, or his colleague?
(J9VPS005) [698] [laughing] In so far as yes two policies would be referred to, yes. []
Unknown speaker (J9VPSUNK) [laugh]
(J9VPS005) [699] But the one I think just adds to the other, it just makes it clearer.
(J9VPS003) [700] Thank you.
(J9VPS000) [701] Mr Heselton.
(J9VPS006) [702] Thank you Chairman.
[703] Terry Heselton Selby District.
[704] I I suppose in the in the light of what's been said I I am slightly uneasy erm particularly going back to the erm I five discussion that that we had yesterday and you you'll be aware that part of our objection to the erm the policy put forward by the county council re related to the specific wording of the of the policy and the the flexibility available to local authorities in in terms of allocating land erm that best serves the needs of potential developers and investors.
[705] And I think we did draw attention to the fact that er there may well in some instances be a conflict in terms of what Selby district wants and what current P P G advice suggests.
[706] But then when you refer back to the original restraint imposed by the erm existing policy.
[707] So yeah I'm sli slightly concerned in that respect.
(J9VPS000) [708] I thought you might be with that answer yes.
[709] Mr Earle.
(J9VPS008) [710] Thank you Chairman.
[711] Erm the the particular case of Richmondshire having been referred to I I felt I ought to point that er we're quite content with the concept of Policy E two as giving the strategic weight to the question of protecting the open countryside and the balance, the very difficult balance, decisions that we and other authorities are going to have to come to in preparing our local plan.
[712] We're quite content that we're going to have to er put before the local plan system the the countervailing issues and the weight that's given to the countryside through E two is appropriate in the circumstances.
[713] Thank you.
(J9VPS000) [714] Any comment.
[715] Ah Mr Feist.
(J9VPS002) [716] Thank you Chairman.
[717] Michael Feist Countryside Commission.
[718] A lot of the dis discussion has clearly been erm trying to resolve some of the ambiguities in P P G seven er and I think perhaps different perception to what sort of countryside in North Yorkshire we are trying to safeguard through through policies.
[719] Er on one side there seems to be a feeling that there should be no development and it would compromise the character of open countryside.
[720] And on the other there seems to be a view that, well, erm wherever necessary perhaps on a farm or elsewhere that development should be should be permitted.
[721] And the consequences of a latter approach could lead to accumulative change in the appearance and nature and character of the countryside so that you get something rather different than most people's perception of a countryside being there for its own sake.
[722] And I think that whereas erm we would not necessarily argue with a case for providing criteria at a strategic plan at a structure plan level erm to put some flesh on what is meant and maybe clarify some of the explanatory memorandum in a more positive way, simply should ensure that the policy does not dilute, sorry that whatever changes emerge, does not dilute the mode intention of the policy.
[723] And that the district should be given some form of a guide that enables them to be er to apply the particular circumstances to their own district.
[724] There may be some districts that have er areas of countryside which are outside the non- designated areas which they regard as particularly important as erm the gentleman from Selby has said, er and the we have suggested that er there might be a criteria in the policy that allows the quality of the countryside affected by development to be a consideration.
[725] [tape change] In other words, erm that er special landscape areas countryside is not to change quite radically.
[726] If there is a decision at the structure plan level that the countryside should be enabled to change quite radically in North Yorkshire that would be a different matter.
[727] But nothing I've heard today Chairman suggests that is the case.
(J9VPS000) [728] Thank you.
[729] Mr Williamson is there anything you want to come back on or you feel you've had enough in terms of summing up on matters A and B?
[730] Yes I was proposing we close for lunch.
[731] Reconvene at two and then go straight into matter C which is the next section.
(J9VPS001) [732] Yes thank you er thank you Chairman.
[733] Erm I think probably yes the debate has been probably as extensive as it needs to be.
[734] Erm I'm not sure whether there's an abiding need to to actually bring it all back together again in in the context of a summary.
[735] I think the the county council's made its position fairly clear, hopefully particularly clear.
[736] I don't think er my only comment would be that having heard all the comments that have been made and listened to them and tried to dissect them and understand them, I don't think they really alter er fundamentally our position.
(J9VPS000) [737] Thank you.
[738] So we'll reconvene at two.
[739] Were you dying to say something Mr Rudd?
(J9VPS006) [740] Julian Rudd Ryedale District Council.
[741] About time I put an opinion I think.
[742] Erm just three perspectives from a district level on on matters that have been raised.
[743] First of all erm Ryedale District isn't saying that the policy is warranted because North Yorkshire is in any unusual regardless of the quality of the countryside here, but that this is a reasonable reflection of national policy on development in the open countryside.
[744] Secondly, that I think Ryedale was under the impression that Policy E two wouldn't affect local authorities' choice of allocated sites but that it was a policy to apply outside of developing units and those sites we wish to allocate in local plan and not that was going to restrict our choice, in our case in those sites.
[745] And thirdly, with regard to Mr Donson's concern erm I don't feel that the policy precludes the provision of low cost housing on exception sites, er certainly hope it doesn't.
[746] Erm however, if it could be made clear perhaps with an extra paragraph in the explanatory memorandum that I would welcome that.
(J9VPS000) [747] Thank you.
[748] Succinctly put.
[749] Can we come back at two and go straight into matter C, major exceptions. [tape change]