Re 14/01369/MFUL
Pickering & District Civic Society (P&DCS) wish to comment on the following:

1. As per 
the application site is directly adjacent to a visually important undeveloped area to one side, the Pickering
conservation area to the south and is wholly classified as an area of high landscape value.

2.   Is this development within the current development limits of Pickering according to the
LPS?  While we appreciate the proposed development utilises an existing
facility to increase parking provision in line with the LPS, we are concerned
that it should not set a precedent for further development in this area of
Pickering - most notably the redundant trout farm.  While this application
presents RDC planners with a simple and convenient solution to their stated aim
of increasing parking provision, has any effort been made to identify more
suitable sites within a similar distance of the NYMR station? For example, has
any dialogue been facilitated with the management of the Rec Club, particularly
now pedestrian access across the A170 has greatly improved? 

3.     Difficult access along Park St and Undercliffe,
close proximity to woodland areas of Newtondale in terms of both ecology &
recreation and the location within the flood zone above the town of Pickering
mean further development is wholly inappropriate. 

4.    It could be very relevant to know under what
conditions the original planning permission for both the trout farm and the
later fishing lake were given.  If either
or both were approved as agricultural development (with the accommodation
possibly approved for purely agricultural tenancy), then they could not be considered
as brownfield sites.  Is a retail unit
considered to be appropriate development in this part of Pickering and would it
not also create a precedent for future development?

5.   There has been an over-proliferation of camping
and caravan facilities around the town in recent years.  Does the term ‘ 7 glamping pods’
differentiate these units from static caravans? 
Essentially, approving this application would appear to give permission
for a caravan or camp site.  Would this
not create a precedent to extend the site at a future date?

6.   Given the location of this proposal in a flood
zone above the town, any conditions of approval need to adhere to
recommendations in the Flood Risk Assessment, including an appropriate system
of SUDS.  This should encompass increased surface water runoff due to any
additional impermeable surfaces, ensuring a suitably attenuated rate of
release.  Permeable surfaces should also be maximised.

7.   The current site is about 1 metre above the natural
ground level, which indicates that when the lake was dug out, the spoil was
almost certainly piled onto the banks and the island to form a raised area,
therefore increasing flood risk to the town.  Therefore it would seem
appropriate in such an important flood zone that infill of the lake should in
the first instance be from the surrounding heightened land in order to
reinstate valuable flood plain.

8.   Contrary to the boundary shown on the location
plan, the railway crossing is not owned by the applicant, although they have
right of access across it.  Currently, there is a considerable amount of
traffic using the crossing while circulating in search of parking spaces, so we
envisage only a limited increase in overall use.  However, if the Office
of Railway Regulation (ORR) identifies a need to upgrade the crossing from an
unmanned, unbarriered one due to a possible increase in traffic directly
attributable to this application, there needs to be a planning condition that
the cost is borne by the applicant and not the NYMR - or perhaps covered by the CIL.

9.      There has also been doubt cast on the boundary
claimed by the applicant on the Greens Road right of way forming the western
boundary.  Accurate proof of ownership and boundaries should be sought
from the applicant. 

10.  Suitability of access over the bridge from
Undercliffe needs to be taken into account, as it has a weight limit, is in
constant use as a turning point for coaches, lorries, vans and cars, and is
currently in a poor state of repair.  There will need to be a weight limit
imposed on any construction traffic - particularly heavy lorries carrying
infill for the lake.  A traffic management system for the railway crossing
may also be necessary during construction, due to very limited space between
any red light and Undercliffe, which could cause a tailback onto the main road.

11.  Most recent construction in this area has been
from inappropriate materials considering the profusion of nearby listed
buildings, the castle and station, all within the conservation area.  It
would be more appropriate to use either reclaimed or appropriate new bricks
that match the vernacular railway architecture (which does not include
engineering brick), particularly as this venture will expect to benefit heavily
from heritage railway customers.

12.  Will appropriate mains sewerage connectivity be
provided for the glamping units?  It must also be remembered that they
will be in close proximity to the ‘very basic’ sanitary arrangements used on
the trains.



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