Development in the countryside
Part 1 - Initial Draft (February 2015)
Representation ID: 1504
Respondent: Mr Paul Watton
Policy needs to be more positive to encourage re-use of spoiled (but unpolluted) land that has perhaps become naturalised, but yet is economically useless.
Clarify when industrial land is considered to have become naturalised and therefore no longer classed as former industrial land.
There are many old, redundant quarries and areas of long-ago spoiled land in the countryside, particularly in the South and West of the district, that currently make little or no contribution to the economic activity of the area. And yet, by virtue of their potential to enclose and hide otherwise visually intrusive development, they could make a valuable contribution to the local economy if they were brought into beneficial use with the right kind of scheme.
However, despite having previously been used as industrial land, these quarry holes, having become overgrown, are considered (in planning terms) to have lost that "former industrial land" status and become a "naturalised" part of the countryside again. But this naturalised status belies the fact that they are, to all intents and purposes, economically useless, other than for infilling with inert material.
This situation is contrary to other policies within the local plan, which encourage rural diversification and the maximisation of rural economic potential.
At present, the owners of such land therefore see nothing within local planning policy that would encourage them to attempt to gain planning consent for schemes that would make the best (or indeed any) use of such sites.
It would therefore be helpful if, within this section, there was included some kind of statement that positively encourages the restoration and economically beneficial use of otherwise redundant/ spoiled land.
Clarification should also be provided on the subject of when industrial land is considered to have become naturalised again.