The Planning Officer at the Borough dealing with Hotel site has sent the Parish Council the following update:
Further to my previous email, the submitted demolition application and relevant legislation have been reviewed and assessed. Whilst the level of concern from residents is acknowledged, the Local Planning Authority (LPA) have limited control when determining prior notification applications for demolition; and can only assess the method of demolition and any proposed restoration of the site. In addition to supplying these details to the LPA they are required display a site notice to inform the public that an application has been made to the LPA in relation to the demolition; which we understand has been done.
The LPA have 28 days to consider whether prior approval is required. If approved, the LPA then consider whether the proposed method of demolition and restoration is acceptable and whether any conditions are required. If no decision is made within 28 days, the demolition may proceed without prior approval.
The concerns from residents primarily relate to the impact on the village in terms of traffic, noise, pollution and safety to pedestrians; particularly due to the Old Vicarage Lane railway bridge being closed until 16th December 2016. Further details were sought from the applicant to clarify the proposed schedule of demolition and preferred route for the construction traffic. Their response states that a license is required from Natural England to undertake the demolition work, which can take up to 3 weeks. The suggested date of 24th November 2016 is therefore the earliest predicted start date. The applicants have also indicated that the preferred route for construction traffic is from the A420 and Old Vicarage Lane. Whilst the railway bridge is expected to be closed until 16th December, the first few weeks work would be largely taken up stripping out the internal fixtures and fittings, and as a result heavy machinery would not be required at this stage. The applicants have also stated that waste can be stored on site until the Old Vicarage Lane railways bridge reopens on 16th December 2016, so as to avoid sending larger vehicles via Pound Corner.
Upon reviewing the application, the LPA broadly consider the method of demolition to be acceptable and propose to condition the construction operating hours. The current recommendation is therefore that prior approval is required and given.
The Parish Council are continuing to liaise with the Borough on the issues raised by the planning application itself and in particular the retention the “Old Vicarage” building.