Planning Information Saltway Field

Linford Madley made this Freedom of Information request to Swindon Borough Council

This request has been closed to new correspondence. Contact us if you think it should be reopened.

The request was successful.

Dear Swindon Borough Council,

Re: S/13/0269 | Change of use of Public Open Space to a concrete skate park and connecting footpath to include an access for construction traffic. | Saltway Field Middleaze Swindon Wiltshire

Can you please answer these questions, which have already been submitted.

1. Why is the application for a change of use rather than a full planning application for operational development? Why it is not a 'Regulation 3' application (application for planning permission by an interested planning authority to develop any land of that authority to be determined by itself)?

2. Why was no revised application submitted, taking into account the Police Crime Prevention Advisor's advice on controlled access?

3. Is there evidence that the council's own existing and proposed policies were referred to in the planning process? I have already detailed a number of sections of The Local Plan 2011 and 2026 and The Statement of Community Involvement to you where it is obvious these have been ignored.

4. Have ongoing and future maintenance costs been assessed, as well as the contingency for extra expenditure on security which has been necessary at other skate parks?

5. Has an environmental assessment been carried out for the trees and vegetation already removed in advance of the application and the trees and 95m of vegetation proposed to be removed for vehicle access? Has the impact on the local bat poulation been considered?

Yours faithfully,

Linford Madley

Customer Services, Swindon Borough Council

Thank you for your email which has been forwarded to the FOI office for response.

Kind regards
 
Customer Services
Swindon Borough Council
Wat Tyler House
Swindon SN1 2JG
Phone: 01793 445500
 
E-mail:  [Swindon Borough Council request email]
Website: www.swindon.gov.uk
 

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Ceri Stephens, Swindon Borough Council

Dear Mr Madley,

Ref FOI 101000410764 Freedom of Information Request

Thank you for your request for information (details as below), dated 5th July 2013 received in our office on 5th July 2013:

Under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act 2000, the Council has a duty to respond ‘promptly’ or no later than 20 working days, which in this case is 2nd August 2013.

If you have any queries about this letter please contact me as detailed, quoting the above reference number.

Yours sincerely,

Mr Ceri Stephens
Performance Officer
Service Delivery
Swindon Borough Council
Tel: 01793 466220
e-mail : [email address]

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Ceri Stephens, Swindon Borough Council

Dear Mr Madley,

Ref: FOI 101000410764 Freedom of Information Request

Thank you for your e-mail dated 5th July 2013 received in our office on 5th July 2013(details below).

I enclose for your attention, the following information.

Swindon Borough Council Planning Department have confirmed that the Planning Application :- S/13/0269 | Change of use of Public Open Space to a concrete skate park and connecting footpath to include an access for construction traffic. | Saltway Field Middleaze Swindon Wiltshire, was withdrawn on 29th July 2013.

The Local Planning authority will take no further action in this matter, other than to inform those persons who made representation on the proposal of this fact.

As there is therefore no longer an application before the council to which this query relates, it would not therefore seem relevant in the circumstances to respond in detail to the points made, which have in effect been superseded or addressed by the withdrawal.

If you are dissatisfied with the service you have received in relation to your request and wish to make a complaint or request a review, you should contact:

Customer Services
Civic Offices
Euclid Street
Swindon
Website: www.[Swindon Borough Council request email]

The complaints/review procedure involves a full review and an examination of all the information by the Council's Monitoring Officer.

If you are not content with the outcome of our conclusion, you may apply directly to the Information Commissioner's Office for a decision, before contacting the Council. Generally, the ICO cannot make a decision unless you have exhausted the Council's own complaints procedure.

The Information Officer can be contacted at :

The Information Commissioner's Office,
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF

Email: [email address]
Tel: 01625 545700 (ask for Freedom of Information)

If you require any further information concerning this matter, please contact me as detailed, quoting the above reference number in any future communications.

Yours sincerely

Mr Ceri Stephens
Performance Officer
Service Delivery
Swindon Borough Council
Tel: 01793 466220
e-mail : [email address]

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Dear Ceri Stephens,

Thanks for your reply and I understand that the application has been withdrawn.

Bearing in mind that the withdrawal is temporary and that there will be a new application I would still like the information I requested. As an addition I would also like to see the noise survey report that was carried out.

Yours sincerely,

Linford Madley

Ceri Stephens, Swindon Borough Council

Dear Mr Madley,

Please see below answers to your questions provided by our Planning Department after consultation with our Legal Department.

1. Why is the application for a change of use rather than a full planning application for operational development? Why it is not a 'Regulation 3' application (application for planning permission by an interested planning authority to develop any land of that authority to be determined by itself)?

Answer: As the application has been withdrawn, we are not able to comment whether or not it should have been dealt with as a full planning application for operational development rather than an application for a change of use. This is a matter which goes into the merit of the application and without the ability to determine it, we are unable to go into the merit.

Under 'Regulation 3', the Council is allowed to determine such an application for planning permission unless it is referred to the Secretary of State under section 77 of the Planning Act.

2. Why was no revised application submitted, taking into account the Police Crime Prevention Advisor's advice on controlled access?

Answer: An applicant is not obliged to or cannot be forced to make any amendments to an application. It is for the LPA to assess the merit of the scheme that comes before it for consideration.

3. Is there evidence that the council's own existing and proposed policies were referred to in the planning process? I have already detailed a number of sections of The Local Plan 2011 and 2026 and The Statement of Community Involvement to you where it is obvious these have been ignored.

Answer: The application has been withdrawn hence the Local Planning Authority has not yet formed a view on the proposal. Any report detailing the proposal's compliance or otherwise with policy will not now be carried out.

4. Have ongoing and future maintenance costs been assessed, as well as the contingency for extra expenditure on security which has been necessary at other skate parks?

Answer: Cost of maintenance , security etc is a matter for the applicant, in determining whether they proceed with the scheme. It is not a planning consideration.

5. Has an environmental assessment been carried out for the trees and vegetation already removed in advance of the application and the trees and 95m of vegetation proposed to be removed for vehicle access? Has the impact on the local bat population been considered?

Answer: Any previous removal of vegetation was not, according to our records, subject to any planning permission. There is no evidence to suggest formal consent was necessary. No environmental information was submitted as part of the application documents.

N.B. I note your additional request for a noise report in respect of the Saltway Field site contained within your e-mail below dated 10th August 2013. I will contact the department concerned and will respond to this new request from you on or before the 20 working day deadline which is 9th September 2013.

If you are dissatisfied with the service you have received in relation to your request and wish to make a complaint or request a review, you should contact:

Customer Services
Civic Offices
Euclid Street
Swindon
Website: www.[Swindon Borough Council request email]

The complaints/review procedure involves a full review and an examination of all the information by the Council's Monitoring Officer.

If you are not content with the outcome of our conclusion, you may apply directly to the Information Commissioner's Office for a decision, before contacting the Council. Generally, the ICO cannot make a decision unless you have exhausted the Council's own complaints procedure.

The Information Officer can be contacted at :

The Information Commissioner's Office,
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF

Email: [email address]
Tel: 01625 545700 (ask for Freedom of Information)

If you require any further information concerning this matter, please contact me as detailed, quoting the above reference number in any future communications.

Yours sincerely

Mr Ceri Stephens
Performance Officer
Service Delivery
Swindon Borough Council
Tel: 01793 466220
e-mail : [email address]

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Dear Ceri Stephens,

Thank you for your reply.
The reasoning that the application has been withdrawn and no longer requires a response doesn't apply. I understand the intention is to put another application in or to potentially avoid the need for the application process altogether. I have included individual responses to the points below yours.

Dear Mr Madley,

Please see below answers to your questions provided by our Planning Department after consultation with our Legal Department.

1. Why is the application for a change of use rather than a full planning application for operational development? Why it is not a 'Regulation 3' application (application for planning permission by an interested planning authority to develop any land of that authority to be determined by itself)?

Answer: As the application has been withdrawn, we are not able to comment whether or not it should have been dealt with as a full planning application for operational development rather than an application for a change of use. This is a matter which goes into the merit of the application and without the ability to determine it, we are unable to go into the merit.

Under 'Regulation 3', the Council is allowed to determine such an application for planning permission unless it is referred to the Secretary of State under section 77 of the Planning Act.

Reply: This is a question about the procedure, not the merits of the application and doesn't answer the question which was asked first in March of this year

2. Why was no revised application submitted, taking into account the Police Crime Prevention Advisor's advice on controlled access?

Answer: An applicant is not obliged to or cannot be forced to make any amendments to an application. It is for the LPA to assess the merit of the scheme that comes before it for consideration.

Reply: The applicant is the Borough Council. I understand that most applicants are requested to respond to local concerns received by the planners in order to see if they can be accommodated before the planning officer draws the consideration of the merits of the application to a conclusion.

The Crime Prevention Advisor is very clear on his recommendations and has also stated this in relation to the Highworth Skate Park application

"While I accept that it is to be fenced, I cannot see that the proposal includes plans for any form of access control to the site and facilities provided. From this, I understand that the planned MUGA and skate park will be unsupervised and will be open and constantly available to all. This fact increases the potential for misuse and antisocial behaviour through into the late hours of darkness. It is extremely probable that such activity will further damage the quality of life of neighbouring residents and will again result in an increase in complaints and the subsequent drain on police time and available resources during periods when they are most likely to be otherwise heavily committed."

3. Is there evidence that the council's own existing and proposed policies were referred to in the planning process? I have already detailed a number of sections of The Local Plan 2011 and 2026 and The Statement of Community Involvement to you where it is obvious these have been ignored.

Answer: The application has been withdrawn hence the Local Planning Authority has not yet formed a view on the proposal. Any report detailing the proposal's compliance or otherwise with policy will not now be carried out.

Reply: The error in the lack of community involvement (not present in your reply) has already been accepted in another letter to residents.

4. Have ongoing and future maintenance costs been assessed, as well as the contingency for extra expenditure on security which has been necessary at other skate parks?

Answer: Cost of maintenance , security etc is a matter for the applicant, in determining whether they proceed with the scheme. It is not a planning consideration.

Reply: I feel that this is incorrect. How can ongoing costs not be considered a material consideration to councillors in this process.

5. Has an environmental assessment been carried out for the trees and vegetation already removed in advance of the application and the trees and 95m of vegetation proposed to be removed for vehicle access? Has the impact on the local bat population been considered?

Answer: Any previous removal of vegetation was not, according to our records, subject to any planning permission. There is no evidence to suggest formal consent was necessary. No environmental information was submitted as part of the application documents.

N.B. I note your additional request for a noise report in respect of the Saltway Field site contained within your e-mail below dated 10th August 2013. I will contact the department concerned and will respond to this new request from you on or before the 20 working day deadline which is 9th September 2013.

Reply: Received 7th September

Yours sincerely,

Linford Madley

Ceri Stephens, Swindon Borough Council

I am currently out of the office until Monday 9th September 2013. If the matter is urgent or an FOI Request please contact Customer Services e-mail: [Swindon Borough Council request email]. or Tel: 01793 445500. Otherwise, I will deal with your enquiry on my return.

Ceri Stephens, Swindon Borough Council

2 Attachments

Dear Mr Madley,

 

I am now able to provide you with copies of the two different noise
reports completed relating to the Skate Park which was proposed for West
Swindon. I note you say you have received a noise report on 7^th
September? But for the avoidance of doubt I enclose copies anyway.

 

Please find attached two noise assessment reports for the proposed skate
park at Saltway Field.

 

The first report, dated 9^th August 2013, relates specifically to the
Planning Application reference number S/13/0269. We then commissioned
another survey, dated 12^th August 2013, and this shows a revised location
where the noise impact would be reduced, along with mitigation measures.

 

The Planning Application was withdrawn on 29^th July 2013, and the noise
assessment reports were received on 19^th August 2013.

 

If you are dissatisfied with the service you have received in relation to
your request and wish to make a complaint or request a review, you should
contact:

 

Customer Services

Civic Offices

Euclid Street

Swindon

Website: www.[Swindon Borough Council request email]

 

The complaints/review procedure involves a full review and an examination
of all the information by the Council's Monitoring Officer. 

 

If you are not content with the outcome of our conclusion, you may apply
directly to the Information Commissioner's Office for a decision, before
contacting the Council. Generally, the ICO cannot make a decision unless
you have exhausted the Council's own complaints procedure.

 

The Information Officer can be contacted at :

 

The Information Commissioner's Office,

Wycliffe House

Water Lane

Wilmslow

Cheshire

SK9 5AF

 

Email: [1][email address]

Tel: 01625 545700 (ask for Freedom of Information)

 

If you require any further information concerning this matter, please
contact me as detailed, quoting the above reference number in any future
communications.

 

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

 

Mr. Ceri Stephens ([2][email address])

Performance Officer

Service Delivery

Swindon Borough Council

Tel:  01793 466220

Web: www.swindon.gov.uk

 

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