Watford Junction Draft Development Brief 2016

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Watford Junction Draft Development Brief 2016

Watford Junction Draft Development Brief

Representation ID: 519

Received: 28/09/2016

Respondent: London Concrete Ltd

Agent: Firstplan Ltd

Representation Summary:

The development brief does not accord with the requirements of Policy SPA2 in the Core Strategy. With the Core Strategy and HCC Minerals Local Plan these are the development plan documents for the site and the development brief should account for them. Accordingly London Concrete and AI will resist an attempt to relocate.

Full text:


LOCAL PLAN PART 2 - SITE ALLOCATIONS AND DEVELOPMENT MANAGEMENT POLICIES PUBLICATION 2016
The following objection is made on behalf of London Concrete Ltd and Aggregate Industries Ltd (AI) the operators of the safeguarded rail aggregates depot and associated facilities at Orphanage Road. The objection should be read in conjunction with representations made on the draft Watford Junction Development Brief currently also subject to consultation.
For the avoidance of doubt it is confirmed that London Concrete and AI continue to rely fully on the objections made on their behalf in respect of the First Consultation - Watford Local Plan DPD, Part 2 - Site Allocations Consultation (as submitted December 2013), Development Management Policies - First Consultation (as submitted December 2013) and the Local Plan Part 2 - Second Consultation (as submitted February 2015). The objections made to those documents have not been reflected in either the latest Local Plan consultation stage nor in the draft Watford Junction Development Brief consultation document.
SPA2 Watford Junction (includes a safeguarded rail aggregates depot at Orphanage Road). (Policy Boundary)
In the context of Local Plan Part 2 - SPA2 Watford Junction, whilst it is acknowledged that references are now included to the effect that any proposals should take account of the safeguarded facilities, the SPA2 Watford Junction plan showing the proposed extent of the SPA2 area still fails to identify the extent of the rail aggregates depot and associated facilities.
Our previous representations have consistently underscored the fact that the safeguarded area needs to be specifically detailed. The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) expressly requires local planning authorities in preparing Local Plans to safeguard existing rail heads and associated storage and handling facilities for the bulk transport by rail of mineral and to safeguard existing concrete batching facilities [Pg33, Para 143, bullet point 4]. Without specifically identifying the extent of the safeguarded area the safeguarding is undermined and does not provide a clear policy based framework for considering development proposals coming forward in the surrounding area. In response to earlier submissions made in this context - the Summary of Comments Received and Initial Officer Response indicated that
"WBC - we agree it would be useful to show the safeguarded concrete batching area and will consider the best way of showing this (and other safeguarded sites in the borough) as we further develop maps for the plan, and appreciate the provision of a detailed plan showing this area and the shared access to the site. We consider that the inclusion of the Option B site should help to provide additional masterplan/design flexibility in the vicinity of the concrete batching plant given the development constraints the plant imposes on the area".

The safeguarded area should be identified now in the Special Policy Area boundary - to appropriately reflect the requirements of the Core Strategy, Minerals Plan and to ensure conformity with requirements in the NPPF, and not least of all so the document can be found 'sound'. The specific identification of the safeguarded site is justified on the basis that the safeguarded area is an existing operational site as opposed to the future development of the wider SPA2 area - where appropriate uses and broad scale of development are being identified to guide future development in the Policy Area Boundary. The proper identification of the safeguarded site will be critical in informing how that development is taken forward in the surrounding area.
The SPA2 area has been expanded to include additional land to the east of the rail aggregates depot site. As per our previous consultation responses we continue to object to this on the grounds that the Inclusion of additional land into the SPA2 Policy area, which is currently subject to an employment designation, and is located adjacent to the safeguarded site is not appropriate and could undermine the safeguarding of the area. As detailed in objection to the draft Development Brief - this issue could be overcome if the Development Brief ensures that noise-sensitive uses cannot be introduced with this area which could prejudice the future operation of the safeguarded area.
Alterations required
* Full extent of rail aggregates depot and associated facilities (including access road) to be marked on to the SPA2 Watford Junction Boundary Plan.

* The SPA2 Boundary Map reference which currently reads : "SPA2 Watford Junction (includes a safeguarded rail aggregates depot at Orphanage Road") should be amended as follows to ensure it accords with the provisions of adopted Policy SPA2 (Core Strategy)

"SPA2 Watford Junction (includes a safeguarded rail aggregates depot and associated facilities at Orphanage Road)."

Appendix I - Site Schedules
SPA2 - Watford Junction.
The following objection should be read in conjunction to the objections made to Policy SPA2 (boundary plan) at Chapter 2 of the draft Local Plan and to the draft Watford Junction Development Brief. As detailed in those responses the full extent of the safeguarded area should be expressly detailed both within Local Plan Part 2 and within the Development Brief.
The Development Considerations listed at Appendix 1 with regard to SPA2 - Watford Junction are objected to as not being in conformity with Adopted Core Strategy Policy SPA 2, nor with provisions in the Minerals Plan and the NPPF. The following amendments are required to ensure the draft Plan is sound.
"Development Considerations
Development proposals will need to be in line with the emerging Watford Junction Masterplan Development Brief and the SPA Objectives and requirements of Policy SPA2 in the Core Strategy.
The waste Orphanage Road rail and aggregates depot and associated facilities (concrete batching plant) within the SPA is safeguarded as identified in Core Strategy Policy SPA2 and Hertfordshire County Council's Minerals Plan. This will need to be retained, or a comparable facility provided on site, which will also be subject to safeguarding, or a new comparable facility provided in the local area.
If the rail aggregate depot and associated facilities are retained in their current location, or relocated within the SPA2 area, the development proposals should not allow for the introduction of noise sensitive uses in proximity to the safeguarded area. Any new development in the vicinity of the safeguarded area should be planned, laid out and designed with appropriate mitigation to ensure they do not prejudice the existing or future use of the safeguarded site and operations.
Greater pedestrian connectivity between the SPA area and the town centre is required as well as .....
Design and development along boundaries.....
Dependent on proposals, an archaeological....
An investigation into waste water....."

WATFORD JUNCTION - DRAFT DEVELOPMENT BRIEF
This objection should be read in conjunction with the objections made to the Watford Local Plan Part 2 on behalf the London Concrete and Aggregate Industries the operators of the rail aggregates depot at Orphanage Road.
The Watford Junction Draft Development Brief is objected to on the basis that it does not accord with the requirements of Adopted Policy SPA2, Watford Junction, in the Watford Borough Local Plan (Core Strategy) Adopted 2013. Policy SPA2 expressly requires that:
"The development scheme will be required to safeguard the existing Orphanage Way rail and aggregates depot and associated facilities, or re-provide a comparable facility on site which will also be subject to safeguarding, or ensure re-provision of a comparable facility within the local area, via liaison with Hertfordshire County Council and the operator. The redevelopment scheme shall be required to be sensitive to and respond to the operating parameters of the facility."
The requirement to safeguard the rail aggregates depot and associated facilities, and this specific policy wording, was secured at EIP as result of objections raised at that time by the operator of the rail and aggregates depot site (namely London Concrete and Aggregate Industries). The safeguarding secured applies to the rail head and aggregates depot and associated facilities, by which is meant the on-site concrete batching plant (CBP). The safeguarding secured within Adopted Policy SPA2 was justified at the time, and continues to be justified and underpinned, by the requirements to safeguard such sites and facilities in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). Specifically, the NPPF requires local planning authorities in preparing Local Plans to safeguard existing rail heads and associated storage and handling facilities for the bulk transport by rail of mineral and to safeguard existing concrete batching facilities [Pg33, Para 143, bullet point 4].
The safeguarding of the Orphanage Road rail and aggregates site, as required by national policy, has been identified within the Hertfordshire Minerals Policy 10: Railheads and Wharves in the County Councils Minerals Local Plan (2002-2016) Adopted 2007. It is highlighted that Hertfordshire County Council made representations including most recently to the Watford Local Plan Part 2 - Second Consultation (representations letter dated 3 February 2016) which highlight the protection which should be afforded to the current facilities at Orphanage Road.
The Minerals Plan together with the Adopted Core Strategy currently comprise the key development plan documents relevant to the consideration of this site. They form the policy context within which the Development Brief must be drafted.
In the context of the safeguarding policies which apply (Adopted Core Strategy Policy SPA2 and Minerals Policy 10) it is reiterated that the operator of the site was very clear when the Core Strategy was under consideration at the EIP that due to the scarcity of rail served sites such as that at Orphanage Road that they did not consider there would be any reasonable possibility that an alternative site could be found that would be suitable to accommodate them. This remains the case. Moreover to date there has been no indication from the LPA or prospective developer as to where the existing facilities could be relocated to or by what mechanism that might be achieved, nor the practicalities or costs of achieving such a relocation. Notwithstanding this, Policy SPA2 is clear that the development proposals for SPA2 need to as a starting point safeguard the existing Orphanage Road rail and aggregates depot and associated facilities, or re-provide a comparable facility on-site also subject to safeguarding, or ensure re-provision within the local area via liaison with Hertfordshire County Council and the operator. The draft Development Brief fails to replicate this policy approach. Its starting point, at Page 34, Section 3.4 Development Sites - Station Quarter East, Land Use and Quantum, bullet point 2, in fact fails to make any reference to the first two parts of Adopted Policy SPA2 in this context, and makes reference only to relocation within the local area.
London Concrete and Aggregate Industries are clear that they will resist any attempt to relocate their facility - due to the impact in would have on their operation and business and the fact that they are clear that there is no suitable site in the "local" area which could provide the same rail and road access that currently supports their operations.
The approach of the draft Development Brief, with regard to Station Quarter East development site (within which the London Concrete/AI facility is located) is flawed, not consistent with Adopted Policy in the Core Strategy, not consistent with Policy in the Minerals Plan and not consistent with NPPF requirements.
On this basis the draft Development Brief is not 'sound' and is objected to on the following specific points:
Specific objections/comments draft Development Brief -
Page 6, 1.1 Introduction, Planning Policy and Status - Fails to make reference to requirements in the Minerals Local Plan forming part of the Development Plan. Draft development brief - must include reference to this.
Pg 10, 2.1 Baseline Analysis, under heading of Weaknesses, bullet point 6, makes reference to "Lack of clarity around the safeguarding of lands for future infrastructure requirements and aggregates handling." The policy position is perfectly clear and set out in Adopted Policy SPA2 in terms of first safeguarding of the facility in-situ, re-provision and safeguarding on site, or re-provision in the local area. The site operator has equally been clear in terms of the likelihood of an alternative suitable site being available, which is considered to be extremely limited. It should be very clear that the likelihood is that the facility will remain on site and will need to be fully safeguarded. This will require careful consideration to be given to the uses and design of development in the vicinity of the safeguarded site.
Page 13, 2.13 Site Wide Principles: Built Environment - under the heading Land Use and Activity - draft Development Brief fails to make any reference to likelihood of the retention of the safeguarded rail and aggregates depot or its re-provision on site. Important that it does so at an early stage - to provide a coherent and realistic framework for the wider development.
Pg 15, 2.4 Illustrative Masterplan - the illustrative masterplan has no regard to the requirements of Adopted Policy SPA2 and the requirement to safeguard the existing Orphanage Road facilities or re-provide onsite. Given the fact that the operator has consistently advised that there is extremely limited potential that they could be relocated in the local area -the illustrative masterplan is fundamentally flawed in that it currently shows no provision for the safeguarded uses and operations and fails to appropriately guide development in this part of the SPA2 policy area.
As a starting point the illustrative masterplan must show the retention of the safeguarded uses including access to the highway network - to appropriately guide development in the context of the adopted SPA2 policy.
Pg 18, 2.5 Land Uses - In context of requirements in adopted Policy SPA2 fails to make any reference to the retained and safeguarded rail and aggregates depot and associated facilities - in the list of land uses.
In addition to showing the retained area to accord with the principles of safeguarding - it is not considered appropriate to introduce noise sensitive uses in the adjoining area which could prejudice the future operation of the safeguarded area. Adjoining land uses are currently employment uses - objections have previously been maintained to the inclusion of those employment areas within the SPA2 area for just this reason.
Land use plan should show retained safeguarded area including appropriate access provision and be clear in its guidance in terms of appropriate surrounding land uses.
Pg 32, 3.3 Development Sites: Station Quarter West - in the context of Land Use and Quantum as this area of land is located directly opposite the existing Orphanage Road facility - land uses indicated here consisting primarily of office, retail and leisure are supported. However, any introduction of residential or other noise-sensitive uses would be resisted as they would be located in close proximity to the aggregates unloading area and associated rail sidings and would have the potential to prejudice the safeguarded area.
Pg 34, 3.4 Development Sites: Station Quarter East - as detailed above and in the context of objections to the current Local Plan consultation, bullet point 3 fails entirely to accord with the clear principles of safeguarding established in Adopted Policy SPA2. This forms the main basis for the objection to the draft Development Brief which is fundamentally flawed in failing to allow for any option other than the relocation of the rail and aggregates depot in the local area. The starting point of the Policy requires consideration of retention of the safeguarded area. In not considering that as a development option the Development Brief will fail to provide appropriate guidance in terms of development coming forward in this part of the SPA2 area. The Brief must account for the potential that it is highly unlikely that a suitable alternative location will be found to accommodate the safeguarded operations and that facility will need to be retained and appropriately safeguarded on site. That safeguarding will need to ensure that new land uses introduced around the retained area should not prejudice the existing and future operation of the site including its access to the highway network.
Conclusion
It is noted that the site operator has had significant experience in protecting and safeguarding sites such as this at a number of its location. This has been achieved by a variety of means including: through local plan representations; by objecting to application proposals which could prejudice their operations; by successfully resisting CPO's and by recourse to legal action including judicial review. The operator is clear on the importance of this site as a rail served freight facility safeguarded at every level of policy. A robust case was made at the Core Strategy EIP which secured the basis on which future development documents including the Local Plan Part 2 and the Watford Junction Development Brief should be progressed. The operator has made repeated representations to the Local Plan process and it is extremely disappointing that this is not reflected in the latest round of consultation and the formulation of the draft Development Brief. The Operator was consulted at a very late stage on the draft Development Brief - just a few weeks before formal consultation commenced.

Object

Watford Junction Draft Development Brief 2016

Watford Junction Draft Development Brief

Representation ID: 520

Received: 28/09/2016

Respondent: London Concrete Ltd

Agent: Firstplan Ltd

Representation Summary:


Pg 34, 3.4 Development Sites: Station Quarter East - as detailed above and in the context of objections to the current Local Plan consultation, bullet point 3 fails entirely to accord with the clear principles of safeguarding established in Adopted Policy SPA2. This forms the main basis for the objection to the draft Development Brief which is fundamentally flawed in failing to allow for any option other than the relocation of the rail and aggregates depot in the local area. The starting point of the Policy requires consideration of retention of the safeguarded area. In not considering that as a development option the Development Brief will fail to provide appropriate guidance in terms of development coming forward in this part of the SPA2 area. The Brief must account for the potential that it is highly unlikely that a suitable alternative location will be found to accommodate the safeguarded operations and that facility will need to be retained and appropriately safeguarded on site. That safeguarding will need to ensure that new land uses introduced around the retained area should not prejudice the existing and future operation of the site including its access to the highway network.

Full text:


LOCAL PLAN PART 2 - SITE ALLOCATIONS AND DEVELOPMENT MANAGEMENT POLICIES PUBLICATION 2016
The following objection is made on behalf of London Concrete Ltd and Aggregate Industries Ltd (AI) the operators of the safeguarded rail aggregates depot and associated facilities at Orphanage Road. The objection should be read in conjunction with representations made on the draft Watford Junction Development Brief currently also subject to consultation.
For the avoidance of doubt it is confirmed that London Concrete and AI continue to rely fully on the objections made on their behalf in respect of the First Consultation - Watford Local Plan DPD, Part 2 - Site Allocations Consultation (as submitted December 2013), Development Management Policies - First Consultation (as submitted December 2013) and the Local Plan Part 2 - Second Consultation (as submitted February 2015). The objections made to those documents have not been reflected in either the latest Local Plan consultation stage nor in the draft Watford Junction Development Brief consultation document.
SPA2 Watford Junction (includes a safeguarded rail aggregates depot at Orphanage Road). (Policy Boundary)
In the context of Local Plan Part 2 - SPA2 Watford Junction, whilst it is acknowledged that references are now included to the effect that any proposals should take account of the safeguarded facilities, the SPA2 Watford Junction plan showing the proposed extent of the SPA2 area still fails to identify the extent of the rail aggregates depot and associated facilities.
Our previous representations have consistently underscored the fact that the safeguarded area needs to be specifically detailed. The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) expressly requires local planning authorities in preparing Local Plans to safeguard existing rail heads and associated storage and handling facilities for the bulk transport by rail of mineral and to safeguard existing concrete batching facilities [Pg33, Para 143, bullet point 4]. Without specifically identifying the extent of the safeguarded area the safeguarding is undermined and does not provide a clear policy based framework for considering development proposals coming forward in the surrounding area. In response to earlier submissions made in this context - the Summary of Comments Received and Initial Officer Response indicated that
"WBC - we agree it would be useful to show the safeguarded concrete batching area and will consider the best way of showing this (and other safeguarded sites in the borough) as we further develop maps for the plan, and appreciate the provision of a detailed plan showing this area and the shared access to the site. We consider that the inclusion of the Option B site should help to provide additional masterplan/design flexibility in the vicinity of the concrete batching plant given the development constraints the plant imposes on the area".

The safeguarded area should be identified now in the Special Policy Area boundary - to appropriately reflect the requirements of the Core Strategy, Minerals Plan and to ensure conformity with requirements in the NPPF, and not least of all so the document can be found 'sound'. The specific identification of the safeguarded site is justified on the basis that the safeguarded area is an existing operational site as opposed to the future development of the wider SPA2 area - where appropriate uses and broad scale of development are being identified to guide future development in the Policy Area Boundary. The proper identification of the safeguarded site will be critical in informing how that development is taken forward in the surrounding area.
The SPA2 area has been expanded to include additional land to the east of the rail aggregates depot site. As per our previous consultation responses we continue to object to this on the grounds that the Inclusion of additional land into the SPA2 Policy area, which is currently subject to an employment designation, and is located adjacent to the safeguarded site is not appropriate and could undermine the safeguarding of the area. As detailed in objection to the draft Development Brief - this issue could be overcome if the Development Brief ensures that noise-sensitive uses cannot be introduced with this area which could prejudice the future operation of the safeguarded area.
Alterations required
* Full extent of rail aggregates depot and associated facilities (including access road) to be marked on to the SPA2 Watford Junction Boundary Plan.

* The SPA2 Boundary Map reference which currently reads : "SPA2 Watford Junction (includes a safeguarded rail aggregates depot at Orphanage Road") should be amended as follows to ensure it accords with the provisions of adopted Policy SPA2 (Core Strategy)

"SPA2 Watford Junction (includes a safeguarded rail aggregates depot and associated facilities at Orphanage Road)."

Appendix I - Site Schedules
SPA2 - Watford Junction.
The following objection should be read in conjunction to the objections made to Policy SPA2 (boundary plan) at Chapter 2 of the draft Local Plan and to the draft Watford Junction Development Brief. As detailed in those responses the full extent of the safeguarded area should be expressly detailed both within Local Plan Part 2 and within the Development Brief.
The Development Considerations listed at Appendix 1 with regard to SPA2 - Watford Junction are objected to as not being in conformity with Adopted Core Strategy Policy SPA 2, nor with provisions in the Minerals Plan and the NPPF. The following amendments are required to ensure the draft Plan is sound.
"Development Considerations
Development proposals will need to be in line with the emerging Watford Junction Masterplan Development Brief and the SPA Objectives and requirements of Policy SPA2 in the Core Strategy.
The waste Orphanage Road rail and aggregates depot and associated facilities (concrete batching plant) within the SPA is safeguarded as identified in Core Strategy Policy SPA2 and Hertfordshire County Council's Minerals Plan. This will need to be retained, or a comparable facility provided on site, which will also be subject to safeguarding, or a new comparable facility provided in the local area.
If the rail aggregate depot and associated facilities are retained in their current location, or relocated within the SPA2 area, the development proposals should not allow for the introduction of noise sensitive uses in proximity to the safeguarded area. Any new development in the vicinity of the safeguarded area should be planned, laid out and designed with appropriate mitigation to ensure they do not prejudice the existing or future use of the safeguarded site and operations.
Greater pedestrian connectivity between the SPA area and the town centre is required as well as .....
Design and development along boundaries.....
Dependent on proposals, an archaeological....
An investigation into waste water....."

WATFORD JUNCTION - DRAFT DEVELOPMENT BRIEF
This objection should be read in conjunction with the objections made to the Watford Local Plan Part 2 on behalf the London Concrete and Aggregate Industries the operators of the rail aggregates depot at Orphanage Road.
The Watford Junction Draft Development Brief is objected to on the basis that it does not accord with the requirements of Adopted Policy SPA2, Watford Junction, in the Watford Borough Local Plan (Core Strategy) Adopted 2013. Policy SPA2 expressly requires that:
"The development scheme will be required to safeguard the existing Orphanage Way rail and aggregates depot and associated facilities, or re-provide a comparable facility on site which will also be subject to safeguarding, or ensure re-provision of a comparable facility within the local area, via liaison with Hertfordshire County Council and the operator. The redevelopment scheme shall be required to be sensitive to and respond to the operating parameters of the facility."
The requirement to safeguard the rail aggregates depot and associated facilities, and this specific policy wording, was secured at EIP as result of objections raised at that time by the operator of the rail and aggregates depot site (namely London Concrete and Aggregate Industries). The safeguarding secured applies to the rail head and aggregates depot and associated facilities, by which is meant the on-site concrete batching plant (CBP). The safeguarding secured within Adopted Policy SPA2 was justified at the time, and continues to be justified and underpinned, by the requirements to safeguard such sites and facilities in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). Specifically, the NPPF requires local planning authorities in preparing Local Plans to safeguard existing rail heads and associated storage and handling facilities for the bulk transport by rail of mineral and to safeguard existing concrete batching facilities [Pg33, Para 143, bullet point 4].
The safeguarding of the Orphanage Road rail and aggregates site, as required by national policy, has been identified within the Hertfordshire Minerals Policy 10: Railheads and Wharves in the County Councils Minerals Local Plan (2002-2016) Adopted 2007. It is highlighted that Hertfordshire County Council made representations including most recently to the Watford Local Plan Part 2 - Second Consultation (representations letter dated 3 February 2016) which highlight the protection which should be afforded to the current facilities at Orphanage Road.
The Minerals Plan together with the Adopted Core Strategy currently comprise the key development plan documents relevant to the consideration of this site. They form the policy context within which the Development Brief must be drafted.
In the context of the safeguarding policies which apply (Adopted Core Strategy Policy SPA2 and Minerals Policy 10) it is reiterated that the operator of the site was very clear when the Core Strategy was under consideration at the EIP that due to the scarcity of rail served sites such as that at Orphanage Road that they did not consider there would be any reasonable possibility that an alternative site could be found that would be suitable to accommodate them. This remains the case. Moreover to date there has been no indication from the LPA or prospective developer as to where the existing facilities could be relocated to or by what mechanism that might be achieved, nor the practicalities or costs of achieving such a relocation. Notwithstanding this, Policy SPA2 is clear that the development proposals for SPA2 need to as a starting point safeguard the existing Orphanage Road rail and aggregates depot and associated facilities, or re-provide a comparable facility on-site also subject to safeguarding, or ensure re-provision within the local area via liaison with Hertfordshire County Council and the operator. The draft Development Brief fails to replicate this policy approach. Its starting point, at Page 34, Section 3.4 Development Sites - Station Quarter East, Land Use and Quantum, bullet point 2, in fact fails to make any reference to the first two parts of Adopted Policy SPA2 in this context, and makes reference only to relocation within the local area.
London Concrete and Aggregate Industries are clear that they will resist any attempt to relocate their facility - due to the impact in would have on their operation and business and the fact that they are clear that there is no suitable site in the "local" area which could provide the same rail and road access that currently supports their operations.
The approach of the draft Development Brief, with regard to Station Quarter East development site (within which the London Concrete/AI facility is located) is flawed, not consistent with Adopted Policy in the Core Strategy, not consistent with Policy in the Minerals Plan and not consistent with NPPF requirements.
On this basis the draft Development Brief is not 'sound' and is objected to on the following specific points:
Specific objections/comments draft Development Brief -
Page 6, 1.1 Introduction, Planning Policy and Status - Fails to make reference to requirements in the Minerals Local Plan forming part of the Development Plan. Draft development brief - must include reference to this.
Pg 10, 2.1 Baseline Analysis, under heading of Weaknesses, bullet point 6, makes reference to "Lack of clarity around the safeguarding of lands for future infrastructure requirements and aggregates handling." The policy position is perfectly clear and set out in Adopted Policy SPA2 in terms of first safeguarding of the facility in-situ, re-provision and safeguarding on site, or re-provision in the local area. The site operator has equally been clear in terms of the likelihood of an alternative suitable site being available, which is considered to be extremely limited. It should be very clear that the likelihood is that the facility will remain on site and will need to be fully safeguarded. This will require careful consideration to be given to the uses and design of development in the vicinity of the safeguarded site.
Page 13, 2.13 Site Wide Principles: Built Environment - under the heading Land Use and Activity - draft Development Brief fails to make any reference to likelihood of the retention of the safeguarded rail and aggregates depot or its re-provision on site. Important that it does so at an early stage - to provide a coherent and realistic framework for the wider development.
Pg 15, 2.4 Illustrative Masterplan - the illustrative masterplan has no regard to the requirements of Adopted Policy SPA2 and the requirement to safeguard the existing Orphanage Road facilities or re-provide onsite. Given the fact that the operator has consistently advised that there is extremely limited potential that they could be relocated in the local area -the illustrative masterplan is fundamentally flawed in that it currently shows no provision for the safeguarded uses and operations and fails to appropriately guide development in this part of the SPA2 policy area.
As a starting point the illustrative masterplan must show the retention of the safeguarded uses including access to the highway network - to appropriately guide development in the context of the adopted SPA2 policy.
Pg 18, 2.5 Land Uses - In context of requirements in adopted Policy SPA2 fails to make any reference to the retained and safeguarded rail and aggregates depot and associated facilities - in the list of land uses.
In addition to showing the retained area to accord with the principles of safeguarding - it is not considered appropriate to introduce noise sensitive uses in the adjoining area which could prejudice the future operation of the safeguarded area. Adjoining land uses are currently employment uses - objections have previously been maintained to the inclusion of those employment areas within the SPA2 area for just this reason.
Land use plan should show retained safeguarded area including appropriate access provision and be clear in its guidance in terms of appropriate surrounding land uses.
Pg 32, 3.3 Development Sites: Station Quarter West - in the context of Land Use and Quantum as this area of land is located directly opposite the existing Orphanage Road facility - land uses indicated here consisting primarily of office, retail and leisure are supported. However, any introduction of residential or other noise-sensitive uses would be resisted as they would be located in close proximity to the aggregates unloading area and associated rail sidings and would have the potential to prejudice the safeguarded area.
Pg 34, 3.4 Development Sites: Station Quarter East - as detailed above and in the context of objections to the current Local Plan consultation, bullet point 3 fails entirely to accord with the clear principles of safeguarding established in Adopted Policy SPA2. This forms the main basis for the objection to the draft Development Brief which is fundamentally flawed in failing to allow for any option other than the relocation of the rail and aggregates depot in the local area. The starting point of the Policy requires consideration of retention of the safeguarded area. In not considering that as a development option the Development Brief will fail to provide appropriate guidance in terms of development coming forward in this part of the SPA2 area. The Brief must account for the potential that it is highly unlikely that a suitable alternative location will be found to accommodate the safeguarded operations and that facility will need to be retained and appropriately safeguarded on site. That safeguarding will need to ensure that new land uses introduced around the retained area should not prejudice the existing and future operation of the site including its access to the highway network.
Conclusion
It is noted that the site operator has had significant experience in protecting and safeguarding sites such as this at a number of its location. This has been achieved by a variety of means including: through local plan representations; by objecting to application proposals which could prejudice their operations; by successfully resisting CPO's and by recourse to legal action including judicial review. The operator is clear on the importance of this site as a rail served freight facility safeguarded at every level of policy. A robust case was made at the Core Strategy EIP which secured the basis on which future development documents including the Local Plan Part 2 and the Watford Junction Development Brief should be progressed. The operator has made repeated representations to the Local Plan process and it is extremely disappointing that this is not reflected in the latest round of consultation and the formulation of the draft Development Brief. The Operator was consulted at a very late stage on the draft Development Brief - just a few weeks before formal consultation commenced.

Object

Watford Junction Draft Development Brief 2016

Watford Junction Draft Development Brief

Representation ID: 723

Received: 28/09/2016

Respondent: London Concrete Ltd

Agent: Firstplan Ltd

Representation Summary:

Fails to make reference to requirements in the Minerals Local Plan forming part of the Development Plan in the introduction

Full text:


LOCAL PLAN PART 2 - SITE ALLOCATIONS AND DEVELOPMENT MANAGEMENT POLICIES PUBLICATION 2016
The following objection is made on behalf of London Concrete Ltd and Aggregate Industries Ltd (AI) the operators of the safeguarded rail aggregates depot and associated facilities at Orphanage Road. The objection should be read in conjunction with representations made on the draft Watford Junction Development Brief currently also subject to consultation.
For the avoidance of doubt it is confirmed that London Concrete and AI continue to rely fully on the objections made on their behalf in respect of the First Consultation - Watford Local Plan DPD, Part 2 - Site Allocations Consultation (as submitted December 2013), Development Management Policies - First Consultation (as submitted December 2013) and the Local Plan Part 2 - Second Consultation (as submitted February 2015). The objections made to those documents have not been reflected in either the latest Local Plan consultation stage nor in the draft Watford Junction Development Brief consultation document.
SPA2 Watford Junction (includes a safeguarded rail aggregates depot at Orphanage Road). (Policy Boundary)
In the context of Local Plan Part 2 - SPA2 Watford Junction, whilst it is acknowledged that references are now included to the effect that any proposals should take account of the safeguarded facilities, the SPA2 Watford Junction plan showing the proposed extent of the SPA2 area still fails to identify the extent of the rail aggregates depot and associated facilities.
Our previous representations have consistently underscored the fact that the safeguarded area needs to be specifically detailed. The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) expressly requires local planning authorities in preparing Local Plans to safeguard existing rail heads and associated storage and handling facilities for the bulk transport by rail of mineral and to safeguard existing concrete batching facilities [Pg33, Para 143, bullet point 4]. Without specifically identifying the extent of the safeguarded area the safeguarding is undermined and does not provide a clear policy based framework for considering development proposals coming forward in the surrounding area. In response to earlier submissions made in this context - the Summary of Comments Received and Initial Officer Response indicated that
"WBC - we agree it would be useful to show the safeguarded concrete batching area and will consider the best way of showing this (and other safeguarded sites in the borough) as we further develop maps for the plan, and appreciate the provision of a detailed plan showing this area and the shared access to the site. We consider that the inclusion of the Option B site should help to provide additional masterplan/design flexibility in the vicinity of the concrete batching plant given the development constraints the plant imposes on the area".

The safeguarded area should be identified now in the Special Policy Area boundary - to appropriately reflect the requirements of the Core Strategy, Minerals Plan and to ensure conformity with requirements in the NPPF, and not least of all so the document can be found 'sound'. The specific identification of the safeguarded site is justified on the basis that the safeguarded area is an existing operational site as opposed to the future development of the wider SPA2 area - where appropriate uses and broad scale of development are being identified to guide future development in the Policy Area Boundary. The proper identification of the safeguarded site will be critical in informing how that development is taken forward in the surrounding area.
The SPA2 area has been expanded to include additional land to the east of the rail aggregates depot site. As per our previous consultation responses we continue to object to this on the grounds that the Inclusion of additional land into the SPA2 Policy area, which is currently subject to an employment designation, and is located adjacent to the safeguarded site is not appropriate and could undermine the safeguarding of the area. As detailed in objection to the draft Development Brief - this issue could be overcome if the Development Brief ensures that noise-sensitive uses cannot be introduced with this area which could prejudice the future operation of the safeguarded area.
Alterations required
* Full extent of rail aggregates depot and associated facilities (including access road) to be marked on to the SPA2 Watford Junction Boundary Plan.

* The SPA2 Boundary Map reference which currently reads : "SPA2 Watford Junction (includes a safeguarded rail aggregates depot at Orphanage Road") should be amended as follows to ensure it accords with the provisions of adopted Policy SPA2 (Core Strategy)

"SPA2 Watford Junction (includes a safeguarded rail aggregates depot and associated facilities at Orphanage Road)."

Appendix I - Site Schedules
SPA2 - Watford Junction.
The following objection should be read in conjunction to the objections made to Policy SPA2 (boundary plan) at Chapter 2 of the draft Local Plan and to the draft Watford Junction Development Brief. As detailed in those responses the full extent of the safeguarded area should be expressly detailed both within Local Plan Part 2 and within the Development Brief.
The Development Considerations listed at Appendix 1 with regard to SPA2 - Watford Junction are objected to as not being in conformity with Adopted Core Strategy Policy SPA 2, nor with provisions in the Minerals Plan and the NPPF. The following amendments are required to ensure the draft Plan is sound.
"Development Considerations
Development proposals will need to be in line with the emerging Watford Junction Masterplan Development Brief and the SPA Objectives and requirements of Policy SPA2 in the Core Strategy.
The waste Orphanage Road rail and aggregates depot and associated facilities (concrete batching plant) within the SPA is safeguarded as identified in Core Strategy Policy SPA2 and Hertfordshire County Council's Minerals Plan. This will need to be retained, or a comparable facility provided on site, which will also be subject to safeguarding, or a new comparable facility provided in the local area.
If the rail aggregate depot and associated facilities are retained in their current location, or relocated within the SPA2 area, the development proposals should not allow for the introduction of noise sensitive uses in proximity to the safeguarded area. Any new development in the vicinity of the safeguarded area should be planned, laid out and designed with appropriate mitigation to ensure they do not prejudice the existing or future use of the safeguarded site and operations.
Greater pedestrian connectivity between the SPA area and the town centre is required as well as .....
Design and development along boundaries.....
Dependent on proposals, an archaeological....
An investigation into waste water....."

WATFORD JUNCTION - DRAFT DEVELOPMENT BRIEF
This objection should be read in conjunction with the objections made to the Watford Local Plan Part 2 on behalf the London Concrete and Aggregate Industries the operators of the rail aggregates depot at Orphanage Road.
The Watford Junction Draft Development Brief is objected to on the basis that it does not accord with the requirements of Adopted Policy SPA2, Watford Junction, in the Watford Borough Local Plan (Core Strategy) Adopted 2013. Policy SPA2 expressly requires that:
"The development scheme will be required to safeguard the existing Orphanage Way rail and aggregates depot and associated facilities, or re-provide a comparable facility on site which will also be subject to safeguarding, or ensure re-provision of a comparable facility within the local area, via liaison with Hertfordshire County Council and the operator. The redevelopment scheme shall be required to be sensitive to and respond to the operating parameters of the facility."
The requirement to safeguard the rail aggregates depot and associated facilities, and this specific policy wording, was secured at EIP as result of objections raised at that time by the operator of the rail and aggregates depot site (namely London Concrete and Aggregate Industries). The safeguarding secured applies to the rail head and aggregates depot and associated facilities, by which is meant the on-site concrete batching plant (CBP). The safeguarding secured within Adopted Policy SPA2 was justified at the time, and continues to be justified and underpinned, by the requirements to safeguard such sites and facilities in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). Specifically, the NPPF requires local planning authorities in preparing Local Plans to safeguard existing rail heads and associated storage and handling facilities for the bulk transport by rail of mineral and to safeguard existing concrete batching facilities [Pg33, Para 143, bullet point 4].
The safeguarding of the Orphanage Road rail and aggregates site, as required by national policy, has been identified within the Hertfordshire Minerals Policy 10: Railheads and Wharves in the County Councils Minerals Local Plan (2002-2016) Adopted 2007. It is highlighted that Hertfordshire County Council made representations including most recently to the Watford Local Plan Part 2 - Second Consultation (representations letter dated 3 February 2016) which highlight the protection which should be afforded to the current facilities at Orphanage Road.
The Minerals Plan together with the Adopted Core Strategy currently comprise the key development plan documents relevant to the consideration of this site. They form the policy context within which the Development Brief must be drafted.
In the context of the safeguarding policies which apply (Adopted Core Strategy Policy SPA2 and Minerals Policy 10) it is reiterated that the operator of the site was very clear when the Core Strategy was under consideration at the EIP that due to the scarcity of rail served sites such as that at Orphanage Road that they did not consider there would be any reasonable possibility that an alternative site could be found that would be suitable to accommodate them. This remains the case. Moreover to date there has been no indication from the LPA or prospective developer as to where the existing facilities could be relocated to or by what mechanism that might be achieved, nor the practicalities or costs of achieving such a relocation. Notwithstanding this, Policy SPA2 is clear that the development proposals for SPA2 need to as a starting point safeguard the existing Orphanage Road rail and aggregates depot and associated facilities, or re-provide a comparable facility on-site also subject to safeguarding, or ensure re-provision within the local area via liaison with Hertfordshire County Council and the operator. The draft Development Brief fails to replicate this policy approach. Its starting point, at Page 34, Section 3.4 Development Sites - Station Quarter East, Land Use and Quantum, bullet point 2, in fact fails to make any reference to the first two parts of Adopted Policy SPA2 in this context, and makes reference only to relocation within the local area.
London Concrete and Aggregate Industries are clear that they will resist any attempt to relocate their facility - due to the impact in would have on their operation and business and the fact that they are clear that there is no suitable site in the "local" area which could provide the same rail and road access that currently supports their operations.
The approach of the draft Development Brief, with regard to Station Quarter East development site (within which the London Concrete/AI facility is located) is flawed, not consistent with Adopted Policy in the Core Strategy, not consistent with Policy in the Minerals Plan and not consistent with NPPF requirements.
On this basis the draft Development Brief is not 'sound' and is objected to on the following specific points:
Specific objections/comments draft Development Brief -
Page 6, 1.1 Introduction, Planning Policy and Status - Fails to make reference to requirements in the Minerals Local Plan forming part of the Development Plan. Draft development brief - must include reference to this.
Pg 10, 2.1 Baseline Analysis, under heading of Weaknesses, bullet point 6, makes reference to "Lack of clarity around the safeguarding of lands for future infrastructure requirements and aggregates handling." The policy position is perfectly clear and set out in Adopted Policy SPA2 in terms of first safeguarding of the facility in-situ, re-provision and safeguarding on site, or re-provision in the local area. The site operator has equally been clear in terms of the likelihood of an alternative suitable site being available, which is considered to be extremely limited. It should be very clear that the likelihood is that the facility will remain on site and will need to be fully safeguarded. This will require careful consideration to be given to the uses and design of development in the vicinity of the safeguarded site.
Page 13, 2.13 Site Wide Principles: Built Environment - under the heading Land Use and Activity - draft Development Brief fails to make any reference to likelihood of the retention of the safeguarded rail and aggregates depot or its re-provision on site. Important that it does so at an early stage - to provide a coherent and realistic framework for the wider development.
Pg 15, 2.4 Illustrative Masterplan - the illustrative masterplan has no regard to the requirements of Adopted Policy SPA2 and the requirement to safeguard the existing Orphanage Road facilities or re-provide onsite. Given the fact that the operator has consistently advised that there is extremely limited potential that they could be relocated in the local area -the illustrative masterplan is fundamentally flawed in that it currently shows no provision for the safeguarded uses and operations and fails to appropriately guide development in this part of the SPA2 policy area.
As a starting point the illustrative masterplan must show the retention of the safeguarded uses including access to the highway network - to appropriately guide development in the context of the adopted SPA2 policy.
Pg 18, 2.5 Land Uses - In context of requirements in adopted Policy SPA2 fails to make any reference to the retained and safeguarded rail and aggregates depot and associated facilities - in the list of land uses.
In addition to showing the retained area to accord with the principles of safeguarding - it is not considered appropriate to introduce noise sensitive uses in the adjoining area which could prejudice the future operation of the safeguarded area. Adjoining land uses are currently employment uses - objections have previously been maintained to the inclusion of those employment areas within the SPA2 area for just this reason.
Land use plan should show retained safeguarded area including appropriate access provision and be clear in its guidance in terms of appropriate surrounding land uses.
Pg 32, 3.3 Development Sites: Station Quarter West - in the context of Land Use and Quantum as this area of land is located directly opposite the existing Orphanage Road facility - land uses indicated here consisting primarily of office, retail and leisure are supported. However, any introduction of residential or other noise-sensitive uses would be resisted as they would be located in close proximity to the aggregates unloading area and associated rail sidings and would have the potential to prejudice the safeguarded area.
Pg 34, 3.4 Development Sites: Station Quarter East - as detailed above and in the context of objections to the current Local Plan consultation, bullet point 3 fails entirely to accord with the clear principles of safeguarding established in Adopted Policy SPA2. This forms the main basis for the objection to the draft Development Brief which is fundamentally flawed in failing to allow for any option other than the relocation of the rail and aggregates depot in the local area. The starting point of the Policy requires consideration of retention of the safeguarded area. In not considering that as a development option the Development Brief will fail to provide appropriate guidance in terms of development coming forward in this part of the SPA2 area. The Brief must account for the potential that it is highly unlikely that a suitable alternative location will be found to accommodate the safeguarded operations and that facility will need to be retained and appropriately safeguarded on site. That safeguarding will need to ensure that new land uses introduced around the retained area should not prejudice the existing and future operation of the site including its access to the highway network.
Conclusion
It is noted that the site operator has had significant experience in protecting and safeguarding sites such as this at a number of its location. This has been achieved by a variety of means including: through local plan representations; by objecting to application proposals which could prejudice their operations; by successfully resisting CPO's and by recourse to legal action including judicial review. The operator is clear on the importance of this site as a rail served freight facility safeguarded at every level of policy. A robust case was made at the Core Strategy EIP which secured the basis on which future development documents including the Local Plan Part 2 and the Watford Junction Development Brief should be progressed. The operator has made repeated representations to the Local Plan process and it is extremely disappointing that this is not reflected in the latest round of consultation and the formulation of the draft Development Brief. The Operator was consulted at a very late stage on the draft Development Brief - just a few weeks before formal consultation commenced.

Object

Watford Junction Draft Development Brief 2016

Watford Junction Draft Development Brief

Representation ID: 724

Received: 28/09/2016

Respondent: London Concrete Ltd

Agent: Firstplan Ltd

Representation Summary:

Clarifies that the likelihood is that the facility will remain on site and will need to be fully safeguarded with regard to the current point under the heading of weaknesses in the Baseline Analysis.

Full text:


LOCAL PLAN PART 2 - SITE ALLOCATIONS AND DEVELOPMENT MANAGEMENT POLICIES PUBLICATION 2016
The following objection is made on behalf of London Concrete Ltd and Aggregate Industries Ltd (AI) the operators of the safeguarded rail aggregates depot and associated facilities at Orphanage Road. The objection should be read in conjunction with representations made on the draft Watford Junction Development Brief currently also subject to consultation.
For the avoidance of doubt it is confirmed that London Concrete and AI continue to rely fully on the objections made on their behalf in respect of the First Consultation - Watford Local Plan DPD, Part 2 - Site Allocations Consultation (as submitted December 2013), Development Management Policies - First Consultation (as submitted December 2013) and the Local Plan Part 2 - Second Consultation (as submitted February 2015). The objections made to those documents have not been reflected in either the latest Local Plan consultation stage nor in the draft Watford Junction Development Brief consultation document.
SPA2 Watford Junction (includes a safeguarded rail aggregates depot at Orphanage Road). (Policy Boundary)
In the context of Local Plan Part 2 - SPA2 Watford Junction, whilst it is acknowledged that references are now included to the effect that any proposals should take account of the safeguarded facilities, the SPA2 Watford Junction plan showing the proposed extent of the SPA2 area still fails to identify the extent of the rail aggregates depot and associated facilities.
Our previous representations have consistently underscored the fact that the safeguarded area needs to be specifically detailed. The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) expressly requires local planning authorities in preparing Local Plans to safeguard existing rail heads and associated storage and handling facilities for the bulk transport by rail of mineral and to safeguard existing concrete batching facilities [Pg33, Para 143, bullet point 4]. Without specifically identifying the extent of the safeguarded area the safeguarding is undermined and does not provide a clear policy based framework for considering development proposals coming forward in the surrounding area. In response to earlier submissions made in this context - the Summary of Comments Received and Initial Officer Response indicated that
"WBC - we agree it would be useful to show the safeguarded concrete batching area and will consider the best way of showing this (and other safeguarded sites in the borough) as we further develop maps for the plan, and appreciate the provision of a detailed plan showing this area and the shared access to the site. We consider that the inclusion of the Option B site should help to provide additional masterplan/design flexibility in the vicinity of the concrete batching plant given the development constraints the plant imposes on the area".

The safeguarded area should be identified now in the Special Policy Area boundary - to appropriately reflect the requirements of the Core Strategy, Minerals Plan and to ensure conformity with requirements in the NPPF, and not least of all so the document can be found 'sound'. The specific identification of the safeguarded site is justified on the basis that the safeguarded area is an existing operational site as opposed to the future development of the wider SPA2 area - where appropriate uses and broad scale of development are being identified to guide future development in the Policy Area Boundary. The proper identification of the safeguarded site will be critical in informing how that development is taken forward in the surrounding area.
The SPA2 area has been expanded to include additional land to the east of the rail aggregates depot site. As per our previous consultation responses we continue to object to this on the grounds that the Inclusion of additional land into the SPA2 Policy area, which is currently subject to an employment designation, and is located adjacent to the safeguarded site is not appropriate and could undermine the safeguarding of the area. As detailed in objection to the draft Development Brief - this issue could be overcome if the Development Brief ensures that noise-sensitive uses cannot be introduced with this area which could prejudice the future operation of the safeguarded area.
Alterations required
* Full extent of rail aggregates depot and associated facilities (including access road) to be marked on to the SPA2 Watford Junction Boundary Plan.

* The SPA2 Boundary Map reference which currently reads : "SPA2 Watford Junction (includes a safeguarded rail aggregates depot at Orphanage Road") should be amended as follows to ensure it accords with the provisions of adopted Policy SPA2 (Core Strategy)

"SPA2 Watford Junction (includes a safeguarded rail aggregates depot and associated facilities at Orphanage Road)."

Appendix I - Site Schedules
SPA2 - Watford Junction.
The following objection should be read in conjunction to the objections made to Policy SPA2 (boundary plan) at Chapter 2 of the draft Local Plan and to the draft Watford Junction Development Brief. As detailed in those responses the full extent of the safeguarded area should be expressly detailed both within Local Plan Part 2 and within the Development Brief.
The Development Considerations listed at Appendix 1 with regard to SPA2 - Watford Junction are objected to as not being in conformity with Adopted Core Strategy Policy SPA 2, nor with provisions in the Minerals Plan and the NPPF. The following amendments are required to ensure the draft Plan is sound.
"Development Considerations
Development proposals will need to be in line with the emerging Watford Junction Masterplan Development Brief and the SPA Objectives and requirements of Policy SPA2 in the Core Strategy.
The waste Orphanage Road rail and aggregates depot and associated facilities (concrete batching plant) within the SPA is safeguarded as identified in Core Strategy Policy SPA2 and Hertfordshire County Council's Minerals Plan. This will need to be retained, or a comparable facility provided on site, which will also be subject to safeguarding, or a new comparable facility provided in the local area.
If the rail aggregate depot and associated facilities are retained in their current location, or relocated within the SPA2 area, the development proposals should not allow for the introduction of noise sensitive uses in proximity to the safeguarded area. Any new development in the vicinity of the safeguarded area should be planned, laid out and designed with appropriate mitigation to ensure they do not prejudice the existing or future use of the safeguarded site and operations.
Greater pedestrian connectivity between the SPA area and the town centre is required as well as .....
Design and development along boundaries.....
Dependent on proposals, an archaeological....
An investigation into waste water....."

WATFORD JUNCTION - DRAFT DEVELOPMENT BRIEF
This objection should be read in conjunction with the objections made to the Watford Local Plan Part 2 on behalf the London Concrete and Aggregate Industries the operators of the rail aggregates depot at Orphanage Road.
The Watford Junction Draft Development Brief is objected to on the basis that it does not accord with the requirements of Adopted Policy SPA2, Watford Junction, in the Watford Borough Local Plan (Core Strategy) Adopted 2013. Policy SPA2 expressly requires that:
"The development scheme will be required to safeguard the existing Orphanage Way rail and aggregates depot and associated facilities, or re-provide a comparable facility on site which will also be subject to safeguarding, or ensure re-provision of a comparable facility within the local area, via liaison with Hertfordshire County Council and the operator. The redevelopment scheme shall be required to be sensitive to and respond to the operating parameters of the facility."
The requirement to safeguard the rail aggregates depot and associated facilities, and this specific policy wording, was secured at EIP as result of objections raised at that time by the operator of the rail and aggregates depot site (namely London Concrete and Aggregate Industries). The safeguarding secured applies to the rail head and aggregates depot and associated facilities, by which is meant the on-site concrete batching plant (CBP). The safeguarding secured within Adopted Policy SPA2 was justified at the time, and continues to be justified and underpinned, by the requirements to safeguard such sites and facilities in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). Specifically, the NPPF requires local planning authorities in preparing Local Plans to safeguard existing rail heads and associated storage and handling facilities for the bulk transport by rail of mineral and to safeguard existing concrete batching facilities [Pg33, Para 143, bullet point 4].
The safeguarding of the Orphanage Road rail and aggregates site, as required by national policy, has been identified within the Hertfordshire Minerals Policy 10: Railheads and Wharves in the County Councils Minerals Local Plan (2002-2016) Adopted 2007. It is highlighted that Hertfordshire County Council made representations including most recently to the Watford Local Plan Part 2 - Second Consultation (representations letter dated 3 February 2016) which highlight the protection which should be afforded to the current facilities at Orphanage Road.
The Minerals Plan together with the Adopted Core Strategy currently comprise the key development plan documents relevant to the consideration of this site. They form the policy context within which the Development Brief must be drafted.
In the context of the safeguarding policies which apply (Adopted Core Strategy Policy SPA2 and Minerals Policy 10) it is reiterated that the operator of the site was very clear when the Core Strategy was under consideration at the EIP that due to the scarcity of rail served sites such as that at Orphanage Road that they did not consider there would be any reasonable possibility that an alternative site could be found that would be suitable to accommodate them. This remains the case. Moreover to date there has been no indication from the LPA or prospective developer as to where the existing facilities could be relocated to or by what mechanism that might be achieved, nor the practicalities or costs of achieving such a relocation. Notwithstanding this, Policy SPA2 is clear that the development proposals for SPA2 need to as a starting point safeguard the existing Orphanage Road rail and aggregates depot and associated facilities, or re-provide a comparable facility on-site also subject to safeguarding, or ensure re-provision within the local area via liaison with Hertfordshire County Council and the operator. The draft Development Brief fails to replicate this policy approach. Its starting point, at Page 34, Section 3.4 Development Sites - Station Quarter East, Land Use and Quantum, bullet point 2, in fact fails to make any reference to the first two parts of Adopted Policy SPA2 in this context, and makes reference only to relocation within the local area.
London Concrete and Aggregate Industries are clear that they will resist any attempt to relocate their facility - due to the impact in would have on their operation and business and the fact that they are clear that there is no suitable site in the "local" area which could provide the same rail and road access that currently supports their operations.
The approach of the draft Development Brief, with regard to Station Quarter East development site (within which the London Concrete/AI facility is located) is flawed, not consistent with Adopted Policy in the Core Strategy, not consistent with Policy in the Minerals Plan and not consistent with NPPF requirements.
On this basis the draft Development Brief is not 'sound' and is objected to on the following specific points:
Specific objections/comments draft Development Brief -
Page 6, 1.1 Introduction, Planning Policy and Status - Fails to make reference to requirements in the Minerals Local Plan forming part of the Development Plan. Draft development brief - must include reference to this.
Pg 10, 2.1 Baseline Analysis, under heading of Weaknesses, bullet point 6, makes reference to "Lack of clarity around the safeguarding of lands for future infrastructure requirements and aggregates handling." The policy position is perfectly clear and set out in Adopted Policy SPA2 in terms of first safeguarding of the facility in-situ, re-provision and safeguarding on site, or re-provision in the local area. The site operator has equally been clear in terms of the likelihood of an alternative suitable site being available, which is considered to be extremely limited. It should be very clear that the likelihood is that the facility will remain on site and will need to be fully safeguarded. This will require careful consideration to be given to the uses and design of development in the vicinity of the safeguarded site.
Page 13, 2.13 Site Wide Principles: Built Environment - under the heading Land Use and Activity - draft Development Brief fails to make any reference to likelihood of the retention of the safeguarded rail and aggregates depot or its re-provision on site. Important that it does so at an early stage - to provide a coherent and realistic framework for the wider development.
Pg 15, 2.4 Illustrative Masterplan - the illustrative masterplan has no regard to the requirements of Adopted Policy SPA2 and the requirement to safeguard the existing Orphanage Road facilities or re-provide onsite. Given the fact that the operator has consistently advised that there is extremely limited potential that they could be relocated in the local area -the illustrative masterplan is fundamentally flawed in that it currently shows no provision for the safeguarded uses and operations and fails to appropriately guide development in this part of the SPA2 policy area.
As a starting point the illustrative masterplan must show the retention of the safeguarded uses including access to the highway network - to appropriately guide development in the context of the adopted SPA2 policy.
Pg 18, 2.5 Land Uses - In context of requirements in adopted Policy SPA2 fails to make any reference to the retained and safeguarded rail and aggregates depot and associated facilities - in the list of land uses.
In addition to showing the retained area to accord with the principles of safeguarding - it is not considered appropriate to introduce noise sensitive uses in the adjoining area which could prejudice the future operation of the safeguarded area. Adjoining land uses are currently employment uses - objections have previously been maintained to the inclusion of those employment areas within the SPA2 area for just this reason.
Land use plan should show retained safeguarded area including appropriate access provision and be clear in its guidance in terms of appropriate surrounding land uses.
Pg 32, 3.3 Development Sites: Station Quarter West - in the context of Land Use and Quantum as this area of land is located directly opposite the existing Orphanage Road facility - land uses indicated here consisting primarily of office, retail and leisure are supported. However, any introduction of residential or other noise-sensitive uses would be resisted as they would be located in close proximity to the aggregates unloading area and associated rail sidings and would have the potential to prejudice the safeguarded area.
Pg 34, 3.4 Development Sites: Station Quarter East - as detailed above and in the context of objections to the current Local Plan consultation, bullet point 3 fails entirely to accord with the clear principles of safeguarding established in Adopted Policy SPA2. This forms the main basis for the objection to the draft Development Brief which is fundamentally flawed in failing to allow for any option other than the relocation of the rail and aggregates depot in the local area. The starting point of the Policy requires consideration of retention of the safeguarded area. In not considering that as a development option the Development Brief will fail to provide appropriate guidance in terms of development coming forward in this part of the SPA2 area. The Brief must account for the potential that it is highly unlikely that a suitable alternative location will be found to accommodate the safeguarded operations and that facility will need to be retained and appropriately safeguarded on site. That safeguarding will need to ensure that new land uses introduced around the retained area should not prejudice the existing and future operation of the site including its access to the highway network.
Conclusion
It is noted that the site operator has had significant experience in protecting and safeguarding sites such as this at a number of its location. This has been achieved by a variety of means including: through local plan representations; by objecting to application proposals which could prejudice their operations; by successfully resisting CPO's and by recourse to legal action including judicial review. The operator is clear on the importance of this site as a rail served freight facility safeguarded at every level of policy. A robust case was made at the Core Strategy EIP which secured the basis on which future development documents including the Local Plan Part 2 and the Watford Junction Development Brief should be progressed. The operator has made repeated representations to the Local Plan process and it is extremely disappointing that this is not reflected in the latest round of consultation and the formulation of the draft Development Brief. The Operator was consulted at a very late stage on the draft Development Brief - just a few weeks before formal consultation commenced.

Comment

Watford Junction Draft Development Brief 2016

Watford Junction Draft Development Brief

Representation ID: 725

Received: 28/09/2016

Respondent: London Concrete Ltd

Agent: Firstplan Ltd

Representation Summary:

The draft Development Brief in the site wide principles section fails to make any reference to likelihood of the retention of the safeguarded rail and aggregates depot or its re-provision on site. Important that it does so at an early stage

Full text:


LOCAL PLAN PART 2 - SITE ALLOCATIONS AND DEVELOPMENT MANAGEMENT POLICIES PUBLICATION 2016
The following objection is made on behalf of London Concrete Ltd and Aggregate Industries Ltd (AI) the operators of the safeguarded rail aggregates depot and associated facilities at Orphanage Road. The objection should be read in conjunction with representations made on the draft Watford Junction Development Brief currently also subject to consultation.
For the avoidance of doubt it is confirmed that London Concrete and AI continue to rely fully on the objections made on their behalf in respect of the First Consultation - Watford Local Plan DPD, Part 2 - Site Allocations Consultation (as submitted December 2013), Development Management Policies - First Consultation (as submitted December 2013) and the Local Plan Part 2 - Second Consultation (as submitted February 2015). The objections made to those documents have not been reflected in either the latest Local Plan consultation stage nor in the draft Watford Junction Development Brief consultation document.
SPA2 Watford Junction (includes a safeguarded rail aggregates depot at Orphanage Road). (Policy Boundary)
In the context of Local Plan Part 2 - SPA2 Watford Junction, whilst it is acknowledged that references are now included to the effect that any proposals should take account of the safeguarded facilities, the SPA2 Watford Junction plan showing the proposed extent of the SPA2 area still fails to identify the extent of the rail aggregates depot and associated facilities.
Our previous representations have consistently underscored the fact that the safeguarded area needs to be specifically detailed. The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) expressly requires local planning authorities in preparing Local Plans to safeguard existing rail heads and associated storage and handling facilities for the bulk transport by rail of mineral and to safeguard existing concrete batching facilities [Pg33, Para 143, bullet point 4]. Without specifically identifying the extent of the safeguarded area the safeguarding is undermined and does not provide a clear policy based framework for considering development proposals coming forward in the surrounding area. In response to earlier submissions made in this context - the Summary of Comments Received and Initial Officer Response indicated that
"WBC - we agree it would be useful to show the safeguarded concrete batching area and will consider the best way of showing this (and other safeguarded sites in the borough) as we further develop maps for the plan, and appreciate the provision of a detailed plan showing this area and the shared access to the site. We consider that the inclusion of the Option B site should help to provide additional masterplan/design flexibility in the vicinity of the concrete batching plant given the development constraints the plant imposes on the area".

The safeguarded area should be identified now in the Special Policy Area boundary - to appropriately reflect the requirements of the Core Strategy, Minerals Plan and to ensure conformity with requirements in the NPPF, and not least of all so the document can be found 'sound'. The specific identification of the safeguarded site is justified on the basis that the safeguarded area is an existing operational site as opposed to the future development of the wider SPA2 area - where appropriate uses and broad scale of development are being identified to guide future development in the Policy Area Boundary. The proper identification of the safeguarded site will be critical in informing how that development is taken forward in the surrounding area.
The SPA2 area has been expanded to include additional land to the east of the rail aggregates depot site. As per our previous consultation responses we continue to object to this on the grounds that the Inclusion of additional land into the SPA2 Policy area, which is currently subject to an employment designation, and is located adjacent to the safeguarded site is not appropriate and could undermine the safeguarding of the area. As detailed in objection to the draft Development Brief - this issue could be overcome if the Development Brief ensures that noise-sensitive uses cannot be introduced with this area which could prejudice the future operation of the safeguarded area.
Alterations required
* Full extent of rail aggregates depot and associated facilities (including access road) to be marked on to the SPA2 Watford Junction Boundary Plan.

* The SPA2 Boundary Map reference which currently reads : "SPA2 Watford Junction (includes a safeguarded rail aggregates depot at Orphanage Road") should be amended as follows to ensure it accords with the provisions of adopted Policy SPA2 (Core Strategy)

"SPA2 Watford Junction (includes a safeguarded rail aggregates depot and associated facilities at Orphanage Road)."

Appendix I - Site Schedules
SPA2 - Watford Junction.
The following objection should be read in conjunction to the objections made to Policy SPA2 (boundary plan) at Chapter 2 of the draft Local Plan and to the draft Watford Junction Development Brief. As detailed in those responses the full extent of the safeguarded area should be expressly detailed both within Local Plan Part 2 and within the Development Brief.
The Development Considerations listed at Appendix 1 with regard to SPA2 - Watford Junction are objected to as not being in conformity with Adopted Core Strategy Policy SPA 2, nor with provisions in the Minerals Plan and the NPPF. The following amendments are required to ensure the draft Plan is sound.
"Development Considerations
Development proposals will need to be in line with the emerging Watford Junction Masterplan Development Brief and the SPA Objectives and requirements of Policy SPA2 in the Core Strategy.
The waste Orphanage Road rail and aggregates depot and associated facilities (concrete batching plant) within the SPA is safeguarded as identified in Core Strategy Policy SPA2 and Hertfordshire County Council's Minerals Plan. This will need to be retained, or a comparable facility provided on site, which will also be subject to safeguarding, or a new comparable facility provided in the local area.
If the rail aggregate depot and associated facilities are retained in their current location, or relocated within the SPA2 area, the development proposals should not allow for the introduction of noise sensitive uses in proximity to the safeguarded area. Any new development in the vicinity of the safeguarded area should be planned, laid out and designed with appropriate mitigation to ensure they do not prejudice the existing or future use of the safeguarded site and operations.
Greater pedestrian connectivity between the SPA area and the town centre is required as well as .....
Design and development along boundaries.....
Dependent on proposals, an archaeological....
An investigation into waste water....."

WATFORD JUNCTION - DRAFT DEVELOPMENT BRIEF
This objection should be read in conjunction with the objections made to the Watford Local Plan Part 2 on behalf the London Concrete and Aggregate Industries the operators of the rail aggregates depot at Orphanage Road.
The Watford Junction Draft Development Brief is objected to on the basis that it does not accord with the requirements of Adopted Policy SPA2, Watford Junction, in the Watford Borough Local Plan (Core Strategy) Adopted 2013. Policy SPA2 expressly requires that:
"The development scheme will be required to safeguard the existing Orphanage Way rail and aggregates depot and associated facilities, or re-provide a comparable facility on site which will also be subject to safeguarding, or ensure re-provision of a comparable facility within the local area, via liaison with Hertfordshire County Council and the operator. The redevelopment scheme shall be required to be sensitive to and respond to the operating parameters of the facility."
The requirement to safeguard the rail aggregates depot and associated facilities, and this specific policy wording, was secured at EIP as result of objections raised at that time by the operator of the rail and aggregates depot site (namely London Concrete and Aggregate Industries). The safeguarding secured applies to the rail head and aggregates depot and associated facilities, by which is meant the on-site concrete batching plant (CBP). The safeguarding secured within Adopted Policy SPA2 was justified at the time, and continues to be justified and underpinned, by the requirements to safeguard such sites and facilities in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). Specifically, the NPPF requires local planning authorities in preparing Local Plans to safeguard existing rail heads and associated storage and handling facilities for the bulk transport by rail of mineral and to safeguard existing concrete batching facilities [Pg33, Para 143, bullet point 4].
The safeguarding of the Orphanage Road rail and aggregates site, as required by national policy, has been identified within the Hertfordshire Minerals Policy 10: Railheads and Wharves in the County Councils Minerals Local Plan (2002-2016) Adopted 2007. It is highlighted that Hertfordshire County Council made representations including most recently to the Watford Local Plan Part 2 - Second Consultation (representations letter dated 3 February 2016) which highlight the protection which should be afforded to the current facilities at Orphanage Road.
The Minerals Plan together with the Adopted Core Strategy currently comprise the key development plan documents relevant to the consideration of this site. They form the policy context within which the Development Brief must be drafted.
In the context of the safeguarding policies which apply (Adopted Core Strategy Policy SPA2 and Minerals Policy 10) it is reiterated that the operator of the site was very clear when the Core Strategy was under consideration at the EIP that due to the scarcity of rail served sites such as that at Orphanage Road that they did not consider there would be any reasonable possibility that an alternative site could be found that would be suitable to accommodate them. This remains the case. Moreover to date there has been no indication from the LPA or prospective developer as to where the existing facilities could be relocated to or by what mechanism that might be achieved, nor the practicalities or costs of achieving such a relocation. Notwithstanding this, Policy SPA2 is clear that the development proposals for SPA2 need to as a starting point safeguard the existing Orphanage Road rail and aggregates depot and associated facilities, or re-provide a comparable facility on-site also subject to safeguarding, or ensure re-provision within the local area via liaison with Hertfordshire County Council and the operator. The draft Development Brief fails to replicate this policy approach. Its starting point, at Page 34, Section 3.4 Development Sites - Station Quarter East, Land Use and Quantum, bullet point 2, in fact fails to make any reference to the first two parts of Adopted Policy SPA2 in this context, and makes reference only to relocation within the local area.
London Concrete and Aggregate Industries are clear that they will resist any attempt to relocate their facility - due to the impact in would have on their operation and business and the fact that they are clear that there is no suitable site in the "local" area which could provide the same rail and road access that currently supports their operations.
The approach of the draft Development Brief, with regard to Station Quarter East development site (within which the London Concrete/AI facility is located) is flawed, not consistent with Adopted Policy in the Core Strategy, not consistent with Policy in the Minerals Plan and not consistent with NPPF requirements.
On this basis the draft Development Brief is not 'sound' and is objected to on the following specific points:
Specific objections/comments draft Development Brief -
Page 6, 1.1 Introduction, Planning Policy and Status - Fails to make reference to requirements in the Minerals Local Plan forming part of the Development Plan. Draft development brief - must include reference to this.
Pg 10, 2.1 Baseline Analysis, under heading of Weaknesses, bullet point 6, makes reference to "Lack of clarity around the safeguarding of lands for future infrastructure requirements and aggregates handling." The policy position is perfectly clear and set out in Adopted Policy SPA2 in terms of first safeguarding of the facility in-situ, re-provision and safeguarding on site, or re-provision in the local area. The site operator has equally been clear in terms of the likelihood of an alternative suitable site being available, which is considered to be extremely limited. It should be very clear that the likelihood is that the facility will remain on site and will need to be fully safeguarded. This will require careful consideration to be given to the uses and design of development in the vicinity of the safeguarded site.
Page 13, 2.13 Site Wide Principles: Built Environment - under the heading Land Use and Activity - draft Development Brief fails to make any reference to likelihood of the retention of the safeguarded rail and aggregates depot or its re-provision on site. Important that it does so at an early stage - to provide a coherent and realistic framework for the wider development.
Pg 15, 2.4 Illustrative Masterplan - the illustrative masterplan has no regard to the requirements of Adopted Policy SPA2 and the requirement to safeguard the existing Orphanage Road facilities or re-provide onsite. Given the fact that the operator has consistently advised that there is extremely limited potential that they could be relocated in the local area -the illustrative masterplan is fundamentally flawed in that it currently shows no provision for the safeguarded uses and operations and fails to appropriately guide development in this part of the SPA2 policy area.
As a starting point the illustrative masterplan must show the retention of the safeguarded uses including access to the highway network - to appropriately guide development in the context of the adopted SPA2 policy.
Pg 18, 2.5 Land Uses - In context of requirements in adopted Policy SPA2 fails to make any reference to the retained and safeguarded rail and aggregates depot and associated facilities - in the list of land uses.
In addition to showing the retained area to accord with the principles of safeguarding - it is not considered appropriate to introduce noise sensitive uses in the adjoining area which could prejudice the future operation of the safeguarded area. Adjoining land uses are currently employment uses - objections have previously been maintained to the inclusion of those employment areas within the SPA2 area for just this reason.
Land use plan should show retained safeguarded area including appropriate access provision and be clear in its guidance in terms of appropriate surrounding land uses.
Pg 32, 3.3 Development Sites: Station Quarter West - in the context of Land Use and Quantum as this area of land is located directly opposite the existing Orphanage Road facility - land uses indicated here consisting primarily of office, retail and leisure are supported. However, any introduction of residential or other noise-sensitive uses would be resisted as they would be located in close proximity to the aggregates unloading area and associated rail sidings and would have the potential to prejudice the safeguarded area.
Pg 34, 3.4 Development Sites: Station Quarter East - as detailed above and in the context of objections to the current Local Plan consultation, bullet point 3 fails entirely to accord with the clear principles of safeguarding established in Adopted Policy SPA2. This forms the main basis for the objection to the draft Development Brief which is fundamentally flawed in failing to allow for any option other than the relocation of the rail and aggregates depot in the local area. The starting point of the Policy requires consideration of retention of the safeguarded area. In not considering that as a development option the Development Brief will fail to provide appropriate guidance in terms of development coming forward in this part of the SPA2 area. The Brief must account for the potential that it is highly unlikely that a suitable alternative location will be found to accommodate the safeguarded operations and that facility will need to be retained and appropriately safeguarded on site. That safeguarding will need to ensure that new land uses introduced around the retained area should not prejudice the existing and future operation of the site including its access to the highway network.
Conclusion
It is noted that the site operator has had significant experience in protecting and safeguarding sites such as this at a number of its location. This has been achieved by a variety of means including: through local plan representations; by objecting to application proposals which could prejudice their operations; by successfully resisting CPO's and by recourse to legal action including judicial review. The operator is clear on the importance of this site as a rail served freight facility safeguarded at every level of policy. A robust case was made at the Core Strategy EIP which secured the basis on which future development documents including the Local Plan Part 2 and the Watford Junction Development Brief should be progressed. The operator has made repeated representations to the Local Plan process and it is extremely disappointing that this is not reflected in the latest round of consultation and the formulation of the draft Development Brief. The Operator was consulted at a very late stage on the draft Development Brief - just a few weeks before formal consultation commenced.

Object

Watford Junction Draft Development Brief 2016

Watford Junction Draft Development Brief

Representation ID: 726

Received: 28/09/2016

Respondent: London Concrete Ltd

Agent: Firstplan Ltd

Representation Summary:

Illustrative Masterplan is flawed as it does not show the safeguarded uses.

Full text:


LOCAL PLAN PART 2 - SITE ALLOCATIONS AND DEVELOPMENT MANAGEMENT POLICIES PUBLICATION 2016
The following objection is made on behalf of London Concrete Ltd and Aggregate Industries Ltd (AI) the operators of the safeguarded rail aggregates depot and associated facilities at Orphanage Road. The objection should be read in conjunction with representations made on the draft Watford Junction Development Brief currently also subject to consultation.
For the avoidance of doubt it is confirmed that London Concrete and AI continue to rely fully on the objections made on their behalf in respect of the First Consultation - Watford Local Plan DPD, Part 2 - Site Allocations Consultation (as submitted December 2013), Development Management Policies - First Consultation (as submitted December 2013) and the Local Plan Part 2 - Second Consultation (as submitted February 2015). The objections made to those documents have not been reflected in either the latest Local Plan consultation stage nor in the draft Watford Junction Development Brief consultation document.
SPA2 Watford Junction (includes a safeguarded rail aggregates depot at Orphanage Road). (Policy Boundary)
In the context of Local Plan Part 2 - SPA2 Watford Junction, whilst it is acknowledged that references are now included to the effect that any proposals should take account of the safeguarded facilities, the SPA2 Watford Junction plan showing the proposed extent of the SPA2 area still fails to identify the extent of the rail aggregates depot and associated facilities.
Our previous representations have consistently underscored the fact that the safeguarded area needs to be specifically detailed. The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) expressly requires local planning authorities in preparing Local Plans to safeguard existing rail heads and associated storage and handling facilities for the bulk transport by rail of mineral and to safeguard existing concrete batching facilities [Pg33, Para 143, bullet point 4]. Without specifically identifying the extent of the safeguarded area the safeguarding is undermined and does not provide a clear policy based framework for considering development proposals coming forward in the surrounding area. In response to earlier submissions made in this context - the Summary of Comments Received and Initial Officer Response indicated that
"WBC - we agree it would be useful to show the safeguarded concrete batching area and will consider the best way of showing this (and other safeguarded sites in the borough) as we further develop maps for the plan, and appreciate the provision of a detailed plan showing this area and the shared access to the site. We consider that the inclusion of the Option B site should help to provide additional masterplan/design flexibility in the vicinity of the concrete batching plant given the development constraints the plant imposes on the area".

The safeguarded area should be identified now in the Special Policy Area boundary - to appropriately reflect the requirements of the Core Strategy, Minerals Plan and to ensure conformity with requirements in the NPPF, and not least of all so the document can be found 'sound'. The specific identification of the safeguarded site is justified on the basis that the safeguarded area is an existing operational site as opposed to the future development of the wider SPA2 area - where appropriate uses and broad scale of development are being identified to guide future development in the Policy Area Boundary. The proper identification of the safeguarded site will be critical in informing how that development is taken forward in the surrounding area.
The SPA2 area has been expanded to include additional land to the east of the rail aggregates depot site. As per our previous consultation responses we continue to object to this on the grounds that the Inclusion of additional land into the SPA2 Policy area, which is currently subject to an employment designation, and is located adjacent to the safeguarded site is not appropriate and could undermine the safeguarding of the area. As detailed in objection to the draft Development Brief - this issue could be overcome if the Development Brief ensures that noise-sensitive uses cannot be introduced with this area which could prejudice the future operation of the safeguarded area.
Alterations required
* Full extent of rail aggregates depot and associated facilities (including access road) to be marked on to the SPA2 Watford Junction Boundary Plan.

* The SPA2 Boundary Map reference which currently reads : "SPA2 Watford Junction (includes a safeguarded rail aggregates depot at Orphanage Road") should be amended as follows to ensure it accords with the provisions of adopted Policy SPA2 (Core Strategy)

"SPA2 Watford Junction (includes a safeguarded rail aggregates depot and associated facilities at Orphanage Road)."

Appendix I - Site Schedules
SPA2 - Watford Junction.
The following objection should be read in conjunction to the objections made to Policy SPA2 (boundary plan) at Chapter 2 of the draft Local Plan and to the draft Watford Junction Development Brief. As detailed in those responses the full extent of the safeguarded area should be expressly detailed both within Local Plan Part 2 and within the Development Brief.
The Development Considerations listed at Appendix 1 with regard to SPA2 - Watford Junction are objected to as not being in conformity with Adopted Core Strategy Policy SPA 2, nor with provisions in the Minerals Plan and the NPPF. The following amendments are required to ensure the draft Plan is sound.
"Development Considerations
Development proposals will need to be in line with the emerging Watford Junction Masterplan Development Brief and the SPA Objectives and requirements of Policy SPA2 in the Core Strategy.
The waste Orphanage Road rail and aggregates depot and associated facilities (concrete batching plant) within the SPA is safeguarded as identified in Core Strategy Policy SPA2 and Hertfordshire County Council's Minerals Plan. This will need to be retained, or a comparable facility provided on site, which will also be subject to safeguarding, or a new comparable facility provided in the local area.
If the rail aggregate depot and associated facilities are retained in their current location, or relocated within the SPA2 area, the development proposals should not allow for the introduction of noise sensitive uses in proximity to the safeguarded area. Any new development in the vicinity of the safeguarded area should be planned, laid out and designed with appropriate mitigation to ensure they do not prejudice the existing or future use of the safeguarded site and operations.
Greater pedestrian connectivity between the SPA area and the town centre is required as well as .....
Design and development along boundaries.....
Dependent on proposals, an archaeological....
An investigation into waste water....."

WATFORD JUNCTION - DRAFT DEVELOPMENT BRIEF
This objection should be read in conjunction with the objections made to the Watford Local Plan Part 2 on behalf the London Concrete and Aggregate Industries the operators of the rail aggregates depot at Orphanage Road.
The Watford Junction Draft Development Brief is objected to on the basis that it does not accord with the requirements of Adopted Policy SPA2, Watford Junction, in the Watford Borough Local Plan (Core Strategy) Adopted 2013. Policy SPA2 expressly requires that:
"The development scheme will be required to safeguard the existing Orphanage Way rail and aggregates depot and associated facilities, or re-provide a comparable facility on site which will also be subject to safeguarding, or ensure re-provision of a comparable facility within the local area, via liaison with Hertfordshire County Council and the operator. The redevelopment scheme shall be required to be sensitive to and respond to the operating parameters of the facility."
The requirement to safeguard the rail aggregates depot and associated facilities, and this specific policy wording, was secured at EIP as result of objections raised at that time by the operator of the rail and aggregates depot site (namely London Concrete and Aggregate Industries). The safeguarding secured applies to the rail head and aggregates depot and associated facilities, by which is meant the on-site concrete batching plant (CBP). The safeguarding secured within Adopted Policy SPA2 was justified at the time, and continues to be justified and underpinned, by the requirements to safeguard such sites and facilities in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). Specifically, the NPPF requires local planning authorities in preparing Local Plans to safeguard existing rail heads and associated storage and handling facilities for the bulk transport by rail of mineral and to safeguard existing concrete batching facilities [Pg33, Para 143, bullet point 4].
The safeguarding of the Orphanage Road rail and aggregates site, as required by national policy, has been identified within the Hertfordshire Minerals Policy 10: Railheads and Wharves in the County Councils Minerals Local Plan (2002-2016) Adopted 2007. It is highlighted that Hertfordshire County Council made representations including most recently to the Watford Local Plan Part 2 - Second Consultation (representations letter dated 3 February 2016) which highlight the protection which should be afforded to the current facilities at Orphanage Road.
The Minerals Plan together with the Adopted Core Strategy currently comprise the key development plan documents relevant to the consideration of this site. They form the policy context within which the Development Brief must be drafted.
In the context of the safeguarding policies which apply (Adopted Core Strategy Policy SPA2 and Minerals Policy 10) it is reiterated that the operator of the site was very clear when the Core Strategy was under consideration at the EIP that due to the scarcity of rail served sites such as that at Orphanage Road that they did not consider there would be any reasonable possibility that an alternative site could be found that would be suitable to accommodate them. This remains the case. Moreover to date there has been no indication from the LPA or prospective developer as to where the existing facilities could be relocated to or by what mechanism that might be achieved, nor the practicalities or costs of achieving such a relocation. Notwithstanding this, Policy SPA2 is clear that the development proposals for SPA2 need to as a starting point safeguard the existing Orphanage Road rail and aggregates depot and associated facilities, or re-provide a comparable facility on-site also subject to safeguarding, or ensure re-provision within the local area via liaison with Hertfordshire County Council and the operator. The draft Development Brief fails to replicate this policy approach. Its starting point, at Page 34, Section 3.4 Development Sites - Station Quarter East, Land Use and Quantum, bullet point 2, in fact fails to make any reference to the first two parts of Adopted Policy SPA2 in this context, and makes reference only to relocation within the local area.
London Concrete and Aggregate Industries are clear that they will resist any attempt to relocate their facility - due to the impact in would have on their operation and business and the fact that they are clear that there is no suitable site in the "local" area which could provide the same rail and road access that currently supports their operations.
The approach of the draft Development Brief, with regard to Station Quarter East development site (within which the London Concrete/AI facility is located) is flawed, not consistent with Adopted Policy in the Core Strategy, not consistent with Policy in the Minerals Plan and not consistent with NPPF requirements.
On this basis the draft Development Brief is not 'sound' and is objected to on the following specific points:
Specific objections/comments draft Development Brief -
Page 6, 1.1 Introduction, Planning Policy and Status - Fails to make reference to requirements in the Minerals Local Plan forming part of the Development Plan. Draft development brief - must include reference to this.
Pg 10, 2.1 Baseline Analysis, under heading of Weaknesses, bullet point 6, makes reference to "Lack of clarity around the safeguarding of lands for future infrastructure requirements and aggregates handling." The policy position is perfectly clear and set out in Adopted Policy SPA2 in terms of first safeguarding of the facility in-situ, re-provision and safeguarding on site, or re-provision in the local area. The site operator has equally been clear in terms of the likelihood of an alternative suitable site being available, which is considered to be extremely limited. It should be very clear that the likelihood is that the facility will remain on site and will need to be fully safeguarded. This will require careful consideration to be given to the uses and design of development in the vicinity of the safeguarded site.
Page 13, 2.13 Site Wide Principles: Built Environment - under the heading Land Use and Activity - draft Development Brief fails to make any reference to likelihood of the retention of the safeguarded rail and aggregates depot or its re-provision on site. Important that it does so at an early stage - to provide a coherent and realistic framework for the wider development.
Pg 15, 2.4 Illustrative Masterplan - the illustrative masterplan has no regard to the requirements of Adopted Policy SPA2 and the requirement to safeguard the existing Orphanage Road facilities or re-provide onsite. Given the fact that the operator has consistently advised that there is extremely limited potential that they could be relocated in the local area -the illustrative masterplan is fundamentally flawed in that it currently shows no provision for the safeguarded uses and operations and fails to appropriately guide development in this part of the SPA2 policy area.
As a starting point the illustrative masterplan must show the retention of the safeguarded uses including access to the highway network - to appropriately guide development in the context of the adopted SPA2 policy.
Pg 18, 2.5 Land Uses - In context of requirements in adopted Policy SPA2 fails to make any reference to the retained and safeguarded rail and aggregates depot and associated facilities - in the list of land uses.
In addition to showing the retained area to accord with the principles of safeguarding - it is not considered appropriate to introduce noise sensitive uses in the adjoining area which could prejudice the future operation of the safeguarded area. Adjoining land uses are currently employment uses - objections have previously been maintained to the inclusion of those employment areas within the SPA2 area for just this reason.
Land use plan should show retained safeguarded area including appropriate access provision and be clear in its guidance in terms of appropriate surrounding land uses.
Pg 32, 3.3 Development Sites: Station Quarter West - in the context of Land Use and Quantum as this area of land is located directly opposite the existing Orphanage Road facility - land uses indicated here consisting primarily of office, retail and leisure are supported. However, any introduction of residential or other noise-sensitive uses would be resisted as they would be located in close proximity to the aggregates unloading area and associated rail sidings and would have the potential to prejudice the safeguarded area.
Pg 34, 3.4 Development Sites: Station Quarter East - as detailed above and in the context of objections to the current Local Plan consultation, bullet point 3 fails entirely to accord with the clear principles of safeguarding established in Adopted Policy SPA2. This forms the main basis for the objection to the draft Development Brief which is fundamentally flawed in failing to allow for any option other than the relocation of the rail and aggregates depot in the local area. The starting point of the Policy requires consideration of retention of the safeguarded area. In not considering that as a development option the Development Brief will fail to provide appropriate guidance in terms of development coming forward in this part of the SPA2 area. The Brief must account for the potential that it is highly unlikely that a suitable alternative location will be found to accommodate the safeguarded operations and that facility will need to be retained and appropriately safeguarded on site. That safeguarding will need to ensure that new land uses introduced around the retained area should not prejudice the existing and future operation of the site including its access to the highway network.
Conclusion
It is noted that the site operator has had significant experience in protecting and safeguarding sites such as this at a number of its location. This has been achieved by a variety of means including: through local plan representations; by objecting to application proposals which could prejudice their operations; by successfully resisting CPO's and by recourse to legal action including judicial review. The operator is clear on the importance of this site as a rail served freight facility safeguarded at every level of policy. A robust case was made at the Core Strategy EIP which secured the basis on which future development documents including the Local Plan Part 2 and the Watford Junction Development Brief should be progressed. The operator has made repeated representations to the Local Plan process and it is extremely disappointing that this is not reflected in the latest round of consultation and the formulation of the draft Development Brief. The Operator was consulted at a very late stage on the draft Development Brief - just a few weeks before formal consultation commenced.

Object

Watford Junction Draft Development Brief 2016

Watford Junction Draft Development Brief

Representation ID: 727

Received: 28/09/2016

Respondent: London Concrete Ltd

Agent: Firstplan Ltd

Representation Summary:

It is not considered appropriate to introduce noise sensitive uses in the adjoining area which could prejudice the future operation of the safeguarded area. The safeguarded area should be listed in the land uses.

Full text:


LOCAL PLAN PART 2 - SITE ALLOCATIONS AND DEVELOPMENT MANAGEMENT POLICIES PUBLICATION 2016
The following objection is made on behalf of London Concrete Ltd and Aggregate Industries Ltd (AI) the operators of the safeguarded rail aggregates depot and associated facilities at Orphanage Road. The objection should be read in conjunction with representations made on the draft Watford Junction Development Brief currently also subject to consultation.
For the avoidance of doubt it is confirmed that London Concrete and AI continue to rely fully on the objections made on their behalf in respect of the First Consultation - Watford Local Plan DPD, Part 2 - Site Allocations Consultation (as submitted December 2013), Development Management Policies - First Consultation (as submitted December 2013) and the Local Plan Part 2 - Second Consultation (as submitted February 2015). The objections made to those documents have not been reflected in either the latest Local Plan consultation stage nor in the draft Watford Junction Development Brief consultation document.
SPA2 Watford Junction (includes a safeguarded rail aggregates depot at Orphanage Road). (Policy Boundary)
In the context of Local Plan Part 2 - SPA2 Watford Junction, whilst it is acknowledged that references are now included to the effect that any proposals should take account of the safeguarded facilities, the SPA2 Watford Junction plan showing the proposed extent of the SPA2 area still fails to identify the extent of the rail aggregates depot and associated facilities.
Our previous representations have consistently underscored the fact that the safeguarded area needs to be specifically detailed. The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) expressly requires local planning authorities in preparing Local Plans to safeguard existing rail heads and associated storage and handling facilities for the bulk transport by rail of mineral and to safeguard existing concrete batching facilities [Pg33, Para 143, bullet point 4]. Without specifically identifying the extent of the safeguarded area the safeguarding is undermined and does not provide a clear policy based framework for considering development proposals coming forward in the surrounding area. In response to earlier submissions made in this context - the Summary of Comments Received and Initial Officer Response indicated that
"WBC - we agree it would be useful to show the safeguarded concrete batching area and will consider the best way of showing this (and other safeguarded sites in the borough) as we further develop maps for the plan, and appreciate the provision of a detailed plan showing this area and the shared access to the site. We consider that the inclusion of the Option B site should help to provide additional masterplan/design flexibility in the vicinity of the concrete batching plant given the development constraints the plant imposes on the area".

The safeguarded area should be identified now in the Special Policy Area boundary - to appropriately reflect the requirements of the Core Strategy, Minerals Plan and to ensure conformity with requirements in the NPPF, and not least of all so the document can be found 'sound'. The specific identification of the safeguarded site is justified on the basis that the safeguarded area is an existing operational site as opposed to the future development of the wider SPA2 area - where appropriate uses and broad scale of development are being identified to guide future development in the Policy Area Boundary. The proper identification of the safeguarded site will be critical in informing how that development is taken forward in the surrounding area.
The SPA2 area has been expanded to include additional land to the east of the rail aggregates depot site. As per our previous consultation responses we continue to object to this on the grounds that the Inclusion of additional land into the SPA2 Policy area, which is currently subject to an employment designation, and is located adjacent to the safeguarded site is not appropriate and could undermine the safeguarding of the area. As detailed in objection to the draft Development Brief - this issue could be overcome if the Development Brief ensures that noise-sensitive uses cannot be introduced with this area which could prejudice the future operation of the safeguarded area.
Alterations required
* Full extent of rail aggregates depot and associated facilities (including access road) to be marked on to the SPA2 Watford Junction Boundary Plan.

* The SPA2 Boundary Map reference which currently reads : "SPA2 Watford Junction (includes a safeguarded rail aggregates depot at Orphanage Road") should be amended as follows to ensure it accords with the provisions of adopted Policy SPA2 (Core Strategy)

"SPA2 Watford Junction (includes a safeguarded rail aggregates depot and associated facilities at Orphanage Road)."

Appendix I - Site Schedules
SPA2 - Watford Junction.
The following objection should be read in conjunction to the objections made to Policy SPA2 (boundary plan) at Chapter 2 of the draft Local Plan and to the draft Watford Junction Development Brief. As detailed in those responses the full extent of the safeguarded area should be expressly detailed both within Local Plan Part 2 and within the Development Brief.
The Development Considerations listed at Appendix 1 with regard to SPA2 - Watford Junction are objected to as not being in conformity with Adopted Core Strategy Policy SPA 2, nor with provisions in the Minerals Plan and the NPPF. The following amendments are required to ensure the draft Plan is sound.
"Development Considerations
Development proposals will need to be in line with the emerging Watford Junction Masterplan Development Brief and the SPA Objectives and requirements of Policy SPA2 in the Core Strategy.
The waste Orphanage Road rail and aggregates depot and associated facilities (concrete batching plant) within the SPA is safeguarded as identified in Core Strategy Policy SPA2 and Hertfordshire County Council's Minerals Plan. This will need to be retained, or a comparable facility provided on site, which will also be subject to safeguarding, or a new comparable facility provided in the local area.
If the rail aggregate depot and associated facilities are retained in their current location, or relocated within the SPA2 area, the development proposals should not allow for the introduction of noise sensitive uses in proximity to the safeguarded area. Any new development in the vicinity of the safeguarded area should be planned, laid out and designed with appropriate mitigation to ensure they do not prejudice the existing or future use of the safeguarded site and operations.
Greater pedestrian connectivity between the SPA area and the town centre is required as well as .....
Design and development along boundaries.....
Dependent on proposals, an archaeological....
An investigation into waste water....."

WATFORD JUNCTION - DRAFT DEVELOPMENT BRIEF
This objection should be read in conjunction with the objections made to the Watford Local Plan Part 2 on behalf the London Concrete and Aggregate Industries the operators of the rail aggregates depot at Orphanage Road.
The Watford Junction Draft Development Brief is objected to on the basis that it does not accord with the requirements of Adopted Policy SPA2, Watford Junction, in the Watford Borough Local Plan (Core Strategy) Adopted 2013. Policy SPA2 expressly requires that:
"The development scheme will be required to safeguard the existing Orphanage Way rail and aggregates depot and associated facilities, or re-provide a comparable facility on site which will also be subject to safeguarding, or ensure re-provision of a comparable facility within the local area, via liaison with Hertfordshire County Council and the operator. The redevelopment scheme shall be required to be sensitive to and respond to the operating parameters of the facility."
The requirement to safeguard the rail aggregates depot and associated facilities, and this specific policy wording, was secured at EIP as result of objections raised at that time by the operator of the rail and aggregates depot site (namely London Concrete and Aggregate Industries). The safeguarding secured applies to the rail head and aggregates depot and associated facilities, by which is meant the on-site concrete batching plant (CBP). The safeguarding secured within Adopted Policy SPA2 was justified at the time, and continues to be justified and underpinned, by the requirements to safeguard such sites and facilities in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). Specifically, the NPPF requires local planning authorities in preparing Local Plans to safeguard existing rail heads and associated storage and handling facilities for the bulk transport by rail of mineral and to safeguard existing concrete batching facilities [Pg33, Para 143, bullet point 4].
The safeguarding of the Orphanage Road rail and aggregates site, as required by national policy, has been identified within the Hertfordshire Minerals Policy 10: Railheads and Wharves in the County Councils Minerals Local Plan (2002-2016) Adopted 2007. It is highlighted that Hertfordshire County Council made representations including most recently to the Watford Local Plan Part 2 - Second Consultation (representations letter dated 3 February 2016) which highlight the protection which should be afforded to the current facilities at Orphanage Road.
The Minerals Plan together with the Adopted Core Strategy currently comprise the key development plan documents relevant to the consideration of this site. They form the policy context within which the Development Brief must be drafted.
In the context of the safeguarding policies which apply (Adopted Core Strategy Policy SPA2 and Minerals Policy 10) it is reiterated that the operator of the site was very clear when the Core Strategy was under consideration at the EIP that due to the scarcity of rail served sites such as that at Orphanage Road that they did not consider there would be any reasonable possibility that an alternative site could be found that would be suitable to accommodate them. This remains the case. Moreover to date there has been no indication from the LPA or prospective developer as to where the existing facilities could be relocated to or by what mechanism that might be achieved, nor the practicalities or costs of achieving such a relocation. Notwithstanding this, Policy SPA2 is clear that the development proposals for SPA2 need to as a starting point safeguard the existing Orphanage Road rail and aggregates depot and associated facilities, or re-provide a comparable facility on-site also subject to safeguarding, or ensure re-provision within the local area via liaison with Hertfordshire County Council and the operator. The draft Development Brief fails to replicate this policy approach. Its starting point, at Page 34, Section 3.4 Development Sites - Station Quarter East, Land Use and Quantum, bullet point 2, in fact fails to make any reference to the first two parts of Adopted Policy SPA2 in this context, and makes reference only to relocation within the local area.
London Concrete and Aggregate Industries are clear that they will resist any attempt to relocate their facility - due to the impact in would have on their operation and business and the fact that they are clear that there is no suitable site in the "local" area which could provide the same rail and road access that currently supports their operations.
The approach of the draft Development Brief, with regard to Station Quarter East development site (within which the London Concrete/AI facility is located) is flawed, not consistent with Adopted Policy in the Core Strategy, not consistent with Policy in the Minerals Plan and not consistent with NPPF requirements.
On this basis the draft Development Brief is not 'sound' and is objected to on the following specific points:
Specific objections/comments draft Development Brief -
Page 6, 1.1 Introduction, Planning Policy and Status - Fails to make reference to requirements in the Minerals Local Plan forming part of the Development Plan. Draft development brief - must include reference to this.
Pg 10, 2.1 Baseline Analysis, under heading of Weaknesses, bullet point 6, makes reference to "Lack of clarity around the safeguarding of lands for future infrastructure requirements and aggregates handling." The policy position is perfectly clear and set out in Adopted Policy SPA2 in terms of first safeguarding of the facility in-situ, re-provision and safeguarding on site, or re-provision in the local area. The site operator has equally been clear in terms of the likelihood of an alternative suitable site being available, which is considered to be extremely limited. It should be very clear that the likelihood is that the facility will remain on site and will need to be fully safeguarded. This will require careful consideration to be given to the uses and design of development in the vicinity of the safeguarded site.
Page 13, 2.13 Site Wide Principles: Built Environment - under the heading Land Use and Activity - draft Development Brief fails to make any reference to likelihood of the retention of the safeguarded rail and aggregates depot or its re-provision on site. Important that it does so at an early stage - to provide a coherent and realistic framework for the wider development.
Pg 15, 2.4 Illustrative Masterplan - the illustrative masterplan has no regard to the requirements of Adopted Policy SPA2 and the requirement to safeguard the existing Orphanage Road facilities or re-provide onsite. Given the fact that the operator has consistently advised that there is extremely limited potential that they could be relocated in the local area -the illustrative masterplan is fundamentally flawed in that it currently shows no provision for the safeguarded uses and operations and fails to appropriately guide development in this part of the SPA2 policy area.
As a starting point the illustrative masterplan must show the retention of the safeguarded uses including access to the highway network - to appropriately guide development in the context of the adopted SPA2 policy.
Pg 18, 2.5 Land Uses - In context of requirements in adopted Policy SPA2 fails to make any reference to the retained and safeguarded rail and aggregates depot and associated facilities - in the list of land uses.
In addition to showing the retained area to accord with the principles of safeguarding - it is not considered appropriate to introduce noise sensitive uses in the adjoining area which could prejudice the future operation of the safeguarded area. Adjoining land uses are currently employment uses - objections have previously been maintained to the inclusion of those employment areas within the SPA2 area for just this reason.
Land use plan should show retained safeguarded area including appropriate access provision and be clear in its guidance in terms of appropriate surrounding land uses.
Pg 32, 3.3 Development Sites: Station Quarter West - in the context of Land Use and Quantum as this area of land is located directly opposite the existing Orphanage Road facility - land uses indicated here consisting primarily of office, retail and leisure are supported. However, any introduction of residential or other noise-sensitive uses would be resisted as they would be located in close proximity to the aggregates unloading area and associated rail sidings and would have the potential to prejudice the safeguarded area.
Pg 34, 3.4 Development Sites: Station Quarter East - as detailed above and in the context of objections to the current Local Plan consultation, bullet point 3 fails entirely to accord with the clear principles of safeguarding established in Adopted Policy SPA2. This forms the main basis for the objection to the draft Development Brief which is fundamentally flawed in failing to allow for any option other than the relocation of the rail and aggregates depot in the local area. The starting point of the Policy requires consideration of retention of the safeguarded area. In not considering that as a development option the Development Brief will fail to provide appropriate guidance in terms of development coming forward in this part of the SPA2 area. The Brief must account for the potential that it is highly unlikely that a suitable alternative location will be found to accommodate the safeguarded operations and that facility will need to be retained and appropriately safeguarded on site. That safeguarding will need to ensure that new land uses introduced around the retained area should not prejudice the existing and future operation of the site including its access to the highway network.
Conclusion
It is noted that the site operator has had significant experience in protecting and safeguarding sites such as this at a number of its location. This has been achieved by a variety of means including: through local plan representations; by objecting to application proposals which could prejudice their operations; by successfully resisting CPO's and by recourse to legal action including judicial review. The operator is clear on the importance of this site as a rail served freight facility safeguarded at every level of policy. A robust case was made at the Core Strategy EIP which secured the basis on which future development documents including the Local Plan Part 2 and the Watford Junction Development Brief should be progressed. The operator has made repeated representations to the Local Plan process and it is extremely disappointing that this is not reflected in the latest round of consultation and the formulation of the draft Development Brief. The Operator was consulted at a very late stage on the draft Development Brief - just a few weeks before formal consultation commenced.

Comment

Watford Junction Draft Development Brief 2016

Watford Junction Draft Development Brief

Representation ID: 728

Received: 28/09/2016

Respondent: London Concrete Ltd

Agent: Firstplan Ltd

Representation Summary:

Introduction of residential or other noise sensitive uses would be resisted as they would be located in close proximity to the aggregates unloading area and rail sidings.

Full text:


LOCAL PLAN PART 2 - SITE ALLOCATIONS AND DEVELOPMENT MANAGEMENT POLICIES PUBLICATION 2016
The following objection is made on behalf of London Concrete Ltd and Aggregate Industries Ltd (AI) the operators of the safeguarded rail aggregates depot and associated facilities at Orphanage Road. The objection should be read in conjunction with representations made on the draft Watford Junction Development Brief currently also subject to consultation.
For the avoidance of doubt it is confirmed that London Concrete and AI continue to rely fully on the objections made on their behalf in respect of the First Consultation - Watford Local Plan DPD, Part 2 - Site Allocations Consultation (as submitted December 2013), Development Management Policies - First Consultation (as submitted December 2013) and the Local Plan Part 2 - Second Consultation (as submitted February 2015). The objections made to those documents have not been reflected in either the latest Local Plan consultation stage nor in the draft Watford Junction Development Brief consultation document.
SPA2 Watford Junction (includes a safeguarded rail aggregates depot at Orphanage Road). (Policy Boundary)
In the context of Local Plan Part 2 - SPA2 Watford Junction, whilst it is acknowledged that references are now included to the effect that any proposals should take account of the safeguarded facilities, the SPA2 Watford Junction plan showing the proposed extent of the SPA2 area still fails to identify the extent of the rail aggregates depot and associated facilities.
Our previous representations have consistently underscored the fact that the safeguarded area needs to be specifically detailed. The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) expressly requires local planning authorities in preparing Local Plans to safeguard existing rail heads and associated storage and handling facilities for the bulk transport by rail of mineral and to safeguard existing concrete batching facilities [Pg33, Para 143, bullet point 4]. Without specifically identifying the extent of the safeguarded area the safeguarding is undermined and does not provide a clear policy based framework for considering development proposals coming forward in the surrounding area. In response to earlier submissions made in this context - the Summary of Comments Received and Initial Officer Response indicated that
"WBC - we agree it would be useful to show the safeguarded concrete batching area and will consider the best way of showing this (and other safeguarded sites in the borough) as we further develop maps for the plan, and appreciate the provision of a detailed plan showing this area and the shared access to the site. We consider that the inclusion of the Option B site should help to provide additional masterplan/design flexibility in the vicinity of the concrete batching plant given the development constraints the plant imposes on the area".

The safeguarded area should be identified now in the Special Policy Area boundary - to appropriately reflect the requirements of the Core Strategy, Minerals Plan and to ensure conformity with requirements in the NPPF, and not least of all so the document can be found 'sound'. The specific identification of the safeguarded site is justified on the basis that the safeguarded area is an existing operational site as opposed to the future development of the wider SPA2 area - where appropriate uses and broad scale of development are being identified to guide future development in the Policy Area Boundary. The proper identification of the safeguarded site will be critical in informing how that development is taken forward in the surrounding area.
The SPA2 area has been expanded to include additional land to the east of the rail aggregates depot site. As per our previous consultation responses we continue to object to this on the grounds that the Inclusion of additional land into the SPA2 Policy area, which is currently subject to an employment designation, and is located adjacent to the safeguarded site is not appropriate and could undermine the safeguarding of the area. As detailed in objection to the draft Development Brief - this issue could be overcome if the Development Brief ensures that noise-sensitive uses cannot be introduced with this area which could prejudice the future operation of the safeguarded area.
Alterations required
* Full extent of rail aggregates depot and associated facilities (including access road) to be marked on to the SPA2 Watford Junction Boundary Plan.

* The SPA2 Boundary Map reference which currently reads : "SPA2 Watford Junction (includes a safeguarded rail aggregates depot at Orphanage Road") should be amended as follows to ensure it accords with the provisions of adopted Policy SPA2 (Core Strategy)

"SPA2 Watford Junction (includes a safeguarded rail aggregates depot and associated facilities at Orphanage Road)."

Appendix I - Site Schedules
SPA2 - Watford Junction.
The following objection should be read in conjunction to the objections made to Policy SPA2 (boundary plan) at Chapter 2 of the draft Local Plan and to the draft Watford Junction Development Brief. As detailed in those responses the full extent of the safeguarded area should be expressly detailed both within Local Plan Part 2 and within the Development Brief.
The Development Considerations listed at Appendix 1 with regard to SPA2 - Watford Junction are objected to as not being in conformity with Adopted Core Strategy Policy SPA 2, nor with provisions in the Minerals Plan and the NPPF. The following amendments are required to ensure the draft Plan is sound.
"Development Considerations
Development proposals will need to be in line with the emerging Watford Junction Masterplan Development Brief and the SPA Objectives and requirements of Policy SPA2 in the Core Strategy.
The waste Orphanage Road rail and aggregates depot and associated facilities (concrete batching plant) within the SPA is safeguarded as identified in Core Strategy Policy SPA2 and Hertfordshire County Council's Minerals Plan. This will need to be retained, or a comparable facility provided on site, which will also be subject to safeguarding, or a new comparable facility provided in the local area.
If the rail aggregate depot and associated facilities are retained in their current location, or relocated within the SPA2 area, the development proposals should not allow for the introduction of noise sensitive uses in proximity to the safeguarded area. Any new development in the vicinity of the safeguarded area should be planned, laid out and designed with appropriate mitigation to ensure they do not prejudice the existing or future use of the safeguarded site and operations.
Greater pedestrian connectivity between the SPA area and the town centre is required as well as .....
Design and development along boundaries.....
Dependent on proposals, an archaeological....
An investigation into waste water....."

WATFORD JUNCTION - DRAFT DEVELOPMENT BRIEF
This objection should be read in conjunction with the objections made to the Watford Local Plan Part 2 on behalf the London Concrete and Aggregate Industries the operators of the rail aggregates depot at Orphanage Road.
The Watford Junction Draft Development Brief is objected to on the basis that it does not accord with the requirements of Adopted Policy SPA2, Watford Junction, in the Watford Borough Local Plan (Core Strategy) Adopted 2013. Policy SPA2 expressly requires that:
"The development scheme will be required to safeguard the existing Orphanage Way rail and aggregates depot and associated facilities, or re-provide a comparable facility on site which will also be subject to safeguarding, or ensure re-provision of a comparable facility within the local area, via liaison with Hertfordshire County Council and the operator. The redevelopment scheme shall be required to be sensitive to and respond to the operating parameters of the facility."
The requirement to safeguard the rail aggregates depot and associated facilities, and this specific policy wording, was secured at EIP as result of objections raised at that time by the operator of the rail and aggregates depot site (namely London Concrete and Aggregate Industries). The safeguarding secured applies to the rail head and aggregates depot and associated facilities, by which is meant the on-site concrete batching plant (CBP). The safeguarding secured within Adopted Policy SPA2 was justified at the time, and continues to be justified and underpinned, by the requirements to safeguard such sites and facilities in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). Specifically, the NPPF requires local planning authorities in preparing Local Plans to safeguard existing rail heads and associated storage and handling facilities for the bulk transport by rail of mineral and to safeguard existing concrete batching facilities [Pg33, Para 143, bullet point 4].
The safeguarding of the Orphanage Road rail and aggregates site, as required by national policy, has been identified within the Hertfordshire Minerals Policy 10: Railheads and Wharves in the County Councils Minerals Local Plan (2002-2016) Adopted 2007. It is highlighted that Hertfordshire County Council made representations including most recently to the Watford Local Plan Part 2 - Second Consultation (representations letter dated 3 February 2016) which highlight the protection which should be afforded to the current facilities at Orphanage Road.
The Minerals Plan together with the Adopted Core Strategy currently comprise the key development plan documents relevant to the consideration of this site. They form the policy context within which the Development Brief must be drafted.
In the context of the safeguarding policies which apply (Adopted Core Strategy Policy SPA2 and Minerals Policy 10) it is reiterated that the operator of the site was very clear when the Core Strategy was under consideration at the EIP that due to the scarcity of rail served sites such as that at Orphanage Road that they did not consider there would be any reasonable possibility that an alternative site could be found that would be suitable to accommodate them. This remains the case. Moreover to date there has been no indication from the LPA or prospective developer as to where the existing facilities could be relocated to or by what mechanism that might be achieved, nor the practicalities or costs of achieving such a relocation. Notwithstanding this, Policy SPA2 is clear that the development proposals for SPA2 need to as a starting point safeguard the existing Orphanage Road rail and aggregates depot and associated facilities, or re-provide a comparable facility on-site also subject to safeguarding, or ensure re-provision within the local area via liaison with Hertfordshire County Council and the operator. The draft Development Brief fails to replicate this policy approach. Its starting point, at Page 34, Section 3.4 Development Sites - Station Quarter East, Land Use and Quantum, bullet point 2, in fact fails to make any reference to the first two parts of Adopted Policy SPA2 in this context, and makes reference only to relocation within the local area.
London Concrete and Aggregate Industries are clear that they will resist any attempt to relocate their facility - due to the impact in would have on their operation and business and the fact that they are clear that there is no suitable site in the "local" area which could provide the same rail and road access that currently supports their operations.
The approach of the draft Development Brief, with regard to Station Quarter East development site (within which the London Concrete/AI facility is located) is flawed, not consistent with Adopted Policy in the Core Strategy, not consistent with Policy in the Minerals Plan and not consistent with NPPF requirements.
On this basis the draft Development Brief is not 'sound' and is objected to on the following specific points:
Specific objections/comments draft Development Brief -
Page 6, 1.1 Introduction, Planning Policy and Status - Fails to make reference to requirements in the Minerals Local Plan forming part of the Development Plan. Draft development brief - must include reference to this.
Pg 10, 2.1 Baseline Analysis, under heading of Weaknesses, bullet point 6, makes reference to "Lack of clarity around the safeguarding of lands for future infrastructure requirements and aggregates handling." The policy position is perfectly clear and set out in Adopted Policy SPA2 in terms of first safeguarding of the facility in-situ, re-provision and safeguarding on site, or re-provision in the local area. The site operator has equally been clear in terms of the likelihood of an alternative suitable site being available, which is considered to be extremely limited. It should be very clear that the likelihood is that the facility will remain on site and will need to be fully safeguarded. This will require careful consideration to be given to the uses and design of development in the vicinity of the safeguarded site.
Page 13, 2.13 Site Wide Principles: Built Environment - under the heading Land Use and Activity - draft Development Brief fails to make any reference to likelihood of the retention of the safeguarded rail and aggregates depot or its re-provision on site. Important that it does so at an early stage - to provide a coherent and realistic framework for the wider development.
Pg 15, 2.4 Illustrative Masterplan - the illustrative masterplan has no regard to the requirements of Adopted Policy SPA2 and the requirement to safeguard the existing Orphanage Road facilities or re-provide onsite. Given the fact that the operator has consistently advised that there is extremely limited potential that they could be relocated in the local area -the illustrative masterplan is fundamentally flawed in that it currently shows no provision for the safeguarded uses and operations and fails to appropriately guide development in this part of the SPA2 policy area.
As a starting point the illustrative masterplan must show the retention of the safeguarded uses including access to the highway network - to appropriately guide development in the context of the adopted SPA2 policy.
Pg 18, 2.5 Land Uses - In context of requirements in adopted Policy SPA2 fails to make any reference to the retained and safeguarded rail and aggregates depot and associated facilities - in the list of land uses.
In addition to showing the retained area to accord with the principles of safeguarding - it is not considered appropriate to introduce noise sensitive uses in the adjoining area which could prejudice the future operation of the safeguarded area. Adjoining land uses are currently employment uses - objections have previously been maintained to the inclusion of those employment areas within the SPA2 area for just this reason.
Land use plan should show retained safeguarded area including appropriate access provision and be clear in its guidance in terms of appropriate surrounding land uses.
Pg 32, 3.3 Development Sites: Station Quarter West - in the context of Land Use and Quantum as this area of land is located directly opposite the existing Orphanage Road facility - land uses indicated here consisting primarily of office, retail and leisure are supported. However, any introduction of residential or other noise-sensitive uses would be resisted as they would be located in close proximity to the aggregates unloading area and associated rail sidings and would have the potential to prejudice the safeguarded area.
Pg 34, 3.4 Development Sites: Station Quarter East - as detailed above and in the context of objections to the current Local Plan consultation, bullet point 3 fails entirely to accord with the clear principles of safeguarding established in Adopted Policy SPA2. This forms the main basis for the objection to the draft Development Brief which is fundamentally flawed in failing to allow for any option other than the relocation of the rail and aggregates depot in the local area. The starting point of the Policy requires consideration of retention of the safeguarded area. In not considering that as a development option the Development Brief will fail to provide appropriate guidance in terms of development coming forward in this part of the SPA2 area. The Brief must account for the potential that it is highly unlikely that a suitable alternative location will be found to accommodate the safeguarded operations and that facility will need to be retained and appropriately safeguarded on site. That safeguarding will need to ensure that new land uses introduced around the retained area should not prejudice the existing and future operation of the site including its access to the highway network.
Conclusion
It is noted that the site operator has had significant experience in protecting and safeguarding sites such as this at a number of its location. This has been achieved by a variety of means including: through local plan representations; by objecting to application proposals which could prejudice their operations; by successfully resisting CPO's and by recourse to legal action including judicial review. The operator is clear on the importance of this site as a rail served freight facility safeguarded at every level of policy. A robust case was made at the Core Strategy EIP which secured the basis on which future development documents including the Local Plan Part 2 and the Watford Junction Development Brief should be progressed. The operator has made repeated representations to the Local Plan process and it is extremely disappointing that this is not reflected in the latest round of consultation and the formulation of the draft Development Brief. The Operator was consulted at a very late stage on the draft Development Brief - just a few weeks before formal consultation commenced.

Object

Watford Junction Draft Development Brief 2016

Watford Junction Draft Development Brief

Representation ID: 729

Received: 28/09/2016

Respondent: London Concrete Ltd

Agent: Firstplan Ltd

Representation Summary:

In the development site Station Quarter East bullet point three fails to accord with the clear principles in adopted Policy SPA2 and this does not provide appropriate guidance in terms of development.

Full text:


LOCAL PLAN PART 2 - SITE ALLOCATIONS AND DEVELOPMENT MANAGEMENT POLICIES PUBLICATION 2016
The following objection is made on behalf of London Concrete Ltd and Aggregate Industries Ltd (AI) the operators of the safeguarded rail aggregates depot and associated facilities at Orphanage Road. The objection should be read in conjunction with representations made on the draft Watford Junction Development Brief currently also subject to consultation.
For the avoidance of doubt it is confirmed that London Concrete and AI continue to rely fully on the objections made on their behalf in respect of the First Consultation - Watford Local Plan DPD, Part 2 - Site Allocations Consultation (as submitted December 2013), Development Management Policies - First Consultation (as submitted December 2013) and the Local Plan Part 2 - Second Consultation (as submitted February 2015). The objections made to those documents have not been reflected in either the latest Local Plan consultation stage nor in the draft Watford Junction Development Brief consultation document.
SPA2 Watford Junction (includes a safeguarded rail aggregates depot at Orphanage Road). (Policy Boundary)
In the context of Local Plan Part 2 - SPA2 Watford Junction, whilst it is acknowledged that references are now included to the effect that any proposals should take account of the safeguarded facilities, the SPA2 Watford Junction plan showing the proposed extent of the SPA2 area still fails to identify the extent of the rail aggregates depot and associated facilities.
Our previous representations have consistently underscored the fact that the safeguarded area needs to be specifically detailed. The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) expressly requires local planning authorities in preparing Local Plans to safeguard existing rail heads and associated storage and handling facilities for the bulk transport by rail of mineral and to safeguard existing concrete batching facilities [Pg33, Para 143, bullet point 4]. Without specifically identifying the extent of the safeguarded area the safeguarding is undermined and does not provide a clear policy based framework for considering development proposals coming forward in the surrounding area. In response to earlier submissions made in this context - the Summary of Comments Received and Initial Officer Response indicated that
"WBC - we agree it would be useful to show the safeguarded concrete batching area and will consider the best way of showing this (and other safeguarded sites in the borough) as we further develop maps for the plan, and appreciate the provision of a detailed plan showing this area and the shared access to the site. We consider that the inclusion of the Option B site should help to provide additional masterplan/design flexibility in the vicinity of the concrete batching plant given the development constraints the plant imposes on the area".

The safeguarded area should be identified now in the Special Policy Area boundary - to appropriately reflect the requirements of the Core Strategy, Minerals Plan and to ensure conformity with requirements in the NPPF, and not least of all so the document can be found 'sound'. The specific identification of the safeguarded site is justified on the basis that the safeguarded area is an existing operational site as opposed to the future development of the wider SPA2 area - where appropriate uses and broad scale of development are being identified to guide future development in the Policy Area Boundary. The proper identification of the safeguarded site will be critical in informing how that development is taken forward in the surrounding area.
The SPA2 area has been expanded to include additional land to the east of the rail aggregates depot site. As per our previous consultation responses we continue to object to this on the grounds that the Inclusion of additional land into the SPA2 Policy area, which is currently subject to an employment designation, and is located adjacent to the safeguarded site is not appropriate and could undermine the safeguarding of the area. As detailed in objection to the draft Development Brief - this issue could be overcome if the Development Brief ensures that noise-sensitive uses cannot be introduced with this area which could prejudice the future operation of the safeguarded area.
Alterations required
* Full extent of rail aggregates depot and associated facilities (including access road) to be marked on to the SPA2 Watford Junction Boundary Plan.

* The SPA2 Boundary Map reference which currently reads : "SPA2 Watford Junction (includes a safeguarded rail aggregates depot at Orphanage Road") should be amended as follows to ensure it accords with the provisions of adopted Policy SPA2 (Core Strategy)

"SPA2 Watford Junction (includes a safeguarded rail aggregates depot and associated facilities at Orphanage Road)."

Appendix I - Site Schedules
SPA2 - Watford Junction.
The following objection should be read in conjunction to the objections made to Policy SPA2 (boundary plan) at Chapter 2 of the draft Local Plan and to the draft Watford Junction Development Brief. As detailed in those responses the full extent of the safeguarded area should be expressly detailed both within Local Plan Part 2 and within the Development Brief.
The Development Considerations listed at Appendix 1 with regard to SPA2 - Watford Junction are objected to as not being in conformity with Adopted Core Strategy Policy SPA 2, nor with provisions in the Minerals Plan and the NPPF. The following amendments are required to ensure the draft Plan is sound.
"Development Considerations
Development proposals will need to be in line with the emerging Watford Junction Masterplan Development Brief and the SPA Objectives and requirements of Policy SPA2 in the Core Strategy.
The waste Orphanage Road rail and aggregates depot and associated facilities (concrete batching plant) within the SPA is safeguarded as identified in Core Strategy Policy SPA2 and Hertfordshire County Council's Minerals Plan. This will need to be retained, or a comparable facility provided on site, which will also be subject to safeguarding, or a new comparable facility provided in the local area.
If the rail aggregate depot and associated facilities are retained in their current location, or relocated within the SPA2 area, the development proposals should not allow for the introduction of noise sensitive uses in proximity to the safeguarded area. Any new development in the vicinity of the safeguarded area should be planned, laid out and designed with appropriate mitigation to ensure they do not prejudice the existing or future use of the safeguarded site and operations.
Greater pedestrian connectivity between the SPA area and the town centre is required as well as .....
Design and development along boundaries.....
Dependent on proposals, an archaeological....
An investigation into waste water....."

WATFORD JUNCTION - DRAFT DEVELOPMENT BRIEF
This objection should be read in conjunction with the objections made to the Watford Local Plan Part 2 on behalf the London Concrete and Aggregate Industries the operators of the rail aggregates depot at Orphanage Road.
The Watford Junction Draft Development Brief is objected to on the basis that it does not accord with the requirements of Adopted Policy SPA2, Watford Junction, in the Watford Borough Local Plan (Core Strategy) Adopted 2013. Policy SPA2 expressly requires that:
"The development scheme will be required to safeguard the existing Orphanage Way rail and aggregates depot and associated facilities, or re-provide a comparable facility on site which will also be subject to safeguarding, or ensure re-provision of a comparable facility within the local area, via liaison with Hertfordshire County Council and the operator. The redevelopment scheme shall be required to be sensitive to and respond to the operating parameters of the facility."
The requirement to safeguard the rail aggregates depot and associated facilities, and this specific policy wording, was secured at EIP as result of objections raised at that time by the operator of the rail and aggregates depot site (namely London Concrete and Aggregate Industries). The safeguarding secured applies to the rail head and aggregates depot and associated facilities, by which is meant the on-site concrete batching plant (CBP). The safeguarding secured within Adopted Policy SPA2 was justified at the time, and continues to be justified and underpinned, by the requirements to safeguard such sites and facilities in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). Specifically, the NPPF requires local planning authorities in preparing Local Plans to safeguard existing rail heads and associated storage and handling facilities for the bulk transport by rail of mineral and to safeguard existing concrete batching facilities [Pg33, Para 143, bullet point 4].
The safeguarding of the Orphanage Road rail and aggregates site, as required by national policy, has been identified within the Hertfordshire Minerals Policy 10: Railheads and Wharves in the County Councils Minerals Local Plan (2002-2016) Adopted 2007. It is highlighted that Hertfordshire County Council made representations including most recently to the Watford Local Plan Part 2 - Second Consultation (representations letter dated 3 February 2016) which highlight the protection which should be afforded to the current facilities at Orphanage Road.
The Minerals Plan together with the Adopted Core Strategy currently comprise the key development plan documents relevant to the consideration of this site. They form the policy context within which the Development Brief must be drafted.
In the context of the safeguarding policies which apply (Adopted Core Strategy Policy SPA2 and Minerals Policy 10) it is reiterated that the operator of the site was very clear when the Core Strategy was under consideration at the EIP that due to the scarcity of rail served sites such as that at Orphanage Road that they did not consider there would be any reasonable possibility that an alternative site could be found that would be suitable to accommodate them. This remains the case. Moreover to date there has been no indication from the LPA or prospective developer as to where the existing facilities could be relocated to or by what mechanism that might be achieved, nor the practicalities or costs of achieving such a relocation. Notwithstanding this, Policy SPA2 is clear that the development proposals for SPA2 need to as a starting point safeguard the existing Orphanage Road rail and aggregates depot and associated facilities, or re-provide a comparable facility on-site also subject to safeguarding, or ensure re-provision within the local area via liaison with Hertfordshire County Council and the operator. The draft Development Brief fails to replicate this policy approach. Its starting point, at Page 34, Section 3.4 Development Sites - Station Quarter East, Land Use and Quantum, bullet point 2, in fact fails to make any reference to the first two parts of Adopted Policy SPA2 in this context, and makes reference only to relocation within the local area.
London Concrete and Aggregate Industries are clear that they will resist any attempt to relocate their facility - due to the impact in would have on their operation and business and the fact that they are clear that there is no suitable site in the "local" area which could provide the same rail and road access that currently supports their operations.
The approach of the draft Development Brief, with regard to Station Quarter East development site (within which the London Concrete/AI facility is located) is flawed, not consistent with Adopted Policy in the Core Strategy, not consistent with Policy in the Minerals Plan and not consistent with NPPF requirements.
On this basis the draft Development Brief is not 'sound' and is objected to on the following specific points:
Specific objections/comments draft Development Brief -
Page 6, 1.1 Introduction, Planning Policy and Status - Fails to make reference to requirements in the Minerals Local Plan forming part of the Development Plan. Draft development brief - must include reference to this.
Pg 10, 2.1 Baseline Analysis, under heading of Weaknesses, bullet point 6, makes reference to "Lack of clarity around the safeguarding of lands for future infrastructure requirements and aggregates handling." The policy position is perfectly clear and set out in Adopted Policy SPA2 in terms of first safeguarding of the facility in-situ, re-provision and safeguarding on site, or re-provision in the local area. The site operator has equally been clear in terms of the likelihood of an alternative suitable site being available, which is considered to be extremely limited. It should be very clear that the likelihood is that the facility will remain on site and will need to be fully safeguarded. This will require careful consideration to be given to the uses and design of development in the vicinity of the safeguarded site.
Page 13, 2.13 Site Wide Principles: Built Environment - under the heading Land Use and Activity - draft Development Brief fails to make any reference to likelihood of the retention of the safeguarded rail and aggregates depot or its re-provision on site. Important that it does so at an early stage - to provide a coherent and realistic framework for the wider development.
Pg 15, 2.4 Illustrative Masterplan - the illustrative masterplan has no regard to the requirements of Adopted Policy SPA2 and the requirement to safeguard the existing Orphanage Road facilities or re-provide onsite. Given the fact that the operator has consistently advised that there is extremely limited potential that they could be relocated in the local area -the illustrative masterplan is fundamentally flawed in that it currently shows no provision for the safeguarded uses and operations and fails to appropriately guide development in this part of the SPA2 policy area.
As a starting point the illustrative masterplan must show the retention of the safeguarded uses including access to the highway network - to appropriately guide development in the context of the adopted SPA2 policy.
Pg 18, 2.5 Land Uses - In context of requirements in adopted Policy SPA2 fails to make any reference to the retained and safeguarded rail and aggregates depot and associated facilities - in the list of land uses.
In addition to showing the retained area to accord with the principles of safeguarding - it is not considered appropriate to introduce noise sensitive uses in the adjoining area which could prejudice the future operation of the safeguarded area. Adjoining land uses are currently employment uses - objections have previously been maintained to the inclusion of those employment areas within the SPA2 area for just this reason.
Land use plan should show retained safeguarded area including appropriate access provision and be clear in its guidance in terms of appropriate surrounding land uses.
Pg 32, 3.3 Development Sites: Station Quarter West - in the context of Land Use and Quantum as this area of land is located directly opposite the existing Orphanage Road facility - land uses indicated here consisting primarily of office, retail and leisure are supported. However, any introduction of residential or other noise-sensitive uses would be resisted as they would be located in close proximity to the aggregates unloading area and associated rail sidings and would have the potential to prejudice the safeguarded area.
Pg 34, 3.4 Development Sites: Station Quarter East - as detailed above and in the context of objections to the current Local Plan consultation, bullet point 3 fails entirely to accord with the clear principles of safeguarding established in Adopted Policy SPA2. This forms the main basis for the objection to the draft Development Brief which is fundamentally flawed in failing to allow for any option other than the relocation of the rail and aggregates depot in the local area. The starting point of the Policy requires consideration of retention of the safeguarded area. In not considering that as a development option the Development Brief will fail to provide appropriate guidance in terms of development coming forward in this part of the SPA2 area. The Brief must account for the potential that it is highly unlikely that a suitable alternative location will be found to accommodate the safeguarded operations and that facility will need to be retained and appropriately safeguarded on site. That safeguarding will need to ensure that new land uses introduced around the retained area should not prejudice the existing and future operation of the site including its access to the highway network.
Conclusion
It is noted that the site operator has had significant experience in protecting and safeguarding sites such as this at a number of its location. This has been achieved by a variety of means including: through local plan representations; by objecting to application proposals which could prejudice their operations; by successfully resisting CPO's and by recourse to legal action including judicial review. The operator is clear on the importance of this site as a rail served freight facility safeguarded at every level of policy. A robust case was made at the Core Strategy EIP which secured the basis on which future development documents including the Local Plan Part 2 and the Watford Junction Development Brief should be progressed. The operator has made repeated representations to the Local Plan process and it is extremely disappointing that this is not reflected in the latest round of consultation and the formulation of the draft Development Brief. The Operator was consulted at a very late stage on the draft Development Brief - just a few weeks before formal consultation commenced.

Object

Watford Junction Draft Development Brief 2016

Watford Junction Draft Development Brief

Representation ID: 837

Received: 28/09/2016

Respondent: London Concrete Ltd

Agent: Firstplan Ltd

Representation Summary:

Page 6, 1.1 Introduction, Planning Policy and Status - Fails to make reference to requirements in the Minerals Local Plan forming part of the Development Plan. Draft development brief - must include reference to this.

Full text:


LOCAL PLAN PART 2 - SITE ALLOCATIONS AND DEVELOPMENT MANAGEMENT POLICIES PUBLICATION 2016
The following objection is made on behalf of London Concrete Ltd and Aggregate Industries Ltd (AI) the operators of the safeguarded rail aggregates depot and associated facilities at Orphanage Road. The objection should be read in conjunction with representations made on the draft Watford Junction Development Brief currently also subject to consultation.
For the avoidance of doubt it is confirmed that London Concrete and AI continue to rely fully on the objections made on their behalf in respect of the First Consultation - Watford Local Plan DPD, Part 2 - Site Allocations Consultation (as submitted December 2013), Development Management Policies - First Consultation (as submitted December 2013) and the Local Plan Part 2 - Second Consultation (as submitted February 2015). The objections made to those documents have not been reflected in either the latest Local Plan consultation stage nor in the draft Watford Junction Development Brief consultation document.
SPA2 Watford Junction (includes a safeguarded rail aggregates depot at Orphanage Road). (Policy Boundary)
In the context of Local Plan Part 2 - SPA2 Watford Junction, whilst it is acknowledged that references are now included to the effect that any proposals should take account of the safeguarded facilities, the SPA2 Watford Junction plan showing the proposed extent of the SPA2 area still fails to identify the extent of the rail aggregates depot and associated facilities.
Our previous representations have consistently underscored the fact that the safeguarded area needs to be specifically detailed. The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) expressly requires local planning authorities in preparing Local Plans to safeguard existing rail heads and associated storage and handling facilities for the bulk transport by rail of mineral and to safeguard existing concrete batching facilities [Pg33, Para 143, bullet point 4]. Without specifically identifying the extent of the safeguarded area the safeguarding is undermined and does not provide a clear policy based framework for considering development proposals coming forward in the surrounding area. In response to earlier submissions made in this context - the Summary of Comments Received and Initial Officer Response indicated that
"WBC - we agree it would be useful to show the safeguarded concrete batching area and will consider the best way of showing this (and other safeguarded sites in the borough) as we further develop maps for the plan, and appreciate the provision of a detailed plan showing this area and the shared access to the site. We consider that the inclusion of the Option B site should help to provide additional masterplan/design flexibility in the vicinity of the concrete batching plant given the development constraints the plant imposes on the area".

The safeguarded area should be identified now in the Special Policy Area boundary - to appropriately reflect the requirements of the Core Strategy, Minerals Plan and to ensure conformity with requirements in the NPPF, and not least of all so the document can be found 'sound'. The specific identification of the safeguarded site is justified on the basis that the safeguarded area is an existing operational site as opposed to the future development of the wider SPA2 area - where appropriate uses and broad scale of development are being identified to guide future development in the Policy Area Boundary. The proper identification of the safeguarded site will be critical in informing how that development is taken forward in the surrounding area.
The SPA2 area has been expanded to include additional land to the east of the rail aggregates depot site. As per our previous consultation responses we continue to object to this on the grounds that the Inclusion of additional land into the SPA2 Policy area, which is currently subject to an employment designation, and is located adjacent to the safeguarded site is not appropriate and could undermine the safeguarding of the area. As detailed in objection to the draft Development Brief - this issue could be overcome if the Development Brief ensures that noise-sensitive uses cannot be introduced with this area which could prejudice the future operation of the safeguarded area.
Alterations required
* Full extent of rail aggregates depot and associated facilities (including access road) to be marked on to the SPA2 Watford Junction Boundary Plan.

* The SPA2 Boundary Map reference which currently reads : "SPA2 Watford Junction (includes a safeguarded rail aggregates depot at Orphanage Road") should be amended as follows to ensure it accords with the provisions of adopted Policy SPA2 (Core Strategy)

"SPA2 Watford Junction (includes a safeguarded rail aggregates depot and associated facilities at Orphanage Road)."

Appendix I - Site Schedules
SPA2 - Watford Junction.
The following objection should be read in conjunction to the objections made to Policy SPA2 (boundary plan) at Chapter 2 of the draft Local Plan and to the draft Watford Junction Development Brief. As detailed in those responses the full extent of the safeguarded area should be expressly detailed both within Local Plan Part 2 and within the Development Brief.
The Development Considerations listed at Appendix 1 with regard to SPA2 - Watford Junction are objected to as not being in conformity with Adopted Core Strategy Policy SPA 2, nor with provisions in the Minerals Plan and the NPPF. The following amendments are required to ensure the draft Plan is sound.
"Development Considerations
Development proposals will need to be in line with the emerging Watford Junction Masterplan Development Brief and the SPA Objectives and requirements of Policy SPA2 in the Core Strategy.
The waste Orphanage Road rail and aggregates depot and associated facilities (concrete batching plant) within the SPA is safeguarded as identified in Core Strategy Policy SPA2 and Hertfordshire County Council's Minerals Plan. This will need to be retained, or a comparable facility provided on site, which will also be subject to safeguarding, or a new comparable facility provided in the local area.
If the rail aggregate depot and associated facilities are retained in their current location, or relocated within the SPA2 area, the development proposals should not allow for the introduction of noise sensitive uses in proximity to the safeguarded area. Any new development in the vicinity of the safeguarded area should be planned, laid out and designed with appropriate mitigation to ensure they do not prejudice the existing or future use of the safeguarded site and operations.
Greater pedestrian connectivity between the SPA area and the town centre is required as well as .....
Design and development along boundaries.....
Dependent on proposals, an archaeological....
An investigation into waste water....."

WATFORD JUNCTION - DRAFT DEVELOPMENT BRIEF
This objection should be read in conjunction with the objections made to the Watford Local Plan Part 2 on behalf the London Concrete and Aggregate Industries the operators of the rail aggregates depot at Orphanage Road.
The Watford Junction Draft Development Brief is objected to on the basis that it does not accord with the requirements of Adopted Policy SPA2, Watford Junction, in the Watford Borough Local Plan (Core Strategy) Adopted 2013. Policy SPA2 expressly requires that:
"The development scheme will be required to safeguard the existing Orphanage Way rail and aggregates depot and associated facilities, or re-provide a comparable facility on site which will also be subject to safeguarding, or ensure re-provision of a comparable facility within the local area, via liaison with Hertfordshire County Council and the operator. The redevelopment scheme shall be required to be sensitive to and respond to the operating parameters of the facility."
The requirement to safeguard the rail aggregates depot and associated facilities, and this specific policy wording, was secured at EIP as result of objections raised at that time by the operator of the rail and aggregates depot site (namely London Concrete and Aggregate Industries). The safeguarding secured applies to the rail head and aggregates depot and associated facilities, by which is meant the on-site concrete batching plant (CBP). The safeguarding secured within Adopted Policy SPA2 was justified at the time, and continues to be justified and underpinned, by the requirements to safeguard such sites and facilities in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). Specifically, the NPPF requires local planning authorities in preparing Local Plans to safeguard existing rail heads and associated storage and handling facilities for the bulk transport by rail of mineral and to safeguard existing concrete batching facilities [Pg33, Para 143, bullet point 4].
The safeguarding of the Orphanage Road rail and aggregates site, as required by national policy, has been identified within the Hertfordshire Minerals Policy 10: Railheads and Wharves in the County Councils Minerals Local Plan (2002-2016) Adopted 2007. It is highlighted that Hertfordshire County Council made representations including most recently to the Watford Local Plan Part 2 - Second Consultation (representations letter dated 3 February 2016) which highlight the protection which should be afforded to the current facilities at Orphanage Road.
The Minerals Plan together with the Adopted Core Strategy currently comprise the key development plan documents relevant to the consideration of this site. They form the policy context within which the Development Brief must be drafted.
In the context of the safeguarding policies which apply (Adopted Core Strategy Policy SPA2 and Minerals Policy 10) it is reiterated that the operator of the site was very clear when the Core Strategy was under consideration at the EIP that due to the scarcity of rail served sites such as that at Orphanage Road that they did not consider there would be any reasonable possibility that an alternative site could be found that would be suitable to accommodate them. This remains the case. Moreover to date there has been no indication from the LPA or prospective developer as to where the existing facilities could be relocated to or by what mechanism that might be achieved, nor the practicalities or costs of achieving such a relocation. Notwithstanding this, Policy SPA2 is clear that the development proposals for SPA2 need to as a starting point safeguard the existing Orphanage Road rail and aggregates depot and associated facilities, or re-provide a comparable facility on-site also subject to safeguarding, or ensure re-provision within the local area via liaison with Hertfordshire County Council and the operator. The draft Development Brief fails to replicate this policy approach. Its starting point, at Page 34, Section 3.4 Development Sites - Station Quarter East, Land Use and Quantum, bullet point 2, in fact fails to make any reference to the first two parts of Adopted Policy SPA2 in this context, and makes reference only to relocation within the local area.
London Concrete and Aggregate Industries are clear that they will resist any attempt to relocate their facility - due to the impact in would have on their operation and business and the fact that they are clear that there is no suitable site in the "local" area which could provide the same rail and road access that currently supports their operations.
The approach of the draft Development Brief, with regard to Station Quarter East development site (within which the London Concrete/AI facility is located) is flawed, not consistent with Adopted Policy in the Core Strategy, not consistent with Policy in the Minerals Plan and not consistent with NPPF requirements.
On this basis the draft Development Brief is not 'sound' and is objected to on the following specific points:
Specific objections/comments draft Development Brief -
Page 6, 1.1 Introduction, Planning Policy and Status - Fails to make reference to requirements in the Minerals Local Plan forming part of the Development Plan. Draft development brief - must include reference to this.
Pg 10, 2.1 Baseline Analysis, under heading of Weaknesses, bullet point 6, makes reference to "Lack of clarity around the safeguarding of lands for future infrastructure requirements and aggregates handling." The policy position is perfectly clear and set out in Adopted Policy SPA2 in terms of first safeguarding of the facility in-situ, re-provision and safeguarding on site, or re-provision in the local area. The site operator has equally been clear in terms of the likelihood of an alternative suitable site being available, which is considered to be extremely limited. It should be very clear that the likelihood is that the facility will remain on site and will need to be fully safeguarded. This will require careful consideration to be given to the uses and design of development in the vicinity of the safeguarded site.
Page 13, 2.13 Site Wide Principles: Built Environment - under the heading Land Use and Activity - draft Development Brief fails to make any reference to likelihood of the retention of the safeguarded rail and aggregates depot or its re-provision on site. Important that it does so at an early stage - to provide a coherent and realistic framework for the wider development.
Pg 15, 2.4 Illustrative Masterplan - the illustrative masterplan has no regard to the requirements of Adopted Policy SPA2 and the requirement to safeguard the existing Orphanage Road facilities or re-provide onsite. Given the fact that the operator has consistently advised that there is extremely limited potential that they could be relocated in the local area -the illustrative masterplan is fundamentally flawed in that it currently shows no provision for the safeguarded uses and operations and fails to appropriately guide development in this part of the SPA2 policy area.
As a starting point the illustrative masterplan must show the retention of the safeguarded uses including access to the highway network - to appropriately guide development in the context of the adopted SPA2 policy.
Pg 18, 2.5 Land Uses - In context of requirements in adopted Policy SPA2 fails to make any reference to the retained and safeguarded rail and aggregates depot and associated facilities - in the list of land uses.
In addition to showing the retained area to accord with the principles of safeguarding - it is not considered appropriate to introduce noise sensitive uses in the adjoining area which could prejudice the future operation of the safeguarded area. Adjoining land uses are currently employment uses - objections have previously been maintained to the inclusion of those employment areas within the SPA2 area for just this reason.
Land use plan should show retained safeguarded area including appropriate access provision and be clear in its guidance in terms of appropriate surrounding land uses.
Pg 32, 3.3 Development Sites: Station Quarter West - in the context of Land Use and Quantum as this area of land is located directly opposite the existing Orphanage Road facility - land uses indicated here consisting primarily of office, retail and leisure are supported. However, any introduction of residential or other noise-sensitive uses would be resisted as they would be located in close proximity to the aggregates unloading area and associated rail sidings and would have the potential to prejudice the safeguarded area.
Pg 34, 3.4 Development Sites: Station Quarter East - as detailed above and in the context of objections to the current Local Plan consultation, bullet point 3 fails entirely to accord with the clear principles of safeguarding established in Adopted Policy SPA2. This forms the main basis for the objection to the draft Development Brief which is fundamentally flawed in failing to allow for any option other than the relocation of the rail and aggregates depot in the local area. The starting point of the Policy requires consideration of retention of the safeguarded area. In not considering that as a development option the Development Brief will fail to provide appropriate guidance in terms of development coming forward in this part of the SPA2 area. The Brief must account for the potential that it is highly unlikely that a suitable alternative location will be found to accommodate the safeguarded operations and that facility will need to be retained and appropriately safeguarded on site. That safeguarding will need to ensure that new land uses introduced around the retained area should not prejudice the existing and future operation of the site including its access to the highway network.
Conclusion
It is noted that the site operator has had significant experience in protecting and safeguarding sites such as this at a number of its location. This has been achieved by a variety of means including: through local plan representations; by objecting to application proposals which could prejudice their operations; by successfully resisting CPO's and by recourse to legal action including judicial review. The operator is clear on the importance of this site as a rail served freight facility safeguarded at every level of policy. A robust case was made at the Core Strategy EIP which secured the basis on which future development documents including the Local Plan Part 2 and the Watford Junction Development Brief should be progressed. The operator has made repeated representations to the Local Plan process and it is extremely disappointing that this is not reflected in the latest round of consultation and the formulation of the draft Development Brief. The Operator was consulted at a very late stage on the draft Development Brief - just a few weeks before formal consultation commenced.

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