Background

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Comment

Canalside Draft DPD

Representation ID: 71557

Received: 07/01/2020

Respondent: Les Sutcliffe

Representation Summary:

I have no arguments with this document except that the photograph which the consultants have titled ‘The Hatton Flight of locks today’ appears to be the locks which are actually about 80 miles away at Caen Hill in Devizes.

Full text:

I have no arguments with this document except that the photograph which the consultants have titled ‘The Hatton Flight of locks today’ appears to be the locks which are actually about 80 miles away at Caen Hill in Devizes.

But it makes one wonder how much else in the document is incorrect. It certainly gives me little confidence in the competence of the consultants who composed this document.

Comment

Canalside Draft DPD

Representation ID: 71559

Received: 02/12/2019

Respondent: Warwick District Council

Agent: Warwick District Council

Representation Summary:

Please see attached.

Full text:

Please see attached.

Comment

Canalside Draft DPD

Representation ID: 71560

Received: 29/11/2019

Respondent: WCC

Agent: Warwickshire County Council

Representation Summary:

The DPD address the enhancement of the natural environment and benefits to regeneration that a joined-up Canal system can bring. Further, it will also enhance natural habitat and water quality.

We would like to state at the outset that the County Council cannot commit to any financial implications from any proposals emanating from the DPD. Therefore, DPD should not identify capital or revenue schemes that rely of funding from the Council.

We wish to be consulted on any detail proposals that would involve changes/modifications to aqueduct or bridges of the highway over canals.

Full text:

Please see attached.

Attachments:

Comment

Canalside Draft DPD

Representation ID: 71709

Received: 30/11/2019

Respondent: mr roger beckett

Representation Summary:

The Canal conservation area appraisal was adopted following extensive research and analysis. It is there to be used to help develop management plans and to develop appropriate policies for local and neighbourhood plans. It is also there to provide development management guidance for staff who will not have had the opportunity to study the context in the same detail and assess the issues in as holistic a way.
Specific reference should be made to the chapter 5 on Managing change in the adopted Canal Conservation Area document part one.

WDC’s initiative as propounded in the document was welcomed by the Canal & River Trust, endorsed by Historic England as well as local societies. It is important that the DPD confirms the special interest and quality of the canals through the district and adopts the conservation guidance as central to a clear approach to get the most out of investment by others in the canal environment.
What the Council expects from proposals is clearly set out in the CCA page 50 and reference to this should recur through the canals DPD so that it is embedded in practice after the life of the current local plan and its supporting documents.

Full text:

The Canal conservation area appraisal was adopted following extensive research and analysis. It is there to be used to help develop management plans and to develop appropriate policies for local and neighbourhood plans. It is also there to provide development management guidance for staff who will not have had the opportunity to study the context in the same detail and assess the issues in as holistic a way.
Specific reference should be made to the chapter 5 on Managing change in the adopted Canal Conservation Area document part one.
The adopted CCA says the intention is,
‘The Local Plan policies have established the importance of the canal system to a sense of place in the district. WDC recognises its potential value in terms of economic regeneration, habitat diversity and contributing towards the improvement of health and well-being agenda.
To enhance use there is a need for the Council to pursue stewardship with the Canal & River Trust, local people and business to:
• Continue to improve the environment of the canal, the quality of the towpath and the surrounding footpath network, as well as new buildings of quality
• Make more of its significant attractions – Hatton flight, Avon Aqueduct, and the listed lengths of the Stratford Canal
• Make more of its history and industrial archaeology through interpretation, together with public art and way-finding.
• Provide gateways to the canal linked to neighbourhood routes, parking and public transport. The main public transport asset is the railway, as the Chiltern line follows the Grand Union canal to Birmingham with stations at Leamington, Warwick, Warwick Parkway, Hatton, and Lapworth, where the Stratford Canal
stretches south and northward to the district’s boundaries at Hockley Heath and Yarningale Common.
• Improve links with the surrounding communities for visitor infrastructure such as pubs, cafes, toilets and visitor information and interpretation, with access to the canal by road and public transport as well as cycling and walking routes.
• Identify development opportunities along the canal that will improve the environment and increase activity.
Development should improve access from surrounding residential areas to the canal.
• Increase use of the water for boating and leisure activities, including moorings and, where possible, new basins.
• Develop more the usage by local people and expand the draw of the canal to bring in visitors.
The Canal and River Trust is a key partner because it manages over 2000 miles of canals and navigable rivers that extend across the country. About 500 miles of canal network has Conservation Area status. However a wider partnership approach is recognised as essential because the Canal Conservation Area extends beyond the waterway authority’s ownership.’

WDC’s initiative as propounded in the document was welcomed by the Canal & River Trust, endorsed by Historic England as well as local societies. It is important that the DPD confirms the special interest and quality of the canals through the district and adopts the conservation guidance as central to a clear approach to get the most out of investment by others in the canal environment.
WHAT THE COUNCIL EXPECTS FROM PROPOSALS is clearly set out in the CCA page 50 and reference to this should recur through the canals DPD so that it is embedded in practice after the life of the current local plan and its supporting documents.

The following comments are on the current draft in black with those in red being errors that need to be corrected and those in blue being additions and notes that support the nesting of the DPD with the CCA, as documents in general conformity with a consistent and coherent approach..

Objectives of this draft DPD
• Identify issues and opportunities and address/exploit them
• Look at a wide range of potential schemes to encourage more use of the canals and be imaginative and creative
• Increase the use of the canals and their environs to open them up to a new range of activities
• Create new frontages to face the canals instead of backing onto them, especially with new residential development
• Change perceptions of hidden backwaters as dangerous and crime ridden
• Make the canals safe and attractive and accessible to everyone
• Improve the visual aspects of the canals and widen their appeal to include all sectors of the community
• Protect any aspect of the canal that needs to be preserved whether tangible or conceptual
• Protect wildlife, habitats and water quality
• Increase awareness by use of directional and information boards in appropriate locations
• Ensure they remain in active use that is consistent with their conservation.


2.1 The Canals that run through Warwick District are:
The Grand Union Canal:
The Grand Union Canal runs east to west through the southern part of the district from a point just to the east of the Fosse Way beyond Radford Semele, to the point where it links to the Birmingham and Fazeley Canal south east of Kingswood and on to the edge of the Warwick District Boundary, east of Dorridge. The more urban section of canal runs through the towns of Leamington Spa and Warwick
The Stratford upon Avon and Birmingham and Fazeley Canals:
The Stratford upon Avon Canal commences its course through the district at a point south of Lowsonford and runs northwards to become the Birmingham and Fazeley Canal at the point that the Grand Union meets it (Kingswood Arm) and thence westwards until it exits the district at the south eastern corner of Hockley Heath. This part of the canal is very much more rural in character.
2.2 A Brief History of Canals in Warwick District
Better to take this from the information in the adopted WDC Canal CA
2.6 The Grand Junction Canal received its Act in 1793 and was fully operational by 1805. The original Grand Junction Canal ran from Birmingham to London, was 137 miles long and had 166 locks.
This canal (GJC) runs from Middlesex to Northamptonshire and not through WDC
2.10 As described in more detail in the adopted CCA document,
The new company, (GU) with the help of government loans, modernised this part of the system to enable broad-beamed boats to work between London and Birmingham. Dredging was carried out and the banks protected with concrete strengthening, bridges widened or replaced, and narrow locks replaced with broad locks. Completed in 1937 much of the canal remained too shallow for broad boats to pass each other and unable to pass in tunnels however. Narrow boat traffic increased in the short term, but post-war with canalside factories no longer using coal as a fuel or having it brought in by other transport methods, the canals declined. The Ministry of War Transport as a department of the British Government was formed early in the Second World War to control transportation policy and resources. Nationalised in 1949 as part of the British Transport Commission, Warwick canals reverted to the British Waterways who managed the transition from freight to leisure use.
Loading boats along the Grand Union Canal was phased out in the 1930's.
2.11 How The Use of Canals Has Changed
Those that fared less well became overgrown, abandoned and totally disused other than as rubbish tips. Yet even these ‘remainder waterways’ as classified in the 1964 Transport Act, were adopted by groups of volunteers. The Stratford canal restoration story inspired many.
In Warwick the district council joined British Waterways in restoration of the Saltisford Arm, that originally served the horseshoe basin by the racecourse in Warwick. The loss of this basin meant that the rail engineers were allowed to infill the bridge over the arm, and yet a youth opportunity programme rescued the remainder and provided residential and visitor moorings, a pocket park and, for a while, an education space. With its fully inclusive trip boat, it continues to show the opportunity this eighteenth century canal legacy presents.
Canal basins at end of Warwick and B’ham canal with draft railway route added. c 1851 Board of Health MAP Warwick Record Office

Take out irrelevant pictures of the Basingstoke Canal near Pirbright, Surrey . Liskeard and Looe Union Canal (Wikipedia).
2.14 What Has Happened Elsewhere?
An excellent example locally of the resurgence in interest in the canal network and the way in which the canal is utilised, is Birmingham and in particular around the Gas Street Basin and Brindley Place area where a substantial amount of investment has regenerated the canal and the surrounding district. The following photographs illustrate the difference made with new buildings addressing the canal and much improved access. Note that buildings now face onto the canal rather than backing onto it as before.
PHOTO
Gas st warehouses pre clearance

BW proposals and subsequent redevelopment pictured


Pre Brindley place looking towards Broad st. tunnel

SECTION 3 The Canal Conservation Area
PHOTO
PHOTO
Use an image from Warwick District

After a lengthy period of evidence gathering and public consultation, a new conservation area was designated, as detailed in 7 lengths, covering the whole of the canals throughout the district, in January 2019. As well as documenting the history and special interest of the canal through Warwick, there is detailed guidance on managing change in chapter 5.
This designation affords additional protection to the area as more changes will require a planning application and subsequent approval before being carried out. This does not preclude development and change but does introduce tighter controls over such proposals. To ensure that the area with conservation area status remains relevant and logical, the boundary has, in the most part, been drawn closely to the edge of the canal and towpath and the immediate environs, only taking in a wider aspect of the setting of the canal where it closely relates to the history and uses of the canal. These areas have now come within the protection afforded by national policies relating to conservation areas and Warwick District Local Plan policies H1 – H4 with particular reference to policy H2, conservation areas.
3.1 All background information and more details of the work undertaken to designate the conservation area can be found on the council's website www.warwickdc.gov.uk/site_search/results/?q=canal+conservation+area
On the website Part one and Part two of the document need to be logically split and the maps for each length placed appropriately and clearly marked as the adopted statement. The consultation document was extensively reworked into the final document that was approved by members, so this adopted document is the one to be referred to and should be separated from the original consultation call for information.
SECTION 4 Issues
These are not just about potential threats, but need to identify opportunities, early wins and benefits to the ongoing canal legacy that can be underwritten by development.

Attracting people to live, work and play in the locality increases the return on the legacy of local investment in the 18th and 19th century that created Warwick’s canals that remain an enduring national heritage asset. For canals to continue to have a welcome place in the local environment, they need to respond positively to opportunities without destroying what is valued and of significance.

For example: -
There is a requirement for a public realm strategy which can then be used to attract developer’s contributions, to fund Implementation of improvements along the lengths and not just within an application for planning permission. The footpaths and movement framework need some improvement, particularly signage, paving and access points. This should improve pedestrian and cycle access to the canal towpath for all sections of the community, including those with disabilities. The objective being the free flow of pedestrians through and around development, onto the canal towpath and connected to the wider network of squares, spaces and pedestrian streets.


Some of the green spaces that form the setting require management and improvements, with some of the trees in need of tree surgery or replacement in a considered way.
Bio diversity, Landscaping, Securing trees and hedgerows and green chains, including habitat creation and public art at suitable locations, adds to the significance within the varying communities the canals serve.
Enhancing waterspace activity, long term moorings, including residential and visitor moorings, hotel and restaurant boats, trip boats, floating gallery and trading craft where appropriate.

Health and well being. The canal and rivers are important linking routes for the open spaces that run through the urban area of Warwick and Leamington and then out into open countryside. Improving access is one of the benefits from sustaining the historic canals. This is of particular benefit to the population within the urban area. Where urban makes use of the added value the canal provides, that benefit needs to be paid for from the enhanced land value. Contributions from proposed developments within ten minutes/1000m of the waterways will support this. The council has identified the public benefit in the Local Plan and particularly the parks and open spaces evidence.

Heritage values represent a public interest in places, regardless of ownership. The use of law, public policy and public investment is justified to protect that public interest.Advice and assistance should be available from public sources to help owners sustain the heritage in their stewardship.
Proposals which lack understanding of the context or fails to take the opportunity to improve the quality of an area, or the way it works, should not be accepted.

SECTION 5
5.3 The addition of dwellings adjacent to the junction with the Grand Union at Lapworth is in danger of suburbanising this rural location and impacting on use for moorings. The landscape assessments that informed the selection of sites in the Local Plan identified this risk and sought mitigation, but this was not required in the subsequent approval which appeared not to have been informed by the study. There is little point in carrying out high level analysis if those concerns are not considered in development management.

5.13 and 5.14
Neither plans used show the developments that have taken place and at cape road the Benfords site has long been changed

Policy CS1
• Any development of the canal will also include the provision of a towpath which will be wide enough to accommodate pedestrians, cyclists and wheelchair users with the aim of creating a cycle/walking route alongside the canal or, where a towpath already exists, it is widened and/ or improved where possible to allow access for all users, without compromising the natural environment
The towpath is on the north side of the canal through the main urban lengths and this part of the policy implies the creation of a discontinuous length of parallel path as a requirement
Policy CS3
An assessment of the archaeological status of the development site should be undertaken and a report submitted with planning applications for development. Reference should be made to the Historic Environment Record HERS information held by Warwickshire County Council to inform the basis for this assessment. Any harm to, or loss of, the significance of a designated heritage asset (from its alteration or destruction, or from development within its setting), should require clear and convincing justification. NPPF 194.

Policy CS4
Canals provide a wide range of habitats for wildlife and for biodiversity.
Developments should incorporate features that recognise, protect and enhance the biodiversity and environmental quality of the canal corridor, by retaining, maintaining, extending and improving upon the green aspects of the canal corridor. An Environmental Impact report criteria ?? will be required where development directly abuts the canal or towpath or is likely to impact on the setting or environmental credentials of the canal
A detailed arboricultural survey should be carried out to establish what should be preserved within and in the vicinity of development sites and the report submitted with planning applications for development
Appendices
Table of Opportunity Sites Analysis needs a map
A provisional appendix of Listings was provided including Hatton Locks, the Avon and Rail Aqueducts but these have not been acted upon.
Maps included should be sequence and have bridge numbers included
Conservation areas in Lowsonford and Leamington need reviewing
Note
‘The Local Plan sits beneath the National Planning Policy framework (NPPF) document and has to be in conformity with it.’
Policies and guidance for Conservation Areas are given by the Government in National Planning Policy Framework, 2012 paras. 126 to 141
The revised National Planning Policy Framework was updated on 19 February 2019 and sets out the government’s planning policies for England and how these are expected to be applied. This revised Framework replaces the previous National Planning Policy Framework published in March 2012, and revised in July 2018.
Provisions in NPPF REVISION -FEBRUARY 2019, in relation to the conservation and enhancement of the historic environment are different if not a significant departure from the original NPPF issued in 2012.
They do, however, contain a number of matters of importance, as well as changes to paragraph numbers from the original NPPF text, as a source of confusion.
Paras 184 -202 are of most relevance – chapter 16.
Small but important changes are made to Paragraph 193, for example. This replaces the original NPPF Paragraph 132 and expands the policy wording to incorporate judicial guidance on its application and interpretation. Therefore, when considering the impact of development on the significance of a designated heritage asset, it is made clear that "great weight should be given to the asset's conservation."
In these circumstances, the guidance makes it clear that the more important the asset, the greater the weight should be. This is all irrespective of whether any potential harm amounts to substantial harm, total loss or less than substantial harm.
This reiterates and makes clear the position that when considering the impact of development, great weight should be given to the asset's conservation regardless of the degree of harm that will be involved.
Paragraph 187 introduces a requirement for local planning authorities to maintain or have access to a historic environment record. These should contain up-to-date evidence about the historic environment in their area which can be used to assess the significance of heritage assets and the contribution they make to the environment.
Our Canals Conservation Area emphasise the Historic Environment Record as a source that can be utilised and referred to when a planning application is being submitted.
NPPF Paragraph 188 further states that these records and information should be publically available, which will assist and improve access to that inform and ensure transparency in the planning process by reference to a centralised record of the assets importance.
Paragraph 198 of the NPPF states that local planning authorities should not permit the loss of the whole, or part, of a heritage asset, without taking all reasonable steps to ensure the new development will proceed after the loss has occurred.
There is an expectation that the development permitted will be completed so as to ultimately justify the loss of the heritage asset. The justification for a structure’s proposed demolition will still need to be proportionate to its relative significance and its contribution to the significance of the conservation area as a whole. The same principles apply in respect of other elements which make a positive contribution to the significance of the conservation area, such as open spaces and waterways.
Paragraph 199 states that local planning authorities should require developers to record and show understanding of the significance of any heritage assets (in whole or part) to be lost in a manner proportionate to their importance and to make this evidence publically available.
Finally, in terms of decision making, where Paragraph 11’s presumption in favour of sustainable development is engaged, impact on designated heritage assets, may still provide a "clear reason" for refusing permission in any event. They are one of the assets of particular importance which could potentially override the presumption.
The NPPF seeks to assist in the sharing of important information about the historic environment, in a way that will hopefully result in more transparency and improvements to the planning process and decision making.