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Older Items - Planning News - Planning - Aug 2021
In recent months there have been a number of planning applications (St Peters Street, Liston Court and Institute Road) for the removal or severe cutting back of trees in the Conservation Area. These trees are the subject of protection and require permission before cutting back or down. We focus on these and their contribution to the image, ecology, air quality and wildlife of the town.
Lacking specialist knowledge, it is normally inappropriate for the Society to object on arboricultural grounds. We can reasonably comment when we believe that the loss of a tree or trees would have a disproportionate impact on the setting of a significant location in the town. We will look to ensure that appropriate expert opinion has been sought and is being followed. We also rely on the Bucks County tree officer as applications for tree felling and cutting back are invariably referred to the officer for appraisal and a recommended decision for endorsement.
Henley Road 5G mast
An application for a 5G mast was made for a prominent location adjacent to Henley Road. The Marlow Society objected on the grounds of appearance and that we were not convinced that the applicants had done enough to find alternative locations. The Planning Committee agreed, citing: 'By virtue of its siting and appearance, including its location adjacent to the carriageway and footway, and the grey colour of the cabinets and mast, the development would appear unduly obtrusive in the street scene, particularly in the winter months, and as such would be detrimental to the character and appearance of the area. The Council is not satisfied, on the basis of the information provided, that the applicant has fully explored all alternative siting options.'
There were many objections from properties on Henley Road focused on microwave radiation but these were not accepted by the Planning Committee. No doubt the applicants will be back!
An application was submitted to erect a fence to the rear of the No 72,74 and 76 High Street. This would effectively remove part of the courtyard which has had free unconstrained access by the public since early 1990s.
These properties are GII* listed buildings and form the fundamentals of the setting for the entrance archway. It is the Society’s opinion that the view from West to East of these listed buildings would be materially affected by the proposed railings contrary to conservation policy. We are pleased to report that the application has been withdrawn.
Fieldhouse Lane car park
The Car park site is located within Little Marlow Lakes Country Park which is allocated for outdoor recreational purposes. The applicants have had temporary permission for 5 years but sought to extend it into a permanent site for 275 cars.
This has been rejected because the proposed development would fail to contribute towards the outdoor recreational function of the Country Park and would not provide for access to the park. This is a milestone decision. The location, just on the left after passing under the bypass on the way to the Crowne Plaza hotel, is in the green belt forming part of the Little Marlow Lakes Country Park. Temporary permission was given in 2017 at the time when Globe Park industrial estate was suffering from excessive on road parking. Since then those working at Globe Park have been allowed to park at the rugby club and a 2 storey car park has been built next to the Travelodge hotel reducing significantly the need for further parking provision. The absence of parked cars at Globe Park at present is a cause for concern and I am sure that we all hope to see the industrial area return to prosperity. The protection to the green belt afforded by the planning authority and the recognition of the value of the country park to us all must be welcomed. It clearly has a bearing on the proposed Marlow Studio Project.
Gossmore Lane boathouse
The application for a boathouse is still progressing. The Schools Boathouse Trust submitted revised plans at the end of March. Bucks County are now content with the sufficiency of the car parking arrangements. The Society is still of the view that traffic and parking will impact on local residents. The Environment Agency maintains their objection until the completion of a flood risk assessment and nature conservation plan.
The Marlow Society will be looking for clarity in relation to the parking arrangements. The Application states: 'The proposals will result in no material impact on the highways network due to the existing office use and retention of existing parking areas within the site'. The plans show twenty spaces. Will all these be made available to the residents? A condition should be attached to the planning decision that requires all these spaces to be for the new residents.