Site ID: 811
Site Assessment Pro Formas
Representation ID: 8080
Respondent: Howbury Hall Estate
Agent: Phillips Planning Services
Site ID: 811 - Address: Land south of the A421 at St Neots Road, Renhold
The following clarifications and additional information is provided in response to the Call for Sites Assessment proformas.
Ecology (2a, 2b, 2c, 2d)
The site proforma notes at 2a that the site is ‘within or adjoining site of nature conservation importance’.
Having review DEFRA’s Magic map and the current Policies Map, it is unclear what site is being referred to as the nearest statutory designated ecological site is the SSSI at Tilwick Meadow which is over 5 kilometres away, whilst the nearest Local Nature Reserves, Putnoe Woods and Mowbury Hill are both over 2 kilometres away. There is a County Wildlife site approximately 1kn to the west.
2b suggests protected species may have been recorded at the site. It is unclear what this refers to. However, the land is regularly cultivated such that the main body of the site is unlikely to support protected species.
In response to 2c and 2d, there is significant potential to deliver a substantial net biodiversity gain and to link to the surrounding green infrastructure network.
It is stated at criterion 4a that the site has potential to cause very high harm to a heritage asset.
Although the site does lie close to a listed building (Great Dairy Farmhouse to the west), it has been highlighted in previous submissions that careful design and positioning of the proposed hotel would not result in an adverse impact upon this heritage asset.
For clarity there is no proposal to develop on the Great Dairy Farmhouse portion of the site, the proposed hotel would be located to the east side of the land adjacent to the A421 roundabout junction.
Substantial scope exists for separation and planting between the hotel and the retained farmhouse.
The site is promoted as holding potential to deliver a 60 bed hotel, and accordingly it is considered clear that it would result in both economic and employment opportunities.
These opportunities would not only flow from the investment into the site and jobs created during construction and when operational but also through improving opportunities for visitors to the area.
The site is excellently placed on the A421 corridor and so a perfect location for this use.
Agricultural Land Classification (9b)
The site assessment proforma suggests that all or the majority of the site is considered to be ‘best and most versatile land’.
We do not believe this is correct. The Natural England Agricultural Land Classification map indicatively indicates that the site is grade 4 (poor).
Criterion 15e suggests that it is unclear if the site can be accessed without constraint.
Whilst detailed access proposals have not been prepared at this stage the site retains frontages onto St Neots Road and so the ability to provide a new / upgraded access as required for a hotel use.
In terms of linkages whilst it is acknowledged that the site does not currently relate directly to an existing settlement an additional plan is included with this submission showing the location of the site relative to a number of existing footpaths and cycleways and existing bus services in the area.
The submitted site offers substantial potential for allocation as a hotel which would generate employment and provide a service for visitors to the area in a key location directly adjoining the A421.
The emerging local plan strategy seeks to focus development along the A421 corridor and so the sites allocation would fit squarely with this emerging strategy.
There are no technical constraints to the development of the land.
The site is owned and controlled by the Howbury Hall Estate. This is a single entity. No third party land or agreements are required to facilitate the development as proposed.
Ease of deliverability can therefore be readily assumed.
Should the Council have any further questions or queries regarding this site please do not hesitate to contact us.