Heritage Notes Re: Submission for SAP

Templates: Heritage & Conservation

The notes here may be used to assist in making objections to the SAP (Site Allocations Plan)


  1. The SAP does not comply with Principles 5 and 10 of the NPPF, which state that plans should “take account of the different roles and character of different areas, promoting the vitality of our main urban areas, protecting the Green Belts around them, recognising the intrinsic character and beauty of the countryside and supporting thriving rural communities within it:
  2. Likewise MX2-39 does not “conserve heritage assets in a manner appropriate to their significance, so that they can be enjoyed for their contribution to the quality of life of this and future generations”;
  3. Barwick-in-Elmet and Aberford are both ancient villages both with conservation status and long histories. The size of this development dwarfs the two villages of Barwick-in-Elmet and Aberford and by extending to within 500m of each village threatens the separate identity, traditions and heritage of both villages. There are no defendable features that would prevent the engulfing of Barwick and Aberford and conserving the village life and village identities by this development;
  4. Parlington Hollins is classified as ancient woodland. NPPF states that “planning permission should be refused for development resulting in the loss or deterioration of irreplaceable habitats, including ancient woodland and the loss of aged or veteran trees found outside ancient woodland” (http://planningguidance.communities.gov.uk/blog/policy/achieving-sustainable-development/delivering-sustainable-development/11-conserving-and-enhancing-the-natural-environment/#paragraph_118). This includes land, including parkland next to ancient woodland.
  5. The development would threaten this ancient woodland according to the following criteria which are set out by the government to provide guidance for local authorities for developments close to ancient woodland (http://planningguidance.communities.gov.uk/blog/policy/achieving-sustainable-development/delivering-sustainable-development/11-conserving-and-enhancing-the-natural-environment/#paragraph_118):
  6. MX2-39 will “break up or destroying connections between woodland and other habitats”;
  7. MX2-39 will “reduce the amount of semi-natural habitats next to this ancient woodland”;
  8. MX2-39 will change the water table and drainage;
  9. MX2-39 will “increase the amount of pollution, including dust”;
  10. MX2-39 will “increase disturbance to wildlife from additional traffic and visitors”;
  11. MX2-39 will “increasing light pollution”;
  12. MX2-39 will “increase damaging activities such as flytipping and the impact of domestic pets.”
  13. MX2-39 will result in damage according to nearly all the criteria that Planners have to consider and it is impossible to see how a developer can mitigate the effect of most of these criteria. The costs of damaging this irreplaceable national asset do NOT clearly outweigh the benefits of this development;
  14. M & G intends to change the woodland’s nature as reported by Leeds City Council in its SAP Consultation for ONE. This extract highlights M & G’s intent for the woodland …” The promoters also state there is the potential to provide an on-site renewable energy facility to make use of the extensive woodland, which is managed across the estate.”;
  15. This advises that current tree stock will be consumed and replaced by fast growing trees and be used for biomass based heating.

Local Heritage

  1. The heritage of local villages of Barwick in Elmet and Aberford, as well as MX2-39 itself, can be traced to earlier than the 1300s;
  2. According to author Edmund Bogg “The first residents at Parlington with whom we are acquainted assumed the name of the place, and are known as De Parlyngton, occupying the mansion at the time Falkes de Brecante was at Harewood. They were succeeded by the Despensers”;
  3. “In 1336 Philip, son of Philip, son of Hugh le Despenser, le pere, shows that Hugh was in possession of Parlington. Philip, the son, married Margaret, daughter and heiress of Ralph de Gowskill; holding the manor of Parlington, of the King, as the crown by the fourth part of a knight’s fee – (a tenure of lands held by the knights on condition of military service). In 1404 a Philip Despenser held the manor by the seizing of half a knight’s fee’”
  4. In 1442 Roger Wentworth, Esqr. And Margaret his late wife, held the manor of Parlington.”
  5. The Gascoignes’ bought the estate from the Wentworths’ – whole of the Deer Park forms ancient woodland and deer grazing and is traced back to before the 1400s;
  6. The above heritage confirms the classification of MX2-39 as Ancient Woodland, and despite the buildings and the extent of woods diminishing over the centuries, the woodland has been tended, managed and cultivated since the formation of the MX2-39 Estate;
  7. The local area, including the region around and within the MX2-39 have been of historical and archaeological significance. Finds have been made in the local area including an Anglo Saxon ring, from the ninth century. This artefact is currently housed in the British Museum inscribed with the name of Æthelswith the sister of King Alfred the Great;
  8. In more recent times the ‘West Yorkshire hoard’ comprising numerous Anglo Saxon gold artefacts and described as, “a jewel in the crown of the museum’s collection” was found in Aberford a few hundred metres from the MX2-39 boundary;
  9. With these and historic events such as the battles of Towton and Bramham Moor in the vicinity it would be appropriate for a full archaeological evaluation to be performed of any proposed site prior to any development proposal approval;
  10. The construction of MX2-39 and its accommodation of over 10,000 residents will create encroachments to the historic village of Barwick in Elmet, situated at the heart of the historic kingdom of Elmete;
  11. Both villages also contain historically significant local architecture that is subject to heritage protection;
  12. Aberford and Barwick In Elmet are villages with long histories and their own unique identities, along with their traditions of friendly village rivalries that will be destroyed by MX2-39’s encroachment;
  13. Barwick’s heritage includes the second tallest Maypole in Britain, an iron age fort and subsequent motte and bailey site of Norman construction;
  14. Aberford has significant cultural heritage including the Aberford Almshouses built in 1843 by the accomplished architect George Fowler Jones at the request of the Gascoigne sisters;
  15. The MX2-39 project affects these villages do not fall under the area that forms part of the proposal they will be affected by significant disruption from construction traffic for more than 20 years;
  16. This is acknowledged in the proposal documentation but is proposed to be mitigated (as per figure 5.3 of the proposal document – incorrectly reference in the document) by the fact that only 1% of the traffic flow generated by the development would go through the local villages;
  17. This is patently untrue and predicated on a number of falsehoods not least the fact that there would be a single entry and exit point (with a limited use 2nd entry point) to the site. This is acknowledged by the highways agency as not being feasible and would likely result in multiple access points (as indicated by the 6 access points referred to in the appendices to the proposal). The true flow of the traffic allied to the requirement for additional access points would significantly impact the historic local villages.