In Grainger’s Landscape and Visual Impact assessment he tells us that “This boundary planting has … been strategically designed to retain a perceived gap between development to the north and south”. Let’s be blunt here. Currently, the gap is no perceptual trompe l’oeil. It is physical. It is real. It is fact. If the existing gap were only “perceptual”, it would perhaps be possible to retain it. It is not. So it isn’t.
If there is any doubt about this argument, this is a photograph of the “perceptual gap” taken by the Applicant and published in his LVIA. There is no point in continuing this conceit. Here is a genuine gap.
Grainger concludes this unsatisfactory and wholly unconvincing argument by stating that: “Existing characteristic landscape features on the site, namely the tree belt to the north, the wide green frontage including existing trees, and through vistas, will be retained and enhanced with additional planting at the boundaries ensuring no potential perceived sense of coalescence.”
As a statement, this has many laudable things going for it. Unfortunately, factual correctness is not one of them. There can be no “through vistas”: from north to south, from west to east and back again: the proposal is to block all vistas with a suburban housing estate.
The Applicant’s case is fundamentally unsound. If the Green Gap was only a perceptual fallacy at the moment, it might be possible for the development to perpetuate it. However, it isn’t; so it can’t be possible. Therefore the Applicant is obliged to fundamentally change the character of the site and all the landscaping in the world can’t disguise that fact.
Here is a perfect illustration of the fact. In fact, the illustration is taken from the Design and Access Statement (page 48). This is no gap. There are no views. Only housing.
It’s a joke.
But if we don’t act Grainger will be the one laughing. Laughing all the way to the bank.
Please object now to their ludicrous plans.