Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Hoggin Path - Officers report

LONDON BOROUGH OF WALTHAM FOREST

Committee/Date: Planning - 01 July 2014
Application reference: 2014/0844
Applicant: Lee Valley Regional Park Authority
Location: Leyton Marsh, Lea Bridge Road, London E10 7QL
Proposed development: Formation of 220m long new hoggin path along river
bank and installation of 32 mooring posts
Wards affected: Lea Bridge
Appendices: N/A


1 RECOMMENDATION
1.1 GRANT planning permission subject to conditions
2 REASONS REFERRED TO COMMITTEE
- There is significant public interest

3 DETAILS OF PROPOSAL AND SURROUNDINGS
3.1 The site comprises a section of river bank on the eastern side of the
River Lea, close to Lee Valley Ice Centre on the Lea Bridge Road. The
site is in Leyton Marsh, an area of Metropolitan Open Land (MOL), a
Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and a Site of Metropolitan
Importance for Nature Conservation within the Lee Valley Regional
Park.
3.2 The application relates to the proposed formation of a 220m long new
hoggin path as well as a series of 32 mooring posts.
3.3 According to the submitted information, boats have moored along this
section of the river for many years. The application seeks to improve
the current earthen path with a more durable hoggin path, and create
new mooring posts to provide more convenient and tidier mooring for
the boats.
3.4 A hoggin path is a pedestrian path composed of an equal mixture of
clay, gravel and sand. It has a natural appearance appropriate to more
sensitive locations. It will be level with the surrounding ground and will
not be edged. It is 0.6m wide.
3.5 The mooring posts are 0.3m high, coloured white and set in concrete
bases with top soil above. They are installed at 7m intervals along the
riverbank. This part of the development (the installation of the posts)
has already been carried out.
4 RELEVANT SITE HISTORY
4.1 There is no relevant planning history for this site.
Page 43 Agenda Item 53(Item 5.1)
5 PUBLIC CONSULTATIONS
5.1 Notification letters were sent on 1 May 2014 to 71 properties in the
flatted development on the opposite river bank. A series of site notices
were placed on both sides of the river bank on 6 May 2014.
6 DEVELOPMENT PLAN
6.1 Adopted Waltham Forest Core Strategy 2012
6.2 The Waltham Forest Core Strategy (2012) was adopted in March 2012.
The Core Strategy contains 16 policies designed to deliver the
Council’s vision for the physical, economic, environmental and social
development of the Borough. These policies will be used to direct and
manage development and regeneration activity for the next 15 years,
up to 2026.
6.3 The policies considered relevant to this application are as follows:
6.3.1 CS5: Enhancing Green Infrastructure and Biodiversity
6.3.2 CS13: Promoting Health and Well Being
6.3.3 CS15: Well Designed Buildings, Places and Spaces

6.4 Waltham Forest Local Plan Development Management Policies 2013
6.5 The Local Plan Development Management Policies Document was
adopted in November 2013. This sets out the borough-wide policies
that implement the Core Strategy and delivering the long term spatial
vision and strategic place shaping objectives. There is an emphasis on
collaboration and a positive proactive approach to reaching a balance
agreement that solves problems rather than a compromise that fails to
meet objectives. The following policies are relevant in this case:
DM12 - Open Space, Sports and Recreation
DM29 - Design Principles, Standards and Local Distinctiveness

6.6 London Plan 2011
6.7 The London Plan is the overall strategic plan for London, and it sets out
a fully integrated economic, environmental, transport and social
framework for the development of the capital to 2031. It was adopted in
July 2011.
6.8 The Lee Valley Regional Park Plan (2000) contains the policies and
objectives for the Lee Valley Regional Park. The emerging Lee Valley
Park Development Framework will establish the authority’s aspirations
and specific proposals for the future use and development of the
Regional Park.

7 MATERIAL PLANNING CONSIDERATIONS
7.1 NPPF
7.1.1 The National Planning Policy Framework sets out the Government’s
planning policies for England and how these are expected to be
Page 44(Item 5.1)
applied. It is a material consideration in planning decisions. It contains
a presumption in favour of sustainable development, described as “a
golden thread running through both plan-making and decision-taking.”
7.1.2 For decision-taking the NPPF states that the presumption means
“approving development proposals that accord with the development
plan without delay” and where the development plan is “absent, silent
or relevant policies are out-of-date, granting permission unless adverse
impacts would significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits,
when assessed against the policies in the Framework as a whole; “
7.1.3 The whole of the NPPF is potentially material to this application, but the
specific policy areas considered directly relevant are as follows:
7.1.3.1. Requiring good design
7.1.3.2. Conserving and enhancing the natural environment
7.2 Local Finance Considerations
7.2.1 Local Finance Considerations are a material consideration in the
determination of all planning applications. Local Finance
Considerations can include either a grant that has been or would be
given to the Council from central government or money that the council
has received or will or could receive in terms of Community
Infrastructure Levy (CIL).
7.2.2 There are no grants which have been or will or could be received from
central government in relation to this development.
7.2.3 The Council has not received and does not expect to receive any
income from CIL in relation to this development.

8 REPRESENTATIONS
8.1 One letter of objection has been received from the Mount Pleasant Hill
(Hackney) Management Company Ltd. A further seven objections have
been received from local residents. The objections are summarised as
follows:
8.1.1 Increased human activity will have an environmental impact. Comment:
This issue is considered later in this report.
8.1.2 The hoggin path is unnecessary as there is already a mud path.
Comment: Whether a development is strictly necessary is not a
material planning consideration.
8.1.3 The proposals will reduce the ‘wildness’ of this part of the riverbank.
Comment: This issue is considered later in this report.
8.1.4 The proposals will lead to a loss of wildlife habitat. Comment: This
issue is considered later in this report.
8.1.5 The proposals represent a ‘commercialisation’ or ‘privatisation’ of the
marsh. Comment: This is not a material planning consideration.
Page 45(Item 5.1)
8.1.6 The moorings require planning permission. Comment: This application
seeks permission for the installation of mooring posts and the new
towpath only.
8.1.7 The occupiers of the moored boats create a nuisance in terms of noise
and rubbish. Comment: It is understood that boats have been mooring
in this location for many years. This application does not seek
permission for the mooring, but for the path and installation of mooring
posts.
8.1.8 The Council failed to provide sufficient notification of the proposals to
local residents. Comment: As detailed in paragraph 5.1, a total of 71
letters were sent to residents living opposite the site and site notices
were erected on both sides of the riverbank. The Council has met its
obligations in respect of notification.
8.1.9 There are errors on the application form. In particular, it is not stated
that this is designated SSSI and MOL land. Comment: The Council are
aware of the designations affecting this site and have taken them into
account when assessing the application.
8.1.10 The applicant cut down much of the vegetation around the path prior to
submitting the application. Comment: This is not material to the
assessment of this application.
8.1.11 The mooring posts have already been installed. Comment: It is
acknowledged that the mooring posts have already been installed. The
Council can grant retrospective permission for the posts, if minded to
do so.

9 ASSESSMENT
9.1 Hoggin paths are formed of clay, gravel and sand, and the proposed
path will therefore have a similar appearance to the existing
mud/earthen path. It will integrate with its surroundings in terms of its
visual appearance and is an appropriate addition to this sensitive
location.
9.2 The existing path is uneven and becomes muddy when it rains,
representing a hazard and inconvenience to pedestrians. The new path
will improve accessibility along the riverbank, to the benefit of visitors to
the marsh.
9.3 The mooring posts are modest in size and scale (0.3m high) and do not
have a material visual impact on the sensitive Leyton Marsh location.
Posts of this type do not appear incongruous in a canal-side location.
9.4 Prior to the installation of the posts, boats moored in an ad hoc fashion,
using ropes and pins. Some of these ropes crossed the existing path,
creating a hazard to pedestrians and reducing the towpath’s
accessibility to the public.
9.5 Given the modest scale of the proposals and the use of natural
materials for the path, it is not likely that there will be any adverse
impact on the SSSI or the MOL.
Page 46(Item 5.1)
9.6 There is an existing towpath in this location and boats have been
mooring along the banks of the river for many years. The replacement
path and new moorings are not likely to lead to a material increase in
human activity in this location, and there is not expected to be a
harmful impact on ecological habitats.
 Conclusion
9.7 The path replaces a similar path in the same location and will use
natural materials. It will improve the accessibility of the river bank. The
mooring posts are modest in size and scale and will not appear out of
place in this location. There will be no harmful impact on local wildlife
and ecology.

10 ADDITIONAL CONSIDERATIONS
10.1 Public Sector Equality Duty
10.1.1 In making your decision you must have regard to the public sector
equality duty (PSED) under s.149 of the Equalities Act. This means that
the Council must have due regard to the need (in discharging its
functions) to:
 A. Eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation and
other conduct prohibited by the Act
B. Advance equality of opportunity between people who share a
protected characteristic and those who do not. This may include
removing or minimising disadvantages suffered by persons who share
a relevant protected characteristic that are connected to that
characteristic; taking steps to meet the special needs of those with a
protected characteristic; encouraging participation in public life (or other
areas where they are underrepresented) of people with a protected
characteristic(s).
C. Foster good relations between people who share a protected
characteristic and those who do not including tackling prejudice and
promoting understanding.
10.1.2 The protected characteristics are age, disability, gender reassignment,
pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual
orientation.
10.1.3 The PSED must be considered as a relevant factor in making this
decision but does not impose a duty to achieve the outcomes in s.149
is only one factor that needs to be considered, and may be balance
against other relevant factors.
10.1.4 It is not considered that the recommendation to grant permission in this
case will have a disproportionately adverse impact on a protected
characteristic.
10.2 Human Rights
10.2.1 In making your decision, you should be aware of and take into account
any implications that may arise from the Human Rights Act 1998.
Page 47(Item 5.1)
Under the Act, it is unlawful for a public authority such as the London
Borough of Waltham Forest to act in a manner that is incompatible with
the European Convention on Human Rights.

You are referred specifically to Article 8 (right to respect for private and
family life), Article 1 of the First Protocol (protection of property). It is
not considered that the recommendation to grant permission in this
case interferes with local residents' right to respect for their private and
family life, home and correspondence, except insofar as it is necessary
to protect the rights and freedoms of others (in this case, the rights of
the applicant). The Council is also permitted to control the use of
property in accordance with the general interest and the
recommendation to grant permission is considered to be a
proportionate response to the submitted application based on the
considerations set out in this report.

11 RECOMMENDATION
The Planning Committee is requested to resolve that planning
permission be granted subject to the following conditions:

11.1 Conditions and Reasons:
1. The development to which this permission relates must be begun
not later than the expiration of three years beginning from the date
of this decision notice.

2. The development shall be carried out in accordance with the plan
labelled 'Leyton Marsh New Hoggin Path and Mooring Posts',
received on 4 April 2014

Reasons:

1 To comply with the provisions of Section 91(1)(a) of the Town and
Country Planning Act 1990 (as amended).

2 To ensure the development is completed in accordance with the
approved details.

11.2 Informatives:
1. To assist applicants the Local Planning Authority has produced
policies and provided written guidance, all of which is available on
the Council's website and which have been followed in this instance

12 BACKGROUND DOCUMENTS
12.1 The background information for this application is the relevant
application file, the application and any related history files,
together with relevant planning policy/policies at National,
London and Local level.
Page 48(Item 5.1)

12.2 These documents are available for inspection Monday to Fridays
between 9am and 5pm at Sycamore House, Town Hall, Forest
Road, E17 4JF

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