Episode 5 Permission Impossible: Britain's Planners


Episode 5

Documentary series following the work of Britain's environment planners. A controversial application to build a student village on the green belt of Chester divides local opinion.


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Transcript


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Planning battles

are raging across Britain.

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I love the countryside.

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So do I, mate. So leave it alone.

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I don't have time for nimbys.

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No to the student village!

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In a drive to boost the economy,

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the government has relaxed

planning laws.

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Here we are, with a massive

planning application.

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It is a big project.

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You're talking about 270 million

of economic benefit.

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I mean, we like to see enterprise,

but not on our doorstep.

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So developers are cashing in.

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Of course I'm here to make a buck -

guilty as charged.

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Objectors are going to war.

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It's not morally right,

it's not socially right.

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Disgusting.

Totally stitched up.

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I'm not having that they were

frightened of a bunch of pensioners!

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Deciding who wins

are Britain's planners.

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I can't sit on the fence.

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Well, it's not a fence,

it's railings.

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Tonight...

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No to the student village!

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..Chester residents revolt

over plans to build on green belt.

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I think it's time maybe

to move the bus.

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Plans to extend a children's home

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create a moral dilemma

for councillors.

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It's extremely difficult,

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because the children's interests

have to be considered as well.

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And can residents get this business

closed down?

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I get really annoyed.

This isn't an industrial area.

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It's just not on.

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Last year,

nearly half a million students

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were admitted to UK universities -

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the highest number of enrolments

ever reported.

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In Chester alone,

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the student community grew

by 4% in 2013

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and there are currently about

16,800 students at the university.

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It's brilliant, the community feel

around everything is so nice.

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You can't walk past people

and not smile at them.

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Even at 8.30am

for the first lecture of the day.

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You don't get up for that time?

Lectures start at 9am,

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so everybody is up and raring to go.

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900 students currently live

on Chester University's campus.

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Well over 2,000 rent private houses

in the city's Garden Quarter.

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Students love living

in the Garden Quarter

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because it's so close to town.

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And Chester is such a beautiful city,

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everybody loves the hub

around the city,

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the things it's got to offer.

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Students may enjoy Chester,

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but the feeling

is not always mutual.

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Can you see how shabby

everything looks?

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Avril Coady is the secretary

of the local community forum

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and has been living

in the Garden Quarter for 40 years.

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It is the area

that abuts the university,

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it is next door to the university.

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It is a convenient area,

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it is one where the students

can roll out of bed

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and be at the lectures

within five, ten minutes.

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Hence its convenience

and hence the fact it has gone down.

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Mostly, it is noise.

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It is noise throughout the night.

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Always, somewhere in this area,

there will be a party.

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This is the kind of thing

that we have to deal with

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on a constant basis.

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Is it fair?

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Is it fair

that we should pay our council tax

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for this kind of thing?

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What we would hope would happen

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is that this area could slowly,

slowly revert to what it was,

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which was a community,

family-based area.

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A developer has come up with an idea

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which could be the answer

to Avril's prayers

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and it's currently in the hands

of Head Planner Fiona Edwards.

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I look forward to coming to work

every day.

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For me, it is about...leaving

some form of legacy behind me,

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because you don't get an opportunity

to do that very often,

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unless you are really famous

or talented,

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and as I am neither of those,

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I'll just try to make a building

that looks half-decent

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and I can say, "I had

a bit of influence on that."

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It's not just one building

Fiona has to consider today.

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Bell Developments

has proposed the construction

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of 41 new blocks of flats

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to provide shared accommodation

for 2,300 students.

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They would be built on Chester's

green belt in the suburb of Blacon.

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What they are proposing

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is to spread

the student accommodation

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all around the site

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and this central area would be

the hub, with the facilities

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and some accommodation in it.

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The site itself is 27 hectares,

so that is a massive site.

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The city's planning committee

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rejected a similar application

in the past.

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But given the amount

of popular support for the scheme,

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the developer decided to slightly

reduce the number of apartments

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and resubmit the plans.

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There is a growing body of residents

of the city

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that feel it is about time

we dealt with the problems

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of what is being termed

"studentification".

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Fiona knows

that green-lighting the scheme

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would make Chester residents happy,

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but she has just acquired

some brand-new objectors.

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It looks Stalin-esque,

architecturally.

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It is a kind of '60s, '70s type

of NCP car park build.

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And some have described it

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as looking like an open prison.

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Nail technicians Yvonne Jones

and Ruth Shaw

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are the founders of a Blacon-based

nail-cutting service

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for older people.

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After seeing what might be built

in front of their houses,

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they have decided

to file a complaint.

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We have got a valuable amenity

on our doorstep, the green belt,

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and we care about it.

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Because Blacon has been

a vast council housing estate,

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there's a perception that people

don't fight their cause.

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They're either lazy,

they can't be bothered

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and that's not the case.

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Ruth and Yvonne are looking

for supporters

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as they start their campaign

against the scheme.

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I just don't want a student village

at all.

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Will they be able to come through

here and walk through?

Yes.

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Will they?

There are designated areas

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for them to walk through.

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No. Definitely against it, 100%.

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It was nice to meet you.

Thank you.

Take care, bye-bye!

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AVRIL:

Hello, you!

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Nice to see you.

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Nice to see you, too.

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While on the other side of town,

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Avril has invited

city centre residents

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to set up a campaign in favour

of the new student village.

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I've had my car scratched

down the side,

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they bounce along the tops

of your cars.

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We want a student village

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not in order to take all

the students away from this area,

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but in order to create

a balance throughout the city -

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that is all we're asking for.

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But the power to recommend approval

or refusal for the scheme

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is in the planners' hands.

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And they will publish their decision

in 12 weeks.

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It's a real shame

that some local residents

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don't understand the value

the students bring to the city

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and it really is a small minority

ruining it for everyone.

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Without students,

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there would be a huge deficit

of vibrancy and excitement

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that students do bring

to that part of town.

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In the next 25 years,

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the population of Britain is set

to grow by almost 10 million people.

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As communities expand,

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local councils

are under increasing pressure

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to build thousands of new homes.

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But it's not just residents

above the ground

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who are struggling for space.

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Recent reports suggest almost half

of England's cemeteries

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could be full in the next decade.

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In Winsford, Cheshire,

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one local businessman is taking

this grave matter seriously.

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Think we ought to pick this one

up a bit, Dave, or not?

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Retired farmer Allen Plumbley

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has been burying the dead

for nearly 60 years.

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Six foot eight -

keep that right, Tom.

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He has got the measure

of the industry,

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after digging his first grave

at the age of only 15.

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You can have a cardboard coffin,

a wicker coffin, seagrass,

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an ordinary coffin.

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You can have it decorated

to whatever you want.

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You can have vegetables on it,

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a canal boat, anything you want.

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Families can do

their own internments,

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they can help to dig the grave

if they would like to

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and they can also help to fill it up.

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You can fetch your mother-in-law

in the back of the car,

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have a grave

and put her straight in!

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Five years ago, Allen converted

an unused section of his land

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into a traditional graveyard,

and recently,

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he started offering specialist,

ecologically friendly burials.

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Green burials

and environmentally friendly burials,

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where you probably like

the countryside

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or you've been into gardening

or hiking

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and you want to be away

from the maddening crowd.

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You can put bulbs in

over the winter -

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anything, plant-wise.

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Foxgloves, primroses...

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Anything you would find

in a woodland.

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Allen's green graves

have been a big hit with the locals,

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dying to claim one of his plots.

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You can go there, if you wanted.

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We sort it out before you go and

you know what you're getting.

Yes.

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I've got a tree down here

where I'm going under,

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a nice copper beech.

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That is my resting place.

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There's nothing like

knowing where you're going.

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My dad always said,

"It can't be so bad when you go,

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"because nobody's ever come back."

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The existing woodland cemetery

will be full in three years

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so Allen has applied

for planning permission

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to extend the site,

using another bit of his land.

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This is the new site.

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It's approximately six acres,

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which should last somewhere

in the region of 30 years.

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But Allen must get

planning permission

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before he can start work

on the extension.

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It is over to Cheshire West

planning manager Nial Casselden

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to run the rule over the scheme.

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Got a few cemeteries

dotted around the place,

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but we don't really get that many

applications to extend them

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and we certainly get even less

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for...green burial sites.

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It's pretty unusual.

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When you compare it

to their current site,

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it's larger than both

the formal standard cemetery area

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and the green burial area

that they have in the back.

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This particular application

is on the edge of the town

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so it's in an area which is

designated as open countryside.

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But it is quite near

to people's houses.

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Some people might see it

as a bit ghoulish, perhaps,

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to have a large field full of people

buried right next to them.

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Next door to the cemetery,

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one local resident

is horrified by the plans.

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The road is 30mph,

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we regularly get people

in the high 40s, close to 50.

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Highway planning engineer

Simon Boone

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has been keeping a keen eye

on his neighbour's application

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and is hoping to shoot down

Allen's plans.

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48.

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What does concern me

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is visitors en masse,

after a funeral,

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going out onto the road.

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So when there is an increase

in a lot of vehicle numbers

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that have just come from a funeral,

then it is going to be an issue.

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That was a funeral car

going past at 24.

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There is nobody here

that's bothered about it, really.

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We've only got one objector this time

and he's not going to worry me.

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Not one little bit.

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On this hedge line

is the start of the cemetery.

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There are often funerals

taking place

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literally just by the hedge line.

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It is intrusive.

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And you can hear a whole funeral,

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you can hear people wailing

during the funeral

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while you are in the house.

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Simon has formally objected

to Allen's application.

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The planners must now decide

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whether to take his side

or bury the new graveyard for good.

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There are a lot of uses

you grant permission for,

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maybe they will be there

for a few decades,

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but a cemetery is pretty permanent.

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It is going to be there

long after we have all shuffled off.

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Might even end up in it, who knows!

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In the UK, planners can take action

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against businesses that operate

without planning permission.

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They have the power to issue fines

of up to £20,000,

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but they can also help the business

become legal.

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but they can also help the business

become legal.

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In Llantarnam, South Wales,

ex-takeaway owner Spiro Callus

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has spent 30 years tending

to his much-loved garden.

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We have fig trees, apple trees.

We've got a pear tree there.

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Another apple tree over there.

Another fig tree over there.

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But these plants have recently

been watered

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a bit too often for Spiro's liking.

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If there's strong wind,

it spreads the spray all over.

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It travels for quite a distance.

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15 months ago, a car wash was set up

without planning permission

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on the site of a disused garage.

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Since then,

life changed dramatically

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for its neighbour, Spiro.

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Don't tell me that's not noisy,

the water pressure, you know?

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How can one put up with all the noise

seven days a week?

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We've all looked after our houses,

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tried to make them look

as presentable as possible.

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And then we've got that.

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It's just not on.

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Another resident unwilling

to put up with the car wash

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is part-time beautician

and single mum of two,

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Beverley Holyfield.

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I can hear that very clearly

when I'm lying in bed.

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It's industrial cleaning

and we're not in an industrial area.

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It shouldn't be here.

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Beverley lives directly opposite

the car wash,

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which is operating

without planning permission

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and has recently built a new fence

to block out her unsightly view.

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The wall is about 4.5ft high.

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Then another 3ft at its maximum

height with the fence,

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which is actually making it illegal,

unfortunately.

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I'm just waiting for the planners

to write me a letter

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and say I don't have permission

for the fence,

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which would be ironic.

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Torfaen's planner Richard Lewis

is heading to Llantarnam.

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When I was in school,

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I wanted to be an architect.

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But they did a careers evening

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and this guy talked about planning

and made it sound very exciting.

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I thought, at that stage,

"I think I want to be a planner."

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So...I haven't regretted

my decision.

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Not yet anyway.

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The car wash in Llantarnam

wants to continue trading

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and has submitted a retrospective

planning application...

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Richard Lewis,

I'm the head of planning.

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..which Richard is now considering.

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Do you get noise

from the vacuum cleaner as well

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or is it mainly the...?

A little.

It's mainly the jet washers.

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And the aesthetics

is what bothers us.

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Right, yeah, yeah.

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There are a range of issues

that they are concerned about -

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traffic impact,

spray from the car wash,

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the look of it, the signs

that have been put up there.

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Obviously, it is not just negative.

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There is a business being run here

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and people are employed

by the business.

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Our job is looking at those

objections, those issues,

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and evaluating them to see

whether or not they are so bad

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as to warrant the refusal

of an application

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or whether that impact

is not that significant.

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In their bid to straighten out

their business,

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the car wash has employed

planning consultant Gereint Hurst.

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This new use of the site

will not affect local residents,

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however much they protest.

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Part of the planning process

is producing evidence

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to back up your argument.

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Now, as part of our application,

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we addressed the noise issue

by getting an acoustic report in.

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The conclusion of that report

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highlighted that there was

no real impact

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on the residential amenity

of the area

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and that it is acceptable.

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Gereint may be confident

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but planner Richard decided to check

the sound levels for himself.

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Do you mind if we plug this,

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just about where Peter's setting up,

there?

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All right. OK.

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He's brought along Environmental

Health Officer Peter Oates.

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Peter spends his day

attending to noise complaints.

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We listen to all sorts of noises.

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The most common ones

are dogs barking and loud music.

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It can be people running up

and downstairs

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in the neighbouring property,

noise from water pipes,

0:18:000:18:03

and noise from bedroom activities

we occasionally get as well.

0:18:030:18:06

Did we get enough of the car

being washed?

0:18:130:18:16

I think we've got a good sample.

0:18:160:18:17

There's enough of the range,

I think,

0:18:190:18:21

of washing, for our purposes.

0:18:210:18:22

The assessment we need to make

is whether that sound we can hear

0:18:220:18:26

is actually harmful to amenity.

0:18:260:18:28

People may argue that consent

should've be granted first.

0:18:310:18:34

But there's a number of people

that would be affected

0:18:340:18:37

if this were to shut.

0:18:370:18:38

Employees...

0:18:410:18:42

200 miles north in Cheshire,

a controversial application

0:18:480:18:52

to build a student village

on the green belt of Chester

0:18:520:18:55

has divided the local population.

0:18:550:18:57

It's a really big application.

0:18:570:19:00

It is a big intrusion

into the green belt.

0:19:000:19:03

There are action groups

both for and against it

0:19:030:19:05

and it's got its absolute

vociferous supporters

0:19:050:19:07

and its equally vociferous

objectors.

0:19:070:19:09

Residents of Blacon,

0:19:090:19:11

the site of the proposed

student village,

0:19:110:19:14

have gathered 2,600 signatures

against the scheme.

0:19:140:19:17

In the city centre,

over 1,500 residents

0:19:170:19:21

have signed their own petition

in favour,

0:19:210:19:23

hoping it will drive the students

out of the neighbourhood.

0:19:230:19:26

But hoping to sway the planners

into recommending approval,

0:19:290:19:33

the developers have now revised

their application.

0:19:330:19:36

Along with the student village,

0:19:360:19:38

they are proposing the construction

of a sports centre,

0:19:380:19:41

designed and run

by Sir Steve Redgrave.

0:19:410:19:43

The concept is over three years

in the making.

0:19:450:19:48

Sir Steve Redgrave has been involved

for two years.

0:19:490:19:52

It is meant to be

an integrated academic institute

0:19:520:19:56

for accommodation and sports.

0:19:560:19:58

The new sports centre would have

a full-sized football pitch,

0:19:580:20:03

a fitness centre

and a physiotherapy clinic

0:20:030:20:05

to cater for students on site

as well as professional athletes.

0:20:050:20:09

It is a big project.

0:20:090:20:11

You are talking about 100 million

to build the facility,

0:20:110:20:15

you are talking about 270 million

of economic benefit.

0:20:150:20:18

1,000 jobs over five years.

0:20:180:20:20

It seems to me to be

the perfect location

0:20:200:20:23

for an integrated

sports and student accommodation.

0:20:230:20:26

We have Sir Steve. Images of

his sporting achievements.

0:20:300:20:34

Planner Fiona is evaluating

the new plans before she makes

0:20:340:20:37

a recommendation on the scheme.

0:20:370:20:39

I will admit that Sir Steve Redgrave

is one of my sporting heroes.

0:20:390:20:42

I have his first autobiography.

0:20:420:20:44

But it won't influence us in any way,

0:20:440:20:47

because we do have to make decisions

based on planning policies

0:20:470:20:50

and based on all the material

considerations,

0:20:500:20:53

and unfortunately, as fantastic

as Sir Steve has been

for this country,

0:20:530:20:56

him being involved isn't

a material planning consideration.

0:20:560:21:00

So, it won't influence me

or the committee members in any way.

0:21:000:21:03

Also in Cheshire, Planning Manager

Nial Casselden is assessing

0:21:090:21:14

an application that's

a matter of life or death.

0:21:140:21:17

He's come to meet gravedigger

Allen Plumbley

0:21:170:21:20

who's applied for

planning permission

0:21:200:21:22

to treble the size of his

ecologically friendly burial ground.

0:21:220:21:25

Good afternoon.

0:21:250:21:27

Hi there, Nial Casselden

from the planning department.

0:21:270:21:29

I'm Allen Plumbley.

0:21:290:21:31

Is it a mixture of normal

burials and cremations?

0:21:310:21:34

Yes.

Right, OK.

0:21:340:21:35

It's quite quiet, as well.

0:21:370:21:38

I know you're next to a main road.

It's lovely, it's just peaceful.

0:21:380:21:41

It is a peaceful area.

My tenants don't make any noise!

0:21:410:21:45

No, I was going to say,

with these kind of proposals,

0:21:450:21:50

noise isn't usually something

that becomes...

0:21:500:21:52

No problem, really,

with anybody overlooking us.

0:21:520:21:55

Noise may not be an issue

with this application,

0:21:550:21:59

but Nial has other potentially

serious concerns.

0:21:590:22:02

The kind of issues that we need

to consider are,

0:22:020:22:05

impact on anyone who is

living around the site,

0:22:050:22:07

ecology, also ground water

is an issue

0:22:070:22:10

that is particularly relevant

0:22:100:22:12

to burial sites.

0:22:120:22:13

There are strict rules about how

close you can have burial sites

to underground water supplies.

0:22:150:22:21

The cemetery is a stone's throw

away from The Winsford Flashes,

0:22:210:22:26

the area's largest lake system.

0:22:260:22:28

Nial has to be sure that Allen's

natural interments aren't

0:22:290:22:32

polluting the local water supply.

0:22:320:22:34

Objector Simon Boone has also

picked up on the potential

pollution problem.

0:22:390:22:43

What you've got is a series

of ditch courses,

0:22:440:22:48

and these ditch courses lead

eventually to the flashes.

0:22:480:22:53

And there are also some small ponds,

as well, in these fields.

0:22:540:22:57

This isn't drinking water,

0:22:570:22:59

but further along here it could get

into the system that we all use.

0:22:590:23:07

My concern is what type of burials

we are dealing with

0:23:070:23:11

and how that will affect

the water course.

0:23:110:23:14

You picture people getting

buried in wicker baskets

0:23:140:23:18

and then seeping out into, you know,

the water table.

0:23:180:23:22

I'm told that isn't the case,

and let's hope it isn't.

0:23:220:23:25

It's a very serious issue,

0:23:290:23:31

so the onus is on the applicant

to show us that it is possible

0:23:310:23:35

to carry out the development

without causing any big problems,

0:23:350:23:38

so, for a burial site,

it's up to the applicant

0:23:380:23:41

to do a survey of the site

and to provide the information

0:23:410:23:44

and show us that it's not

going to affect groundwater.

0:23:440:23:48

If for whatever reason it shows

there might be a problem,

0:23:480:23:51

then we have little choice

but to refuse the application

0:23:510:23:55

on the grounds of an unacceptable

impact on the environment.

0:23:550:24:00

Allen must now prove to the planners

that the site is safe.

0:24:090:24:12

I'm digging a test hole

to test for the groundwater level.

0:24:120:24:18

We are supposed to dig

a metre below the depth.

0:24:180:24:21

Striking water now could mean

a definite refusal.

0:24:230:24:26

If I find water,

I'll be digging my own grave!

0:24:270:24:31

Britain's planners receive

over half a million letters

of objection every year.

0:24:440:24:48

In the chocolate box

Cotswolds countryside,

0:24:500:24:53

a community is up in arms against

the latest planning application.

0:24:530:24:58

I have always said about Box, people

think it is just a collection

0:24:580:25:02

of lovely Cotswold cottages.

0:25:020:25:04

But 50% of what makes this village

is the people who live in them

0:25:040:25:06

because they do take part.

Brian lives just opposite here,

0:25:060:25:10

he writes the pantomimes

for the children.

0:25:100:25:12

I think you're doing your fourth

rewrite of this year's!

Fourth rewrite of Treasure Island.

0:25:120:25:17

That phone box is well known locally

because it is a library.

0:25:170:25:20

Talk of the devil,

here comes Carolyn

who looks after the library.

0:25:200:25:25

Our librarian!

0:25:250:25:26

Don't film me today, please!

0:25:270:25:30

It is a community. It is not just

a set of 90-odd houses.

0:25:310:25:35

We do need as many people

contributing to this village

as we possibly can.

0:25:350:25:40

Which is our concern,

where private dwellings get consumed

for other purposes.

0:25:400:25:45

The Cotswold Chine school,

which looks after

60 children with special needs

0:25:470:25:52

bought these three cottages and has

applied for planning permission

to turn them into care homes.

0:25:520:25:58

But parish councillor Steve has

objected on behalf of the residents.

0:25:580:26:01

I am very supportive

of what the school does.

0:26:010:26:04

There is a great drive

for expansion of the school.

0:26:040:26:08

Which now means they've got to start

cannibalising the village

to get the space.

0:26:080:26:13

They already have the pub

next door, that's closed now,

has been for a year or so.

0:26:130:26:19

They recently purchased the woods

and tried to limit

0:26:190:26:22

the freedom of residents to walk

the woods as they had for years.

0:26:220:26:25

Jake Lucas is the school's

principal. He's been at the school

for 21 years.

0:26:300:26:35

Try not to limp.

0:26:350:26:38

I broke my ankle playing football

with the teachers. That was stupid.

0:26:380:26:42

You shouldn't do it at 45

0:26:420:26:43

but I thought it was a good idea

at the time.

0:26:430:26:46

Jake knows that, following the

school's expansion in recent years,

0:26:460:26:50

the residents of the village

are feeling boxed in.

0:26:500:26:54

I've heard remarks made

and I've seen objections.

0:26:540:26:58

The school provides education

0:26:580:27:00

and care for young people

between the ages of eight to 19,

0:27:000:27:05

who have experienced childhood trauma

or childhood adversity.

0:27:050:27:11

I think there have been

some complications in the past

0:27:120:27:16

concerning our use

of the Halfway Cafe,

0:27:160:27:20

which obviously we changed

from a public house into a cafe.

0:27:200:27:24

We purchased Box Woods

because we know

0:27:240:27:27

that our young people

really need safe, outdoor space,

0:27:270:27:31

where they can run around and play.

0:27:310:27:33

What could be better

than your own wood?

0:27:330:27:35

I don't think that vulnerable people

with a disability

0:27:350:27:39

living in a village is an intrusion.

0:27:390:27:41

The residents asked to be consulted

about any new expansion

to the school,

0:27:430:27:48

but they don't think

their views are being considered.

0:27:480:27:51

The dominant argument is

that they must always think of

the children first, above all else.

0:27:510:27:57

While I understand their duty is

to look after the children,

0:27:570:28:01

it seems to be, in this case,

at the expense of the community

which they are part of.

0:28:010:28:05

The school's application is now

in the hands of the planners.

0:28:110:28:15

The application is for

the three buildings to my left.

0:28:170:28:21

They are right on the periphery of

the school. This is the school here.

0:28:210:28:27

Then we have the village of Box

running down here.

0:28:270:28:30

Normally it wouldn't be

a complicated issue.

0:28:300:28:33

Here we are in the hamlet of Box,

where the community is very strong

0:28:330:28:38

and feelings run very high about

any change of use of residence.

0:28:380:28:42

You have a big institution

and a small community.

0:28:420:28:46

There might be a perception

0:28:460:28:49

that the school is going to

subsume the village.

0:28:490:28:53

I'm trying to prepare people

for leaving care.

0:28:540:28:57

You can see that the table was set

this morning by the young people.

0:28:590:29:03

They would have had their breakfast

in here, and then they clear

the dishes away,

0:29:030:29:07

they wash up and set the table

for their own lunch.

0:29:070:29:10

That's very important, that there's

a sense of structure and rhythm

and routine to the day.

0:29:100:29:14

Planner Phil has eight weeks

to come up with his recommendation.

0:29:140:29:19

We've had quite a few objections

already to this application.

0:29:190:29:23

So we'll have to look at

what they're saying

and how we can handle that.

0:29:230:29:27

If we are not successful,

it may mean

0:29:300:29:33

young people may have to move back

into some of our larger houses.

0:29:330:29:37

Which seems pretty unfair

when they are progressing to

0:29:370:29:42

a level of semi-independence,

ready for moving on.

0:29:420:29:47

In South Wales, a car wash has

applied for retrospective

0:29:590:30:03

planning permission to continue

trading in this residential area.

0:30:030:30:07

But with neighbours complaining

about noise,

0:30:070:30:10

the planners commissioned

a sound test

0:30:100:30:12

before making their recommendation.

0:30:120:30:15

Results have just come in.

0:30:150:30:16

When we are dealing with

subjective issues such as noise

0:30:180:30:22

and the way noise affects people,

we have to look at the numbers.

0:30:220:30:25

And while there may be

some irritation factors

0:30:250:30:28

or annoyance factors of this,

I don't think

0:30:280:30:31

they are sufficiently large enough

that we would say that this

0:30:310:30:36

has necessarily got a health effect

on the people living next to it.

0:30:360:30:40

It's bad news for the neighbours

of the car wash.

0:30:400:30:43

When a new noise comes

to an environment,

0:30:430:30:46

when you haven't experienced it, we

all notice it more, as people accept

0:30:460:30:52

road noise because there is very

little that can be done about it.

0:30:520:30:56

With Environmental Health

giving the all-clear,

0:30:590:31:02

planner Richard can now

make his recommendation.

0:31:020:31:05

From a statutory noise point of

view, there is no issue, it is

0:31:050:31:09

not a statutory noise problem.

0:31:090:31:12

So we recommend

the application be approved.

0:31:120:31:16

The planners may have recommended

approval, but there is a lifeline

0:31:180:31:23

for Spiro and the other seven

objectors, as it will be down to the

0:31:230:31:27

local planning committee to make the

final decision on this application.

0:31:270:31:31

The noise by my patio,

it really gets you.

0:31:310:31:35

HE IMITATES THE CAR WASH

0:31:350:31:37

Yes.

You know?

Yeah.

0:31:370:31:39

It gets you crazy.

0:31:390:31:41

26-year-old councillor David Daniels

will be among the people

making that decision.

0:31:410:31:45

But since he is also the ward

councillor for this area,

0:31:450:31:49

he has come to offer advice

to these objectors.

0:31:490:31:52

I would recommend you guys make

a representation on the day.

0:31:520:31:55

If you want to argue your case

effectively,

0:31:550:31:58

I would exercise

your democratic right to speak.

0:31:580:32:01

I think it is actually important

to convey to the committee

0:32:010:32:05

how much of an effect

it has on you guys.

0:32:050:32:07

It may not refer to planning policy,

but it still counts,

0:32:070:32:10

that's what the committee

is there for.

0:32:100:32:12

It's not the first time

Councillor Daniels has got

0:32:140:32:17

summoned by worried residents

ahead of planning committees.

0:32:170:32:20

I am quite familiar with

the concerns that this group

have got now.

0:32:200:32:26

So it's all about drawing up some

questions for the committee to ask

0:32:260:32:31

and get answers for them, basically.

0:32:310:32:33

But right now, Councillor Daniels

has a concern of his own.

0:32:330:32:37

He is stranded in the rain.

0:32:370:32:39

I'm going to try to find out

whether my mum can give me a lift.

0:32:390:32:43

That's my arrangement at the moment.

Until I can afford a car.

0:32:430:32:48

Dreadful with her phone, my mum.

0:32:480:32:50

In Winsford, Cheshire, someone else

is waiting for his phone to ring.

0:33:020:33:06

Grave-digger Allen Plumbley wants

to know the outcome of his burial

planning application.

0:33:060:33:12

Will you hear from the planners

soon?

I hope so.

0:33:120:33:16

I don't know how they

spend their time.

0:33:180:33:20

He has carried out a series of tests

to check if there is a risk

0:33:200:33:24

that burials on the site could

pollute the local water supply.

0:33:240:33:28

Doesn't that look nice

and comfortable in there?

0:33:280:33:31

The results are in and planner Nial

has finally reached a decision.

0:33:310:33:35

Most of the holes came back showing

there was about 300mm of topsoil.

0:33:380:33:42

Which, you know...yay.

0:33:420:33:45

And another 2.5 to 3 metres

of a mixture of clay and sand

0:33:450:33:49

underneath that, so pretty good soil

for burying people.

0:33:490:33:54

So we don't have any objections

on pollution grounds

0:33:560:33:59

and we can proceed with it.

0:33:590:34:02

MOBILE RINGS

0:34:060:34:08

Hello. Swanlow Park Cemetery.

0:34:080:34:10

Hello, Allen, it's Nial

from the planning department.

0:34:100:34:14

Hello, how are you? Are you well?

Not so bad, are you good?

0:34:140:34:17

Not so bad,

I'm in the grave here! Go on.

0:34:170:34:21

It's good news,

we have decided to grant permission.

0:34:210:34:24

So the notice that sets out your

permissions and the conditions

we have attached to it,

0:34:250:34:30

that will be with you

in a couple of days.

Thank you.

0:34:300:34:34

Ta-ra. Ta-ra.

0:34:340:34:36

He was actually in a grave,

actually in a grave.

0:34:370:34:42

A little bit creepy, isn't it?

0:34:440:34:46

You wouldn't get me

sat in a grave, definitely not.

0:34:460:34:49

Allen has got the green light.

0:34:520:34:54

With just one objector,

0:34:540:34:55

his case won't need to go

to the full planning committee.

0:34:550:34:57

But he hasn't had it all

his own way.

0:34:570:35:00

The conditions that

the council put on,

0:35:000:35:02

whereby we can't bury anyone

within ten metres of any boundary,

0:35:020:35:07

will reduce the site

by about a third.

0:35:070:35:11

It will be all right.

Just have to put them a bit closer.

0:35:110:35:14

Next-door neighbour Simon

may have lost his fight

0:35:180:35:21

to stop the development,

but he is seeing the funny side.

0:35:210:35:24

Dead good water, that!

0:35:260:35:28

I'm not surprised, it's what

I expected, to be honest.

0:35:310:35:35

More quiet neighbours next door!

0:35:350:35:37

Also in Cheshire, a proposed new

development

0:35:450:35:49

stands to drive 2,000

university students

0:35:490:35:51

away from Chester city centre

into the green belt.

0:35:510:35:54

With a massive number of supporters

and objectors from both sides

of the city,

0:35:550:35:59

it has been decided that, for

the first time in Chester's history,

0:35:590:36:04

every elected councillor will vote

on this planning application.

0:36:040:36:07

There is clearly a lot of disquiet

about this application

0:36:070:36:11

and I think people feel,

rightly or wrongly,

0:36:110:36:15

that it will get a fairer hearing

at a full council meeting.

0:36:150:36:19

The application will be determined

in a democratic manner.

0:36:190:36:22

Our recommendation as officers

will go to a body of members,

0:36:220:36:26

to have an open, honest,

transparent debate,

0:36:260:36:30

and members will come to a view

on the application.

0:36:300:36:32

The councillors,

including an ex-police sergeant,

0:36:360:36:40

a theology student and the manager

of a salt mine, are about to visit

0:36:400:36:44

the proposed site

of the student village,

in preparation for the vote.

0:36:440:36:48

The tension builds!

Why do you say that?

0:36:480:36:51

Everyone has just gone quiet

now the bus has started.

0:36:510:36:55

Shout for Harry!

0:36:590:37:00

Kingdom! And St George!

0:37:000:37:04

Ready for the arrival

of the councillors,

0:37:050:37:07

residents have prepared

a special welcome committee.

0:37:070:37:11

I, as a revolting pensioner, object.

0:37:110:37:16

But then I object

to most things in life.

0:37:160:37:19

That is why

I am permanently revolting.

0:37:200:37:23

The councillors' first glimpse

of the student village site

0:37:230:37:26

is from a clearing

a mile away from the residents.

0:37:260:37:30

If we are sitting here in 15 years'

time, what would our aspect be like?

0:37:300:37:35

Would it be basically a range of

buildings across the skyline?

Would it be that?

0:37:350:37:40

Yes, it is a big development and

it will be obvious looking at it.

0:37:400:37:44

Anyone have a question for members?

0:37:440:37:46

Shall we move on then?

0:37:460:37:47

The community has certainly got

together over it, haven't they?

0:37:520:37:57

They are obviously all keen

to let us know their feelings,

0:37:580:38:02

that they don't like it.

0:38:020:38:04

Normally the councillors would

disembark from the coach

0:38:040:38:07

to explore the site,

but this time they choose not to.

0:38:070:38:11

Do you want to stay here?

We'll stay here, thank you.

0:38:110:38:13

It's difficult

if there are a lot of protesters.

0:38:130:38:15

Normally it's easier to stay away.

0:38:150:38:18

We are all pensioners,

what can they be frightened of?

0:38:180:38:20

You'd be surprised!

0:38:200:38:22

Let's let their tyres down!

0:38:220:38:24

How about parading around the bus?

Come on.

I'm game.

0:38:240:38:29

I am going to put my cup of tea down.

0:38:290:38:32

No to the student village!

0:38:320:38:34

At what point

could the developers say,

0:38:390:38:42

"I am going to sell these

as houses"?

0:38:420:38:44

We have to make sure whatever

decision we make is pertinent

0:38:440:38:47

to the application in front of

us now, we cannot go into

the realms of speculation.

0:38:470:38:52

I think it's time maybe to move

the bus, if you don't mind?

0:38:520:38:55

Can they read?

0:38:560:38:58

I think we need to move away

from here.

0:38:580:39:01

OK, if we are all done,

let's move away.

0:39:010:39:04

And I'm not having that they were

frightened of a bunch of pensioners.

0:39:040:39:09

You tell them.

Even if we are

revolting.

I can't believe that!

0:39:090:39:15

You didn't get out. Why was that?

0:39:150:39:17

I was thinking of getting out, but

not wanting to go against advice.

0:39:170:39:22

I don't believe this council.

I'm not voting next time.

0:39:280:39:32

Having seen the site,

0:39:320:39:34

the councillors will gather again

tomorrow

0:39:340:39:36

to give the final verdict

on this application.

0:39:360:39:39

They will not build

that student village there.

0:39:400:39:42

To spoil that.

0:39:430:39:46

No. It can't happen.

0:39:470:39:50

And there's someone else hoping to

create new student accommodation.

0:39:540:39:58

In Box, Gloucestershire,

0:39:590:40:01

the Chine School wants to

turn these three cottages

0:40:010:40:04

into residential care homes

for its special needs pupils.

0:40:040:40:07

It's been a controversial

application

0:40:090:40:11

with 54 objections

from local residents,

0:40:110:40:14

but head planner Phil Skill has

made up his mind on this case.

0:40:140:40:17

Given that this is merely

three houses in a row

0:40:190:40:22

already in the ownership

of the school,

0:40:220:40:25

how can I demonstrate that

that change is harmful?

0:40:250:40:28

To be quite honest,

I don't think I can.

0:40:280:40:31

In these circumstances,

I think we'd be hard pushed

0:40:310:40:34

not to be recommending permission,

so permission is what's recommended.

0:40:340:40:37

It's a bitter blow

for the residents.

0:40:400:40:43

There are about 100 buildings

in Box.

0:40:430:40:46

In the past 20 years,

the school bought five of them,

0:40:460:40:49

as well as the local woods,

and the local pub,

0:40:490:40:52

which was turned into a cafe.

0:40:520:40:54

Half price, Fosters.

0:41:010:41:03

We're trying to get rid of it!

0:41:030:41:06

SHE LAUGHS

0:41:030:41:06

Yeah, have a drink, for God's sake.

0:41:060:41:08

We open the village hall

and we have a pay bar.

0:41:080:41:11

All the villagers come

and catch up on the news.

0:41:110:41:14

After losing the pub,

the residents feel

0:41:150:41:18

like they're being pushed aside

by the school's expansion.

0:41:180:41:21

Bit by bit,

they've encroached on our village

0:41:210:41:25

and it's beginning

to affect village life,

0:41:250:41:28

it's beginning

to affect our community,

0:41:280:41:31

and we seem a bit powerless

to stop what's been happening.

0:41:310:41:34

But not all is lost

for the Box objectors.

0:41:360:41:38

The final decision on

the school's latest application

0:41:440:41:47

is down to the 12 elected members

of the planning committee,

0:41:470:41:50

who have the power to go against

planner Phil's recommendations.

0:41:500:41:54

There are two sides to every story,

0:41:540:41:58

so it will be interesting to see

what it looks like, geographically.

0:41:580:42:03

And we have to make a judgement

0:42:030:42:06

based on all the facts

in front of us.

0:42:060:42:09

It's not surprising that,

on a committee of 12 people,

0:42:110:42:14

there will be 12 different opinions.

0:42:140:42:16

And they will all

be different to mine.

0:42:160:42:18

From a planning point of view,

if the houses had a resident adult

0:42:250:42:29

who lived there permanently,

0:42:290:42:31

and the children lived

with them as boarders,

0:42:310:42:34

that would be a house and therefore

there'd be no change of use.

0:42:340:42:37

The issue before you

is the use of a rota carer,

0:42:370:42:42

rather than a permanent carer.

That's the difference.

0:42:420:42:45

It becomes more like

a children's home.

0:42:450:42:48

And it's that change

which is being applied for.

0:42:480:42:50

If the application is approved,

0:42:500:42:53

the houses will cease to be

ordinary residential dwellings.

0:42:530:42:57

I think what we have got to unravel

here is what the actual application

0:42:570:43:02

is saying, rather than what

the feelings of the villagers are.

0:43:020:43:06

It is an extremely difficult

application, actually.

0:43:060:43:11

Because the children's interests

have to be considered as well,

0:43:110:43:14

and that's the primary concern

that I have.

0:43:140:43:17

The councillors will gather

to give their verdict in four days.

0:43:190:43:22

In Llantarnam, south Wales,

the local planning committee

0:43:280:43:31

is also about to gather to decide

0:43:310:43:34

whether to give permission for

this car wash to keep trading.

0:43:340:43:37

The youngest committee member

0:43:370:43:40

is 26-year-old animal behaviour

graduate David Daniels,

0:43:400:43:44

who was elected 18 months ago.

0:43:440:43:46

I guess I am a bit different

from your average councillor.

0:43:470:43:50

People say,

"Oh, you're young for a counsellor."

0:43:500:43:53

and they are quite happy to see

something a bit different.

0:43:530:43:56

Is that someone's birthday?

0:43:560:43:59

LAUGHING:

It was

my birthday last week.

0:43:590:44:03

This is a card from

my nan and granddad's dog.

0:44:030:44:07

I love my grandparents.

They're brilliant.

0:44:090:44:12

They give money

and then I get lots of sweets

0:44:120:44:14

because they know I love sweets.

0:44:140:44:16

Is it working now?

0:44:220:44:24

Right. Is it working now?

0:44:240:44:27

FEEDBACK ON MICROPHONE

0:44:270:44:29

After carrying out a sound test,

the planners are satisfied

0:44:290:44:33

the car wash is quiet enough

for them to recommend approval.

0:44:330:44:36

Good afternoon, everyone.

It's working.

0:44:360:44:40

But when voting time comes, these

elected councillors have the power

0:44:400:44:43

to overturn that recommendation

and close the business.

0:44:430:44:47

There's no reason why

they should allow this to go ahead.

0:44:470:44:50

We have put up with it

for 18 months.

0:44:500:44:52

It's made our life a misery for 18

months. We just want it to stop now.

0:44:520:44:55

Making his argument for the car wash

0:44:580:45:00

is planning consultant

Gereint Hurst.

0:45:000:45:03

We feel that we have addressed

those issues.

0:45:030:45:05

We've undertaken

an independent report

0:45:050:45:08

with regards to noise

and general disturbance,

0:45:080:45:11

which your own professional

environmental health officers

0:45:110:45:15

have corroborated.

0:45:150:45:17

The outcome is, there is little

impact on the residential amenity.

0:45:170:45:22

Thank you very much.

0:45:220:45:24

Then it's Beverley's turn.

0:45:270:45:30

We live on a road

where we take great pride

0:45:310:45:33

in the appearance of our homes.

But, in the last 18 months,

0:45:330:45:36

it has felt as if we live

on an industrial estate.

0:45:360:45:39

Normally the jet wash is loud enough

to wake me up on a Sunday morning.

0:45:390:45:43

The building is unsightly,

badly maintained,

0:45:430:45:46

there's rubbish left there regularly

0:45:460:45:48

and it's not a suitable place

to be washing cars.

0:45:480:45:51

No... It is just horrific. It is

not the place for this. Thank you.

0:45:510:45:56

We are voting now

to approve this application.

0:45:590:46:03

It's now down to the councillors

to decide on this application

0:46:030:46:07

with a show of hands.

0:46:070:46:09

We'll vote on that now.

0:46:090:46:11

The car wash has wiped the floor

with the objectors.

0:46:110:46:14

Every single councillor

0:46:140:46:15

has voted in favour

of their application.

0:46:150:46:18

That's unanimous, so this

application has been approved.

0:46:180:46:21

Was it a difficult one for you?

It was a difficult one...

0:46:240:46:28

because, to trade being there...

0:46:280:46:29

They are jobs, at the end of the day.

0:46:290:46:31

Especially in this climate.

0:46:310:46:33

It's about striking the balance

between the impact on residents

0:46:330:46:37

and then a trade being there,

basically.

0:46:370:46:41

I guess you are not going

to be popular with residents?

0:46:410:46:44

That's not why we're in the

planning committee, though, is it?

0:46:440:46:48

You're not in the

planning committee to be popular.

0:46:480:46:51

For the residents, it's a whitewash.

0:46:510:46:53

Make them sit outside on my patio,

and see how they stand it.

0:46:530:46:58

How they stand the noise

or the spray.

0:46:580:47:02

My wife is having

a nervous breakdown.

0:47:020:47:04

But there you go.

0:47:050:47:07

You try and do everything right

and do you get any justice?

0:47:070:47:09

This doesn't feel like justice.

0:47:090:47:11

All I want to be able to do

is open my bedroom curtains

0:47:110:47:14

and not just look at a load

of cars, vans and tractors

0:47:140:47:17

being washed outside

of my bedroom window.

0:47:170:47:20

Not a lot we can do about it now.

I have to go. Thanks.

0:47:200:47:24

24 hours later,

0:47:370:47:39

Beverley has found the ultimate

solution for the car wash problem.

0:47:390:47:43

She put her house up for sale,

and is looking for a new one.

0:47:430:47:47

It's a historic day for Chester.

0:47:550:47:58

For the first time,

0:47:580:47:59

all the elected councillors

have been called to decide

0:47:590:48:02

on a planning application to build

a massive student village

0:48:020:48:05

on the green belt.

0:48:050:48:07

Head planner Fiona Edwards

0:48:070:48:09

has finally come up with

her own recommendation.

0:48:090:48:12

For us, as officers,

it is a clear-cut refusal.

0:48:130:48:16

It is an inappropriate development

in the green belt,

0:48:160:48:19

for which they need to demonstrate

very special circumstances.

0:48:190:48:21

We certainly do not consider

that they have done that.

0:48:210:48:24

It is a refusal on those grounds,

but it's also a refusal

0:48:240:48:27

in terms of the impact on the

historic landscape of the city

0:48:270:48:29

and the countryside itself.

0:48:290:48:32

The developers proposed

the construction of a sports centre

0:48:320:48:35

run by Sir Steve Redgrave.

0:48:350:48:37

But that wasn't enough to sway the

planners into recommending approval.

0:48:370:48:41

When voting time comes, however,

0:48:410:48:43

these 55 councillors have the power

0:48:430:48:45

to go against

the planners' recommendation.

0:48:450:48:48

And Sir Steve Redgrave will

personally try to convince them

0:48:480:48:52

to vote in favour of the scheme.

0:48:520:48:54

This is going to be a serious

and difficult planning application

0:48:540:48:57

that we are discussing this evening.

0:48:570:49:00

So I would ask visitors not to clap,

cheer or heckle in any way at all.

0:49:000:49:07

But first to speak is another

supporter of the application,

0:49:070:49:11

Garden Quarter resident Avril Coady,

who, along with her neighbours,

0:49:110:49:15

is hoping students would relocate

away from the city centre.

0:49:150:49:19

Am I on now? Yes? Good.

0:49:190:49:22

Chester City is at a tipping point.

0:49:220:49:25

The deterioration in parts of

the city over the last decade

0:49:250:49:28

have been caused primarily by

the increasing numbers of students

0:49:280:49:31

living alongside

permanent residents,

0:49:310:49:34

who have had to deal with

anti-social behaviour,

0:49:340:49:37

disruptive street noise,

0:49:370:49:39

parking problems and verbal abuse.

0:49:390:49:42

How far does this deterioration

have to go

0:49:420:49:44

before the university and the city

realise that a student village

0:49:440:49:49

would address many of these issues?

0:49:490:49:51

Your vote tonight will determine

our city's future.

0:49:510:49:54

I make no exaggeration. We need

a student village now. Thank you.

0:49:540:50:00

APPLAUSE

0:50:000:50:03

This is a planning meeting,

so please refrain from clapping.

0:50:050:50:09

Ruth is going to speak

on behalf of the objectors.

0:50:100:50:13

Green belt land is a priceless asset

to the United Kingdom.

0:50:140:50:18

Given the fact we are a small country

with a large population,

0:50:180:50:21

it is vital

we preserve open spaces.

0:50:210:50:24

I therefore hope

this particular proposal

0:50:240:50:27

will be refused and that the local

people's voice will be heard.

0:50:270:50:30

The next speaker has won

six Olympic medals.

0:50:310:50:35

But to get permission

to build his sports centre

0:50:350:50:37

alongside the student village,

0:50:370:50:39

Sir Steve Redgrave will have

to win over 55 councillors.

0:50:390:50:42

Chairman, Councillors,

0:50:440:50:45

thank you for this opportunity

to speak about our proposal today.

0:50:450:50:49

The Redgrave Institute is my vision

for integrated sports delivery,

0:50:490:50:53

for aspiring elite athletes,

students, community and our children.

0:50:530:50:59

Chester is where I want

my institute to be based.

0:50:590:51:02

It is a good place

with good people who care.

0:51:020:51:05

I think we can do something special

in Chester. Thank you for your time.

0:51:050:51:10

The councillors must

now prepare to vote,

0:51:100:51:13

as no-one else is scheduled

to speak...officially, at least.

0:51:130:51:17

..all of you, for what you

are doing!

Please, sit down!

0:51:180:51:21

Chester resident Julie wants

the students out of the city centre.

0:51:210:51:26

You'll have to throw me out.

0:51:260:51:29

SCATTERED APPLAUSE

0:51:290:51:31

Shame on the lot of you!

0:51:330:51:35

We will carry on with the debate

which we have not yet finished.

0:51:360:51:41

You should be ashamed! All of you!

0:51:410:51:43

Can we just remind members

0:51:480:51:50

that decisions can only be made

this evening on planning grounds.

0:51:500:51:52

No matter how emotional

you might get about things,

0:51:520:51:55

it is planning grounds

that you need to think about.

0:51:550:51:58

The planners have

recommended refusal.

0:51:580:52:00

Now the time has come

for each councillor to declare

0:52:000:52:03

if they agree with Fiona's decision.

0:52:030:52:06

We are voting in favour

of the recommendation,

0:52:060:52:09

which is to refuse

this application.

0:52:090:52:11

Councillor David Armstrong?

For.

0:52:130:52:17

Councillor Alex Black?

For.

0:52:170:52:20

Councillor Tom Blackmore?

For.

0:52:200:52:23

Councillor Alan McKay?

Abstain.

0:52:250:52:28

Councillor Stuart Parker?

Against.

0:52:280:52:32

SCATTERED APPLAUSE

0:52:280:52:32

Councillor Ben Howell?

For.

0:52:320:52:35

Councillor Keith Board.

For!

0:52:350:52:37

Things don't look good for the

supporters of the student village.

0:52:370:52:41

With just one councillor in favour,

0:52:430:52:45

51 against and three abstentions,

the scheme has been refused.

0:52:450:52:50

Thank you very much. I hope

you all have a safe journey home.

0:52:500:52:54

LOUD CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

0:52:540:52:57

Ecstatic.

0:52:570:52:59

With every "for" there, it was

just even better, wasn't it?

0:52:590:53:02

I've got to go and celebrate now!

0:53:030:53:06

They're all kissing each other

down there!

0:53:060:53:08

Oh, brilliant!

0:53:080:53:10

Oh, definitely a pint.

I'll give you a hug as well.

0:53:100:53:13

We have been disregarded totally,

0:53:160:53:18

and I say "we", the people of Chester

who have to live with this

0:53:180:53:21

on a constant basis.

0:53:210:53:23

Where does that leave us?

0:53:230:53:25

It leaves us struggling to live

a decent life in an ordinary way.

0:53:250:53:29

But were we considered?

No, we weren't.

0:53:290:53:31

It's over, finished.

0:53:330:53:36

I'm going to find my car

and go home.

0:53:360:53:39

I haven't got any wine in the house,

so I will make a cup of cocoa.

0:53:390:53:44

Very boringly! Unless I stop

at the off-licence on the way home,

0:53:440:53:48

which is always a possibility.

0:53:480:53:50

Bye!

Bye!

0:53:520:53:54

But there are some students

who could soon be moving premises.

0:54:020:54:05

The application by a Gloucestershire

special needs school

0:54:050:54:09

to turn three residential cottages

into care homes for their pupils

0:54:090:54:12

has incensed the residents of Box.

0:54:120:54:15

It isn't a problem with having

a school in your backyard,

0:54:160:54:19

it's a problem with

a management team

0:54:190:54:21

who want to close houses

to make the empire grow.

0:54:210:54:24

Tonight, Stroud's planning committee

will decide

0:54:240:54:27

whether to approve or refuse

the school's application.

0:54:270:54:30

I hope we get the right decision,

and if the planning is approved

0:54:300:54:35

in our benefit, it will be

a good result for the young people.

0:54:350:54:39

The planners have

recommended approval,

0:54:410:54:43

but these eight councillors

can decide to overturn

0:54:430:54:47

that recommendation after

they've heard both parties' case.

0:54:470:54:50

First to speak is David Jones,

the school's planning consultant.

0:54:500:54:55

Paragraph 159 of the MPPF recognises

the need to provide accommodation

0:54:560:55:02

to meet the needs of

different groups in the community,

0:55:020:55:05

including people with disabilities.

0:55:050:55:07

I urge this committee to support

that application and recommendation.

0:55:070:55:11

Thank you, members.

0:55:110:55:13

Is there anybody who wishes

to speak against the scheme?

0:55:130:55:16

Yes, please. Thank you, sir.

0:55:160:55:18

Parish Councillor Steve is speaking

on behalf of the Box objectors.

0:55:200:55:24

The Trust has proven it is prepared

to cannibalise the village

0:55:250:55:28

in the process

of expanding its business.

0:55:280:55:30

The loss of three more houses

as conventional domestic dwellings

0:55:300:55:33

and their use instead

as dormitory accommodation

0:55:330:55:36

for students and staff

of the Cotswold Chine School

0:55:360:55:38

would diminish still further

the pool of resource

0:55:380:55:40

from which we can draw

to keep the village a community.

0:55:400:55:43

APPLAUSE

0:55:430:55:46

As the debate opens,

one counsellor takes sides.

0:55:460:55:50

This application in front of you

is another example

0:55:510:55:53

of Novalis just simply ignoring

their sense of community spirit.

0:55:530:55:58

Once you grant this application

for the conversion of three houses,

0:55:580:56:03

what more will happen?

0:56:030:56:05

How many more houses can they buy?

0:56:050:56:08

Enough is enough. We are not,

as a district council,

0:56:080:56:11

going to support

this creeping and creeping

0:56:110:56:14

into the community.

0:56:140:56:15

Mr Chairman, I would like to move

against officers' advice, please,

0:56:150:56:20

and move for refusal.

0:56:200:56:21

Refusal is on the table.

All those in favour, please show?

0:56:240:56:28

Seven.

0:56:320:56:33

All those against, please show?

0:56:330:56:36

Abstentions, please?

0:56:370:56:39

That is carried.

0:56:410:56:43

APPLAUSE

0:56:430:56:45

The committee has refused

the application.

0:56:450:56:48

The school won't be able to

turn its own houses into care homes.

0:56:480:56:52

I think it has been a fair decision

and a right decision.

0:56:520:56:55

I'm hoping Cotswold Chine now,

and Novalis, will now say,

0:56:550:56:58

"OK, we're going to work

with Box residents

0:56:580:57:00

"and the district councillors,"

and actually reach a compromise

0:57:000:57:03

so the two communities

can get on better.

0:57:030:57:06

The council has made

the correct decision

0:57:070:57:10

because that's

the decision they came to.

0:57:100:57:13

We'll see whether it's

the right decision if it's appealed.

0:57:140:57:17

For the school,

it's not a case of "if" but "when".

0:57:170:57:22

Ultimately, it will be

an appeal inspector

0:57:220:57:24

who determines

the final decision.

0:57:240:57:27

I think it's very upsetting that

we work with a very vulnerable group

0:57:270:57:31

of young people, who,

at the end of the day,

0:57:310:57:33

just want somewhere to live,

and they just want a home,

0:57:330:57:35

but we will appeal.

0:57:350:57:37

CHEERING

0:57:370:57:40

But we realise

there's going to be an appeal,

0:57:400:57:42

so we look forward to the time when

the Chine come and have a talk to us.

0:57:420:57:46

Yes, absolutely.

Yep.

0:57:460:57:47

Next time, residents see red over

a proposed new housing development.

0:57:540:57:59

That is our history,

0:57:590:58:01

and that's what they want

to put all this housing on.

0:58:010:58:04

Urgh, developer!

0:58:040:58:06

Locals don't want to see a new

business venture get off the ground.

0:58:060:58:10

Hovercrafting?

It's a noise pollution.

0:58:100:58:13

It's not an accepted thing

in a quiet, little town.

0:58:130:58:16

And a constituent

loses faith in democracy.

0:58:160:58:20

I don't know about the law being an

ass, I think the council's an ass.

0:58:200:58:23

In this episode, a controversial application to build a student village on the green belt of Chester divides the local population. To help sway the planners into recommending approval, the developers are proposing to construct a sports centre, designed and run by Sir Steve Redgrave. But can this Olympic athlete win them the planning permission they need?

Also in Cheshire, planning manager Nial Casselden is assessing an application that's a matter of life or death. Gravedigger Alan Plumbley applied for planning permission to treble the size of his ecologically friendly burial ground, but with concerns the water supply could be affected, locals are objecting.

In the village of Box, Gloucestershire, a special needs school for children with social, emotional and behavioural difficulties wants to turn three local cottages into residential care homes for its pupils. But with local residents objecting, the decision to grant or refuse permission will be down to the planning committee.

And in Llantarnam, south Wales, planners have to decide whether or not to close down a car wash business that has been operating in a residential area without planning permission.