(Councillor Hewson left the room for the discussion of this item and the following related agenda item, having made a declaration of predetermination in respect of the items to be considered. He took no part in the vote on the matters to be determined).
The Planning Team Leader:
a. reported that planning permission was sought for the following improvement works to Boultham Park as part of the Lake Restoration Project, which was subject to National Lottery Heritage Funding:
· Realignment of part of footpath
· Restoration of stone edges to the lake and installation of water aeration equipment and bank side cabinets (3no. compressors each at two locations on the lake edge)
· Installation of platform for access for boating
· Viewing deck
· 2no. fishing pegs
· 5no. pieces of art
· 5no. associated interpretation boards
b. reported that this was a regulation 3 application made by the City of Lincoln Council and was therefore before Planning Committee this evening
c. stated that the project focussed on improving biodiversity, centred on restoration of the lake in terms of water quality, edge works, access, planting, habitat interpretations, seating and the reintroduction of heritage lake activities including boating and fishing
d. advised that Boultham Park was designated as a Grade 2 Listed Historic Park and Garden
e. provided details of the policies pertaining to the application, as follows:
· Policy LP29 Protecting Lincoln's Setting and Character
· National Planning Policy Framework
f. outlined the responses made to the consultation exercise
g. referred to the update sheet which contained illustrations of artwork and information boards for the park and a revised proposed officer recommendation requesting delegated authority be given to the Planning Manager to grant planning permission conditionally subject to the expiration of the site notices on 18 October 2019 (should no objections be received)
h. advised members of the main issues to be considered as part of the application as to whether there was any harm caused to the character or setting of the designated heritage asset - the historic Park and Garden
i. reported that the application was accompanied by a tree report requesting removal of 41 trees within the park which were either in poor health/condition or which were eroding the lake edges, together with details of work required to another 58 trees
j. added that none of the trees within the Park were protected by Tree Preservation Orders
k. highlighted that the scheme concentrated on improving the water quality of the lake, enhancing its ecology, habitats, biodiversity, immediate setting and enhancing the park for its users
l. concluded that:
· The works proposed would restore and maintain the water quality of the lake, improve access around the lake, and enhance the setting through planting and promoting biodiversity.
· It was considered the proposals would preserve and enhance the setting of the Historic Park and Garden and would enhance the public realm for visitors in accordance with Policy LP 29 of the Central Lincolnshire Local Plan and the National Planning Policy Statement.
Members discussed the content of the report in further detail, raising the following questions:
· The proposals involved installation of water aeration equipment to restore the water quality of the lake over a minimum number of ten years before realising any effect. Was there any mileage in dredging the lake at the same time to accelerate the process?
· How was the boating platform to be secured?
· Would the re-introduction of boats have any impact on wildlife on the lake?
The Planning Team Leader offered the following points of clarification:
· Dredging had been the original proposal for the lake, however, matters of scale and the vast cost of removing the material made this option too expensive.
· The aeration proposal had been used successfully elsewhere.
· The boating platform would be fixed as described within the officer’s report.
· The proposals had been developed in consultation with the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust.
· Further information on wildlife opportunities was included within the next associated agenda item.
RESOLVED that authority be delegated to the Planning Manager to grant planning permission subject to expiration of the site notices on 18 October 2019 (should no objections be received) and subject to the following condition:
· 3 year commencement and plans condition.