Prior Approval Application for the Change of use of an Agricultural Building to a Dwellinghouse, Culford, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk
Case Study Reference: 16-11-03
Planning Authority: West Suffolk Council
In order for the prior approval application to contain sufficient information on the risk posed by potential contamination at the site a Phase I desk study report was required to comply with the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), Policy CS2 (Sustainable Development) of the Core Strategy and Policy DM14 of the Joint Development Management Policies Document as well as the sensitivity of the final end use (residential).
Demeter Environmental were commissioned to prepare the desk study report.
The review of the historical Ordnance Survey maps revealed that the site was not developed until between 1958 and 1961 which comprised of three sections. A review of the nearby area identified two ponds within 250m of the site, both were identified on the 2014 O.S maps. Aerial plates and streetview images were used to determine the site was occupied by ‘Culford Slab Services’.
The published geology indicted that deposits of alluvium were present in close proximity to the northern boundary.
Information presented in the Groundsure reports and provided by the Environment Agency any off site sources of contamination (including landfills) but did identify the site as being in an ‘environmentally sensitive area’ as well as being underlain by moderate sensitivity groundwater receptors.
The walkover survey was undertaken on completion of the desk based part of the report, which revealed the site was occupied by a barn comprising of several sections which was used for the storage of chicken feed and general storage. Based on the site observations the building was determined not to be a valid source of contamination. As the site was covered by hard-standing the presence of hard-standing could not be discounted.
The qualitative risk assessment was undertaken on the potential sources of contamination, which discounted the ponds off site as well as the use of the buildings as potential sources of contamination, made ground under the site and the nearby alluvium remained as credible sources.
In order to investigate the potential sources of contamination on the site two options were proposed, either undertake an intrusive investigation or to remediate the site assuming the site was impacted by ground gases / impacted made ground.
The proposals for remediation were accepted by the local authority, the memo can be accessed via the West Suffolk planning portal.