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16/P/00106 | Proposed roadside service facility including a petrol filling station and ancillary shop facilities, car wash and parking and new access on land at Runfold Farm. | Land at Runfold Farm, Grange Road, Tongham, GU10 1QJ
  • Total Consulted: 4
  • Comments Received: 2
  • Objections: 0
  • Supporting: 0
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Alan Norris (Neutral)

Comment submitted date: Fri 04 Mar 2016

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Mr Steve Bailey (Neutral)

Comment submitted date: Wed 02 Mar 2016

Application 16/P/00106 Proposed Service Station, Tongham

This proposal will undoubtedly have a negative impact on the Blackwater Valley Strategic Gap in a location that is sensitive for both landscape and ecological reasons. However I acknowledge that the site was identified by Guildford BC as a potential site for a petrol station and has previously benefitted from outline permission for such use. The current application has clearly taken into account its impact on the Valley and I welcome the proposals to maintain a significant a part of the site as open space with public access and ecological mitigation measures. I therefore have no objection to the proposal so long as the following issues are addressed that will minimise its impact and protect the Blackwater Valley countryside in the long term.

1. Maintaining the northern part of the site as green space with habitat improvements and public access will preserve the important link between the rich ecological areas of Tices Meadow (Farnham Quarry) and Tongham Pool. There needs to be a condition for a management plan to ensure this is delivered and adequately maintained ? specifically details on funding and an appropriate body to manage the site are required. A provision for vehicle access to this green space is required to enable site management. The site is currently used by off road motor cycles to the detriment of its SNCI value and measures to address this should be included in any plan.

2. The landscape plan shows a footpath terminating at the rivers edge at the NW corner of the site. In fact people are already using the site to walk from Tongham Pool to Tices Meadow. Preserving and improving this east ? west link would be better. A condition to secure public use of the site is required.

3. The proposed car parking and picnic area shows potential footpath connections into the green space. I support this proposal as it enables use of the greenspace by service station users. It may also make the parking facility attractive to users of Tices Meadow and Tongham Pool and this should be catered for ? perhaps providing a few more parking spaces.

4. Lighting needs to be carefully designed to minimize its visual and ecological impact on nocturnal species.

5. Measures to protect the River Blackwater from possible pollution need to be robust.

6. The River Blackwater that forms the northern boundary to the site has ben canalized in the past leaving it ecologically impoverished. The feasibility to carry out river rechanneling or other enhancement should be investigated (to continue the work already carried out in Tices Meadow).

Steve Bailey Manager

Blackwater Valley Countryside Partnership

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