Draft Bourn Airfield Supplementary Planning Document - June 2019
Representation ID: 168105
Respondent: DB Group (Holdings) LTD
Agent: Carter Jonas
1.3 KEY ISSUES - 5 RELATIONSHIP WITH THE EMPLOYMENT SITE
It is essential that the proposed Bourn Airfield New Village, with its significant residential content, takes full account of DB Group's existing operations and will not hamper future expansion plans. This will require particular consideration being given to adequate distance separation from noise sources, site and building layout / orientation, provision of acoustic barriers as deemed necessary as a result of detailed assessments (to be provided at the developer's expense), particularly with regard to noise and air quality.
Point 5 of section 1.3, Key Issues, of the draft SPD (Relationship with the employment site) acknowledges the existing manufacturing uses which operate from Bourn Airfield which includes DB Group. DB Group's business was founded in the early 1970s and has been a pioneer in the construction industry since those times. It was originally established to provide specialist sands to industry for cement testing and fuse manufacturing and is still exporting sands all over the world today.
The site which DB Group operate from is located on the north east corner of the Bourn Airfield site. The site is accessed via a shared private road, Wellington Way, which links the site to the roundabout for Highfields Road and St. Neots Road (the old A428). Wellington Way is a no-through road, providing access to the site and other industrial and storage buildings to the eastern edge of the airfield only. The site includes mature areas of woodland which screens the site from views to the south and partially to the west. There is also mature woodland adjacent to the site which screens views from the east.
DB Group began operating from Bourn Airfield in 2012 following comprehensive works to facilitate the use of the site for their operations (refer to planning permission reference S/1712/12/FL). These works facilitated the relocation of their operations from their former site in Lolworth. This relocation was necessary in order to expand production and increase employment as a result of new developments within the construction industry.
The site at Bourn Airfield was, and continues to be, ideal for meeting DB Group's needs. It was chosen as being within commuting distance for its employees; and provided significant expansion potential within the acquired plot (and possibly onto neighbouring land too). South Cambridgeshire is, therefore, an optimum location for the continued presence and expansion of this well-established local firm.
The operations and processes which take place on site include the following:
* Sand grading - filtering sand to provide different levels of fineness;
* Production of additives used in concrete mixes - blending of powders from silo storage;
* Warehousing - receipt and dispatch of goods either manufactured or purchased off site for resale.
These uses, in combination, amount to a B2 General Industrial use. The blending and grading processes undertaken on site generate external noise, particularly in respect of the extraction system used to capture and recycle dust particles from the manufacturing processes to maintain air quality. The site is also serviced by an average of 2 incoming and 3 outgoing HGV movements a day.
The company currently employs 27 full time staff on site with a further 40 being primarily field based and visiting the site approximately once a week.
DB Group are currently exploring a number of expansion opportunities on site. One of these is a volumetric truck operator to supply concrete directly to customers. Activity at their existing site at Bourn associated with this operation would be carried out externally and would entail filling the various hoppers on the vehicle. This would require at least one further silo on site and the use of a mechanical loader to take aggregates and sand from external storage bays. These operations have the potential to increase the level of noise generated at the site and would also increase HGV movements.
In light of the above, it is essential that the proposed Bourn Airfield New Village, with its significant residential content, takes full account of DB Group's existing operations and will not hamper future expansion plans. This will require particular consideration being given to adequate distance separation from noise sources, site and building layout / orientation, provision of acoustic barriers as deemed necessary as a result of detailed assessments (to be provided at the developer's expense), particularly with regard to noise and air quality.
This accords with the Planning Practice Guidance (PPG) which states:
"How can the risk of conflict between new development and existing businesses or facilities be addressed?
Development proposed in the vicinity of existing businesses, community facilities or other activities may need to put suitable mitigation measures in place to avoid those activities having a significant adverse effect on residents or users of the proposed scheme.
In these circumstances the applicant (or 'agent of change') will need to clearly identify the effects of existing businesses that may cause a nuisance (including noise, but also dust, odours, vibration and other sources of pollution) and the likelihood that they could have a significant adverse effect on new residents/users. In doing so, the agent of change will need to take into account not only the current activities that may cause a nuisance, but also those activities that businesses or other facilities are permitted to carry out, even if they are not occurring at the time of the application being made.
The agent of change will also need to define clearly the mitigation being proposed to address any potential significant adverse effects that are identified. Adopting this approach may not prevent all complaints from the new residents/users about noise or other effects, but can help to achieve a satisfactory living or working environment, and help to mitigate the risk of a statutory nuisance being found if the new development is used as designed (for example, keeping windows closed and using alternative ventilation systems when the noise or other effects are occurring)."
Paragraph: 009 Reference ID: 30-009-20190722
Revision date: 22 07 2019