News and Updates
In the third of our series of updates, the following is our response to the Inspector's question regarding the designation of the Bourn airfield site as previously developed (brownfield) land. This was included in our submission to the Inspector on 16 February 2017.
In respect of paragraph 3.40, what proportion of the site as a whole can be classified as previously developed land?
While we acknowledge that airfields, as land that has been previously developed, are now to be regarded as brownfield land we would like to point out that a central premise of the policy has been, and remains, that it should not be assumed that the whole of the curtilage of a brownfield site should be developed. This has been made clear in the definitions of previously developed land set out in Planning Policy Guidance. The definition in Planning Policy Guidance 3 included a footnote that defined curtilage and stated “where the footprint of a building only occupies a proportion of a site of which the remainder is open land (such as at an airfield or a hospital) the whole site should not normally be developed to the boundary of the curtilage.”
The glossary to the National Planning Policy Framework defines previously developed land is "Land which is or was occupied by a permanent structure, including the curtilage of the developed land (although it should not be assumed that the whole of the curtilage should be developed) and any associated fixed surface infrastructure."
Clearly the vast majority of the Bourn Airfield site is agricultural land and woodland. Within the original Major Development Site area the runways and perimeter tracks represent only 16% of the total, the remainder being farmed land. The runways and industrial areas occupy just 14% of the total AAP. This is illustrated below.