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Parish Responds to Maple Road phase 2 planning

6th August 2018 @ 3:03pm
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The following statement is the official Parish Council response to SSDC to the planning application submitted by Summerfield Homes for phase 2 of the Maple Road development, 18/01748/FUL. In supporting the application, the Parish Council has set out what it considers to be important considerations for both SSDC and the developer. Additionally, it sets out some of the considerations that the Council will expect to see in future applications for development within Curry Rivel parish.

Curry Rivel Parish Council Supports the application for 27 houses north of Stanchester Way.

It is quite clear from the contributors who have responded to this application, and whose comments can be seen on the planning website, that the strength of local opposition is undiminished. It is also obvious from personal contact that the objections on the website reflect general opinion. During the consultation done by Summerfield there was only one supporting parishioner. Nevertheless, it is requested that the following observations are considered during the decision process and also put forward to the developer for due consideration.

Following a recent consultation for the Local Plan, Curry Rivel Parish Council put forward a number of suggestions for consideration towards the revised local plan and it is with these suggestions in mind that we request the District Council and the developer to seriously consider the following:

1. Policy SS2 states that development in rural settlements should be strictly controlled and limited to that which provides employment opportunities to the scale of the settlement and / or creates or enhances community facilities and services to the community and / or meet identified housing need particularly affordable housing.

Clearly the first two points relate to the specific community whilst point three does not necessarily relate to specific need but more to District or National targets.

As a Parish Council, and in line with our suggestions within the local plan consultation process, we feel that we should make a strong case for employment opportunities by identifying sites for live / work units. Perhaps this site could be considered as a possible site for live work / units. Fibre optic broadband could be brought from the cabinet at the entrance of Parsonage Place / Stanchester Way to a slave cabinet on the new development site so that all the houses can be connected either by underground fibre cable or a short overhead section of copper cable (least preferred). We should then put in place a policy to help identify local business people who could make a success of these units. It is the view of the Parish Council that the inspector accepted a very weak argument for phase one that employment was provided by the building work (true but short lived and probably few from Curry Rivel involved) and that new residents would spend money in the shops in Curry Rivel and indirectly support employment here. It is noted that yet again they use this argument and we must expose it as being ridiculous by providing a much better longer-term solution.

2. Policy TA 1 requires all new residential developments to support low carbon principles and to support low carbon travel incentives.

So secondly, we should major on mitigating climate change by trying to cut down on car journeys, again using live / work units and helping identify people who could occupy the affordable housing units and who work in Curry, Langport etc. Consideration should be given to the following:
Houses numbered 15-21 on the plan are affordable houses, there is then a group of four houses, 22-25 and then two more affordables, 26-27, which are 2 bed houses, 4x2 bed houses, probably 16-19, 1x2 bed bungalow probably 15 and 2x 3 bed houses, probably 21 and 20. So I suggest we suggest 22-25 to be live work units and that the PC be involved in identifying local people who would benefit from either being able to buy a work- from- home property, probably internet based rather than machinery based, and also in identifying those in the village who would benefit from an affordable.

We also welcome the proposal that all houses who have access to garages or parking places immediately adjacent to their property will be provided with charging points for electric vehicles; however, could the developer go further in providing renewable energy in the form of solar power, even if this is just to heat water it would be a start?

With reference to highways, we also note that a copy of a copy of the SSDC Weekly Planning Applications 15 – 21 June 18_MB.xls posted on the planning website on 06 Jul 18 state "Refer to SCC Comments"; however, there is no SCC comments on the planning website in relation to this application. This is concerning as we would have liked to have seen these comments from SCC – This is especially so as the Copy of SSDC Weekly Planning Application 15 – 21 Jun 18, posted on the planning website on 26 Jun 18, stated an action: "To be considered further". We request a copy of SCC comments.

The Parish Council also does not agree with the statement contained within paragraph 2.18 of the Transport statement in that the developers state: "Traffic survey information has been obtained at the junction of the A378 / Stanchester Way. Traffic Data was obtained in June 2013 within the school term period to ensure robust baseline data. Whilst the data is over 3 years old, given the lack of major developments within Curry Rivel since the survey was undertaken, it is still considered an acceptable representation of existing traffic patterns".
By comparing data collected by speedwatch we have evidence that there has been almost a 20% increase in traffic within the village through the A378 and we therefore request that the developer carry out an up-to-date traffic survey to provide more relevant data.
In addition to this we have noticed that phase 1 has had a considerable detrimental effect to the road surface on Stanchester Way and we therefore consider it imperative that on completion of the development the developers make good Stanchester Way.

As if to strengthen the argument for a more up-to-date traffic survey; following a recent survey (ended July 2018) for the Parish Plan the local residents have placed Traffic and parking as their top concerns within the village.

It is also noted that following the build of phase 1 there is no provision for a life belt around the attenuation pond. The Parish Council consider this to be a failing in the developer taking proper account of their safety obligations for the site. It is the opinion of the Parish Council that the developer should provide, install and maintain, through the management company, an industry recognised life saving device at the edge of the attenuation pond. Indeed, the recognition of the "increase in child occupiers" noted in paragraph 27 of the appeal decision for phase 1 dated 01 October 2015 should have reinforced the need for protecting the younger generation from potentially drowning in an attenuation pond.

In addition, the Parish Council are concerned about the location of the Calor Gas Tank in relation to the children's play area & the four parking bays. We would like assurances, from the building inspectors, that this arrangement is safe & secure especially against sabotage, unlawful interference and / or driver negligence. Also, when filling these tanks are appropriate safeguards in place for the children playing within and around the play area.

Finally, it is noted that there are a number of concerns from the immediate neighbours of the development especially in relation to boundaries. The Parish Council would like assurances that the developer corresponds with those neighbours who have expressed these concerns in order to communicate the developer's intentions for these boundaries

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