PROPOSED SUBMISSION LOCAL PLAN 2006-2028 - Aug 12

Document Section Proposed Submission Local Plan 2006-2028 Market Towns - Vision and Proposals Primary Market Towns - Chard What will the Local Plan Deliver? Chard - Infrastructure Policy PMT2 [View all comments on this section]
Comment ID 2431
Respondent Cuttifords Door and District R… [View all comments by this respondent]
Response Date 14 Aug 2012
Response Type SUPPORT
Comment

LATE REPRESENTATION

Cuttifords Door & District Residents Association attach a copy of their written representations concerning possible amendment to the Local Plan and would be grateful if you would allow this submission which was delayed because of the absence on leave of the Area Development Manager (West) and his reply to our key questions to him which were received on 13 August 2012.

Dr Beaven has sent us a copy of his email to you dated August 97th and, whilst welcoming his robust response, CDDRA is concerned that there are a number of important planning misconceptions and wish to advise you that this email is Dr Beaven's personal view.  As you will note from our attachment CDDRA has always supported the Local Plan.

Representations by Cuttiford's Door & District Resident's Association (CDDRA) Objecting to the Proposals in the Vision Document Mount Hindrance Chard June 2012

The proposed development on the northern boundary of the town of 450 houses 3720 m2 employment land, a neighbourhood centre and the relocation of the Chard Town Football Club (CTFC) would defeat and render void all the proposals in the SSDC original adopted local plan now modified by the Core Strategy and called the submitted Local Plan including relevant details in the Chard Regeneration Plan (CRS) and Framework.  CDF and the Chard Eastern Development Area (CEDA).

These statutory documents painstakingly prepared over the last 20 years, publicly examined with full community backing now being submitted to the Inspector involve 3207 dwellings 19 ha employment land 2 primary schools 4 neighbourhood centres and highway and infrastructure improvements.  All this development is to be phased and has the essential infrastructure to support residential development including an integrated road network.

Furthermore Chard Town lies at the junction of the A358 and the A30 roads and recent Traffic Assessments indicate that this junction is already at or over capacity as evident by the long tail backs of traffic at peak times.

Integral to the CRS and CEDA is the need for the construction of the Millfield Link road before any further large scale development can take place in Chard.  SSDC intends to make this a priority involving the release of land for 87 residential units initially and a further 260.  In addition it is understood there are approximately 200 existing planning permissions.  In the UK there are 480,000 planning permissions for residential building plots and only 136,700 are under construction demonstrating that there is no planning but a financial constraint.

The Vision Proposal is obviously incompatible with the above. 

Furthermore the Local Plan's CRS/CEDA option 3 phase 1 allows for the relocation of the CTFC and Employment Land on the same Blackburn Trust's northern land but much scaled down, carefully screened, directly adjoining the existing business park spur road and without a residential element. CDDRA has raised no objection to this scheme, subject to the right to comment on a detailed planning application.

Other objections to the proposed development are:

The Vision Proposal is a gross intrusion into a sensitive Greenfield and wildlife area outside the development are as defined in the SSDC Local Plan merging the town with the hamlet of Cuttiford's Door contrary to UK planning policy over the last 60 years of containing settlements.

The proposal's access to the employment land via the narrow and frequently flooded road from the A358 to Cuttiford's Door would worsen at its dangerous junction with the A358 and a dangerous bend in the hamlet of Cuttiford's Door.  The proposal's east west distributor road would further encourage a substantial increase in traffic through Crimchard area's narrow access road and its dangerous junction with the A30.

The proposal would create a strain on the town's educational and medical infrastructure and makes no allowance for their additional provision.

The physical infrastructure has not been evaluated, this land is subject to a great deal of surface water movement from the adjoining higher land areas, and has a high water table and the existing surface water drains and ditches are unable at times to cope, causing run off on the adjoining local roads.  The proposed holding tanks for rainwater drainage from the 450 houses are totally inadequate.  Also the proposed site for CTFC is sloping and regarding levels would also be prone to flooding.

The sewage requirement and connection is also likely to prove problematical and depend on Wessex Water for agreement and their capital allocation.

The proposal would take out of production a large area of prime agricultural land (mainly arable) at a time when the UK is vulnerable to the cost and environmental implications of food imports now 40%.  It follows that the claim for sustainability by the developers would fail on this premise alone.

The high housing density proposal does not state that it could support the SSDC policy of 35% affordable homes, and makes a play on so called "sustainability" without any definition.  There is no information on phasing particularly in respect of the CTFC.  It is understood that CTFC have to obtain planning permission and sell their existing town centre site and provide sufficient funding before any relocation to take place.  There is a major problem providing a satisfactory access for any new development and there are additional problems relocating the Tennis Club, excluding land used by the Holyrood Academy for car parking and agreeing liability for access and all services to their relocation site.

Conclusion

The Vision proposal is based primarily on maximum profit for the landowner and developer in defiance of the Council's and community's carefully prepared planning policy regarding Chard's eastern area integral to the alleviation of the chronic traffic problem and inadequate infrastructure.  This SSDC policy also allows for the relocation of CTFC and employment land in the northern area on a scale acceptable to all concerned and has been accepted by the CTFC in writing.

The Government's Planning Policy Framework's 'presumption in favour of sustained development' is highly qualified and the Vision scheme does not meet this debatable criteria.

The CDDRA ask SSDC and the Inspector to reject the Mactaggart & Mickel Vision Document or any planning application or Appeal if and when presented, or any proposal to modify the submitted plan.

Attachments