Dear Chair, Councillors and residents,
Report from Cllr. Terry Gill, Independent, on the meeting on 25th Sept 2019 @ 1:30pm with Planning Officers and Bellway with Cllr. Meredith and Cllr. Smith to discuss the detailed objections raised by residents to Planning Application 19/01107/STREM(Cllrs. Meredith & Smith may submit their own reports to add points I may have inadvertently omitted. I point out that this purely my understanding and not the necessarily the views of the other Dale Ward Councillors or the East Riding of Yorkshire Council)
Firstly, an apology. We assumed that someone from Bellway was going to be present, as per my request, as there was no mention on our invitation to the meeting that there wouldn’t be, but sadly not.
We didn’t find out at the meeting that it is not Council Policy for Ward Councillors to discuss plans with a developer once an application has been submitted. So sadly, we were unable progress things that direction.
However, we did speak with Matthew Sunman and James Chatfield from the Planning Department. A heated debate pursued from all sides over residents’ concerns and I list below the ones that were covered and my own understanding of the answers the officers gave.
Overall, whilst the meeting was constructive, we didn’t get the kind of answers some residents were hoping for.
It is known that the East Riding is one of the busiest Planning Departments in the Country and Officers appear to be under a great deal of pressure. One officer told me that we simply don’t have the time to reply go back to individual objectors, even the ones that have spent a great deal of their own time researching facts for counter arguments.
However, both Officers categorically assured us that all objections are read and considered and are appropriated according with the current national or local and the Council’s own policy requirements.
Q1. Can we go back to the original outline consent of 115 properties?
Ans: Unless the number of properties was a precondition at the time outline was approved then the plan is seen as indicative and therefore can be changed to suit the housing needs and policies at the time.
Q2. Quantity of open space? Ans: It’s been confirmed today by the Council that the Open Spaces allocated are:
- Main body of POS – 2251 sq m
- Amenity space with new footpath adj plot 122 – 270 sq m
- Adjacent to plot 105 – 250 sq m
- Adjacent 67 – 150 sq m
- Along footpath link to market place – 900 sq m
The above totals 3821 sq m – the balance of 355 sq m is taken from incidental landscaped areas / planting buffers to boundaries throughout the site.
The overall space is considered acceptable even though it falls short of what could be allocated. It is permitted when any short fall of Open Space is present the developer has to pay a commuted sum. In this case I believe is almost £300,000 over the next 5 years, that could go towards improving overall recreation areas and possibly the Sports Centre in the Village.
If the full amount of Open Space was planned on the development, I understand there would still not be enough space to accommodate a full-size sports pitch and reasonable parking, of which incidentally could attract more traffic onto the site from elsewhere and cause additional traffic and disruption to both new and existing residents.
Plus, Officers are stating that the Sports and Recreational facilities are within acceptable ‘Walking Distance’ and also the route has a Pelican Crossing over Market Place that further supports the walking route.
Q3. Central Hedgerow I understand from the Officers that the developer has submitted an independent expert ecological assessment that has found no significant ecological value in the hedges. Also, as of the result of this report once the plan has been approved the hedgerow can be removed, as there is no protection order in place. It was said that if the hedges were kept they could be taken out by the new residents.
Q4. Design of the properties. It is a criticism that the house design are somewhat bland and out of keeping with the area. The applicant did not submit full colour impressions so an informed decision could be made and I have asked for the Planning Department to get these from the developer.
Q5, Site access to Market Place. It was Approved by the Planning Committee in March this year for 5 properties only to have access to Market Place the Council cannot ask the applicant to revisit this. So, trying to get the overall hybrid plan re-instated is futile.
Q6. Impact on traffic in Little Wold Lane/Beverley Road Junction? Experts on the Council’s Highways Department have accessed this and under the current policies and conditions and they deem this acceptable.
Q7. Access for foot/Cycle path directly from The Stray to Market Place via the Bellway site? Whilst the amended plans now include a footpath from Little Wold Lane into the site there is a residents’ preferred option is via an access directly from a cul-de-sac in The Stray. There is a narrow strip of land here owned by Horncastle’s. We have heard from one resident that they are willing to sell this to Bellway but haven’t been approach on this as yet. One reason why, I have learnt, is that this narrow piece of land is known as Ransom Strip and developers often leave these in abeyance for years to capitalise on a developer that would benefit from an access to a neighbouring site. The value of a ransom strip can be as much as 30% of the value of the development. So, I think this is outside the scope of the Council and between the two developers.
Shame really as this could be seen as holding residents to ransom over a very good environmental benefit.
Q8. Drains and Culverts. Residents’ concerns over flooding and blockages by Culverting over the open natural ditch in Little Wold Lane is still deemed acceptable by Officers. They are the experts and stressed that East Riding is the Lead Local Flood Authority, which if I understand this correctly, they are the ‘Go To’ body that has all the expert knowledge in dealing with and approving schemes that preventing flooding. They also pointed they are working with their current policies and that may well differ from other Authorities and national recommendations but right now they are conforming to the current policy.
Q9. Bungalows instead of houses? Houses have been specified along Little Wold Lane where residents and I feel bungalows would best suit the street scene. Also, the amended plans have made provision for bungalows to back on to three bungalows in Middle Garth Drive. However, there are 3 residents with Bungalows in Middle Garth that feel disadvantaged, as houses have been planned behind their homes. Whilst this has been about the angles and distance between the existing bungalows and the new homes, residents feel it would be best suited to have bungalows all the way along.
Of course, all these things are there to be challenged but not all will surpass an appeal, according to Officers, if the plan is refused, so it will be up the Committee members to decide on what the realistic grounds are for refusal.
The amended plan is coming before Committee next Thursday 3rd of October at 2pm, item 7 on the Agenda. You are welcome to attend and can register to speak provided slots are already taken.
I will be speaking to committee for an allowed 5 minutes on behalf of residents to try and get the best out of the plans. If you have any questions or would like to mention something I may have missed please do let me know before next Wednesday, so I will have time to amend my presentation if need be.
In the meantime, I suggest you contact and/or write to all the Committee members again on all or any one specific issue prior to next Wednesday.
Email address as follows:
With copies to members: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Cllr. Terry Gill.
East Riding of Yorkshire Council
Independent for Dale Ward
74, Spindlewood, Elloughton,
Tel: 01482 666924