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Letter to Babergh

Page updated - 04 June 2010

 

Letter from Great Cornard Parish Council to Babergh District Council - 24 March 2010

 

 

Dear Mr Ward

 

Application No: B/10/00094/FUL

Land East of Carsons Drive, Great Cornard

Erection of 170 dwellings and construction of new vehicular, pedestrian and cycle access. Provision for public open space and play areas, woodland planting and new wildlife habitat.

 

We thank you for your letter of 4th March inviting observations on the above application.

 

At the Local Plan Enquiry, which proposed designating this land for housing, the Government Inspector discounted the petition of over 2,000 signatures and the large volume of written objections to the inclusion of this site.

 

Mindful of the considerable local opposition to the development, therefore, the Parish Council held a public meeting on 17th March for residents to voice their concerns over the application, to ensure that these were taken into account in the Parish Council’s response.

 

It was apparent that the meeting, of some 150 residents, was overwhelmingly (probably 100%) against the development.

 

Comment was also made that the application did not appear on the Babergh website until well into the consultation period, and that some of the reports on the internet were incomplete.

 

 

 

The Parish Council recommends refusal of the application on the following grounds:-

 

Road Traffic/Access

The Babergh Local Plan Alteration No 2, as adopted, states

 

“Satisfactory detailed proposals for transport measures to serve this site will need to be agreed before any development scheme is implemented. Therefore, planning permission will not be granted until these matters are resolved.”

 

We do not believe that the traffic measures proposed in the ‘Transport Assessment’ are at all satisfactory.

 

The C732 is narrow and twisting and unsuited to any increase in through traffic. This was recognised in the Local Plan Alteration No2 which states

 

Accordingly, road widening of the C732, throughout its length, will not be considered acceptable.”

 

We believe that the C732/A134 junction, in spite of any improvements to the visibility splays, does not represent a suitable point for traffic to be joining the A134 (along a stretch already the scene of a fatal accident) and that more measures should be introduced to discourage traffic from using the road as such an access. We do not believe that the three ‘village gates’ will prove to be sufficient for this purpose.

 

The Transport Authority has previously commented that the staggered crossroads at the Southern end of the C732, where it meets Carsons Drive, Shawlands Avenue and Canhams Road was not well laid out, although this application contains no proposals for improvement, other than adding a new footway.

 

We believe that if Shawlands Avenue is to be made the more desirable route for joining the A134 then the opportunity should be taken to bring all these four roads to a new roundabout.

 

We would also comment on the Trip Generation Survey provided which quotes figures for traffic in and out of Sheepshead Hill. These figures are quite unrepresentative of the trips which would be generated by this new development. The majority of the residents in Sheepshead Hill are either elderly or ‘unwaged’ In any event, therefore, those residents who own a vehicle are unlikely to be making morning and evening ‘rush hour’ journeys.

 

 

 

Local Services/Infrastructure

Great Cornard has experienced a considerable amount of new housing development over the last 8 or 10 years and the consequent pressure on our schools, Doctors and other local services is quite apparent.

 

The County Council proposed changes to the schools structure in Suffolk will be putting extra strain on the schools, with the primary schools, in particular, required to increase their pupil numbers. It is difficult to see how the increase in demand from the new houses will be accommodated.

 

Great Cornard has very few shops or other facilities. The Co-Op in The Drift, and the Dairy Stores on Broom Street can only be classed as ‘convenience’ stores.

 

The Fire Station is a ‘retained’ station and we know of no plans to increase its capacity to take account of this new development. Let alone the substantial new development planned at Chilton.

 

Network Rail has steadfastly refused to countenance a railway halt in Great Cornard. Despite this being included in the plans for the development of Bakers Mill and, we believe, the funds being held by the District Council in accordance with a Section 106 agreement.

 

The threatened closure of the hospital in Sudbury has been extensively reported in the press and elsewhere.

 

 

 

Site Layout/Elevations

We note that the house plans refer to red brick. This is inappropriate; the traditional Suffolk brick is white.

 

The Landscape Appraisal states that “Housing would remain at levels below approximately 45 metres AOD as it is in the surrounding area and for most of the southern part of the town”

The development proposal given to the Public Inquiry showed an area around the 45 metre contour which was designated for 2 storey housing with windows for the upper storey in the roof, to give an overall height of 7.0 metres.

On this application several large properties are above the 45 metre contour and the 7 metre high properties on the higher level have been discarded. In fact on the higher levels, at the perimeter, large 4 and 5 bedroom houses are the predominant type.

 

The development is planned on land rising above most of Great Cornard and we believe that the inclusion of 3 storey properties will make it overly intrusive, and are inappropriate. Properties on the adjoining development at Sheepshead Hill are all bungalows. In fact the site’s commanding position makes it more suitable for low rise building at a lower density.

 

The large play area planned to the North of the site is the ‘wrong’ side of the relatively busy trackway leading to Abbas Hall. We believe that this factor, together with its secluded setting in new woodland will make it unattractive to younger children or their parents. Consequently it is likely to become the haunt of older teenagers, particularly in the late evening.

 

 

 

Environmental

The Infrastructure Report indicates that Anglian Water have confirmed that there is capacity within the existing system available for foul water drainage. We are, however most concerned over the proposals for surface water drainage.

 

The Flood Risk Assessment states at paras. 5.1 and 5.2 that infiltration is not viable for surface water disposal, the geology of the site being predominantly London and tertiary clay. The Infrastructure Report proposes, therefore, a scheme to carry surface water away, via the Black Brook, ultimately to Cornard Mere SSSI. This site is already receiving an amount of contaminated water and we believe that any proposal to increase this contamination will contravene the provision of the NERC Act 2006 Part (4) Section 55.

 

Again, the Flood Risk Assessment notes at section 4.3 referring to the existing surface water sewers serving the Carson’s Drive estate, that “Anglian Water have confirmed that there is no spare capacity in any of these sewers”. However at section 4.5 it goes on to say that “It is possible, however, that properties on Turkentine Close may receive surface water runoff from the field during extreme events. To the North of the footpath, water drains to a low spot adjacent to nos 16 to 23 De Greys Close. It is possible that these properties receive surface water flows from the site during extreme events.” This begs the question that, if there is no capacity in the sewers, where is the water to go?

 

The surface water scheme has used data appropriate to a 1:100 6hour event. However PPS25 would suggest that this date should be uplifted by 30%. We do not believe that sufficient note has been taken of PPS25.

 

The documentation refers to a landfill site to the Southeast. We believe that this requires more investigation in relation to the possibility of subsidence and contamination.

 

The Air Quality Statement indicates that Babergh District Council has agreed that a full quantitative assessment of NAQS pollutants is not required. However the data quoted dates back to 2003, that is well before a considerable amount of new build in Great Cornard. Considering the ‘triggers’ for a new survey contained in Appendix A we believe that a full survey should be carried out.

  • We are suggesting that the development should include a new roundabout

  • There will be 350 new parking spaces

  • The site is relatively close to the Cornard Mere SSSI and proposals are in hand to designate Shawlands Wood as an LNR

Make we ask that our views are taken into account by the Planning Committee in reaching their decision

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

Michael J. Fitt

Council Manager