Core Strategy - Consultation Draft

Comment ID 3568545/CSCD/15
Document Section Core Strategy - Consultation Draft Chapter 3: Spatial Policies Delivering Strong and Inclusive Communities CS18: Gypsies and Travellers and Travelling Showpeople CS18: Gypsies and Travellers and Travelling Showpeople View all on this section
Respondent Deleted User View all by this respondent
Agent Deleted User
Response Date 18 Feb 2010
St Modwen has previously responded to the Gypsy and Travellers DPD consultation to express its concerns with regards to the provision of sites for Gypsies and Travellers within the Weston urban extension. We reiterate the main points below.
In light of the significant masterplanning work undertaken to date at Locking Parklands, and the pressing need to deliver employment led residential development within the Weston regeneration area, the impact of a late allocation for a Gypsy and Traveller site will be significant.

From a commercial delivery perspective, the provision of a Gypsy and Traveller site within close proximity to a high quality employment environment or residential development such as that proposed for Locking Parklands is likely to impact on values and undermine deliverability
of development on the ground which is particularly prevalent in today's already deflated market. A further adverse impact on values could therefore be "the straw that breaks the camel's back" in terms of delivery, and thereby prejudicing all that everyone is seeking to
achieve on the site. The loss of value will also result from actual land take by the gypsy and traveller site, in addition to the potential blight on values caused by the negative perception of future commercial / residential occupiers being sited in close proximity to such a facility. The delivery of commercial development within the Weston Regeneration Area is already challenging enough to developers and additional imposed constraints such as this will clearly not assist the case for bringing development forward.
Locking Parklands offers a unique business park setting for Weston-Super-Mare providing a high quality parkland environment which differs to the existing and other future employment site offers. The site therefore provides the opportunity to set a high benchmark in terms of quality employment and mixed use development within North Somerset. The provision of a site for Gypsy and Travellers in this location will therefore compromise this important opportunity which is so vital to Weston's economic future and to assist in redressing the outcommuting
We also note the findings of the West of England GTAA (summarised within paragraph 5.43 of the Gypsy and Travellers DPD) which found that the majority of Gypsies and Travellers would prefer to live in rural areas. We would question therefore whether the provision of sites within major urban extensions would actually meet the requirements or living style of those persons which these sites are intended to serve.
Despite the above arguments, should Gypsy and Traveller sites still be required within urban extension developments we would seek to ensure that the DPD allows for the provision to be considered as part of the wider planning obligations process, and other contributions (such as
affordable housing) are therefore reduced accordingly. Whilst St Modwen considers the provision of such facilities a worthy one, they believe that a more suitable location than Locking Parklands must exist and further site identification work should therefore be carried out.