Site Allocations Plan March 2016

Document Section Site Allocations Plan March 2016 PUT FORWARD A SITE OR MAKE GENERAL COMMENTS General comments for Yatton [View all comments on this section]
Comment ID 14817921//1
Respondent Deleted User [View all comments by this respondent]
Response Date 25 Apr 2016

I read with interest the “Site Allocations Plan March 2016”. 

I understand 3 of the sites included in the plan in Yatton have already been granted planning.  The timing of this consultation is therefore too late. 

During the planning process hundreds of residents and the Parish Council objected to all 3 of these developments.  I do hope the Council will take action following the recent Parish Poll result.   

Section 2 of the plan “Policy Context” was full of laudable aims, but on reading the document I believe the plan is flawed in respect of Yatton. 

One of the key objectives is stated as:

 “Ensure that major development proposals are delivered in tandem with the necessary improvements in physical and social infrastructure such as flood mitigation, healthcare facilities etc”

On reading the plan I could identify 4 large housing developments (Arnold’s Way phase 1 [150], North End [170], Arnold’s Way phase 2 [200] and Moor Road [80]) amounting to 600 houses. 

However, in terms of infrastructure improvements there was very little to accompany the housing.

There is a site of a new Primary School included, but whilst the houses are already being built, there seems to be no guarantee a school will ever materialise.  Other documents on the council website indicate that children unable to get a place at the existing school will be transported to schools outside Yatton. 

There are to be contributions towards a comprehensive surface water strategy.  This is encouraging.  Much of the land in question lies on the cusp of the existing flood plain and would be at risk if sea levels were to rise. 

Contributions are also required to road safety/congestion solutions in the wider area.  This is also positive, but I wonder what the money will actually be spent on? The B3133 is unsuitable for development on this scale and there seems to be little scope to improve road safety and congestion on Yatton High Street.  Air pollution is also a concern of mine which does not seem to have been addressed.

Links to and extension of the Strawberry Line are very desirable and I agree with this aspect of the plan.  I would like to see improved cycle infrastructure throughout Yatton to discourage car use.  

Replacement of the rugby pitches is also vital if Moor Road is granted permission.  However, in my view enough housing has already been allocated to Yatton and this site should be removed from the plan. 

Yatton is already in desperate need of improved healthcare provision and I believe the new houses should be accompanied by additional amenities as they are not within reasonable walking distance of the existing amenities for the most part.

The facilities schedule (appendix C) is inaccurate for Yatton.

A further key objective is:

“Prioritise employment growth throughout North Somerset to support greater self-containment, in particular by ensuring that in Weston-super-Mare housing development is delivered in step with employment growth and brownfield opportunities in Clevedon, Nailsea and Portishead are maximised.”

It is positive that the plan seeks to safeguard Yatton’s existing employment, but disappointing that only one employment site is put forward. 

There are already high levels of out-commuting in Yatton and the plan as it stands will only exacerbate that. 

Another key objective is:

“Continue to support North Somerset’s existing Green Belt in order to prevent the sprawl of Bristol and its encroachment into valued countryside and to preserve the character of existing settlements, valued strategic gaps between settlements and characteristic green spaces”

I believe we should be protecting the green space between the village of Yatton and the hamlet of North End.  This is set to completely disappear. 

Later in section 4 of the plan “countryside” is defined as follows:

“For the purposes of this Plan, ‘countryside’ is defined as all land outside defined settlement boundaries. It is important that the distinction between the countryside and the adjoining built up area is maintained by restricting the spread of residential curtilages into adjoining fields. This can have a detrimental impact on the rural setting of a village or town. “

The draft plan will have a detrimental impact on the rural setting of the village of Yatton. 

I also have concerns about the site allocations in the plan and the effect they will have on other towns in North Somerset. 

Unless rail capacity is improved on the line from Weston-super-mare to Bristol commuters at Nailsea & Backwell may find they physically cannot board trains to Bristol during the rush hour. 

Likewise in Clevedon, traffic already queues to join the M5 during the morning rush hour.  Building on the proposed scale in Yatton is likely to make this worse.

At the drop-in session at Yatton Library the suggestion was that North Somerset is constrained by green belt/flood plain/AONB and therefore to meet housing need unpopular choices will have to be made.  Surely our targets for housebuilding should reflect those constraints not force us into poor decisions?