Site Allocations Plan March 2016

Document Section Site Allocations Plan March 2016 Schedule 1: Proposed large sites for residential development over 10 dwellings (Sites marked with a * are mixed use sites). Nailsea Land at North West Nailsea [View all comments on this section]
Comment ID 1001857//4
Respondent fiona [View all comments by this respondent]
Response Date 27 Apr 2016
Comment

Proposed for the areas of Youngwood Lane, The Uplands, Engine Lane (Gaulacre), The Causeway and Trendlewood

Please note that the following comments are the views of TWO occupants of Nailsea Town.

27.4.2016

Our main objections and observations to the consultation documents is as follows;

That the overall land take and/or number of houses allocated to Nailsea is too big and the proposed sites are highly inappropriate. Total increase in Nailsea’s population by 3-4,000 will put strain on roads, rail, parking, doctors, schools and other public services

Social: The number of new houses proposed would not meet the community’s without provision of increased social infrastructure, particularly with respect to doctors and schools.

Economic: The proposed number of houses in Nailsea has not been demonstrated to support growth and innovation, particularly given that the vast majority of new residents would be required to commute outside Nailsea for work. The restricted number of car parking spaces in the centre of the town would limit growth in the town centre for new residents living in peripheral locations. The plan does not meet the requirement to identify the provision of associated infrastructure, which would be required for sites serviced by narrow country lanes.

Environmental : Developments on Greenfield Sites. The majority of the proposed sites are Greenfield sites, which is strongly discouraged by planning policy. CS1 states that “The importance of a network of green space for wildlife and habitat protection, recreation and environmental reasons cannot be understated and should be actively enhanced through new development.” The proposals to include green space that is currently used for recreation runs contrary to this. This conflicts with the NPPF requirement to protect and enhance the natural environment and helping to improve biodiversity.

The sites are ill placed in relation to access and also spoiling countryside which directly opposes the Core strategy. The majority of sites are serviced by country lanes, or use country lanes as the main route out of Nailsea. These lanes are not adequate to cope safely with the increased volume of traffic from new residents [reference traffic info given by Nailsea Action Group, NAG] and therefore would lead to highway safety issues and the plan contradicting the Core Strategy, as referenced in the Site Allocations Plan to “ensure that major development proposals are delivered in tandem with the necessary improvements in physical and social infrastructure”

There was planning designating that the sightline of housing built in the St Mary’s Grove, The Uplands and even our house in Russett Grove areas, SHOULD NOT BE VISIBLE FROM BACKWELL. This affected our house in that it could NOT be built as a normal height 2 storey building. AND why all the buildings in The Uplands are bungalows. The proposals for The Uplands and Youngwood Lane would contravene this.

Core Strategy: The site allocation proposals are in conflict with the Core Strategy, particularly with respect to sustainable development, environmental impact, amenity value and well being, as set out at: http://www.nailseaaction.org.uk/consultation/core_strategy.html

The increase in homes is not employment led and will lead to an increase in out-commuting, so conflicts with CS20. Given the unsuitability of Nailsea as a destination for employment development it is consequently inappropriate to consider developing more homes for working people. Nailsea and Portishead already have the most 3 and 4 bedroom homes in the surrounding area. So there is no consequent need for more.

There is a need for smaller dwellings for the elderly downsizing and the young trying to get onto the property ladder, not the 3-4 bedroom properties being currently developed in the majority.

Current access routes to Nailsea have not been developed or improved for over 40 years. There is nothing in the proposals to improve routes through or around the town or to develop safety measures for children on their journeys to school. The congestion of pupils and school buses and commuting traffic into and past Backwell school is currently a health and safety nightmare for the school. This would have unbearable extra pressure exerted if building the proposed amount of dwellings were allowed.

Nailsea is less sustainable than Clevedon but, per head of population, has had more homes allocated than Clevedon.

Notes to the Objections

We do not consider that the plan making process has proactively engaged with a wide section of the community of Nailsea and the surrounding areas that would be affected by the proposals.

We do not believe that the number of houses allocated to Nailsea or the current site proposals reflect a collective vision for Nailsea or that any amount of thoughtful planning has been made or measure of its impact on the Nailsea community as a whole. This is in contravention to The National Planning Policy Framework (paragraph 155) requires “Early and meaningful engagement and collaboration with neighbourhoods, local organisations and businesses.

Since Nailsea was first expanded as a dormitory town in the 1960s, the roads (notably the M5 motorway) and other infrastructure around other towns in the district have improved while the infrastructure around Nailsea has stagnated. This has progressively put Nailsea at a disadvantage in the competition for employment so that today the parlous state of its employment locations and the catalogue of employment sites that have been and are planned to become residential or recreational (see NAG response to the employment Land at NW Nailsea) is a testament to the failure of planning policy to maintain Nailsea as a suitable destination for employment development.

No further infrastructure or amenities have been identified to address the huge increase in population that these new proposals would

There has been absolutely NO JOINED UP OR PROACTIVE THINKING taken by the local authorities or ESPECIALLY NORTH SOMERSET COUNCIL to the planning problems being enforced upon them of providing more homes. Piecemeal development of the nature being proposed, such as, typically, tacking relatively small but significant developments onto rural villages and small towns, will not enable the infrastructure to be adjusted sensibly or sensitively. If there is a need for so much housing in North Somerset by 2026 and 2036, why not aggregate these needs together to build a new town (or two) which would attract funds for infrastructure, roads, public transport, schools, integrated urban open space, retail premises, medical facilities, community hubs and affordable housing in a mixed economy of residential development.

Alternatively, since the employment prospects for all these new homes rest with Bristol, why not provide a new town North of Bristol to accommodate the need for housing WITH EMPLOYMENT near-by. This would meet sustainability legislation.

Agricultural land: Development on grade 2 farmland is contrary to the NPPF’s requirement that plans should “promote the development and diversification of agricultural and other land-based rural businesses“ and that areas of poorer quality should be used in preference to areas of higher quality land. In addition some of the land is currently used for animal grazing; the core strategy states that “opportunities for local food production and farming will be encouraged to reduce the district’s contribution to food miles”.

 

The loss of public amenities

  1. The housing proposals for the Uplands and Engine Lane and Trendle Wood areas which would mean the council and local charities selling public land is reprehensible.
    1. In the case of the Uplands, this land was sold to the council in 1976 by a Mr Brake who was denied the right to build housing on his land. He subsequently sold the land to the council to be used for Public Use. This site is currently enjoyed by many residence, dog walkers and children. Please refer to the survey taken by the local Uplands residence proving this a very valuable public space.
    2. The land is outside of the Settlement boundary
    3. The site is outside the area for which main drainage facilities have been provided
    4. There was also planning designating that the sightline of housing built in the St Mary’s Grove, The Uplands and even our house in Russett Grove areas, SHOULD NOT BE VISIBLE FROM BACKWELL. This affected our house in that it could NOT be built as a normal height 2 storey building. AND why all the buildings in The Uplands are bungalows.
    5. Engine Lane was also purchased by the council for the express benefit of the use of the public. It was to be used by the Nailsea football club who refused to move to this site.
    6. Trendle Wood was given to two charities, BRUNELCARE and St Peters Hospice by Mary Shepstone. Mary had always wanted the fields to serve the community, and particularly the elderly. North Somerset Council replaced the designation of the fields from a community use designation to one that allows mixed use development. The Charities have used this designation as a green light. They have signalled their intention to build 30 - 40 houses in the fields, a significant overdevelopment for this area. There is also old coal mining shafts in this area which would require very careful surveying. When the rest of Trendlwood was developed a whole JCB digger disappeared without trace down an unknown about shaft.
  2. Nailsea town council state that the money raised by the sale of these sites will be used for the local community, but to date NO actual proposals have been thought of or made tangible for the spend of this money!!! Therefore showing there is NO immediate need for funding by them. What an hypocracy!!!
  3. There is a commitment amongst Nailsea residents to live a healthy lifestyle, hence the popularity of horse riding, cycling, running and walking. These vital activities encouraged by the government, are prolific in the west end of Nailsea, more so than other town boundary areas. The proposals would decimate these recreational amenities and therefore add to the increasing national levels of obesity, physical challenges arising from this and of course the additional threat to the mental health of our population.

Traffic

  1. There will be a huge increase of traffic over the Causeway towards Tickenham. This 'road' is just a causeway, improved piecemeal to carry farm vehicles only, not the constant stream of traffic currently over using it.
  2. There are no appropriately sized roads to carry traffic from the west side of Nailsea out onto the W-S-M road, the Airport or Clevedon. The large number of houses proposed for the west end side of Nailsea will create a further increase in traffic using the country lanes in this area.
  3. Increased traffic travelling from the proposed Youngwood site in the west of Nailsea will adversely add to the volume of vehicles driving into Bristol on a twice daily basis.
  4. The proposed sites at the west end of Nailsea will, by its very geography create infrastructure dangers for the whole town. There is no main thoroughfare for the increase in the towns additional population to use for their inevitable need to travel into Bristol, which is to the east (opposite side) of the town.
  5. As traffic leaves Nailsea at the junction of Engine Lane and Saint Mary's Grove which leads to Netherton Wood Lane, and Engine Lane and North Street onto West End Lane there is a constant increase in speed as vehicles come out of the 30 mph limit which is totally inappropriate to the tiny country lanes they drive onto.
      1. In reverse order, the traffic coming into Nailsea from Netherton Wood Lane onto St Mary’s Grove and from the West End onto North Street speeds into and through the 30mph zones.
  6. The road structure coming into Nailsea along St Mary’s Grove from Netherton Wood Lane is NOT a normal ‘2 way’ width of carriageway. The road narrows between the entrances of Fern Grove and Russet Grove and does NOT ALLOW traffic to pass one another. The road CANNOT be widened as property directly borders the roadside. This will be extremely dangerous with hugely increased traffic. (The traffic increase has been proven by the recent survey undertaken by the Nailsea action Group).
    1. There is also no pavement in this restricted area and as there is no physical way to install a pavement this would therefore be very dangerous for young children trying to walk to the local Grove school from the new housing sites proposed for this side of Nailsea.
  7. The traffic which currently access’s the Grove Junior School makes driving along Whiteoak Way dangerous now. It would become impossible with more local traffic accessing the school.

 

Impact on public services

  1. The claim that the proposed housing will help 'save' the local secondary school from decline is shallow as the school's numbers are already low with too many Nailsea resident pupils applying to go, as their first choice, to neighbouring Backwell School which is now full, but, on the basis of popularity under current regulation would be allowed to expand - probably at Nailsea School's continued expense.
  2. Therefore developing the proposed sites would only go a relatively small way to re-populating the secondary school which needs to look more deeply into the reason why so many 49, for example, for 2016) Nailsea resident pupils have stated a first preference for neighbouring Backwell Secondary School, and why others are prepared to go even further afield rather than express the local school as their first choice.
  3. The primary schools on the other hand will have to increase allowance for the new capacity.
  4. The car park serving the railway station is almost full every day. The surrounding houses take the brunt of further rail users cars in the surrounding housing area, already causing difficulty for traffic using these roads because of the amount of parked cars.
  5. The location of the majority of the housing sites in the allocation plan are too far from the station to allow commuters to walk easily to the station according to the Chartered Institute of Highways and Transportation
  6. Poor integration between bus and rail services mean that it is impractical to use buses as an alternative option to using the car.

Contrary to CS20

  1. The proposals for so many homes in Nailsea will damage operation of Core Strategy policy CS20 for Nailsea “Within Clevedon, Nailsea and Portishead new employment development will be supported primarily on allocated land with a key objective of improving self containment, and reducing out-commuting”. The sites allocated to Nailsea will have the opposite effect by aggravating the existing excess of homes relative to the dismal employment opportunities in the town.
  2. Increased employment opportunities just don’t exist. Nailsea town centre has many retail units which are unoccupied. This is evidenced by the fact that we have so very many charity shops who can obtain special rental deals. Many people have tried to set up businesses in Nailsea, some have tried the start-up plan which was introduced to encourage business growth, but the majority of these have failed and other businesses have not flourished and have had to close down. We have lived in Nailsea for over 40 years and the town centre has always failed to retain the smaller local businesses you would expect to find on your local high street. So increased employment opportunities just don’t exist.
  3. This will force traffic to commute on already heavily burdened highways and motorways. It takes one hour to commute from Russett Grove, Nailsea to the Filton area in Bristol where the MOD are based. And one hour or more back because of how heavy the traffic is. If there is an accident then it can be up to THREE Hours!!
  4. Nailsea is less sustainable than Clevedon but, per head of population, has had more homes allocated than Clevedon

General

The stone walling which borders all the country lanes on the West side of Nailsea would have to be demolished if the roads were made more appropriately accessible. These form an inherent part of the landscape and history of this area. The cottages along St Mary’s Grove all have stone walling. Any redevelopment of this area should take into consideration the stone walling and reconstruct it and more stone walling in order to keep the character of this area. Developers should NOT be allowed to opt out of this simply because it will be an expensive thing to achieve.

Parking for the shops and amenities in the town centre is already filled to capacity. The very fact that Lidle could not develop is testament to this. The increase in cars would have a very detrimental impact on the precinct and if parking charges were to be introduced this would be extremely dangerous to an already fragile shopping economy and has already been stopped previously. Must we keep on going around in circles on these arguments!!?? Clearly things will NOT work if we have the size of increase in population as is being required.

These conclude our observations and objections to the planning proposals for Nailsea.

Yours Faithfully

Mr M and Mrs F Cowman

Attachments