Site Allocations Plan March 2016

Document Section Site Allocations Plan March 2016 PUT FORWARD A SITE OR MAKE GENERAL COMMENTS General comments for Wrington [View all comments on this section]
Comment ID 14836321//1
Respondent Wrington Village Alliance [View all comments by this respondent]
Response Date 03 May 2016
Comment

I am writing to you on behalf of the Wrington Village Alliance, a group of local residents concerned about speculative, aggressive and unsustainable development. This letter concerns the site referred to in [16/P/0691/EIA1], as well as site HE14179, Land South of Cox's Green, Wrington, of which it is a part. HE14179 is considered in North Somerset's Housing and Economic Land Availability 2014 document [NSC HELAA 2014]. This site is shown graphically here [NSC 1] and it appears in N Somerset's Appraisal of Residential Sites [NSC 2]. This site has clearly been excluded from N Somerset's Site Allocations Plan [NSC SAP 2016].

We are therefore disturbed to note that approximately half of this same site re-appears in a request for EIA screening opinion from GL Hearn, acting on behalf of Redcliffe Homes, with the comment that “an outline planning application for residential development”, comprising up to 83 houses, will shortly be submitted [GLH 2016].

Executive Summary:

We would like to register our strong support for N Somerset's decision to exclude site HE14179, in whole and in part, from the Site Allocations Plan. There is a long list of reasons why this site is totally unsuitable for development of this kind, and I append a short summary of some of these reasons below. Please also refer to residents' responses to [16/P/0691/EIA1]. Our comments apply to the 5.3 ha site refered to in [GLH 2016], and doubly so to the 11.3 ha HE14179 site [NSC HELAA 2014]. Please note that these are strong points individually, but also interact with each other: lack of public transport exacerbates traffic, which in turn is negatively impacted by flooding, and so on. The unsustainable whole is greater than the sum of the unsustainable parts.

We would like to be sure that there is no last-minute attempt to muscle any part, or even all, of site HE14179 into this Site Allocations Plan, or indeed similar plans in the future.

Appendix: Short Summary of Issues

Flooding

The issues to do with flooding from surface water in Wrington are well recognised including references in several of North Somerset Council's flooding assessment documents, and has been assessed as Red for “susceptiblity to flooding” in N Somerset's Sustainability Assessment [NSC SSH 2016]. It is well known that Nates Lane (which extends from Cox's Green), Havyatt Rd and Mill Lane all flood regularly, as do the fields around the Congresbury Yeo in this area. There is also not-so-well known historical flooding to properties in this part of the village, that is outside the published mapping. Even a cursory study of the topography of the area shows the area is susceptible to flooding. It would be folly to embark on a large-scale new development would inevitably exacerbate the already tenuous situation.

Traffic

There is a large number of HGV vehicles that use the roads around this area, eg to service the industrial estates. Large portions of the nearby roads are single-lane or effectively single-lane, especially to wide vehicles, and the frequency and speed of traffic is already an issue. There is no viable footpath into the village and consequently cars are often used even for the short distance to the village centre. There are already serious safety concerns, especially for parents with young children, or old or disabled folk with limited mobility. On top of this there is limited parking in the village. Furthermore when some of the roads are flooded, as happens frequently in winter, the pressure on the roads becomes acute. This has been assessed as Red for road design/layout and congestion in N Somerset's Sustainability Assessment (8. Economic) [NSC SSH 2016]. All of this would be stretched beyond breaking point by a development of this kind, and the increase in traffic it would bring.

Transport

With no rail service, no direct bus to Bristol, and no dedicated cycle routes, it is not surprising that Wrington has been assessed as Red for transport “without reliance on a private car” [NSC SSH 2016]. There is limited potential for occupation within Wrington so any new development would increase the volume of commuter traffic through the village.

Services

Many services have closed down or have reduced in scope in Wrington, including the bank and post office. The nearest full doctors surgery is in Langford, the primary school is full, and Churchill, the nearest secondary school has limited places. The nearest large supermarket is 13km away.

Drainage

There are already issues with the escape of foul sewage mixed with surface water entering properties, as well as the river, during times of flooding. Again a cursory inspection of the topography leads to the inevitable conclusion that any housing development of this kind would lead to serious health and safety issues in the future.

Siting and Ecological Issues

The area is outside the Wrington settlement boundary, the Green belt runs to its northern border, and the Congresbury Yeo to the south, including banks and adjacent land, is a designated Wildlife site (SNCI). The area falls within the North Somerset & Mendips Bats consultation area. While a full ecological survey has not been carried out, it is known that bats use the area for foraging and flight routes and there are otters and sometimes water voles in the river. There is likely to be much more ecological diversity than this author is currently aware of.

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