Local Plan 2036: Issues and Options Stage

Document Section 1. North Somerset Local Plan 2036: Issues and Options Document Banwell Garden Village Q11. Do you agree with the principles set out for Banwell Garden Village and would you suggest any changes to these? We consider that establishing the principles is a fundamental step towards developing the detail for development in these areas. [View all comments on this section]
Comment ID 21503905//1
Respondent The Haynes Family [View all comments by this respondent]
Agent Grassroots Planning
Response Date 10 Dec 2018
Comment

On behalf of the Hayes Family, Grass Roots Planning has been instructed to prepare and submit representations to the North Somerset Local Plan 2036 “Issues and Options Document” Consultation, in respect of land to the north-west of Banwell in North Somerset, which runs from 3 September until 10 December 2018.

1.2 This consultation exercise follows the previous “generating ideas” consultation in November 2017, to which we also submitted representations.

1.3 This document sets out our formal representations to the Issues and Options document, specifically in respect of promoting land to the north west of Banwell for allocation as part of the Banwell Garden Village Strategic Development Location, as identified within the emerging West of England Joint Spatial Strategy (JSP)

The Hayes family own part of the land currently earmarked for development as part of this proposal (‘The Hayes Land’), as show in Figure 2 in section 2 of the attached document.

1.5 Within the emerging JSP, the latest version, the Publication Document (November 2017) identifies land at Banwell as strategic development location (SDL), in the form of a Garden Village. The JSP currently identifies, inter alia, that the SDL at Banwell will provide the following:

A new garden village of about 1,900 homes to the north of Banwell, with its own character and sense of identity, sensitively designed in relation to the existing context;
• A new local centre to complement existing facilities within Banwell;
• Development will not commence until the construction of the Banwell Bypass as part of the M5 to A38 highway improvements with connection to a new M5 junction 21a. Development must not prejudice the delivery of future improvements to the M5, including the construction of a new M5 juntion ;
• Identification of around 5ha of employment land, primarily Use Class B8, which has good access to the M5 and new strategic transport infrastructure;
• Bus service improvements to Weston-super-Mare and Bristol, including potential for Metrobus cycle as well as new footpaths and cycleways connecting the garden village to Banwell, Weston-super-Mare and nearby villages;
• Up to 2 new primary schools and a secondary school;
• Development which avoids the floodplain and reduces run-off rates, through the use of attenuation ponds and other features;
• Provision of multi-functional and interconnected green infrastructure; and
• Protection and enhancement of the greater and lesser horseshoe bat habitat.

1.6 We strongly support the strategic development location proposed at Banwell within the emerging JSP and suggest that the land identified in Figures 2 and 3 should be included within the allocation as part of this Garden Village proposal in the emerging Local Plan.

1.7 These representations have regard to para 35 of the NPPF, that requires for a draft Plan to be “sound” it is necessary for it to be:

  • Positively prepared
  • Justified
  • Effective
  • Consistent with national policy

1.8 The following comments are made on the basis of ensuring that the tests of soundness are met, namely that the Plan is positively prepared and consistent with national policy.

2.0 LAND NORTH-WEST OF BANWELL
2.1 The Hayes land lies to the east and west of Summer Lane, north-west of the settlement of Banwell. It comprises a range of fields which are divided by hedgerows. It is mainly low lying with some higher land contained within the northern part of the site, adjacent to the M5.

Under the current Core Strategy planning maps, the site lies outside of any established settlement boundary as figure 3 illustrates

2.4 This shows that the land is unconstrained in terms of any specific protective designations, such as an AONB, Flood Zone, Conservation Area, Green Belt, SNCI, or SAC. The site is also unconstrained in terms of TPO trees, listed buildings in close proximity or Public Rights of Ways (PROWs) crossing the land.

2.5 There are some minor surface water flooding issues across the land, which can be seen below in figure 3, but following suitable technical work undertaken we are confident that surface water could be discharged from the site at existing flow rates and via established flowpath routes which run across the site and any existing issues could be alleviated through the provision of an appropriate surface water strategy as part of any development if this land and the wider Banwell GV.

2.6 One other minor constraint that needs to be considered is the proximity of the M5 and the associated issues with noise or amenity. However, having recently undertaken noise assessments in respect to a nearby planning application (ref: 18/P/3038/OUT) on land to the west of the M5 (as shown on site location plan, shown at Figure 5 below), in relation to which we have made separate representations, it is clear that proposals which include appropriate mitigation such as a noise bund and acoustic fencing, then homes can be built in close proximity to the M5 with no adverse effects. This has been found to be acceptable approach in relation to the Mead Realisations application which provided similar mitigation on the eastern side of the M5, just to the north of the land subject to planning permission ref 16/P/2744/OT2 (this is the orange land shown on figure 5). We also consider that the land in closest proximity to the M5 could be used for recreational purposes and/or for surface water attenuation or other mitigation measures (such as noise bunds/buffer) as part of the wider garden village proposals.

As such, there are limited constraints in relation to the land in this location and therefore we consider that it can make a significant contribution to housing and employment land delivery and act as part of the comprehensive strategic development at Banwell Garden Village.

Response specifically to question 11:

3.9 We support the general direction of the emerging principles; however, it is important that the emerging Plan recognises the lead-in times and associated infrastructure requirements of a new settlement of the scale proposed.

3.10 We therefore comment below on a number of principles identified. While we have addressed these comments in relation to the specific principles set out in the consultation document, many of these comments apply across a number of different issues, but in the interests of brevity, we have not repeated the points as we presume the general thrust of our comments will be considered in the round.

The village will be physically separated from the motorway

3.11 While the separation of housing from the motorway is supported, it is considered that part of the land between Summer Lane and the motorway should be formally included within the future Garden Village site allocation. We consider that this area should be allocated as employment land, possibly some housing, as well as associated and ancillary infrastructure required to support and facilitate the wider Garden Village.

3.12 If this land is not included, it is our view that this will create an isolated strip of farmland with little productive value, which would also be hard to farm in operational terms. Including the land within the allocation for additional development and supporting infrastructure, not only makes the most efficient use of the land, but will also ensure that more usable farmland to the east and north can be retained in agricultural use.

3.13 While we support the general area identified for employment land, we do not consider that the quantum proposed is aspirational enough, particularly if the new motorway junction is delivered to provide easier access to the sub-region. Therefore, we consider additional land should be allocated for employment use which would extend further north as shown in our proposed master plan set out at appendix A. This area is best placed for employment land, given its proximity to the existing road network but also new infrastructure proposed. It would also act as a visual buffer between the motorway and the new Garden Village.

3.14 In addition to employment land, this area of land is also well placed to provide the required ancillary infrastructure which will be an integral part, essential to ensuring the successful delivery of the Garden Village. This could include noise bunds or alternative acoustic mitigation to ensure the Garden Village is protected from motorway noise, and attenuation ponds as part of a sustainable drainage strategy as well as providing a visual buffer. Both such features could be linked into the use of this area as a recreational area of open space and green infrastructure around the Garden Village.

3.15 To ensure the Garden Village vision can be fully realised, it is essential that sufficient provision is made within the allocation from the outset for such supporting infrastructure and to meet future growth and demand for employment space in the event that unanticipated economic growth occurs, above existing projections, within the Plan period.

Outdoor recreation space will be engrained in the masterplan to embrace healthier lifestyles

3.16 We support this principle and consider there is the opportunity to create a recreation area around the proposed Garden Village, as shown on the suggested Masterplan we have prepared (appendix A). There is the scope to link such an area into ancillary infrastructure required to support the wider development, such as attenuation ponds and noise bunds, which could be recreation and/or landscape features in their own right. We consider that such areas must be formally included within the site allocation, to ensure that sufficient provision is made for such infrastructure and to maximise the developable areas to ensure the most efficient use of space. This approach would accord with the NPPF’s sustainable development objectives and the NPPF’s recognition of the importance of access to a network of high-quality open spaces and opportunities for sport and recreation to the health and well-being of communities (para 96)

The delivery of the garden village in accordance with garden village principles, with high quality green infrastructure surrounding the village

3.17 The Garden Village approach is supported. In our view land surrounding the village should be included within the site allocation, to ensure that there is appropriate land for associated and supporting infrastructure, as well as to meet future growth. This will also ensure the provision of a high-quality green infrastructure between the M5 and the proposed village.

3.18 We support the delivery of this strategic development in accordance with Garden Village principles and the creation of a self-contained new community.

Land will be allocated for employment uses taking advantage of the proposed new motorway junction

3.19 We agree with the general area identified as employment land, as it is well located with good access routes, close to existing routes to/from Western-super-Mare, the proposed new Banwell by-pass and a potential new motorway junction. However, as mentioned above, we do not consider that the quantum proposed is aspirational enough and this current Local Plan review provides the opportunity to positively and proactively plan for future sustainable economic growth.

3.20 We consider that a larger area should be allocated for employment land in the location identified to ensure that the main central Garden Village area identified can be dedicated to the delivery of housing and associated facilities. This approach would accord with the emerging JSP, which identifies the delivery of 5ha of employment land with good access to the M5 and new strategic transport infrastructure. This approach is also supported by the NPPF, which requires planning policies to positively and proactively encourage sustainable economic growth (para 81).

Management of surface water on site through attenuation measures and integral part of green infrastructure.

3.21 The sustainable management of surface water will need to be an integral part of the Garden Village proposals and the site allocation needs to ensure sufficient land is identified for such measures to ensure that this strategic development can be delivered. This is considered above, and the masterplan we have prepared identifies how this could be achieved through the use of peripheral land which will then allow the efficient use of the main Garden Village allocation.

Ecological Issues to be addressed and potential link to off-site mitigation

3.22 A potential green infrastructure network is identified to provide a link to the wider network, including the Grumplepill Ryne corridor. While we support the general principles of these green infrastructure networks, we consider the width shown would unnecessarily constrain employment development to the south. In our view, this would be better placed to the north of Grumplepill, or reduced in width and incorporated within green infrastructure looping around the Garden Village to the north, so as not to constrain the development potential of the area to the south, which is identified for employment uses.
Q12. We would be interested in your throughs on additional employment at the Banwell development including the type and possible location

3.23 We would strongly support the provision of high-quality employment land being allocated and specifically identified on land between the garden village and the motorway to the west of Summer Lane. We do however, consider that this are should extend north to maximise the use of this area, which is well placed in respect of existing transport infrastructure, such as the Banwell Bypass and new M5 junction.

3.24 If the motorway junction is delivered, then the site would be an excellent location for distribution and other employment uses complementary to the motorway network. Such uses are “land hungry” and provide further reason why a more aspirational allocation of employment land should be pursued here. We consider the allocation should be more aspirational at this stage to make provision for future economic growth, as encouraged by the NPPF.

3.25 Therefore, we propose that additional land is allocated for employment, to the north of that currently earmarked by the council. This is illustrated in our masterplan contained at appendix A to this document.

3.26 This location would provide a separation between the garden village and the motorway and would ensure employment land is located with good transport links, close to the M5 junction and the junction with the proposed bypass.

Management of surface water on site through attenuation measures and integral part of green infrastructure.

3.21 The sustainable management of surface water will need to be an integral part of the Garden Village proposals and the site allocation needs to ensure sufficient land is identified for such measures to ensure that this strategic development can be delivered. This is considered above, and the masterplan we have prepared identifies how this could be achieved through the use of peripheral land which will then allow the efficient use of the main Garden Village allocation.

Ecological Issues to be addressed and potential link to off-site mitigation

3.22 A potential green infrastructure network is identified to provide a link to the wider network, including the Grumplepill Ryne corridor. While we support the general principles of these green infrastructure networks, we consider the width shown would unnecessarily constrain employment development to the south. In our view, this would be better placed to the north of Grumplepill, or reduced in width and incorporated within green infrastructure looping around the Garden Village to the north, so as not to constrain the development potential of the area to the south, which is identified for employment uses.

Summary
The Hayes family own part of the land currently earmarked for development as part of this proposal (‘The Hayes Land’), as show in Figure 2 in section 2 of the attached document. We strongly support the strategic development location proposed at Banwell within the emerging JSP and suggest that the land identified in Figures 2 and 3 should be included within the allocation as part of this Garden Village proposal in the emerging Local Plan.
Attachments