Yatton Neighbourhood Plan submission consultation

Yatton Neighbourhood Development Plan for the Period 2017-2026

Vision

For Yatton to continue to thrive as a vibrant and distinct village with a rural character, and through sustainable development become an increasingly attractive place for current and future generations to live, work, study, create, do business and spend their leisure time.

Foreword

The National Planning Policy Framework provides for the drawing up of Neighbourhood Development Plans, which should reflect the needs and priorities of their communities. The Framework lays out a number of principles for planning, including the guidance that planning should:

  • Protect the Green Belt;
  • Recognise the intrinsic character and beauty of the countryside and support thriving rural communities within it;
  • Support the transition to a low carbon future;
  • Contribute to conserving and enhancing the natural environment and reducing pollution;
  • Make the fullest possible use of public transport, walking and cycling.

This Neighbourhood Development Plan will help shape the future of Yatton until 2036. It has been coordinated by representatives of Yatton Parish Council and a group of residents who volunteered to work for and on behalf of the Parish Council. The members of the Yatton Neighbourhood Development Plan Steering Group are:

 

Coordinators:

Chris Jackson*, Jonathan Flower

 

Members:

Clare Bessant*

Rhiannon Prys-Owen

Emma Cummings

Sarah Reakes

Jonathan Edwards*

Simon Reakes

Wendy Griggs*

Tim Scott

Massimo Morelli*

Caroline Sheard*

Tony Moulin

Becca Spinks*

Theresa Mullan*

Andy Warren*

Nicholas Ogborne

Andrew Wilson

Ian Woodgate

*Yatton Parish Council

The Steering Group wish to express special thanks to Joanna Ashman, who designed the Yatton Neighbourhood Development Plan logo.

Introduction

Background and Timeline

The first meeting to discuss drawing up a Neighbourhood Development Plan for Yatton took place on June 22nd, 2015. This resulted in a further meeting on July 16th, 2015 and the formation of a Steering Group. The initial coordinators of the Steering Group were Parish Councillor Rhiannon Prys-Owen and Mr Tony Moulin, ex-District Councillor.

Whilst the Steering Group was organising a public consultation over the direction and content of the Yatton Neighbourhood Development Plan, existing planning applications were coming to fruition. Most prominent among these was a large development north of the Arnolds Way roundabout in Yatton by Bloor Homes (a development now known as Chestnut Park). Others already in the pipeline included a further tract north of the Arnolds Way roundabout (applicant: Hallam Land Management) and a second tract adjacent to Chestnut Park (applicant: Bloor Homes). Developments such as this carry planning obligations under Section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, commonly known as Section 106 agreements. These are a mechanism by which a development proposal can be made acceptable in planning terms and are focused on site-specific mitigation of the impact of development. The three developments at Yatton North End would carry very substantial Section 106 obligations, so North Somerset Council constituted a Yatton North End Steering Group to identify the best ways to mitigate the impact of the imminent new developments. This group held its first meeting on March 11th, 2016 and identified several key areas which would need to be dealt with by sub-groups: Education; Affordable Housing and Extra Care; Community Meeting Space Provision; Leisure and Playing Field Provision; Place-Making; Transport, Accessibility and Gateway Improvements; Biodiversity.

Analysis of the Yatton resident consultation responses had meanwhile revealed clear major themes, resulting in the formation of Neighbourhood Development Plan sub-groups, with obvious overlaps with the North End Sub-Groups. It was agreed that Yatton Parish Councillors and members of the Yatton Neighbourhood Development Plan sub-groups would be invited to join the North End sub-groups to ensure sharing of information and coordination of activities. At about this time Councillor Prys-Owen moved out of the area and Mr Moulin wanted to reduce his involvement, so Parish Councillor Chris Jackson took over coordination of the Steering Group, later joined by Mr Jonathan Flower, a Yatton resident.

Section 106 agreements have to be drawn up to a timetable that is agreed by the developer, who usually wants to move quickly so that the financial implications are understood as early as possible. An important consequence of this in Yatton was that the Section 106 discussions had to proceed at a much faster pace than the Neighbourhood Development Plan deliberations. Despite some friction generated by two adjacent processes moving at different speeds, it was considered sensible to continue with both in order to ensure that the community in Yatton had a voice in the Section 106 negotiations and also made its own local planning document. The alternative would be to defer all decision making to the local authority, North Somerset Council, without providing a clear local voice.

At the time of writing (August 2017), it is anticipated that the Section 106 negotiations will be concluded by the autumn of 2017. The infrastructural works associated with the Section 106 agreements will therefore almost certainly begin before the Neighbourhood Development Plan is ready to be submitted for formal review.

It is important to note that one function of this Neighbourhood Development Plan is to help to direct expenditure of future funds received through Section 106 and Community Infrastructure Levy arrangements. The areas for development within the Yatton Neighbourhood Development Plan area, identified by North Somerset Council through their Site Allocations Policy, are shown in Figure 5.

Consultation

Yatton residents were initially consulted during July 2015 by volunteers standing in Pages Court (known locally as The Precinct) and asking 100 randomly chosen individuals to answer a few rather broad and open questions. The responses were used to identify key themes, which were then addressed much more comprehensively by means of a questionnaire that was administered between October 2015 and January 2016. Hard copies of the questionnaire were distributed by hand to all households in the Yatton Neighbourhood Development Plan area; copies were also available at Yatton News, Yatton Post Office, Mendip Vale Surgery and Yatton Library, which additionally functioned as collection points for completed questionnaires. The questionnaire was also available for completion online via the Yatton Neighbourhood Development Plan website (www.yatton.org). The availability of the online questionnaire was publicised in the local press and through a leaflet drop to all households in the Neighbourhood Development Plan area. A total of 947 responses were received, representing 13% of Yatton’s population of 7552 (2011 Census data).

Clear themes emerged from analysis of the main questionnaire results. These are, in alphabetical order: Business, Environment, Housing, and Transport. The Plan is therefore structured along these lines, for clarity, although there is clearly significant overlap between the themes.

A further public consultation was carried out under the auspices of Yatton and Congresbury Wildlife Action Group during May 2016. This focussed on matters relating to protection of Sites of Special Scientific Importance and the Strawberry Line from built development, including roads. A total of 58 responses were received.

Following the drafting of the Neighbourhood Development Plan, hard copies were delivered to all households in Yatton and it was also available to download from the Yatton Neighbourhood Development Plan website. Residents were asked to provide comments and verdicts on the draft Plan both online and by hard copy. A total of 151 responses were received. Three public consultation events were also held in order to give residents a chance to discuss, challenge and suggest modifications to the plan. These were held on Saturday May 20th 2017 at Yatton Village Hall from 10:00am to 4:00pm; Monday June 26th 2017 at Yatton Village Hall from 8:00am to 3:00pm; and Thursday July 6th 2017 at Horsecastle Chapel from 3:00pm to 9:00pm. They were advertised in the local press and on Parish noticeboards. About 20 residents came along to each of these meetings.

Area Covered by the Yatton Neighbourhood Development Plan

The Yatton Neighbourhood Development Plan area was designated by North Somerset Council on April 24th, 2015. It is wholly contained within the Parish of Yatton and is contiguous with the Claverham Neighbourhood Development Plan area. Figure 1 shows the Yatton Parish boundary and Figure 2 shows the Yatton Neighbourhood Development Plan boundary. Figure 3 shows the settlement boundary; Figure 4 shows important constraints on development in and around the village, including the Green Belt; Figure 5 shows existing sites allocated for development by North Somerset Council.

 

Figure 1: Yatton Parish Boundary

Figure 2: Yatton Neighbourhood Development Plan Boundary

Figure 3: Yatton Settlement Boundary

(Shown for information purposes only)

 

 

 

About Yatton

History

Neolithic hunter-gatherers were in the Yatton area before 4000 BC. A track on the raised ridge of land that is now Yatton High Street came down from Cadbury Hill, where the Iron Age hill-fort was situated. The Romans arrived in the first century AD, farmed the area and built the villa at Wemberham. After the Romans left at the end of the fourth century AD, the country entered the dark ages and very little was recorded during this period. The Saxons invaded the area but farming continued even during the Viking raids of the ninth and tenth centuries. Then came the Normans and the creation of the Domesday Book. Yatton appears in this document, along with Claverham and Hewish, and it is obvious that it was a very substantial agricultural centre with a prosperous population. The church is evidence of this: it has been called the “Cathedral on the Moors” and could only have been built by a comparatively rich community.

There were farmhouses or tenements in the area from about 1150, built of timber and with their own holding of land. There was a surge of rebuilding in the seventeenth century and many of the stone farmhouses we now see were built or rebuilt at this time.

The nineteenth century saw the coming of the railway, which had a big impact on the development of the village. It made travel much easier for everyone and helped develop the thriving livestock market. During the latter half of the twentieth century a massive change occurred in farming, with the introduction and widespread use of agricultural machinery of all types. This contributed to a reduction in the land required to provide sufficient produce for the population and the labour required to produce it. At the same time there was an increased demand for housing through the combined effects of a rise in the general population and a shortage of land in major towns and cities. This led to many farms in the Yatton area being sold for housing development, with farmhouses either demolished or sold to become domestic properties not connected to agriculture. Many of the survivors are now listed buildings.

Economy

Yatton is strongly influenced by its proximity to Bristol, the regional capital and major source of employment in the district. Despite this, Yatton retains its independence and is far from being the dormitory village which other villages have become. Thriving village clubs, societies and activities are available every day of the week, and whilst most employed people have to leave the village during the day to journey to Bristol or further afield, there is a continuous bustle in the village centre throughout the day.

Geography

Yatton lies on a ridge within the North Somerset Levels and Moors, an area historically known as the Northmarsh. The parish contains much of Cadbury Hill, an Iron Age hill-fort and local nature reserve, which provides good views in all directions. Views of the village are also good from the raised embankment of the former Cheddar Valley Railway (now known as the Strawberry Line) and the medieval Gang Wall, a medieval flood defence thought by some to be of Roman origin. The tower of St Mary the Virgin church can be seen from many places in the countryside around the village. These views are important to local people, as is the pastoral wetland landscape that surrounds Yatton.

Natural History

Two Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) lie within the parish, one on each side of the village: Biddle Street SSSI and Kenn Moor SSSI, designated by English Nature in 1994 and 1995 respectively. There is a richness of aquatic life in the drainage channels (rhynes), including nationally rare water beetles and snails. Eels, amphibians and fish, feeding on the wealth of invertebrates, are in turn prey for wildfowl and the heron, recognised as a symbol of the area’s local wildlife. The remaining areas are also important and rich in wildlife and need to be protected. Bird life within the village is varied and plentiful. The otter is returning to the parish, and signs of water vole have also been found. Barn owls breed on two sites within the Plan area and can regularly be seen from the Strawberry Line, an important wildlife corridor. The rhynes and hedgerows of the surrounding fields, as well as the Strawberry Line, act as wildlife corridors, enabling animals to move about and plants to disperse. The characteristic trees of the wetlands are mainly willows and alders. Pollarding of willows has produced a traditional landscape that is locally valued.

 

Summary of Objectives

Business Objectives

BO 1. To maintain a thriving local economy by supporting businesses based in Yatton.

BO 2. To promote the Pages Court area and the area around Yatton News by combining them in a clearly visually defined village centre.

Environment Objectives

EO 1. To protect the rural character of Yatton by enhancing:

  1. Local wildlife habitats and biodiversity;
  2. Valued landscapes including trees and hedgerows;
  3. The “dark skies” over Yatton.


EO 2. To enhance access to the surrounding countryside, green spaces, public spaces, and sports and                 leisure facilities.

EO 3. To ensure that the provision of open space for sports and recreational facilities is maintained at an               appropriate level to meet the existing and future needs of the community.

Housing Objectives

HO 1. To maintain a mixed housing stock that includes affordable homes so that future generations can                 choose to stay in Yatton.

HO 2. To avoid any increase in the risk of flooding in Yatton as a result of new housing developments.

Transport Objective

TO 1. To make journeys to, from and within Yatton safer and more sustainable.

Summary of Policies

Policies are also shown in a Policy Map (Figure 6).

Business Policies

BP 1.   Development proposals will have to demonstrate that footways, bicycle routes and car and bicycle              parking contribute to provision of convenient access for all users to customer-facing businesses.

BP 2.   Development proposals should contribute to clear definition of the central part of the village, from                Cherry Grove to Well Lane. This can be achieved by such measures as distinctive design features              and creation of convenient crossing points, so that this section of Yatton High Street becomes a                  social space where people shop, do business and spend time.

Environment Policies

EP 1. Where appropriate, development proposals should contribute to improved access from the                           residential parts of Yatton to local footpaths, and to the upkeep and maintenance of new and                       existing local footpaths.

EP 2. New development proposals should not harm the local distinctive landscape. To this end, Local                  Green Space status will be proposed for the areas listed below, which are in addition to those listed            in the North Somerset Site Allocations Plan. Local Green Space designation means that                              development will not be approved in these areas.

  1. Horsecastle Park.
  2. An area off Grange Farm Road.
  3. The Orchard at The Grange, off Kenn Moor Road.
  4. The Gang Wall ancient flood defence and path.
  5. Two areas near the north end of Stowey Road.
  6. Derham Park green.
  7. An area off Heathgate

EP 3. New development proposals must incorporate amenity areas for planting with appropriate                           indigenous trees.

EP 4. Development proposals must help to maximise “dark skies” by ensuring that all new or replacement           external lighting (including street lights and floodlights) uses “full cut-off” designs that do not emit                 light above the horizontal, and that it is dimmed or switched off late at night.

 

Housing Policies

HP 1. A Strategic Gap will be proposed to the north of Yatton in order to maintain the distinctive identities             of the separate villages of Yatton, Kenn and Kingston Seymour, and also to protect the character                 and setting of the northern gateway to Yatton.

HP 2. The currently derelict brownfield site off Mendip Road should be designated for housing. It has                     good transport links and is within easy walking distance of the main village amenities.

HP 3. Any housing designated as “affordable” should, as a condition of planning, remain as rented                        housing association accommodation or be part of a shared ownership scheme.

HP 4. Sustainable Urban Drainage systems are encouraged for minor development schemes. Pumped                schemes for surface water drainage are strongly discouraged and will not be accepted for schemes            with more than nine dwellings without full on-line back-up equipment and standby power supplies to            ensure continued drainage in the event of mains failure. Furthermore, if a site and its pumped                      drainage are to be in multiple ownership (i.e. a series of freeholds), a long-term maintenance-                      funding scheme and a plan for the lifetime of the development is to be provided. The drainage                    scheme submission for outline applications for schemes, or parts thereof, ultimately larger than                  minor developments, should include:

  1. A preliminary drainage layout drawing sufficient to demonstrate that drainage of the site is feasible;
  2. A ground investigation report (for infiltration);
  3. Evidence of a third party agreement for discharge to their system in principle.

Transport Policies

TP 1. New housing developments should contribute to the aim of making travel along Yatton High Street safer for all users.

TP 2. Acceptable plans and designs of any new infrastructure, community facility, development, or traffic management scheme in Yatton will:

  1. Include measures for pedestrians and cyclists that offer positive provision that reduces delay, diversion and danger;
  2. Ensure permeability and future-proofing, to maximise the ability of residents to use convenient and attractive pedestrian and bicycle routes through the village.

TP 3. Design and highways proposals that mitigate the impact of through traffic will be supported. Proposals may include:

  1. Use of on-street parking as a traffic calming measure for through traffic where appropriate;
  2. Street design that discourages parking that would obstruct the passage of those on foot or bicycle, or public transport and service vehicles.

 

Business

Business Objectives

BO 1. To maintain a thriving local economy by supporting businesses based in Yatton.

BO 2. To promote the Pages Court area and the area around Yatton News by combining them in a clearly visually defined village centre.

 

It is important to the local economy to maintain infrastructure in Yatton so that local enterprises are supported. These businesses fall into three categories:

  • Businesses based in Yatton because it provides convenient access to major transport networks. These businesses vary in size and complexity but are a significant source of income and employment to the village. Examples are Bob Martin UK Ltd, Oxford Instruments, Smart Systems, Stowell Concrete Ltd, Pullin’s Bakery and a number of smaller units on the Market and Smith’s Forge industrial estates.
  • Customer-facing businesses, which are primarily shops but also include childcare facilities, care homes, pubs, professional services, and restaurants and takeaways. Their primary requirement for business success is convenient access through adequate car parking and safe walking and cycling routes from the village outskirts.
  • Home-based businesses and working which, while encouraged, must be appropriate for the local residential setting.

An appreciable proportion, 12%, of Yatton’s residents work in the village, despite its importance as a service village for neighbouring larger towns and cities.

Yatton has a thriving local economy, with at least 140 businesses based in the village. Our business policies are designed to support local enterprises and thereby support local employment for local residents, contributing to Yatton’s sustainability.

Business Policies

BP 1. Development proposals will have to demonstrate that footways, bicycle routes and car and bicycle              parking contribute to provision of convenient access for all users to customer-facing businesses.

BP 2. Development proposals should contribute to clear definition of the central part of the village, from                Cherry Grove to Well Lane. This can be achieved by such measures as distinctive design features              and creation of convenient crossing points, so that this section of Yatton High Street becomes a                  social space where people shop, do business and spend time.

 

Policy BP 1 is designed to increase trade for local businesses. The main ways to do this are by ensuring adequate car and bicycle parking provision and the existence of safe walking and cycling routes. The latter could be combined with sustainability initiatives to promote cross-marketing of businesses. For instance, leaflets available locally could show walking and cycling routes through and around Yatton, indicating places where refreshments can be obtained, bicycle parts bought and repairs effected, and good places to relax and enjoy the village and the surrounding rural environment.

Policy BP 2 involves clearly defining the central part of the village, as shown in Figure 7. This is intended to have the effect of slowing traffic and increasing pedestrian safety, making the central part of the village around Pages Court (known locally as The Precinct) more pleasant to use, encouraging people to spend more time there, and thus further promoting local trade.

Environment

Environment Objectives

EO 1. To protect the rural character of Yatton by enhancing:

  1. Local wildlife habitats and biodiversity;
  2. Valued landscapes including trees and hedgerows;
  3. The “dark skies” over Yatton.

EO 2. To enhance access to the surrounding countryside, green spaces, public spaces, and sports and leisure facilities.

EO 3. To ensure that the provision of open space for sports and recreational facilities is maintained at an appropriate level to meet the existing and future needs of the community.

As part of our major public consultation exercise, carried out between October 2015 and January 2016, we asked residents to say what the best things are about living in Yatton. The most popular response was “access to the countryside”, cited by 66%. In all, 72% of residents chose “access to the countryside” or “rural character” as a key benefit of living in Yatton. They also value access to public rights-of-way along the Strawberry Line and over Cadbury Hill: 54% of residents selected these as among the six best things about living in Yatton. In contrast to this, Yatton has a recognised deficit of public green spaces within the settlement boundary.

It should be noted that the parish of Yatton has several Sites of Nature Conservation Interest (as shown in Figure 4), some of which straddle the boundaries between Neighbourhood Development Plan areas. They are parts of important wildlife corridors, especially as flyways for bats, and provide ecological connectivity between communities. In addition, public rights of way through them provide connectivity as sustainable routes for people and have important amenity value. It is further recommended that land that acts as a buffer, keeping reasonable separation between development areas and the settlement boundary and/or the Strawberry Line and the Biddle Street Site of Special Scientific Interest, should be maintained.

Our environment policies are therefore designed to support access to the local countryside and public rights-of-way, and to maintain the rural character of the village by protecting and improving green spaces in and around the village for residents and visitors to enjoy.

Policy EP 1 calls for improved access to local footpaths. Yatton is relatively well supplied with footpaths in the surrounding countryside, including the Strawberry Line, but access points are rather sparse. New access routes to important local footpaths should be developed, including a new cycle path to link to the northward extension of the Strawberry Line (Figure 8). All users should be considered: more accessible firm, flat routes suitable for pushchairs and people with reduced mobility should be created, and access improved and maintained.

Policy EP 2 suggests that certain local amenity areas should be designated as Local Green Spaces. These areas are shown in Figure 9. A Local Green Space is a designation provided by the National Planning Policy Framework. It enables communities to provide special protection for green areas of particular importance to them. The areas chosen for Local Green Space designation, and the reasons for these choices are:

  1. Horsecastle Park

This small recreational area is the only public park in Yatton north of the railway line. It contains a children’s play area with a slide, swings and other play apparatus. It therefore has great amenity value to local residents, providing tranquillity and softening the landscape in an area of high housing density.

      b. An area off Grange Farm Road

This small parcel of land contains a children’s play area. This is important to local residents because it is accessible without having to cross the very busy B3133 to get to Horsecastle Park.

      c. The Orchard at The Grange, off Kenn Moor Road

This orchard is part of a wider wildlife corridor, including a Site of Special Scientific Interest, and is ecologically rich, serving as a commuter route for Greater Horseshow bats. It has the rare “Orchard Toothcrust” fungus (Sarcodontia crocea) found only in very old apple trees: there are less than twenty known examples of it nationwide. This area is therefore important to the local community because of its rich and unique wildlife.

      d. The Gang Wall ancient flood defence and path

The Gang Wall is surrounded by ditches and rhynes that are part of a Site of Special Scientific Interest. It provides a different and important habitat as it is slightly raised, which also means it provides good views across the moors to Yatton and Congresbury. It therefore has value to the local community as a habitat for wildlife, as a way to enjoy the special character of the moors, and as an ancient structure dating back hundreds of years.

      e. Two areas near the north end of Stowey Road

Yatton has little in the way of public green space, especially in its northern half,  so these two areas are heavily used by local residents for play, dog-walking and so on.

      f. Derham Park green

The small green in the middle of Derham Park is used by local residents as a gathering place for community celebrations, such as royal jubilees and weddings, and for play. The nearest alternative green spaces are Glebelands, which is small and near a busy road, and Hangstones, which can only be accessed by crossing the main road. It provides a green oasis in the middle of a residential area.

      g. An area off Heathgate

Although small, this area has important amenity value for residents because Yatton’s parks and play areas are too far away for younger children to go to unaccompanied. The Heathgate green is consequently heavily used by local residents and their children and helps to mitigate the high housing density in this area.

 

Environment Policies

EP 1. Where appropriate, development proposals should contribute to improved access from the                          residential parts of Yatton to local footpaths, and to the upkeep and maintenance of new and                      existing local footpaths.

EP 2. New development proposals should not harm the local distinctive landscape. To this end, Local                  Green Space status will be proposed for the areas listed below, which are in addition to those listed            in the North Somerset Site Allocations Plan. Local Green Space designation means that                              development will not be approved in these areas.

  1. Horsecastle Park.
  2. An area off Grange Farm Road.
  3. The Orchard at The Grange, off Kenn Moor Road.
  4. The Gang Wall ancient flood defence and path.
  5. Two areas near the north end of Stowey Road.
  6. Derham Park green.
  7. An area off Heathgate.


EP 3. New development proposals must incorporate amenity areas for planting with appropriate                            indigenous trees.

EP 4. Development proposals must help to maximise “dark skies” by ensuring that all new or replacement            external lighting (including street lights and floodlights) uses “full cut-off” designs that do not emit                light above the horizontal, and that it is dimmed or switched off late at night.

Housing

Housing Objectives

HO 1. To promote and maintain a mixed housing stock that includes affordable homes so that future                     generations can choose to stay in Yatton.

HO 2. To avoid any increase in the risk of flooding in Yatton as a result of new housing developments.

 

Yatton has seen rapid growth in housing in recent years and currently faces further significant growth. Residents are concerned about the effects of these developments on the village: at the time of our consultation exercise (October 2015 to January 2016), the majority view was that new development should be limited to a total of 100 new houses. Some 16% wanted no more houses at all, in contrast to 2% who would be happy to see unrestricted development. Since then the situation has changed and Yatton now has planning consent for nearly 700 additional houses (some of which are already built and occupied).

One very important message that emerged from the consultation was that 70% of residents would want to see a bypass around the village if further development went ahead. Construction of such a road would only be possible with funding arising from new housing developments along the line of the road. Because most residents are unwilling to accept further development in Yatton, there is a clash between these two desires. A bypass would also potentially have a negative impact on the Biddle Street Site of Special Scientific Interest (71% of respondents to the Wildlife Group survey considered it important to protect such sites from built development, including roads), traffic volumes in Yatton north of the railway line, and traffic volumes in Congresbury. We believe that it is beyond the scope of this Neighbourhood Development Plan to carry out the required traffic modelling or to make recommendations or policies that deal with such large infrastructural and developmental changes. Therefore this matter will be left to be dealt with in the future on its own merits, should it become feasible.

Strategic Gaps are designated areas that maintain the separate identity and amenity of settlements and that prevent settlements coalescing. A Strategic Gap has been designated to the south of Yatton, in order to prevent coalescence of Yatton and Congresbury. We propose in HP 1 that a similar Strategic Gap be designated to the north of Yatton, to prevent coalescence of Yatton with Kenn and/or Kingston Seymour. The proposed area for designation as a northern Strategic Gap is shown in Figure 10. It follows the parish boundaries between Yatton and Kenn and between Yatton and Kingston Seymour, as well as appropriate boundary features in the landscape such as the Little River, Stowey Rhyne and Moor Road.

Most types of development are considered unsuitable by residents. Developments with mostly smaller, affordable houses and flats; those with a mixture of affordable, average-sized and larger houses; those containing mainly larger expensive houses: all are considered unsuitable by the majority of residents. Developments containing mainly average-sized houses did receive a small majority in favour (by a margin of 52% to 48%). If developments are to be built, 91% of residents want to see them on brownfield sites. Housing Policy HP 2 therefore indicates that the currently derelict industrial site off Mendip Road should be designated for housing (see Figure 11).

When we asked residents what should be taken into account when considering applications for housing developments within the village, their overwhelming concerns were the ability of local healthcare and school facilities to cope with the additional demand (cited by 75% of residents), pressure on other village facilities (36%), harm to local wildlife and habitats (33%), and reduced pedestrian and cyclist safety (27%).

Because the issues surrounding housing and new development overlap with those connected with businesses, the environment and transport, most of our policies relating to housing are covered in those parts of this Neighbourhood Development Plan. However, the issue of affordable housing is not covered elsewhere and is important to residents: 19% would allow additional development if it was mainly affordable, and 9% are concerned by the current lack of affordable housing in the village. Therefore we include Housing Policy HP 3, which relates to affordable housing.

A second issue not covered elsewhere in this Neighbourhood Development Plan concerns protection against flooding of foul and/or surface water. The parish of Yatton is relatively flat, with an extensive system of ditches and rhynes outside the built-up areas draining the land. Several roads leading in and out of Yatton were flooded and had to be closed during severe storm events in late 2012, at times bringing the town to a standstill. Seven properties flooded internally and twelve properties flooded externally between September and December 2012 (see Figure 12). Any new developments must not add to the likelihood or frequency of flooding. The inclusion of sustainable designs and drainage features will be required where feasible to reduce the discharge of water from developments. Provision for long term storage will be required due to the nature of the receiving watercourses within the North Somerset Levels and Moors Internal Drainage Board area. Policy HP 4 lays out the requirements for new development schemes to help protect against flooding.

Housing Policies

HP 1. A Strategic Gap should be designated to the north of Yatton in order to maintain the distinctive                    identities of the separate villages of Yatton, Kenn and Kingston Seymour.

HP 2.The currently derelict brownfield site off Mendip Road should be designated for housing. It has good            transport links and is within easy walking distance of the main village amenities.

HP 3. Any housing designated as “affordable” should, as a condition of planning, remain as rented                        housing association accommodation or be part of a shared ownership scheme.

HP 4. Sustainable Urban Drainage systems are encouraged for minor development schemes. Pumped                schemes for surface water drainage are strongly discouraged and will not be accepted for schemes            with more than nine dwellings without full on-line back-up equipment and standby power supplies to            ensure continued drainage in the event of mains failure. Furthermore, if a site and its pumped                      drainage are to be in multiple ownership (i.e. a series of freeholds), a long-term maintenance-                      funding scheme and a plan for the lifetime of the development is to be provided. The drainage                    scheme submission for outline applications for schemes, or parts thereof, ultimately larger than                  minor developments, should include:

  1. A preliminary drainage layout drawing sufficient to demonstrate that drainage of the site is feasible;
  2. A ground investigation report (for infiltration);
  3. Evidence of a third party agreement for discharge to their system in principle.

Transport

Transport Objective

TO1. To make journeys to, from and within Yatton safer and more sustainable.

 

Yatton has a widely acknowledged problem with traffic congestion. North Somerset Council’s assessment of the sustainability and settlement hierarchy of rural settlements in the county, published in February 2016, concluded that “There is a major recognised issue with traffic congestion through the village.” Our consultation with local residents showed that 77% of them are concerned about traffic congestion.

There are also a large number of heavy good vehicle (HGV) movements through the village. An HGV survey carried out between 07:00 and 18:00 on September 8th 2016, in collaboration with Congresbury Parish Council and Yatton Partners And Communities Together, showed that during this period there were over 500 HGV movements at the north end of Yatton and over 300 at the south end. The peak rates were more than one HGV per minute at both sites. Residents are very concerned about this issue, with 81% of them citing it as an important negative influence on their quality of life.

Concerns about high levels of traffic led a large number of residents (70%) to say that they would like to see a bypass round the village, from the south end of Arnolds Way to the A370 west of Congresbury. A bypass would potentially have a negative impact on traffic volumes in Yatton north of the railway line and in Congresbury. We believe that it is beyond the scope of this Neighbourhood Development Plan to carry out the required traffic modelling for such a large infrastructural change. Therefore this matter will be left to be dealt with in the future on its own merits, should it become feasible.

A key consequence of heavy traffic is that pedestrians and cyclists perceive higher levels of personal danger. Yatton has “poor walking and cycling routes” (North Somerset Council sustainability assessment, February 2016) so it is not easy for walkers and cyclists to use routes other than the High Street, discouraging them from using these modes of transport to local village facilities. Residents are therefore more likely to use their cars, causing further congestion. However, our survey of residents showed that 88% of them access the Post Office (the most popular destination for trips within Yatton, and centrally located) by walking, provided the trip is less than half a mile each way. For longer journeys, the proportion walking fell to 54%. Almost all the non-walking journeys are made by private car, with cycling accounting for only 2% of all journeys within Yatton to this important village facility. It is likely that the perceived danger of cycling on Yatton’s narrow and congested High Street, with high levels of HGV traffic, contributes to this reluctance. When walking and cycling are considered risky and the use of private cars time-consuming because of traffic, local businesses suffer from lower footfall. There are also increases in levels of air and noise pollution.

Our Transport policies are therefore designed to encourage sustainable travel and to increase actual and perceived safety for pedestrians and cyclists. Policy TP 1 addresses the fact that Yatton High Street performs several functions. It carries through traffic; it allows Yatton residents to travel to, from and within the village; and it is a focus for customer-facing businesses. Non-stopping through traffic does not contribute to local businesses and may have a negative impact if the presence, size or speed of vehicles deters customers from coming to Yatton and using the facilities. The priority for businesses that do trade in the village is that people feel that the High Street is a pleasant and safe place to visit, to use and to spend time in. Reclaiming the High Street in the central part of the village as a pleasant and safe place where people will want to linger is therefore a critical issue for local businesses.

The Department for Transport’s Manual for Streets (2007) says: “There is no maximum width for footways. In lightly used streets (such as those with a purely residential function), the minimum unobstructed width for pedestrians should generally be 2m. Additional width should be considered between the footway and a heavily used carriageway”. Guidelines for Providing for Journeys on Foot (The Institute of Highways and Transportation, 2000) is more specific and says that on roads with a regular or high flow of HGVs “it is preferable to allow an additional minimum of 0.6m to allow for vehicle overhangs and pedestrian ‘kerb shyness’.” This extra width helps overcome the perceived danger that pedestrians feel from HGVs. A walking audit of the 3.2km length of Yatton High Street from Lampley Bridge to Frost Hill, carried out in October 2016, showed that only 120m (less than  4%) meets the minimum standard of ≥2m width footways on both sides and nowhere in the village are there the ≥2.6m footways on both sides required to make pedestrians feel safe. Most of the footways along the High Street are under 1.5m wide, which means that they tend only to be used by people who have no other choice. This in turn leads to private cars being used for short local journeys that could be made on foot if suitable provision was made. Making travel along the High Street safer for people on foot could be achieved by improving and widening the footways wherever possible, to provide continuous safe access. This policy should be understood to include any such footway widening which may result in sections of single carriageway, provided that the width allows emergency vehicles and buses to travel between kerbs, and that measures to control and permit sequential passage of traffic in both directions are incorporated. It should also be understood that this could only be implemented after consultation with North Somerset Council.

Policy TP 2 is designed to improve conditions for Yatton residents wishing to use sustainable modes of travel to get to local facilities. Policy TP 3 is intended to reduce the negative impact of through traffic.

Transport Policies

TP 1. New housing developments should contribute to the aim of making travel along Yatton High Street              safer for all users.

TP 2. Acceptable plans and designs of any new infrastructure, community facility, development, or traffic              management scheme in Yatton will:

  1. Include measures for pedestrians and cyclists that offer positive provision that reduces delay, diversion and danger;
  2. Ensure permeability and future-proofing, to maximise the ability of residents to use convenient and attractive pedestrian and bicycle routes through the village.


TP 3. Design and highways proposals that mitigate the impact of through traffic will be supported.                        Proposals may include:

  1. Use of on-street parking as a traffic calming measure for through traffic where appropriate;
  2. Street design that discourages parking that would obstruct the passage of those on foot or bicycle, or public transport and service vehicles.