More resurfacing work in Prestbury
Following a request from PAB County Councillor John Payne, Gloucestershire Highways have agreed to resurface the lower end of Southam Road, the roundabout at the junction of Southam Road, Noverton Lane and the High Street, together with short adjoining sections of Noverton Lane and the High Street.
In order to undertake work this year John committed £20k of his Highways Local budget to support the scheme.
The work will commence on 18th October and will be completed by the 20th October. The road will be closed to all traffic between 9.30am and 3.30pm. Diversion routes will be signposted.
9th September 2017.
Planning Inspector Dismisses Gleeson’s Appeal – A Summary
Planning Inspector David Richards has dismissed the appeal brought by Gleeson’s against the decision of Tewkesbury Borough Council’s Planning Committee to refuse permission for 76 dwellings on land adjacent to Mill Lane.
Inspector Richards identified the main issues as the effect of the proposals on the landscape character of the area, the effect on heritage assets, and the effect on housing land supply.
The application site has been designated a Special Landscape Area. Gleeson’s accepted that the site was part of a valued landscape, and that some harm would arise to the present landscape character of the area.
The Inspector concluded that the design of the scheme had attempted to respond to the character of the site by introducing features designed to soften the impact of the scheme. The Inspector made particular reference to the parkland nature of the western field (adjacent to Southam Road) and concluded the area would be adversely affected by the construction of housing.
Gleeson’s argued that the development would be well related to the urban form of Prestbury. However, the Inspector took a contrary view, commenting that, the development would contrast unacceptably with the low density development on the southern side of Mill Lane.
The Inspector’s comments centred on the proximity of the proposed development to the Presbury Conservation Area and The Hayes. Reference was made to other listed buildings in the area, but these were not adversely impacted by the proposed development.
Both Tewkesbury Borough Council and Gleeson’s agreed that the harm caused by the development to the Conservation Area and The Hayes would be less than substantial.
(Listed Building and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 gives special regard to be given to the desirability of preserving a listed building and its setting. Gleeson’s accepted that The Hayes was orientated in such a manner as to benefit from views of the scarp. It was also established that the application site had been part of the estate belonging to The Hayes.
The Inspector accepted that the layout of the development had been designed as far as possible to minimise the intrusion of built development into the setting of The Hayes, and that housing would only be visible in the periphery of eastward views. Nevertheless, the Inspector concluded that the development would give rise to significant harm to the openness and character of the wider parkland.
Housing land supply.
This was a crucial element in the Hearing. Gleeson’s position was that Tewkesbury Borough Council could not demonstrate the required 5 year supply of building land, and that they had failed to meet their housing target in 6 out of the last 10 years. Tewkesbury Borough Council countered by informing the Hearing that they had now established under the Joint Core Strategy a 5 year supply of housing land, and that they had exceeded their building target in the 3 out of the last 5 years. After a long exchange of claim and counter claim about housing numbers, the Inspector concluded the position with regard to supply of dwellings and land made by Tewkesbury Borough Council was robust.
A number of residents drew the Inspector’s attention to the evidence of extensive flooding in the area. The Inspector was rather dismissive of the concerns expressed by residents. He concluded that the issue of flood risk had been given thorough consideration by the relevant authorities.
Residents commented that the development would result in unacceptably high levels of daily traffic, together with increased levels of noise and pollution. Residents also raised concerns related to the visibility splays associated with the new entrance to the development.
The Inspector has commented that according to the Transport Assessment, the development will result in an extra 41 vehicle trips in the morning and evening peaks, an increase of 4.6%. With regard to visibility splays the Inspector, on a site visit concluded that required visibility could be accommodated without significant harm to existing hedgerow.
Tewkesbury Borough Council mounted a robust defence of it decision to refuse planning application, and responded positively to the challenge from the very professional Appellant. The Council’s position was immeasurable strengthened by the robust and competent local opposition managed by Co-Radical. Their campaign mobilised local opposition to a level not seen before. It was pleasing that, despite a degree of reluctance on the part of the Inspector to hear the evidence amassed by Co-Radical, their key speakers were able to address the hearing with sound evidence presented in a clear unambiguous manner.
It was gratifying that the Inspector’s report recognised the contribution of local PAB Councillors Malcolm Stennet and John Payne, who robustly defended Prestbury from unwanted development.
The decision was without doubt the correct one, and the evidence and conclusions will have far reaching consequences should it be necessary to defend the Prestbury Green Belt from unwanted development.
There is however a downside. Had the development gone ahead there would have been significant financial investment in Prestbury through the s106 funding stream. A scheme that requires developers to make financial contributions to the local area to offset the impact of the development.
Prestbury would have received:
£93,040 for provision of changing rooms on Prestbury Playing Field.
£28,800 towards improvements of Prestbury Playing Field.
£85,000 towards improvements in children’s play areas.
£14,896 towards improvement to Prestbury Library
£72,893 towards the creation of additional pre-school places in Prestbury.
£228,569 towards additional capacity at St. Mary’s Primary School.
Cheltenham Borough Councillor for Prestbury.
17th August 2017.
P.A.B WORKING WITH AND FOR THE COMMUNITY
John Payne – 01242 250241 – firstname.lastname@example.org
Malcolm Stennett – 01242 237048 – email@example.com