Responses to Draft Neighbourhood Plan
My responses shown in red.
We welcome views on the choices set out below
1. Which of the following broad approaches best reflects your views
The NDP concludes that there is no need for more homes and that apart from possible single infill plots , conversion of unused farm buildings and proposals for redevelopment of brownfield (should they arise) there are no sites that could be seen as limited infilling and any Local Needs Schemes would not be appropriate. The Plan might include BUABs drawn tightly to strengthening the case planning permission being granted on sites that might be the subject of planning applications in the future. This approach would minimise new development. Under this approach it would be possible to include a policy that planning permission should only be granted for smaller homes OR
1a) This is my preferred approach. The survey of residents is stated as showing “little support from residents for affordable housing including social housing” which makes it difficult to see how 1b) approach would work. In addition we are in a Green Belt which has restrictions on new development.
(b) The NDP concludes that there is a case for some new homes and makes some provision for new homes by identifying site(s) for development but with a general policy restriction that permission will only be granted for smaller homes. For each site the plan could be specific about numbers, design and mix of house sizes.
The site(s) could be limited to Local Needs Scheme(s) , which would have the advantage of providing housing for people with local connections and could include affordable housing or could be left to the market or a mix of the both. In the latter case we would need to be satisfied that the sites identified can be regarded as limited infilling.
This approach might mean 15-20 more new homes than approach (a) above depending on the sites identified
The NDPF states that one of the exceptions to the Green Belt is “limited infilling for villages and limited affordable housing for local community needs”. I am not in favour of this approach as I believe development in the Green Belt should be limited.
2 Regardless of the preferred approach above
(a) Should the NDP include a policy that where possible permission is only granted for smaller homes. I disagree, it depends on individual cases.
(b) Because there is a continuous loss of smaller homes as a result of rebuilds and large extensions the NDP should include policies to limit such developments. This may not be straightforward and could be breaking new ground. It would need to recognise statutory permitted development rights. I disagree.
(c) Should the NDP allow for flats provided they are no more than two stories . I disagree
(d) Should any sits identified limit individual developments to 10 dwellings . Developments should be less than 5 dwellings.
Possible policy for the protection of Wild Life Sites
Development proposals affecting designated sites will need to include measures to protect and enhance the site, resulting in a net gain to biodiversity that can be maintained in perpetuity. Where development proposals affect a potential Local Wildlife Sites the applicant will need to to arrange for the site to be assessed against the Green Book criteria as part of the development application. I strongly agree with this policy. The wild life in this area is what makes it special.
Protection of Priority Habitats and Species
Priority habitats and species (as defined by NERC 2006) and local priority species (as defined in Warwickshire, Coventry and Solihull Local Biodiversity Action Plan) will be protected. Development affecting such species will incorporate measures to ensure that the local population is maintained in the long term. Development resulting in the loss of such species will not be supported. I strongly agree with this policy.
New developments will maintain and enhance habitat corridors for the wildlife using them. Where surveys show that bats are using these corridors lighting will be controlled to exclude or minimise light spill onto the habitat. Water courses will be buffered by a minimum of 8m of vegetation from the top of the bank. I strongly agree with this policy. Bats are very important at Earlswood Lakes and their habitats should be protected.
Ancient woodland will be protected and where appropriate enhanced. Development proposals which directly or indirectly harm ancient woodland will not be supported. Where development is proposed adjacent to ancient woodland, a natural buffer will be required to protect the ancient woodland. For small developments a minimum of 15m may be appropriate and for large developments a minimum of 50m will be required. I agree with this policy
Protection of Individual Trees
Wherever possible existing trees will be maintained in accordance with British Standard BS5837 (or as updated). New developments must make provision for trees on site. New trees should comprise species native to the locality to ensure landscape character is retained.
New developments of 10 or more dwellings or new employment schemes shall submit a planting scheme as part of the planning application which will:
Show on a map the trees to be retained and removed,
State the measures to be taken to protect trees during construction,
Provide species lists for the different types of planting; avenue, gardens, open space etc.,
Include a plan showing the estimated canopy and root growth upon maturity, ensuring that built infrastructure is not affected by root spread.
I agree with this policy.
Outside of built up areas priority will be given to protecting and enhancing the countryside from inappropriate development. A proposal for development will only be permitted where:
1. A site has been allocated for development in the NDP
2. It would not have a detrimental impact on, and would enhance, areas identified as having major or substantial landscape value or sensitivity and
3. It would not have an adverse impact on the landscape setting of Tanworth Conservation village or Earlswood Lakes area and
4. It would maintain the distinctive view of the surrounding countryside from public vantage points within, and adjacent to, the built up area and
5. Would conserve and enhance the landscape and scenery of the SSSIs.
I agree with this policy. It is important to retain the character and feel of this area.
Wherever possible hedgerows will be retained and enhanced. Development proposals should be accompanied by a Hedgerow Survey and proposed designs demonstrate sympathetic development around hedges of high or moderate quality. This should include a management plan for the hedgerow to allow it to develop into a high value habitat, including a grassland buffer.I
I agree with this policy. Hedgerows are part of the character of this area.
Lakes /Clowes Wood Protection Area
Development within the protected area will not be supported with the exception of in-fill within the existing built up area that is consistent with Green Belt policy and maintains the current building line.
Backland development will not be supported within the designated area.
I strongly agree with the above policies. The protection area is an excellent idea to safeguard the future of the Lakes which “88% of Earlswood residents said the Lakes were important to them”. I agree strongly with the statement that this consultation makes “the importance of the Lakes and its surrounding environs for local wildlife cannot be overstated”.
Possible POLICY : Protecting Buildings of Local importance
The Buildings of Local Importance identified in Table 1, although not statutorily listed, will be protected from inappropriate development.
Alteration and conversion will be permitted when the building is retained and the proposed development is sympathetic to the heritage value of the building. The loss of these buildings will only be permitted when all of the following are satisfied:
a) the loss of the building would not have a detrimental impact on the surrounding area;
b) the building is in a poor state of repair and it can be clearly demonstrated that economic cost of bringing the building back in to use outweighs its value as a heritage asset;
c) the building is a danger to public safety, and
d) the building can no longer sustain a viable use.
Where redevelopment leading to replacement is considered necessary, and can be demonstrated by the applicant against the criteria in this policy, proposals will have to demonstrate that the replacement development will make a positive contribution to the character of the local area.
I agree with this policy.
Due to the dominance of car usage and ownership in the Parish, future developments should include sufficient parking for the required number of cars per household to avoid further issues with off-street car parking. [ This might be placed in Development design] I agree with this policy
We have not identified any policies concerning railways as to expand the current facilities will likely be used by people outside the Parish – locals already being satisfied in general with the current service and having reasonable access to the 4 stations within the Parish .I agree with this statement. Whitlocks End station car park generally is full by 10am on a weekday.
Due to lack of resource and willing volunteers in this area, we have also not identified policies around buses or cycling despite the low level of satisfaction and little use . No comment.
The Parish and District Councils should ensure that that sufficient co-ordination in the planning of development neighbouring the Parish is undertaken to provide adequate road schemes capable of moving additional traffic such that it doesn’t have an adverse impact upon the quality of rural nature of the Parish and the road network seen as so important and enjoyed by the local community. I strongly agree with this statement.
Future changes to the road network should only be made where dictated by safety and must remain in keeping with the rural nature of the Parish avoiding speed bumps, chicanes etc that detract from the character of the parish . I agree in general to this statement but safety of all road users has to be taken into consideration so I would be in favour of speed reducing measures at say the Crossroads in Earlswood by the Reservoir Pub if this was required.
Change of Use and extensions – The NDP should look to encourage business enterprise and retain jobs locally and support the growth of small and micro businesses, many of which are suited to our topography and infrastructure. This support should be provided on the basis that any change does not adversely impact the character of the area or the amenity of neighbours. This should include allowing the change of use or small scale extension of of existing buildings where it is appropriate to do so:
o The proposed development is of a scale and form and in keeping with the size and character of its surroundings and setting
o The scale of development can be clearly related to the employment needs of the local economy
o That proposals will not generate trips by HGVs using the parish rural road network .
Homeworking – The provision of local workspaces and homeworking in the Parish will be supported providing the proposals are small scale and they are appropriate to the character of the area, local settlement and the Parish. In all cases preference will be for the conversion of existing buildings rather than new build. This policy is reliant on improvements to the rural broadband and mobile telephony networks.
Community assets and retail development – Given the importance attributed to the village stores and post offices the NDP should support the application of these shops as community assets along with other relevant local assets. The NDP should also support any change of use of residential premises in the existing village centres to suitable retail if proposed.
Rural tourism – Proposals for new tourism development appropriate to a rural area will be supported, including:
o Informal recreation
o Development that is part of a wider farm diversification
o Formal recreation proposals that would not require new buildings and would not lead to significant vehicular traffic or noise
I agree with all the above policies.
Possible General Policy
All future development should be considered in respect of existing infrastructure (telephony, broadband, electrical power, drainage -foul and rainwater, mains gas and water supply) and permission only granted when the applicant can demonstrate sufficient capacity exists for the existing and proposed developments within and directly adjacent to the development area or the scheme includes measures to improve the same so as to not to adversely impact on neighbouring properties.
In particular Due consideration should be given to proposed developments in terms of the impact it will have on the existing surface water (over-land) drainage and the applicant shall demonstrate how such impacts will be mitigated whether through conventional or sustainable drainage schemes including on site storage and attenuated release in order to reduce the flooding
I agree with the above policy.
The Parish Council should proactively support and facilitate the widespread coverage of high speed broadband and mobile telephony across the Parish.
I agree with the above policy.
Potential Housing Sites
Site 1 Land behind Warwickshire Lad pub (24 houses)
This site is too large for limited infilling and is on Green Belt land as such I believe would not be suitable for development.
Site 3 Land behind 96-98 Malthouse Lane (6-8 houses)
Put forward to the 2014 SHLAA
This would be backland development and on its own would create a significant extension into open land setting a precedent for other schemes Some limited backland development might be appropriate but depends on policy on the Lakes and more generally on views on such development.
This site is on Green Belt land and is not limited infilling. It would also have significant impact on hedgerows and access to the Lakes. I believe this is not suitable for development.