Westcott meadows development2011v2
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  • Introduce the Westcott Village association/WMAG, (Alex) TW application, what it consists of (Kevin Foo) Where we have been, what happened after the last meeting (Alex) Why we have formed, how many folk signed up to be involved The council manoeuvring, TW work done so far What we have achieved so far - various people to discuss what has been done - traffic (Mike) - Env. assessment (Craig) - flooding (Debbie) - Planning advice we have had (Alex) - Alternatives - Rond - infrastructure school, Dr, public transport, erosion of the greenbelt, creeping development (Andrea) What we can do (Andrew) write objection letter Bumper stickers Website has points to be addressed Process - Martin Content - Alex Help with writing letter of objection (Edwina) Addresses to write to ‘Director of Planning’ Donations – money/time Questions Send to Alex, Andrea, Edwina, Debbie, Martin, Kevin
  • We highlighted to Mole Valley District Council the importance of different types of flooding that the site is vulnerable to – flooding from the Pipp Brook; groundwater flooding from the underlying aquifer and perched water tables; and surface water flooding which could occur if the site is developed and affect access into the site. This valuable local knowledge of residents resulted in flood risk being one of the reasons for refusal in the previous Taylor Wimpey application. And so it should continue to be one of the reasons for not developing the site…. … .The majority of the site is essentially a flood plain – this includes the access road in from Westcott St and the escape route out. … .Coupled with this the site is underlain by a well known sand geological formation called the ‘Folkestone Formation’ – this is a Principal Aquifer i.e. it contains water that is abstracted in Dorking (pumped out) and used as drinking water, hence it affords protection from disturbance and pollution due to its sensitive nature, which the Environment Agency call a ‘Source Protection Zone’ – this could potentially be greatly affected by any potential development. The aquifer is in some areas on the site is less than a metre below the grass under your feet and the water level within this aquifer under the Meadow fluctuates as you would expect with changing rainfall. Between December (21 st ) and January (17 th ), Taylor Wimpey’s environmental consultants measured a change in the water level of over 1 metre (!) in one of the exploratory boreholes.
  • This slide shows the Flood Risk Zones that the site is located in – and demonstrates how the site, the main access route and the escape route is affected by potential flooding incidents. Any potential development would be like an ‘island’ or ‘moated’ development!!
  • Photos and quotes from villagers.
  • The key points to remember with regards to flooding are that Mole Valley District Council asked Taylor Wimpey to monitor the site for 12 months which has not yet been achieved – even if it had, the Council must remember that this has been the driest Spring for 50 years, and the warmest April for 350 years. We will have Winters and Springs which are the opposite to this – the wetter and colder, so decisions must take this into consideration, i.e. that this year is not a representative year and the site should be monitored for longer and photographic evidence should be taken into account to help complete the picture. Many parts of the site are in a 1 in 20 year flood risk zone, with susceptibility to groundwater flooding being high. Please make your feelings known on flood risk in your letters of objection to the council.
  • An important note to finish on is a point in key Government Policy on development and flood risk which states that “inappropriate development in flood risk areas should be avoided”. The Council have to ensure that the appropriate ‘Exception’ and ‘Sequential’ tests as detailed in in this policy have been carried out – are there other comparative Reserve Housing sites in the area that are not affected by flooding and so are more appropriate??

Westcott meadows development2011v2 Westcott meadows development2011v2 Presentation Transcript

  • Westcott Meadows Development Village Meeting May 17, 2011
    • Issues facing Springfield Meadow site:
      • Traffic
      • Flooding (groundwater and surface water)
      • Access and escape routes subject to flood
      • Setting – AONB, adjacent to greenbelt
    View of the application site in relation to Ranmore (with indicative sightlines from where the site is) View of Springfield Meadow looking east out from the proposed development site Eastern end of site looking South East – this is the proposed ‘escape route’ (top right of photo) to be used when the entrance to the site floods Evidence of groundwater flooding at the Meadow (Winter 2009) . British Geological Survey state that this area is at “high susceptibility to groundwater flooding and that this should be considered in all land-use planning decisions” Traffic difficulties in one car wide Westcott Street
  • Agenda
    • Welcome
    • How we defeated last Taylor Wimpey application
    • Committee’s 10 grounds for refusal against which the new application is to be judged
    • Detailed examination of new application
    • What could happen if permission is granted
    • Points for objection:
      • Traffic
      • Listed buildings
      • Ecology/Flooding/Landscape
      • Amenity
    • Financial situation & fundraising
    • Letter writing campaign and advice
    • Westcott Village Association support
    • District Councillor
    • County Councillor
    • Wrap up
  • How we defeated last Taylor Wimpey Application
  • Prior Reasons for Refusal
    • Situated within the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and adjacent to Green Belt, the development would fail to conserve and enhance the existing special landscape qualities of this area
    • ...would lead to a significant increase in traffic to Westcott Street impacting the free flow of traffic and highway safety
    • ...would lead to a significant increase in traffic to Balchins Lane impacting the free flow of traffic and highway safety
    • ...would lead to an increase in traffic along an alleged public right of way impacting the safety of vulnerable users
    • ...would lead to a significant increase in traffic and disturbance around the grade II listed Lower Springfield Farmhouse
    • ...may have an adverse impact on existing bat, reptile and badger populations using the site
    • ...may have adverse implications from flooding to the safeguarding of people and property and the site’s access
    • No completed legal agreement regarding affordable housing
    • No completed legal agreement regarding infrastructure contribution
    • ...would give rise to an unacceptable increase in noise and general disturbance arising from additional traffic along Westcott Street, to the detriment of residents
  • Taylor Wimpey Application
    • Submitted 28 April 2011
    • For 14 dwellings, 4 affordable housing at lower Springfield Road, Westcott
    • 26 Documents, 814 pages, including …….
    • Traffic report 246 pages
    • Flood report 159 pages
    • Ecological reports 107 pages
    • Protected species reports 107 pages
    • Archaeological Reports 50 pages
    • Support information 33 pages
    • Most reports very similar to those in previous submission
  • Proposed Development Site 14 Dwellings
  • Current Plan
  • The New Application Original Application This Application 5 Bedroom - 5 4 Bedroom 7 3 3 Bedroom 14 4 2 Bedroom 13 2 Total Bedrooms 96 53 Total Homes 34 14 Total Car Parks 77 43
  • Entrance to Site
  • Proposed Development Site
  • House Elevations
    • House Elevations
  • Street Scene
    • 1
  • An Example: Traffic Observations
    • TW data collected 25-28 March 2010. Does not include traffic impact of “The Pound”
    • About 260 vehicles currently use Westcott Street
    • About 96 of these travel out in morning peak hour (37%)
    • TW allocate 43 car parks so assume 43 vehicles (53 bedrooms)
    • TW claim only 6 vehicles will depart at morning peak hour (14%)
    • TW claim no significant increase to traffic and no perceptible impact!
  • Another Example: From TW Report*
    • “ The site lies within the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, which
    • is recognised as being a landscape of very high quality. The landscape of the
    • site however is relatively undistinguished, comprising a single field of rough
    • grassland. It is influenced by its proximity to the existing settlement edge,
    • with the development at Springfield Road very prominent in views across the
    • site. The eclectic mix of rear boundary treatments along the southern site
    • boundary, create an untidy edge to the settlement; and this, combined
    • with the collection of poultry cages at the northern boundary, give the
    • site, a slightly degraded, urban fringe feel. There are some notable landscape
    • features contained within the site, including the mature woodland alongside
    • Pipp Brook. It is therefore considered that the landscape within the northern
    • part of the site is of medium quality, however within the southern part of the
    • site adjacent to the development edge it is of low quality, with a good ability to
    • accommodate change”.
    • * Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment, CSA/1562/004c April 2011
  • What if TW Application is successful?
    • TW’s Options if successful are:
    • Proceed as planned – build the dwellings
    • Sell the property with Planning Permission to another developer and take a handsome profit
    • Apply for additional houses as done in “The Pound” where 4 dwellings were increased to 7 after planning permission received
    • If TW are again unsuccessful they will probably Appeal or possibly consider a sale without planning permission
  • Traffic
  • Traffic – now!
  • Construction traffic
  • Traffic
  • Construction traffic
  • Listed Buildings
  • Listed building
  • Environmental Issues
    • Landscape Impact
    • Flood Risk
    • Ecology
  • Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment (LVIA) AONB Management Plan Development will respect the special landscape character, giving particular attention to potential impacts on ridgelines, significant views, tranquility and light pollution. (Also see CS13) Reason for refusal ‘ The proposed development would fail to conserve and enhance the existing special landscape qualities of this area , harmful to its landscape character and appearance and constituting development conspicuous from the adjacent Green Belt (conflicts with CS13 & ENV23) X
  • Site in an AONB!
    • Methodology non-standard – no matrix of the procedure
    • 1. Assess sensitivity of receptor, 2. Assess magnitude of change, 3. Sensitivity x magnitude = Significance of effect. Their approach too subjective!
    • Unclear is assessment approach has been agreed with Surrey Hills AONB or MVDC?
    • Limited value placed on the site’s inclusion within the AONB. Adopting their own detailed assessment of the landscape quality of the site… effectively challenging the AONB designation.
    • The landscape of the site however is undistinguished, ….lending it an urban fringe character. Surely edge of rural settlement? Assessment is opinion-based.
    • No assessment of impact on Westcott Conservation Area
    • No visualisation of the development with projected roof heights etc.
    • No map showing the Zone of Visual Impact - where you can see it from.
    • Local visual receptors are highly sensitive (being residential property immediately adjacent) so more detail required on the effects on neighbouring property.
    Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment (LVIA)
  • Visual Impact (from within the AONB)? Views from the east – ‘ the magnitude of change is considered to be low /negligible, and the significance slight adverse / insignificant.’ Views from the west – ‘ the magnitude of change, as a result of development would therefore be low and the visual significance would be slight adverse becoming insignificant’. Views from the south – ‘ the visual significance slight adverse, becoming beneficial as the landscaping within the open space matures’.
  • TW Conclusion The assessment concludes that any impacts on the very high quality landscape of the Suffolk Hills AONB and the open landscape of the Green Belt would be neutral, and the scheme would not be visually intrusive or adversely affect the character of the adjoining landscape. Similarly, any impacts on views from within the AONB would be insignificant.
  • Flood Risk Reason for refusal: Insufficient information has been submitted to fully assess the potential for groundwater flooding across the site. The possible implications of such flooding events in relation to both the safeguarding of people and property, and the site’s accessibility, particularly as such events would be likely to occur at the same time as the risk of fluvial flooding is increased, could result in an unacceptable level of risk with restricted accessibility and means of escape from the proposed development.
  • Flood risk still an issue at Westcott Meadow
    • Three different types of flooding (highlighted to MVDC):
    • Flooding from the Pipp Brook (‘Fluvial’)
    • Groundwater flooding from the underlying aquifer (‘Folkestone Formation’ - Source Protection Zone [EA])
    • Surface water flooding
    • The local knowledge of residents helped Westcott Meadow Action Group demonstrate to MVDC that these flooding issues are a real problem on the site – which is essentially a floodplain
  • Flood risk from the Pipp Brook
    • Situated in Environment Agency Flood Risk Zones:
      • Zone 2 (1 in 1000 chance of happening each year)
      • Zone 3a (1 in 100 chance of happening each year)
      • Zone 3b (1 in 20 year chance of happening each year)
    • Flood risk affects:
    • The site
    • Main access route
    • Escape route
    Springfield Meadow site
  • “ the Meadow has always been a flood plain..” The Pipp Brook spilling onto its flood plain 2009
  • Winter flooding at the Meadow 2009 “ We moved here, from Bailey Road in 2002, and I have noted that every year since I took up residence in Springfield Road, that after a rainfall, this area of the meadow floods ”
  • Flood in Westcott Street – entrance to proposed site adjacent to this photo Pipp Brook approximately 2-3 feet higher than Summer flow levels
  • Key Points on Flooding
    • (source: BBC)
    • Development site, access road and ‘escape route’ (between houses on Springfield Rd) are in a 1 in 20 year flood risk zone – an island development??
    • Susceptibility to groundwater flooding (i.e. the water table appearing above the surface) = HIGH
    • Taylor Wimpey’s own report has shown that groundwater is less than 1m below the surface
    • New monitoring of groundwater levels showed that water levels rose by more than 1m between Dec 10 and Jan 11!
    • Site should have been monitored for 12 months…
    “ ..driest Spring for 50 years, ...warmest April for 350 years..”
  • Concluding remarks
    • Flood risk data and villagers’ own experience tell us that the site floods regularly – both from the Pipp Brook and from groundwater.
    • Flood risk will only increase with Climate Change
    • As well as this site being wholly unsuitable for many other reasons, key Government policy (PPS25) states “ inappropriate development in flood risk areas should be avoided ”
    • Development is only permissible in flood risk areas in exceptional circumstances where there are no other available sites in areas of lower risk, and the benefits of that development outweigh the risks from flooding.
    • Please post any further photos or quotes of flooding incidents on or around the site on our website or talk to us afterwards
  • Ecology
    • - Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981
    • - The Conservation of Species and Habitats Regulations (2010)
    • Badgers Act 1992
    • Planning Policy Statement 9 (PPS 9)
    • Core Strategy of MVDC (e.g. CS15)
    Insufficient information has been submitted to fully assess the potential impacts of the proposed development on existing badger, bat and reptile populations using the site. In order to satisfactorily assess such possible impacts further surveys are required to be completed. Additional surveys would identify the level of use of the site by these species and stipulate any appropriate mitigation measures which should then be implemented to ensure a minimum of disturbance… (Conflicts with CS15, ENV15, PPS9)
  • Badgers SWT - would recommend therefore that a bait marking exercise is carried out to help determine social group boundaries. ESBPS - The territorial boundaries of different social groups could only be determined with a bait marking project. TW – assessed ‘activity’ on site – confirming badgers from south and north use the site, but no bait-marking and thus no assessment of the importance of the site!
  • Reptiles SWT - we would suggest that further reptile survey work be carried out next year when reptiles are active to provide more details of size of any population of reptiles on site. TW – No further surveys! Desk study based on out dated data. http://www.surrey-arg.org.uk/
  • Bats TW – No further surveys! TW – No assessment of a known roost TW – No lighting plan SWT - The planning authority should seek further information from the applicant on the exact location of this roost and the potential effect of this development on this bat roost.
  • Landscape Plan(s)
  • Landscape Plan/POS No net loss of Biodiversity?
    • - 50% of site under hard-standing/turf
    • Light pollution/lack lighting plan
    • Disturbance to wildlife mitigation
    • Loss of existing hedges
    • Small trees
    • No management plan (engage SWT, NT etc)
    • PPS9: protect, mitigate, enhance!
  • Construction Environmental Management Plan ( CEMP) The CEMP would include full details of: • Register of environmental aspects [effects of the Scheme]; • Roles and responsibilities; • Communication and co-ordination; • Training and awareness; • Operational control; • Checking and corrective action; • Environmental control measures. The environmental aspects of a CEMP should include: Wildlife nature conservation Trees Invasive species Cultural Heritage Noise Air quality & dust Water resources Waste Soils Highways & traffic Protection of amenity and services A CEMP will provide a documented procedure for controlling environmental impacts and for preventing disruption to local residents during the construction phase of the project. Taylor Wimpey Application = 26 Docs, 814pp vs CEMP = 1Doc, 2pp
  • Take Home….
    • Landscape - LVIA insufficient to conserve and enhance the existing special landscape qualities of this area.
    • Reason for refusal still stands .
    • Flooding – Flood risk still present. Reason for refusal still stands.
    • Protected Species – insufficient information/survey data submitted to assess impacts. Reason for refusal still stands.
    • CEMP – insufficient!
    • Landscape plan/POS – requires lighting plan & agreed management plan (with funds from TW).
    We need your letters to convince MVDC!
  • The Nature Reserve
  • Need More….?
    • Read the TW application
    • westcottmeadow.ning.com
    • Speak to Craig, Debbie or Rond
  • Amenity
  • Financial situation & Fundraising
  • Objection to Application How to Object to the second Application by Taylor Wimpey Martin Pearcy May 2011 ...nothing has changed...
  • Guidelines on How to Object to a Planning Application Martin Pearcy May 2011
    • Comments to the case officer Miss Helen Lowe or the Head of Planning (Corporate Head of Service) Andrew Bircher at Mole Valley District Council - email: [email_address] .
    • In Writing: Head of Planning at the Council Offices, Pippbrook, Dorking, RH4 1SJ.
            • Copy to Cllr James Friend [email_address]
            • Copy to Rt Hon Paul Beresford [email_address]
    • Quote the application number MO/2011/0528
    • On line – section provided in the planning application pages, upload your WORD file letter.
    • Find the application via the quicklink on the http://westcottmeadow.ning.com site
    • Within 21 days of the notification letter, therefore by May 26 th 2011.
  • Finding the Application – Quick Link Martin Pearcy May 2011
  • The Application on Line Martin Pearcy May 2011
  • On Line Objection Martin Pearcy May 2011
  • Guidelines on How to Object to an Application Martin Pearcy May 2011
    • Your letter/email must include your name and address or it will be rejected.
    • Letters of representation will be available on line (within 5 days of receipt) to view by the public, or at the planning office (even after the application has been decided).
    • Individual letters will be acknowledged in writing, identical letters will however be treated as a petition and will not be acknowledged---its important that letters are not copied or “prescribed” for this reason.
  • Guidelines on How to Object to an Application Martin Pearcy May 2011
    • Comments must be relevant to planning issues, such as Environment, Services, Transport, Traffic and Parking etc. See Appendix list.
    • Comments on private interests such as property value will not be taken into account, loss of private view, personal remarks, boundary disputes are not legitimate issues. Note: Impact on a public view/visual amenity is a valid objection.
    • You can refer to your last letter objecting to the 34 units. But the details of that application do not have relevance in this application. If you don't have a copy of your letter, we can help retrieve it.
    • Make it easy for the planning committee and include the reference number MO/2011/0528 and description of the application at the top of the letter.
    • Applications that receive more than 20 letters of objection or 50 signatures of petition will allow a representative of the objector and the Parish Council (Village Association) to make representation at the hearing of the application.
  • End Martin Pearcy May 2011
  • Appendix 1: Legitimate Objections Martin Pearcy July 2010
    • Loss of light or overshadowing
    • Overlooking/loss of privacy
    • Visual amenity - definition - It is the collective impact of the visual components which make a site or an area pleasant to be in (but not loss of private view)
    • Adequacy of parking/loading/turning
    • Highway safety
    • Traffic generation
    • Noise and disturbance resulting from use
    • Hazardous materials
    • Smells
    • Loss of trees
    • Effect on listed building and conservation area
    • Layout and density of building
    • Design, appearance, character and materials
    • Landscaping
    • Road access
    • Local, strategic, regional and national planning policies
    • Government circulars, orders and statutory instruments
    • Disabled persons' access
    • Compensation and awards of costs against the Council at public enquiries
    • Proposals in the Development Plan
    • Previous planning decisions (including appeal decisions)
    • Nature conservation
    • Archaeology
  • Westcott Village Association
  • District Councillor
  • County Councillor
  • Conclusions
    • This second application is flawed in the same ways as the first and should be rejected by Council for the same reasons
    • Data is flawed and conclusions questionable, despite reduced number of dwellings. e.g. Traffic and environmental studies
    • The development does not respect and enhance the character and distinctiveness of Westcott and the surrounding area
    • This proposal is for another era and another place and should be rejected
    • The existing site is undeliverable in terms of housing and should be removed from the Reserved Housing list
    • Westcott Villagers need to write to the Council with their objections, the battle is far from over!
  • End Martin Pearcy July 2010
  • Appendix 1: Legitimate Objections Martin Pearcy July 2010
    • Loss of light or overshadowing
    • Overlooking/loss of privacy
    • Visual amenity - definition - It is the collective impact of the visual components which make a site or an area pleasant to be in (but not loss of private view)
    • Adequacy of parking/loading/turning
    • Highway safety
    • Traffic generation
    • Noise and disturbance resulting from use
    • Hazardous materials
    • Smells
    • Loss of trees
    • Effect on listed building and conservation area
    • Layout and density of building
    • Design, appearance, character and materials
    • Landscaping
    • Road access
    • Local, strategic, regional and national planning policies
    • Government circulars, orders and statutory instruments
    • Disabled persons' access
    • Compensation and awards of costs against the Council at public enquiries
    • Proposals in the Development Plan
    • Previous planning decisions (including appeal decisions)
    • Nature conservation
    • Archaeology