Westcott Meadows Development Village Meeting May 17, 2011
Issues facing Springfield Meadow site:
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
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:
Financial situation & fundraising
Letter writing campaign and advice
Westcott Village Association support
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
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
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
* 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 – now!
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:
Main access 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
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..”
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
- 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/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
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
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
Read the TW application
Speak to Craig, Debbie or Rond
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
Noise and disturbance resulting from use
Loss of trees
Effect on listed building and conservation area
Layout and density of building
Design, appearance, character and materials
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