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Glebe Development: HPC Objections

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Glebe arial photo

For those residents who were unable to attend and observe the Planning Committee of Haddenham Parish Council, held on Monday 20th October 2014, here are the details of a draft document that HPC is preparing in order to lodge a formal objection to the outline planning permission sought for the glebe land bounded by Aston Road, Stanbridge Road and Willis Road.

At their Planning Meeting held at St Mary's CE School on Monday evening, 20th October, it was clear that Haddenham Parish Council opposes the planned development of the glebe land.

Here (in draft form) are the bases on which HPC plans to lodge a formal objection:

Land at Aston Rd — 14/02666/AOP
HPC opposes the Outline Plan on the following grounds:

Principles & Procedural Issues

1. AVDC has left Haddenham exposed not helped by prevarication about merits of the Neighbourhood Plan (NP) setting its own allocation and preferred sites.

2. HPC accepts that it will have an allocation in principle; is prepared to take rather more than the 100 home indicated in the failed Vale of Aylesbury Plan, but has real concern about impact of taking 750 home implied by SHLAA across 3 main sites or the 1000 homes implied by HELAA (showing additional sites recently published). In general terms: in form and function Haddenham is a large village, not a town. Very limited shopping centre and no secondary school. Large industrial area allocated in last Adopted AVDP but limited take-up of plots/sites. So all new development will generate significant daily out-migration in terms of journey to work, school journeys >11 year olds, and shopping — ie sustainability issues. Inspector in 2002: "I am not persuaded that H presently possesses the character or range of facilities to satisfactorily absorb a significant amount of additional residential development" (Cover letter to Report part 2 in rejecting 100 homes at Aston Rd).

3. HPC through the NP will now propose a median allocation, is undertaking site assessments, public consultation, and will propose sites for development for inclusion in draft Vale of Aylesbury Local Plan. Public consultation so far has shown strong preference (by 90% ?? of consultees) for the majority of major development to take place on airfield near the station. The NP will be guided accordingly. At this stage we are clear that there is no support for such a large single development at Aston Rd.

4. This Application is essentially premature — indeed seems deliberately timed to undermine NP. Significant that there is no mention of NP in the "Planning" document in the suite of docs accompanying the application — so clearly the developer does not see NP as relevant.

5. The other principal developer (airfield site) originally undertook to work with NP timetable. Situation now however is that current app seems very likely to precipitate apps from one or both the alternative developers — feel they have no choice but to submit rather than risk being side-lined.

6. Collectively this would comprehensively undermine the NP.

7. And combined impact of development on all sites would be unacceptable.

8. Developer has met part of the NP team, but has never sought to present either to the full PC or to the PC's Planning Committee (in contrast to other developers).

9. Developer did not take up NP's suggestion to hold a residents' workshop event to evolve a master pan — again in contrast to airfield developer which held an event over 3 (??) days with good participation.

10. We look to AVDC to turn this down on ground that would fatally harm NP process

Site Issues

1. Site was originally included in the draft of the now expired Adopted Aylesbury Vale District Plan as a development site for 100 homes (in an earlier version the figure was higher). The site was later excluded at public inquiry by the Planning Inspector issued July 2002 on several grounds. The Inspector's findings in Ch. 9 of his report amounted to a thorough and comprehensive rebuttal of the merits of this site. The Inspector concluded at 9.1.66: "The fact that it would be impossible to integrate the proposed development with the rest of the village, creating a text book example of the worst kind of village expansion, strengthens my resolve to resist development of this site". Although the national policy framework has changed, the material site assessment issues are just as valid today. Rebuttal was for 100 homes — current proposal is for 350 homes.

2. Traffic Impact. Site is poorly related to the main village services, particularly the railway station. Houses will be marketed at commuters. Site is more than 1 mile from the station. Majority will drive to the station via Aston Rd/Church End/Station Rd or via Stanbridge Rd. Biggest single issue we face is commuter parking in roads near the station to avoid station car park fees. This development will exacerbate the problem. By contrast, airfield site is in walking distance of station. See Inspector's 9.1.39 to 9.1.41 in particular — all still relevant.

3. Traffic monitoring was carried out in summer holiday — contrary to advice to carry out during period of normal activity.

4. Heritage: effect on the Conservation Area (CA) and surrounding countryside. NPPF is strong on heritage and on concept of harm to heritage, and essentially repeats earlier advice. Church End CA was one of first CAs declared by AVDC in 1971 because of its special character, and one of only 2 CAs selected for recent detailed study and review — so very significant in heritage terms within Aylesbury Vale. AVDC's attention is particularly drawn to paras 9.1.25 to 9.1.33 in the Inspector's report. Applicant acknowledges that site adjoins the CA at Church End in its "Heritage" document. But applicant's response is entirely about views into and out of the site. No serious attempt has been made to address the substantive issues raised previously by the Inspector in 2002; the proposals amount to serious harm.

5. Applicant suggests Church End CA has already been enveloped by development. This is not correct. In fact CA to the south and predominantly to the east is bounded by agricultural land, open country and access is via a country lane (Aston Rd). This development will envelop the CA to the east, and will urbanise the whole approach to it.

6. Access Issues. Although an outline application, it does not reserve access issues, so these need to be fully addressed at this stage, but are not. Issues include:

  • No access shown to proposed burial ground
  • No access shown to proposed sports area
  • Footpath shown along Aston Rd which isn't wide enough to take a footpath, in part borders listed wychert walls, and stops by staff and vehicle access to St Mary's school but which is not the pupils' access, and would erode whole character of this country lane
  • Unclear what arrangements will be made in relation to underground aviation supply pipeline underneath the site

7. Bus Service: The applicant has stated that Arriva will route the 280 through the development. Arriva withdrew the 280 from Church End a few years ago, and recently (October 2014) informed a meeting in the village that it has no plans to re-instate the service to the south end of the village.

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