Sutton Parish Council hold a Public Consultation Regarding Bovis Homes Proposal on Gaw End Lane Development in Lyme Green
Sutton Parish Council held a Public Open Meeting on the 17th May and with residents have carefully considered Bovis Homes proposals and consulted extensively from this meeting the following comments were put together on behalf of the community regarding the proposal for Gaw End Lane in Lyme Green
1. The proposed layout did not include all the land allocated in the Local Plan, yet it shows a development of 330 houses. The Local Plan states that there will be around 300 houses, on a larger site which includes the land owned by Lyme Green Settlement. If one includes this land, then the number of houses could rise towards 400. This figure is well in excess of the Local Plan. It also will result in more than a doubling of the size of Lyme Green, which currently has just over 300 houses.
2. It was the feeling of residents, at the open public meeting, that the plan should include a community hall, funded by Bovis. The Parish Council feels this would be a vital support both to the new community and the existing population of Lyme Green. It would bring the residents together as one whole community. These were shown on the Bovis layout plan for the site, which was widely circulated in December 2013. The need for community facilities is also included within the Local Plan. A community hall would bring the whole of Lyme Green together to make a cohesive village, integrating the new development with the existing community. The omission of such essential community facilities raises concerns about whether all the latest open space areas will also be whittled away as the housing areas increase in future plans.
3. One of the essential requirements is the provision of education facilities. The existing school in Sutton is a single form entry school and has no spare capacity to take additional children. It is not clear where the primary and secondary children living in these future houses will go to school. This concern needs to be addressed in the submitted application.
4. The plans in general provide for appropriate areas of open space, as required by the Local Plan. These include the areas along the canal, the marshland which runs through the centre of the site, the landscape buffer to the depot to the west of the site, and the Protected Open Space alongside Ray’s Wood Nature Reserve.
5. The Parish Council would like to consult with Bovis so that the Protected Open Space could be gifted, appropriately fenced, together with a financial contribution for management of the site in the future for at least 20 years.
6. The only area which clearly needs to be screened by an adequate landscape buffer is the Council Depot. It is not good planning to plan for new housing next to such a use.
7. The future of the depot is of concern to local residents and should be for Bovis. It is not clear from the plans what is going to happen to the depot. Its future is a very important consideration which needs to be clarified by the Council and Bovis.
8. The current depot has a substandard access, which could be improved by taking a strip of land from Bovis.
9. The proposed children’s play areas are shown as being on the edge of the development area, one close to the A523, and one adjacent to the depot at the west end of the site. We are gravely concerned regarding these plans as this poses a serious health and safety risk by siting a park next to a busy main road. We would propose that it would be sensible and safer to have one larger central play area (as opposed to the two small ones shown on the existing plan) and this should be located on the Bovis site in the centre of the housing development to provide ease of access by new residents and for access by existing local residents.
10. Whilst it is agreed that the closure of Gaw End Lane is advisable, it is considered that a lot more thought should be given to what happens to the main road (A523), from the entrance to Lyme Green Settlement to Winterton Way. This is a dangerous stretch of road as traffic often travels well in excess of the speed limit, and there are several well used access points on to it. These include the Shell Garage, Lindrum Avenue, and Robin Lane. The speed limit should be reduced to 30 mph, and traffic lights should be incorporated where Lindrum Avenue and the access to the Bovis development join the main road.
In addition, appropriate traffic/speed management arrangements need to be incorporated into the development proposals, which could include a reduced speed limit on the Leek side near to the area known as ‘The Fools Nook’ perhaps reducing the speed limit from 50 mph to gradually slow vehicles down when they approach the Gaw End Lane area.
11. An existing problem, that should also be considered, is that there have been a number of complaints to the Police regarding vehicles parking on London Road between Lindrum Avenue and Robin Lane. Some of these vehicles have been parking on the pavement and have been causing obstruction to wheelchair users from the nearby Settlement. The parked vehicles have also caused severely restricted views for drivers exiting from Robin Lane onto London Road. Some additional parking facilities in this area would resolve the problem.
12. A full Transport Survey, which was not available, should be prepared and consulted upon. This needs to include reference to pedestrian and cycle links into the site, as well as public transport.
13. The bridge over the canal on London Road, has been cause of concern for pedestrian traffic, steps down to the canal are on one side only and there is only a footpath on one side of the road. Sutton Parish Council liaising with the Canal and River Trust has investigated the possibility of steps on the other side of London Road, the principle has been accepted, subject to funding. It would seem sensible, whilst highway safety is being considered, to take this idea forward and include in the amended plan.
14. With increased traffic congestion we are concerned about the air quality due to standing traffic.
15. In terms of the need for supporting reports and surveys, none of which have been made available. The following should be prepared and made available:
a. Land Contamination Survey: this should be a full survey as the site and adjacent sites have a history of contamination.
b. Ecological Survey. The proximity of Danes Moss SSSI is a key consideration, as well as the Site of Biological Interest along the canal.
c. Archaeological Assessment.
d. Landscape Appraisal.
e. Heritage Assessment: The impact on the Canal Conservation Area, and the nearby listed buildings need to be addressed.
f. Leisure & recreational assessment. There are very strong links between Lyme Green and the canal, and the Danes Moss SSSI. It may be appropriate to incorporate a parking area at the western end of Gaw End Lane for recreational users.
16. We welcome that Bovis intend to provide the required level of affordable housing. Residents are aware that house builders have a reputation of trying to reduce the level of affordable housing. Any attempt to reduce the figure from 30% will be strongly challenged.
17. With the increase in housing, possibly three people per household approximately an increase of 990 people as an average, all needing to be enlisted at a doctors and dentist surgeries we wonder whether local surgeries have enough capacity for all these people.
The Parish Council are awaiting a response and if you require any further information or would like to talk to somebody about the development please contact The Parish Council Clerk