How Do I Object to the Planning Application?

Any one is entitled to object to a planning application.

  • And you can do so as often as you like – in particular whenever a new piece of ‘information’ comes to the fore.

You can do so by going on-line to the Stroud website by clicking  This Link or you can write to The Planning Office at Ebley Mill, Stroud and quote ref: S.16/0043/OUT.  Be sure to make clear that you are objecting (rather than just commenting, say) and give one or two (not a dozen!)  good planning-based reasons.    The following are all valid reasons, which you can adapt to your own ‘voice’

Continue reading How Do I Object to the Planning Application?

Advertisements

Local Plan review and public response

For more background,you can Click here  to go to the SDC website  for the Local Plan Review – or see our ‘Local Plan’ main page.

You can read the ‘Issues and Options’  document here

The document describes the key issues considered by the review and throughout, poses questions asking the reader for opinions and ideas.  You can make responses  until Tuesday 5th December

Your responses  – long or short –  can be emailed to   local.plan@stroud.gov.uk  or posted to   Local Plan Review,  The Planning Strategy Team,  Stroud District Council,  Ebley Mill, Stroud GL5 4UB

There is also an  on-line ‘survey’ to give your response to the questions posed.


Issues and Options –  extract Q & A

The document talks of many high ambitions to improve the well being of people in the District, many of which read well and can be heartily endorsed.  But, as ever, the reality is governed by the growing need for new housing and employment (with numbers based on government requirements) and the apparent power this gives to the Developers:  power to build what they want and where they want regardless of the actual needs of the local population – and their subsequent apparent inability to build what is required -(e.g. genuinely affordable homes and smaller homes) where required (e.g. on brownfield sites).

As far as KER is concerned, the key issues mentioned in the review that will be of particular interest for future planning applications  are

1. Issues

Economy:-

  • “Rebalancing and regenerating the existing employment stock” ( Key issue no 2)
  • “Addressing the high level of daily commuting out of and into the District” (Key issue  3)

– we would point out that a huge honey-pot employment site at Jn 13 is unlikely to resolve either of these issues – see Qn 2b below)

Housing:-

  • “Tackling the acute lack of affordable housing in the District” (11)
  • “Ensuring new housing development is located in the right place, … sustainable development”(12)
  • “Providing the right size of accommodation to meet local needs(particularly for smaller, cheaper market and affordable homes)”(13)
  • “Providing opportunities for self-build/custom housing, smaller
    sized developments and new models for housing delivery.”(16)
  • “Maximising thhe potential of brownfield and underused sites”(17)

– All laudable aims, but not achievable by giving developers have a free hand. These aims can only be delivered if Planning Policies are written to favour them. In particular we cannot even try to satisfy our own relatively modest ‘affordable housing’ needs if the exception sites that we might use are annexed and effectively opened up for market housing. (see below)

Environment and well being

The focus has shifted from delighting in our heretage somewhat, but the following issues do get a mention:-

“Conserving and enhancing Stroud District’s countryside, landscape
and biodiversity, ” (19) and ” Protecting and enhancing our historic environment whilst adapting to modern demands” (21)

One ‘key issue’ that we should be aware of is key issue number 31
“.Improving the provision of good quality sports facilities, to meet the District’s needs and increase participation in sports and physical activity, particularly among children and young people”

– we have no quarrel with this aim at all, but might have to point out that a 5000 seater football stadium is not really a ‘sporting facility’ for very many people. Active football participation would be much better achieved with rather more less grandioise football clubs and facilities genuinely accessible in a sustainable manner.

(you will have gathered by now that ‘sustainable’ means accessible by public transport, and/or close together)

2. Options

The main part of the document goes on to identify more particular needs within the district, and the options for future growth. Throughout, it poses a series of questions to the reader, asking for preferences and ideas.
There are some genuinely thought provoking options for the future – (and now that they have got their way with WoS it is intersting to note a bit of a turnaround with a nod towards more growth dispersal!).

It is worth reading the document and making your own responses, but here I am just highlighting the parts that may be of particlur interest to KER in terms of future planning applications

Para 2.1 says “The new Local Plan may need to allocate further land for employment uses, to meet business needs from 2031 to 2036…”

Question 2.1b
Do you think there is a need for further employment land allocations? …..”

– we say that as far as Eastington is concerned, with existing facilities togetheer with those planned alongside Wos we are very well provided for in terms of local employment land for our size.

Question 2.1c
Do you think locating growth adjacent to M5 junctions should be supported; or would
continuing expansion of employment land at existing settlements/sites be preferable?

We have always maintained that building a ‘honeypot’ business park at Jn 13 would be disastrous for the rest of the district (as well as for our rural aspect). It would largely serve to draw jobs away from existing, sustainable employments sites such as Stroud town centre tself, as well as deterring the provision of new jobs in more distributed (and more sustainable) locations around the district.

  • Stroud valley Mill sites
  • Cam & Dursley ( Littlecombe)
  • Hunts Grove
  • Sharpness

Bearing in mind that there is already a substantial provision for employment land associated with WoS close by, there is absolutely no benefit in attracting even more jobs away from those other areas in the District that really need them. Some of the new businesses may well come from outside the district – from Bristol or even Swindon, say – which might increase revenue to Stroud – but they would also bring a whole load of new commuters into the area, with all the consequent traffic concerns and infrastructure requirements.

The balance is clearly in favour of distributing jobs around the already planned/existing sites and settlements.

 

Question 2.3a
Tell us about housing needs and opportunities in
your area …..”

We have recently enjoyed two substantial market housing growth spurts (Bradestones Way and Swallowcroft) – and our pressing need now is for more affordable and rented accommodation – to help both our up-coming youngsters and our downsizing seniors to stay close to their family roots.  The Eastington Community Land Trust is trying to address some of these needs, but this ambition is not furthered by SDC opening up our planned ‘exception sites’ to market forces.

Question 2.3b
Do you think that local housing need surveys  should also be used to influence the housing mix on local for-sale housing sites?

– yes ??? why-ever not ????

Question 2.4b
Are there existing facilities or local spaces that you consider important for protection? If so please tell us and explain why they are of particular importance

– our open spaces are very important to our rural community and way of life – they form part of who we are – especially the many walkers, dog owners and nature lovers amongst us.

Page 44  shows potential development sites on the edge of Alkerton village.

Page 47 shows potential development sites on the edge of Stonehouse – this includes Dale Vince’s land.

 

Parish-wide Opinion Survey

 

The Eastington Community News Magazine for August/Sept is running a poll to try to establish the strength of feeling across the whole of Eastington Parish.  This will be put to the planners, and could make all the difference!

PLEASE RESPOND TO THIS SURVEY.

Update 28/08/2017

The survey is now closed and we have around 100 new objections (and just half a dozen support statements) to send to the planners – (and most of the support statements cam from non-Eastington people!)

 

Ecotricity and the Local Plan

Ecotricity and the Local Plan

The NPPF, the Government’s planning guideline, whilst promoting a presumption in favour of sustainable development, requires that primacy be given to adopted Local Development Plans.  Stroud has had an adopted Local Plan since December 2015.

The Strategic Objectives of the Stroud Local plan require that all new development be ‘in, or adjacent to, or an extension of’ existing settlements and facilities. The Plan prioritises six Strategic sites, adjacent to our large market towns,  and the regeneration of brownfield sites in the Stroud Valleys.   These priorities do not include this site.

  1. Strategic Objective SO2 : “Providing for a strong, diverse, vibrant local economy that enables balanced economic growth……..across the District
  • This proposal is the opposite of “diverse” and “balanced” – a honeypot site sucking in commuters, whilst putting at risk  the strategically planned, balanced and genuinely more sustainable employment sites for Cam and Dursley, Berkeley/Sharpness, Hardwicke/Hunts Grove and Stonehouse .
  • Ecotricity have tried to suggest that the detail of the Local Plan does not contain sufficient provision for future employment space. Stroud refute this utterly, and are supported both by the Government Inspector and by  accredited independent evaluation.
  1. Strategic Objective SO5:  “maximising the re-use of buildings”…and  “Promoting the use of …. brownfield land
  • The proposal would clearly hinder this objective, by building on greenfield land and disadvantaging potential equivalent brownfield development in the Stroud valleys.
  1. Strategic Objective SO4: “promoting healthier alternatives to theuse of the private car
  • Given the distance to the train station, the meagre bus service and the unliklyhood of the A419 being improved sufficiently to make cycling or walking comfortable, the main access to this will be by car.  In addition, the honeypot nature of this site is likely to cause replacement of sustainably located jobs.

The Core Policies are concerned with the translation of the objectives into more detailed planning policies:-

  1.  Core Policy CP2  says that  “The policies within the Local Plan identify designated areas where balanced housing, employment and retail development are considered appropriate
  • This site is NOT so designated and MUST therefore be considered inappropriate.
  1. Core Policy CP14  says it supports “high quality development which protects, conserves and enhances the built and natural environment….and which ….. produces no unacceptable levels of air, noise, light or pollution…”
  • This proposal clearly does not enhance the natural environment – but a football stadium would generate a  level of noise and light unacceptable to residents nearby –  not least to the existing vulnerable people at William Morris College right  next door.
  1. Core Policy CP15 says  “In order to protect the separate identity of settlements and the quality of the countryside …. Proposals outside identified settlement development limits will not be permittedexcept” …(…where the development is ‘essential’… )…
  • The proposal is totally outside settlement development limits and is certainly not essential in the context of this policy.
  1. Core policy CP15 does allow for the provision of sport, leisure and tourism facilities where this protects the quality of and promotes public enjoyment of the countryside.
  • This proposal is clearly not designed to protect the countryside or promote the public’s enjoyment of it.

 

The proposal is contrary to the Local Development Plan and would normally be refused unless material considerations indicate otherwise.  If the words ‘material considerations’ are twisted far enough to allow this proposal then no-where in the district is safe from inappropriate development.

Jan Low

 

Jo’s Review of Responses

Findings of Desk Top Review of  Documents  Submitted to SDC  Planning (15/05/2017)

At the time of writing,  approximately 530 supportive statements have been received (many on a pre-printed ‘form’), some coming from as far as Edinburgh, Bradford , London and Norwich.  To date approximately 155 objecting statements have been received.

I have outlined below the main reasons that have been given in support  of the proposal.  More often than not, they are the same reasons that other people are using to oppose the development so hopefully this will give you a clearer insight into the debate…………

Continue reading Jo’s Review of Responses

Answers on a postcard…

 

Forest Green Rovers (and/or associates) have apparently plied their supporters with a postcard  ‘form’ on which to express support for the Ecotricity scheme by ticking boxes, as below and sending in to SDC.  You can see them  on the  Stroud planning website   (search ref: S.16/0043/OUT) – they will count as letters of support.

You may wish to write to counter these arguments – which is not too hard to do! – Go on to the website above, or write to the Planning Office at Ebly Mill and quote the reference S.16/0043/OUT.

Read on to see some of their points and our answers….

Continue reading Answers on a postcard…

KER re-forms to fight Ecotricity

Under the leadership of Jo-anne Bradford, Eastington parishioners are invited to join in the campaign to see off this major threat to our parish.

You do not have to be  an activist – just to want your voice to be heard in defence of the parish you love.

Please use the contact form on our Welcome page  to let us know that you want to support  Keep Eastington Rural.

See the article in the June/July edition of ECN!