What the experts say! Oh dear!

With so many objections to the planning application, below we’ve sifted out some of the views of experts who have been consulted by the Council.  The full detail is available on the council’s planning application site labelled as “Consultee Comment”, but for a quick summary, keep on reading.  It seems the experts can’t quite believe the arrogance ( or incompetence ) of Barratt Homes.

Ecology OBJECT. “The current proposals fail to accord with both national and local planning policy as regards the protection and integration of the Newstead Brook, a habitat of principle importance in England into the development”…..  “Pre-application advice was provided regarding ecology for this site, however, recommendations appear not to have been taken on board, which raises issues with what is now a full application”.

The objection goes on to list numerous issues covering Protected Species, Habitats, Hedgerows, Newstead Brook, Biodiversity, Built Environment, Surface Water, Landscaping and the Development should not be within 8m from the top of the bank edge of the brook ( Barratt plan to put the development within 1.6m of the actual brook, not even the river bank. )


Highways & Surface Water Management OBJECT……

“Insufficient information has been submitted to support the application in relation to the surface water management and proposed highway structures on the site”.  


The Environment Agency OBJECT…….

“the development may pose an unacceptable risk of causing a detrimental impact to surface water quality because the applicant has failed to provide confirmation of a feasible means of foul water disposal”.

The objection has many points and is also concerned about the lack of clarity about how foul sewerage is to be disposed of and also suggests that the increase of waste water and sewerage may require “expansion and upgrading of current sewage treatment systems”.


Highways OBJECT…….

“There have been numerous pre-application meetings and correspondence with the applicant and their consultants”…    ” I have serious misgivings about the methodology used to derive the traffic data which has been used in the junction modelling on the highway network”…..   The design for the signalised junction of Meadow Lane and Longton Road “does not address a fundamental concern of the Highway Authority, which is having an uncontrolled access (the Petrol Filling Station) in the junction”…..

“The current access serves approximately 370 properties with this proposal intending to add another 276 properties which is about a 74% increase. It is not good practise to serve this number of properties from a single access and leave the site isolated if there are any serious incidents on the entrance.”

“As submitted this application is unacceptable and firstly for a lack of information on the data used in the traffic modelling and secondly the access as proposed is unsafe and thirdly the site does not offer a realistic choice of travel other than the car. As submitted I would recommend this application is refused for lack of information and is contrary to the NPPF and policy SP3 of the Local Development Framework”


Trent & Mersey Canal Society OBJECT……

“This Society believes and recommends, that this application should be rejected in toto”….   “The whole site is within the extended part of the Trent and Mersey Canal Conservation Area, designated in 2011 and adopted by Cabinet”.     “The City Council’s Conservation Area Appraisal (2011) states that ‘The green character of this (Trentham) area needs to be recognised and incorporated within any future proposal’ ” ……    “the present proposal for housing of three-storey height alongside the canal is out of keeping with the area and contrary to City Council and Canal and River Trust policies and guidance, as is the placing of vehicle parking along the water’s edge.”…..   “The canal corridor is designated as a wild-life corridor, providing movement through the conurbation”….   

“The presence of a major new development alongside the canal, particularly in its proposed form, will have a significant negative impact on canal users’ enjoyment – it is considered over-bearing, out-of-scale and out of character.“……    


Air Quality Data supplied by Barratt Homes not fit for purpose to offer an opinion…..

 “I have concerns regarding the validity of the traffic data used in the report” ….   “Factors seem to have been applied selectively to certain time periods and certain directions, there doesnt seem to be a standard. This leaves it wide open for data manipulation.” ….   


Urban Design & Conservation OBJECT…..

“Although the design and access statement rightly identifies the surrounding areas as sub-urban it does not explore the existing character of the site in the CA and there is no specific statement of significance or analysis of its semi-rural nature” …..    “There seems to be a mis-match between the artists impressions of what the development “may” look like and the plans as drawn”…..    “Whilst I have no objections to housing on this land in principle, I do have grave reservations regarding this particular scheme“….

“My conclusions are that this proposal is not in accordance with our design policy and although a scheme could be acceptable here it would need to reduce the number and density of houses, include a comprehensive landscape strategy, respect the green character of the conservation area and resolve the parking issues so that they are no longer dominant in such a sensitive location”


Inland Waterways Association OBJECT……

This objection is based on two significant documents:

  1. The Trent & Mersey Conservation Area Review, March 2011 under the auspices of Stoke on Trent City Council.
  2. The Canal management Strategy for Stoke on Trent produced by Stoke on Trent City Council Heritage and Design team.

“The former document clearly identifies the whole of the proposed development site as included in the canal conservation area and the latter document states in one of its Design Principles that ‘parking provision needs to be sensitively integrated within any development so as not to impair the visual quality of the canal corridor.

Clearly from the plans submitted, this design principle in a conservation area is not being followed, in that the canal edge should be kept as present with any new road and parking set well back to protect the distinctive historic character of the area.

We would propose that any new development must take account of both the fact that the site is in a conservation area and as such due attention must be paid to the Canal Management Strategy design principles to ensure that this historic section of Stoke on Trent is preserved for today and future generations.”


Education Conditional…..

The development means that more school places will be required in the area and therefore the developer will be required to pay up to £276,000 towards new school places.

Hardly seems enough does it?


Archeology Conditional…..

“The proposed development area contains surviving evidence of ridge and furrow ploughing, which is particularly discernible towards the northern end of the site, but also apparent elsewhere. It is not certain if this represents medieval or later activity; the distinctly linear, narrow configuration of ploughing at the northern end of the site would suggest the latter, but other examples within the proposed development area are less diagnostic. A better understanding of these features and the wider agricultural patterns that they represent is required before they are lost to the proposed development”……     “the first step in a programme of mitigation will be an archaeological earthwork survey, undertaken before any groundworks on site. It should be noted that this work may indicate the need for further investigation.”


CONCLUSION

Oh dear!  There are so many objections and conditions being put forward to this development that the developers costs will rocket upwards and they should incur significant time delays.  If the objections to them building in the flood plane, building along the canals edge and within 8m of the top of the riverbank are upheld then they could also lose up to  25% of the planned homes, which combined with higher costs will make the development uneconomic!

Lets hope Barratt Homes take everything into consideration including the objections of virtually ALL of the local residents and withdraw the application.


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