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Bomere Heath & District Parish Council

PLANNING

Initial Response to the Local Plan Review

Sent to Shropshire Council: 12th April 2017

From: Bomere Heath and District Parish Council BH&D PC

 

This document is our initial response to the Local Plan Review for the period 2026-2036.  BH&D Parish Council would like to emphasise our wish to update these comments when the results of our recently completed CLP are available.

Where we are on Housing Numbers in our Parish Now

To put the record straight - during the Sam Dev process BH&D Parish Council always had a preferred housing target of 50 houses for Bomere Heath and a total of 11-25 houses in the surrounding clusters with no more than 6 houses added to each community cluster.  During the revised plans process the community clusters were amended and  the resulting number of houses allocated to the clusters were dramatically increased which somehow was not  noticed or challenged by the PC at the time.  (More details under Community Cluster heading.)

Community Hub – Bomere Heath

No of Houses Allocated
in SAMDev Plan
No of Houses Already Given Planning Permission Reference Current Status

50

34 on Shrewsbury Road

17/00768/REM

Not Yet Built

3 Adjacent to Red Lion

13/02072/FUL

 

Not Yet Built

12 Affordable Merrington Road

14/01693/DIS

 

Built 2015

Albion Hayes replacement of

1 house to 3 = 2 extra

15/04916/FUL

Not  Yet Built

TOTAL = 51 Houses

TOTAL Number of Housing that have been built or have been Granted Planning Permission for  Bomere Heath  =  51 Houses to date

As regards to the period 2026 - 2036 we have two main priorities.  Firstly, that the road infrastructure around the village is woefully inadequate.  Every road leading into or out of the village is narrow with no room for cyclists or pedestrians.  Our main link to the Ellesmere roundabout is Huffley Lane – which as you know is an accident black spot – with serious accidents occurring on a regular basis.  Secondly, speeding in the village is a constant concern for its present inhabitants.  The Parish Council feels that there is no room for further large scale building programmes in Bomere Heath, however we do think it would be acceptable for the 34 houses on the Shrewsbury Road to be increased to 50.  Secondly councillors think that given the number of houses for sale in the area and number of developments  taking place (in Baschurch for example) there is little demand for the larger executive type housing.  We do, however, feel there is a need for more affordable houses and if the CLP results support this recommendation we would be willing to accept 12 – 15 more affordable homes up to the period 2036.

Community Clusters  & Surrounding Areas– there are 4 nominated Community Clusters in our Parish.

It is important to note that new houses that have resulted in the conversion of existing buildings like barns, old mills are NOT included in the allocation number and are listed separately below the tables.

Community Cluster No of Houses
Allocated up to 2026
No of Houses Already Given
Planning Permission
Ref Current Status
April 2017

Albrighton

5

0

Fitz, Grafton & Newbanks

12-13

4 at Fitz 

13/01024/FUL

Not Yet Built

3  at Grafton

13/04002/DIS

Not Yet Built

Mytton

5

3 Opp The Rowans

16/01827/REM

Not Yet Built

2 Behind Mytton House

16/04233/OUT

Not Yet Built

Walford Heath

16

7 Old Nursery Site

15/02277/REM

Built

14/02618/REM

Built

3 East of Jasmine Cott

14/03703/OUT

Not Yet Built

4 Opp Nursery Site

16/04720/REM

Not Yet Built

2 at Hunkington Nursery

16/03946/OUT

Not Yet Built

TOTAL

39 Houses

28 Houses

Additional Houses Built or Given Planning Permission in the Outlying Areas (not counted in the SamDev numbers) :

Fitz       4 Barn conversions at Manor Farm Barns – built 2011/2012  Ref: 11/01069/LBC

            1 conversion of the stable to a residential house at Fitz Manor – currently being built, PA Ref : 16/02858/FUL

Forton Heath was nominated a community cluster but after 9 houses were built at Mill Drive it was removed from the status of being a community cluster in 2013. Ref 12/00321/DIS

The Old Mill at Forton Heath Ref 16/00725/FUL was granted planning permission on 28th Feb 2017 and we know the owner is keen to get on with the development  - this will add 12 more residential units to this area (10 apartments in the Mill) + 2 detached houses .

Preston Gubbals has never been nominated as a community cluster but planning permission for the conversion of the existing derelict barns to 5 additional residential units has been granted permission

Therefore Current TOTAL Housing for ALL 4 of the Community Clusters and Outlying Areas up to 2026 =  70  Houses  - of which 59 houses have either been built or have had planning permission accepted.

This is a long way from the Parish Council initial wish of 11-25 houses in the outlying areas at the beginning of the SAmDev process.

BH&D Parish Council Recommendations for the Community Clusters and Outlying Areas

1                    Conversions of Existing Buildings

We believe that the conversions of existing building should be included in the Samdev/Local plan numbers – currently we understand that they are not counted, even though the new housing results in extra traffic flow on our present overloaded road infrastructure.

2          Community Clusters

The Parish Council believe that some Community Clusters have taken more than their fair share of new housing – particularly we would like to mention Walford Heath – 16 houses were allocated under SamDev and they have all been granted planning permission.  We would like to see Walford Heath being removed from a Community Cluster and any further development refused.

Fitz is also part of the community cluster of Fitz, Grafton and Newbanks – Fitz have seen their housing stock grow from 10 to 19 houses (4 converted barns 2012, 1 stable conversion at Fitz Manor (being built now) and 4 houses to be built on the Fitz Farm site) – this represents an increase in housing stock of 90%.  The residents of Fitz have petitioned the Parish Council  to remove them from the community cluster status.

We would like to remove Mytton and Fitz from the community clusters status as we feel that they have had enough development particularly as the 3 roads that lead into these settlements – 2 are via old, narrow stone bridges across the River Perry that are regularly under repair.  The third way is via the Leaton Cross and Cutbury Hollow that is known to be having problems dealing with the current weight of traffic.  (Bearing in mind the new development that will be coming on line at the mill at Forton Heath this is potentially another 24 cars daily using this area of roads.)

Concerns on Infrastructure

One of the main concerns of the PC and the inhabitants of our parish is the impact the level of development has had on our roads and traffic levels – we currently have a traffic survey underway at our identified problem areas – Bomere Heath, Leaton Junction, Forton Heath and Walford Heath to gain evidence to highlight this problem.  As more development has been coming on board we have seen the impact particularly on our smaller roads – as mentioned above – serious accidents at Cutbury Hollow and along the Huffley Lane are now regular events together with members of the parish repeatedly reporting alarming frequency of speeding cars near school buses.

The PC would question the wisdom of increasing further the housing where the road network simply cannot take the pressure.

Looking to the Future

The  PC question the need for more executive type housing developments in the countryside and feel if additional housing is necessary we would like this to be focused on affordable housing and located where the road network is better able to cope with the increased traffic flow.

On Wednesday 12th April at our Parish Council Meeting the council voted unanimously that given the lamentable state of infrastructure around the village (as described  in detail above),  Bomere Heath should cease to be classified as a hub and regraded as a community cluster.  We understand that there is to be a minimum of 2 settlements within a community cluster.

We would like you also to note  our recommendation in relation to Question 4 and 5 on the Local Plan Review – Issues and Strategic Options Questionnaire:

Question 4:  The Parish Council  recommends 5% growth in housing and we strongly feel that the strategic distribution should  follow the ‘Urban Focus’ option (Answer to Question 5.)

We ask Shropshire Council to appreciate that these proposals are only the first draft and will be no doubt changed or modified in the future.  This is especially important because we are awaiting the results of our Community Led Plan.