Apologies were received and accepted from Councillor Sutherington.
1244/13 Declarations of Interest on items on the Agenda
1245/13 Minutes of the meeting of 10th December 2013
Resolved: To accept and sign as a true record the minutes of the meeting
held on the 10th December 2013.
1246/13 Chairman’s Announcements
The Chairman’s announcements included:
Public consultation from Bloors to be held at Jubilee Hall on the 17th January 2014 between 3 – 7pm.
The Centre Stage performance of Peter and the Wolf to be held on Wednesday 5th February at 5pm.
A request from for members to be involved with the ‘scouts community challenge badge’.
1247/13 Financial Items for Consideration
(a) The Council consider the purchase of five replacement tables for the Jubilee
Hall and RESOLVED to approve the expenditure.
(b) The Council consider a free of charge hall hire for a charity event and
RESOLVED to allow this free of charge hire.
The Council considered the following new planning applications: (a) Application number: P/13/2340/2
Proposal: Site for the erection of up to 70 dwellings (outline
Location: Land off Cropston Road, Anstey
Parish Comments: Objections
The Parish Council Object to this application on the following grounds: Anstey Parish Council Object to the planning application as it is contrary to the Development Plan for Charnwood Borough Council.
Further details are set out below under the relevant headings.
The Development Plan and the Overall Strategy for Charnwood 1. The area is designated as an area of separation and is clearly outside of the Limits to Development. It is therefore considered to be part of part of the open countryside.
2. In fact, policy ST2 of the Charnwood Local Plan is very clear in stating that “Built development will be confined to allocated sites and other land within the limits of development identified in the Proposals Map”. Hence, this application is contrary to policy ST2.
3. Policy ST1 of the Charnwood Local Plan seeks to ensure that development needs are met by “sustainable patterns of development” and this is wholly consistent with the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). Under the heading “Sustainability” below, it is argued that this development is far from environmentally sustainable.
4. Policy CT1 of the Local Plan very clearly states that “Development within these areas of generally open land will be strictly controlled”. None of the exceptions this policy includes or allows residential development.
5. Policy CT2 states that development which is not in line with policy CT1 is not considered “acceptable in principle”.
6. Hence, it is concluded that this application is contrary to policies CT1 and CT2 of the Local Plan.
Emerging Core Strategy 7. Anstey Parish Council notes that the Charnwood Local Plan (2006 to 2028) Core Strategy has now been approved by the full Charnwood Council and has been submitted for inspection.
8. Hence, it is appropriate (as advised in the NPPF paragraph 216) to give considerable weight to the emerging Core Strategy of the updated Charnwood Local Plan.
9. In that Core Strategy, draft policy CS1 seeks to ensure the delivery of 3,170 homes in the 7 Service Centres; (of which Anstey is one). Of those 3,170 dwellings, over 2,970 have already been built or committed. Hence, for the plan period, only a further 200 more dwellings are required. As developments providing well in excess of 200 homes have been approved in almost all of the 7 Service Centres, this proposed development does not represent an appropriate and sustainable scheme in the context of those figures.
10. Also in the Core Strategy, draft policy CS11 supports the protection of the landscape and countryside. The proposed development does not appear to offer any such protection.
11. Draft policy CS26 confirms the presumption in favour of sustainable development. In the relevant sections set out above, it is strongly argued that this proposed development does not represent sustainable development.
Landscape and Visual Impact 12. The application site occupies an open agricultural field adjacent to the village. It is clearly visible from Cropston Road in Anstey, Anstey Lane between Anstey and Thurcaston and from Castle Hill Country Park within Leicester City.
13. It is also on the edge of the Charnwood Forest Landscape Character Area and any development in this location could be viewed as detrimental to that character area.
Sustainability of the Proposed Development 14. The proposal is deemed to be unsustainable on a number of levels. The distance from the proposal to the centre of the village is noted as taking 18 minutes to walk. The developer’s Transport Statement states “It is however acknowledged that given the rural location of the site, it is likely that many trips will still be made by car”. This is contrary to Paragraphs 32 and 34 of the NPPF which promotes sustainable transport modes. Most trips to the village amenities will be made by car and this will increase the traffic problems that already exist along Cropston Road and around the Nook; (the roundabout and retail area in the centre of the village).
15. One of the barriers to walking from this proposed development into the centre of the village (where many of the local amenities are located) is that the pavements along the Cropston Road when approaching the Nook are very narrow on both sides of the road and already cause problems for pedestrians with mobility scooters and double buggies trying to pass others. This development will only add to the problems that those without access to a private car already face.
16. In addition, the walking distance to the local primary and senior schools is over 10 minutes and uphill. It will necessitate parents and children crossing the busy Cropston Road. No additional provision has been made as part of this proposal to mitigate this. This is also likely to lead to additional car journeys.
17. Access to the nearest shop/store would also require pedestrians/cyclists to cross the busy Cropston Road.
18. Hence, the additional car journeys being generated by this unsustainable site will have a detrimental environmental affect. There are no mitigating provisions for reducing the number of newly-generated car journeys.
19. People driving to the centre of Anstey to use the facilities already have difficulty in parking as currently the car parks are often full. In addition, the Co-op car park floods regularly during the rainy season at which times the car park is closed, therefore vastly reducing available car parking. The proposed development will only exacerbate this problem.
Traffic and Highways 20. The part of the Cropston Road where the proposed development is located is noted as having an existing speeding problem. [See Ref 1, Community Speed Survey April 2013]. Flashing speed warning signs have been installed along this stretch of road to try and address this problem and no overtaking signs are in place following the road further along the Cropston Road.
21. Reference to Leicestershire CC Accident Statistics, (See Ref 2) show that between Feb 2005 and April 2013 there were 12 accidents on Cropston Road. This equates to one third of the village total of 36.
22. There has been no additional provision suggested within the proposal for making less reliance on car use.
23. The only nearby bus service along Cropston Road, this is only an hourly day-time service from Loughborough to Leicester. To access the more regular Anstey to Leicester Services, residents would have to cross the busy Cropston Road and walk up to Link Road, which is also nearly 10 minutes’ walk from the site.
24. There will be an accumulative increase in traffic from this proposal which, when combined with other recently-approved housing developments in the village, cause severe traffic congestion problems in the centre of the village.
25. This is evidenced by the concerns expressed in the attached letter from Phil Crossland the Director of Environment and Transport at Leicestershire County Council, (who are the Highway Authority for all county roads) and his comments on the severe impact that traffic is already causing in the Nook.
26. The data used for compiling the Traffic Impact Assessment is based on 2001 information. Since that date, 1,200 additional dwellings have been added to Anstey and the existing facilities within the village are already stretched and traffic congestion is already classed as severe.
27. The Exit and Egress to the proposal is based on a simple access junction, this has raised concerns regarding road safety at this point as the side road will have to approach the main road on an uphill gradient onto a road where speeding is already recognised as a problem.
28. Anstey Parish Council notes that the Leicestershire County Council’s Highways Department has yet to comment on this application. Hence, the Council reserves the right to make additional highways comments when those comments have been received.
Other Environmental Issues 29. There is an electricity pylon within the proposed site which could create health concerns for any future residents. There is also the constant humming noise from the pylon in wet weather. The pylon is also fairly close to the suggested play area within the proposal, causing further health and safety issues for children playing in and around the pylon.
30. Rothley Brook flows immediately past the proposed site and is susceptible to flooding. There are significant concerns about flooding within the village and, it is felt that this development will only exacerbate these concerns. There is also the danger to children playing near to the brook. The proposed bridge over the brook into Castle Hill Park will also encourage children to play near to the water’s edge.
31. In fact, the NPPF (paragraph 103) requires local authorities to ensure that new development does not increase flood risk elsewhere.
Local Facilities 32. Concerns have also been raised about the capacity of the local police services, local schools and doctors’ and dentists’ surgeries to cope with more residents.
Conclusion 33. For the reasons set out above, the Parish Council objects to this development. In addition, the Council would like this application to be considered by Committee and would like to speak at that meeting.
Community Speed Watch, Results for Anstey 2013, Run from 15 April to 28 April 2013
(From Allan Smart, Assistant Community Speed Watch Coordinator for Leicestershire)
Summary for Cropston Road 30mph section
Average Speed 38mph
35 to 39mph 150
Leicestershire County Council Accident Summary Anstey 2003 to 2013
(b) Application number: P/13/2301/2
Proposal: Erection of dwelling with associated garage
Location: Land adj. 88 Bradgate Road, Anstey LE7 7FB