Advice on objecting to reserved matters- Round 2

If you objected to the above application, you will have received communication regarding changes in the application being proposed by the developer. These have been made in response to the objections raised to date by residents and statutory consultees.

Kedleston Voice (KV) do not believe that these changes address the fundamental unsustainable issues linked to the proposed development. Should you wish to object further, some of KV’s concerns are listed below. As before, please feel free to use some or all of these in writing to Amber Valley Borough Council (AVBC)

The ways to object are as follows.

  • You can write directly to Mrs Rae Gee, Principal Planning Officer, Development Management, Amber Valley Borough Council, Town Hall, Ripley, Derbyshire, DE5 3BT. Her email is rae.gee@ambervalley.gov.uk, if you prefer this method. Remember to quote the reference number AVA/2019/0573

Please note that if you want to read the full application and further details then you will have to put aside a good afternoon. The best documents to read are the two covering letters,

https://info.ambervalley.gov.uk/WebServices/AVBCFeeds/IdoxEDMJSON.asmx/StreamIdoxEDMDoc?docId=949893&docApplication=planning

and

https://info.ambervalley.gov.uk/WebServices/AVBCFeeds/IdoxEDMJSON.asmx/StreamIdoxEDMDoc?docId=963392&docApplication=planning

Again, we are happy to respond to any specific questions you have. KV will also be providing a further formal objection based on this material.

Lastly, do not forget that you need to have your responses in as soon as possible and certainly before 30 August 2019 when the decision may be made as to whether this goes to the planning committee on 14 October 2019.

Kind regards

Kedleston Voice

Guidance Note – Response to AVA/2019/0573

Background

The developer’s agent, Pegasus, has submitted further information regard their reserved matters application. KV do not believe that this new material addresses fully the concerns raised by residents in June and July 2019. The remaining main grounds for objection are as follows:

Appearance

The developer has not addressed the issues presented by the very large number of house types, colours and finishes that moves substantially away from the outline permission. In areas, there are rows of joined houses stretching the length of full streets. They appear to have just submitted some further detail regarding rendering etc.

This is not sufficient to address the significant issues with this site being of significant variation in appearance to the surrounding properties. Many of the designs employed do not match housing types in the locality or the styles in which they are built. They are wholly inappropriate when linked to the heritage setting of Kedleston Hall.

The current designs are also described as in “townscape form”. This indicates that the developers are applying designs and appearances most suitable for an urban setting. These are not appropriate for a rural heritage setting.

The designs as presented are a major step back from those indicated at outline application stage. They are not appropriate for this location and AVBC must ask for these to be amended such that their appearance, particularly at the centre of the development, is in keeping with the current location and wider heritage setting.

Landscaping

Despite the promises made in the outline application, the proposed development has coalesced into two high density housing sites separated by a boundary of trees, hedgerow and green space. Most of the landscaping appears to be stretched around the boundaries of the site. The developer has tried to address this by adding some more trees to the verges of the road, reinforce the greenery alongside Kedleston Road and, pleasingly, has chosen more plant varieties that match the locality. That said, this is just scratching the surface. The landscaping design is fundamentally wrong and driven by maximising housing density.

Key issues remain in that the majority of the green space is not integrated within the housing but placed in one corner. This is compounded by this being turned into an off-road cycle track which will attract greater external footfall and external car journeys to access this facility. This is also likely to increase anti-social behaviour.

It is very unlikely that the developer will “create places that are safe, inclusive and accessible and which promote health and well-being”. The design of these spaces are flawed fundamentally and should be rejected as a consequence.

Layout

The changes proposed do not appear to have altered the layout of the development. The curved avenues of relatively widely spaced individual houses seen at outline application stage have been replaced by straight lines of higher density housing, often co-joined, with further three storey apartment buildings being incorporated. This is a layout developed to maximise housing developer return.

There is also a major issue regarding car parking with this design. It is inevitable that cars will be parked on pavements and in the roads. This will be particularly prevalent in areas of highest housing density. There are just too many houses for the size of the land, given the designs being adopted.

The applicant claims that they have completed the planting strategy. This is not sufficient and there is much more that can be done, particularly if the design of the development is changed.

The convenience store, added to aid the sustainability of the development, remains lost from the detailed application. The removal of the store is a breach of the outline planning permission, which specifically references this store, as part of its sustainability credential. The current application should be rejected until this sustainable element is reconfirmed.

There cannot be any sense of place within this development. It is a parasitic development grafted onto Allestree, with no consideration of the living experiences of the new and existing residents. It should be rejected as a consequence.

Scale

The developer has done nothing to address the scale of this proposed development. Review of the housing designs suggests a significant alteration in the scale of development to that contained within the outline application. In some cases, there are whole streets of co-joined houses and blocks of flats are being proposed which were not referenced within the outline application.

Separately, there are some proposals for three story buildings. AVBC has recently objected to buildings of such scale in this area, previously, despite allowing them only in the form of 2.5 storey buildings. Any three storey building designs should be rejected based on this precedent.

There is also a risk, at its current scale, that elements of the development will be seen from the Kedleston Hall Estate. This seems in direct contravention to the legal ruling adopted by the court of appeal, which was based on the “if you can’t see it you can build it” principle. As also raised by the National Trust, the housing closest to the Kedleston Estate should be scaled accordingly to reduce its impact, perhaps incorporating single storey buildings or the likes. AVBC should insist on modelling being undertaken by the developer to confirm that the development cannot be seen from the Kedleston Hall Estate before reserved matters can be passed.

Overall, the scale and massing of the proposed dwelling falls way outside the initial proposals. It is certainly not in keeping with the existing development it is surrounded by. It should be rejected as a consequence.

Biodiversity

Linked to landscaping above, the developer is attempting to gain discharge from the conditions related to Biodiversity. There is still no specific comparison of the proposed layout with the EDP appraisal provided at outline planning permission stage. This should be requested by AVBC and shared with residents for review.

The level of investment planned for protecting biodiversity is minimal, despite the changes proposed. This must be put in the context that this is currently a greenfield site on heritage land and adjacent to a Site of Special Scientific Interest. It already has significant biodiversity.

As part of this, AVBC should insist on specific safeguards being adopted by the developer to ensure that protected wildlife and its habitat is not damaged by the development, whilst being built and then in use. This is particularly importance due to the presence of White Clawed crayfish in the Markeaton Brook.

For the reasons raised above, as designed this development cannot have Conditions 15 and 16 discharged and these conditions must be upheld, as they are fundamental to ensuring protection for existing trees and wildlife.

Climate

In the light of AVBC having declared a state of climate emergency, the council needs to enforce parameters to ensure this development is carbon neutral. To achieve this, all houses should have ground or air source heat pumps, electric car charge points as standard, rainwater harvesting and solar panels.

Lack of a shop will increase car journeys and pollution in the area. There may also be extended journeys to schools depending on where children will be placed.

The application fails to provide enough trees to help minimise the negative effects on the environment and to increase biodiversity. See chapter 44 of the new NPPF.

Drainage and Flooding

There are major drainage issues relating to this site as proposed. The Parish Council has raised this as an issue. The Developer’s agent is trying to “dodge” this issue by claiming it should not be considered until the developer applies for the conditions relating to drainage to be proposed for discharge. AVBC should resist this.

Anyone familiar with the Poppyfields development will know that this is a flawed strategy. Following discharge of the reserved matters, the developers will make changes as they see fit, including making significant alterations to ground levels, without consultation. AVBC has been seen as powerless to address this in the past as, in order to intervene, they will have to face a legal fight with the developer after they have expended a significant amount of cost on commencing the building of the site. AVBC has been seen to have no “stomach” for such a fight. Hence, unsustainable solutions are then delivered. AVBC must make their stance on drainage and flooding now, rather than after the reserved matters have been agreed.

As part of this, rain water drainage issues related to the site must be confirmed at this stage, before building on the site is allowed. These include the size and nature of the attenuation ponds and the nature by which they discharge into Markeaton Brook, which already has major flooding issues related to it. Local residents are also concerned about the raising of the water table that will result from this development and flood management system, which may have a detrimental impact on their properties, particularly their gardens. It is important that the rainwater handling system and its impact is independently assessed rather than being based on the findings from the developer’s employed consultants. AVBC should commission its own independent review and require the developer to pay for this.

There are also concerns regarding the foul drainage, with this being fed by rainwater wash off from above the development site. The sewerage system has previously been seen to fail in periods of adverse weather. Also, at present, some proposed properties sit lower than the current sewer height. The plans for sewage pipe layout do not appear to be accurate and do not reflect the full layout of the site.

It would seem inevitable that land raising will be required to address the latter point, which will have a detrimental impact on residents “sitting below” the site. Separately, the current sewer has limited capacity and it has not been proven that it can handle the discharge from the development, particularly in periods of high rainfall.

Again, Foul Drainage issues related to the site must be confirmed at this stage, before building on the site is allowed. AVBC should require the developer to commission a full foul drainage review by Severn Trent, or an independent consultant, to confirm the safety of their sewerage proposals and the amount of ground raising they plan to adopt, before discharging the reserved matters.


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