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Posted by JamesHill on 6th January 2016
Categories:

BLCA Objection to Green Lane Planning Application

The BLCA has submitted an objection to the planning application for Green Lane (WA/2015/2283).  The objection is detailed below;

We are opposed to this application for the following reasons:

1. It is a `green field` site covering part of the Strategic Gap.
2. The site is over developed.
3  It is an unsustainable location with poor transport links.
4. Risk of surface water flooding.
5. Lack of meaningful Local Consultation.
6. Failure to meet NPPF guidelines.

Detailed Comment

Strategic Gap

It is a `green field` site on part of the Farnham/Aldershot Strategic Gap. This development along with others now coming forward are in danger of creating a suburban sprawl linking Farnham, Badshot Lea, Weybourne and Aldershot. The development of `brown field` sites across the borough should take precedent over the loss of any `green fields`.
The applicant states that: `Part of the site is not within the Strategic Gap, the need for which is under active review by WBC`. This statement is untrue as the Strategic Gap is a retained policy and remains part of the planning guidelines for the area. There is no review in progress at this time.

Over Development

The site is over developed at 36.6 dwellings per hectare. The applicant states that `this is entirely compatible with the scale and density of the existing suburban post war housing in Weybourne and Badshot Lea`. This is completely inaccurate as is illustrated by the nearby developments of Badshot Park and Glorney Mead at 20 and 26 per hectare. It also completely ignores the existing developments of Wentworth Close and Lower Weybourne Lane that form the northern and western boundaries of the site. These are around 17 and 26 per hectare and highlight the fact that this development would be entirely incompatible with its neighbours.
The applicant uses the word `suburban` to describe Weybourne and Badshot Lea.
Badshot Lea is certainly not a suburb of a larger town, it is a clearly defined individual settlement. Presumably they are using this description to justify the inclusion of `town houses` and 3 story blocks of apartments on the site.  Again, this is entirely incompatible with the adjacent built environment.     

Transport

Car ownership in Weybourne and Badshot Lea and the use of a car to get to work are well above the average for the borough at 77% whilst cycling is well below average at 1%. The addition of 180 to 200 plus cars will add significantly to the congestion already experienced at peak times at either end of Lower Weybourne Lane.
The applicant states: `Although there are no immediate designated cycle routes the local network of residential roads are fairly quiet and therefore conducive to cycling`. This shows a complete lack of knowledge of the local road network or is a deliberate attempt at some pretence that cycling is an alternative mode of transport. There are very good reasons why cycling in Weybourne and Badshot Lea is at the very low level of 1%.

Drainage/Flooding

Flooding along Lower Weybourne Lane has been an issue for many years and is caused largely by surface water run-off from adjacent fields. The expected increase in severe weather incidents associated with climate change means that any development in this area must ensure that it does not add to this problem and increase the risk to existing properties.

Community Involvement

The so called `community involvement` comprised of a presentation rather than a consultation. The main objections voiced by the local community were: they did not want development on a green field site, they thought that the site was over developed at 120 dwellings and they were very unhappy with the inclusion of 3 story buildings. These views have been completely ignored as none of this is reflected in this plan.

NPPF Para 64.

The applicant asserts that they have met the conditions outlined in Para 64 of the NPPF. They state: `The illustrative masterplan layout is compatible with the established suburban residential character of the immediate surrounding area in Weybourne and Badshot Lea, and will improve the quality and functionality of the area`. This statement is so obviously untrue it is surprising that they have drawn attention to this section of the NPPF.
The only possible claim for improvement is the area to the south, originally designated as SANG, and now listed as open space for community use. As this area has been accessed by the public for as long as anyone can remember any suggestion that it is a new amenity is completely false. 

   
Summary

Despite the objections raised by the local community the applicant has proceeded with a plan of poor design that over develops the site and would result in unacceptable urbanization. They justify this by reference to the lack of a five year housing supply across the borough.  The short term problem with housing supply should not lead to a very poor development of this nature that would result in a permanent blight on our environment.

Badshot Lea and the immediate local area now have five applications for a total of 440 homes.  The area cannot possibly sustain this level of development therefore quality not quantity should decide which of these applications should be successful.

The NPPF states that there is a presumption in favour of development unless ` any adverse impacts of doing so would significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits`. This application fails to meet all of the `good design` guidelines outlined in Section7 of the NPPF. There is only poor design and negative impacts here, and no identifiable benefits as far as the local community are concerned, therefor the application should be refused.

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