First, a big ‘thank you’ to all those who submitted objections last month (a period that saw Pegasus take off and then reinstate the proposed on-site business units).
The consultation period is now closed and RPP assumes there will be no further extensions.
We now wait for confirmation that the application will be discussed at the Council’s Development Control Committee on Wednesday 3 July (when a decision on the application could be reached or postponed pending a site visit).
Today’s email highlights recent consultation responses from the Council’s Education and Ecology departments, and its new SHLAA document (Strategic Housing and Land availability Assessment, 2013).
We also outline RPP’s next step in fighting this application. Scoot down to the end now if you don’t wish to read about Education, Ecology and SHLAA.
Consultation responses from Education and Ecology (May 2013)
This is the first response from Education, and you can read the full report by clicking on the link below.
- Education consultation response, 31 May 2013
In summary, PSJ’s primary school is already packed to the gills, so the department did a feasibility study, concluding that an investment of £1.7 to £1.8 million would be required from the developer (and perhaps the Council) to accommodate the estimated influx of pupils. Alternatively, children who don’t secure a place (perhaps your child) could be ferried to schools in Camerton and Shoscombe, but this cost – estimated at £30,400 per year – would also fall to the developer and Council, with implications on safety and sustainability.
The Council’s Ecology team maintain that the developer’s application is ‘not acceptable in the current form’ due to ‘insufficient ecological assessment and mitigation, and retention of ecological assets’. Lucy Corner, from the Council’s Ecology team, asked the developer to address the issues raised in her and RPP’s report.
Pegasus responded in late May with a covering letter and two studies issued by their consultants, Aspect Ecology, designed to overcome the department’s concerns. Please click on the links to read them.
- Aspect Ecology: Proposed Ecological Mitigation and Enhancement Measures
- Aspect Ecology: Ecological Clarification
RPP contest their response on the basis that Aspect has not visited the site since December 2010 (wow!), and without conducting an on-site survey at the appropriate time of year, they cannot offer contextual evidence to support their findings.
We have sent this letter to planning officer and Lucy Corner (Ecology).
New Strategic Housing and Land Availability Assessment, 2013 (SHLAA)
This document forms part of the B&NES Local Plan (Core Strategy), and assesses available land and its suitability for development in Peasedown. Not surprisingly, PEA 7 & 7A (Greenlands Field and Keels Hill), once deemed ‘unsuitable’, for building are now marked ‘deliverable within the next five years’. We assume this is because of the application to build on it. Surely we all agree it’s still unsuitable? What’s changed since the 2007 report?
You may want to check out the summaries on fields next to you.
- B&NES Strategic Housing and Land Availability Assessment 2013
What’s next for RPP?
For your peace of mind, here’s what we’ll be doing over the next few weeks to prepare for the Development Control Committee meeting on Wednesday 3 July.
- Reviewing all the consultation responses
- Preparing a short lobbying document to send to Committee members
- Encouraging Committee members to conduct a site visit and travel on the surrounding country roads (so they can see for themselves how ludicrous this plan is)
- Liaising with Ward Councillors, Nathan Hartley and Sarah Bevan on their representation to the Committee
- Supporting PSJ Parish Council with their representation to the Committee, and encouraging other parish councils to make a representation
- Engaging our planning consultant (Chris Dance) in preparation for his representation to Committee
- Preparing our own short representation to the Committee
- Attending the committee on Wednesday 3 July, 2pm
Can you support us on Wednesday 3 July, from 2pm?
If so, please mark your diaries now. We need a full gallery at the Committee hearing to show the strength of feeling in our community. It’s really important!
Look out for emails and posters with more details (once the date is confirmed).
We’ll be arranging a car share.
If you have any queries, don’t hesitate to get in touch.
P.S. We believe this application will be heard at Committee on Wednesday 3 July from 2pm. If you can support us in our representation, please attend. More details to follow.
P.P.S This Just In…
Consultation Response from the Council’s Heritage/Conservation Offices referencing the unique setting of Hillside View and its social history. It’s not stated, but we assume the response to the application is ‘not acceptable in its current form’ (rather than an objection) which is disappointing.