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Parish Council objection to Berkeley Close proposal

posted 12 Sept 2016, 03:53 by Robert Cowley
The Parish Council has objected to the Gladman proposal for a housing development on land off Berkeley Close.  The Parish Council's objection may viewed below or downloaded here:

"Comment:South Cerney Parish Council strongly objects to this application, for the following reasons. 

1) Access 
The previous consideration of this site during the SHLAA process observed that it was not suitable for development because the access issue would have to be mitigated. This application fails to recognise that crucial issue, and it fails to provide any such mitigation. 
There is only one access to the site, along a single road partly known as The Leaze, the remainder known as Berkeley Close. The narrowness of that road (not least the busy section beside the Scout HQ site) is exacerbated by the many parked cars belonging to the adjoining residents. This means that this access can be compared to a single-track road. In fact, the issue of parking will become even worse if the recommendation of double yellow-lines were to be implemented as recommended in the Road Safety and Mobility Audit (Appendix J in Part 2 of the Transport Assessment). The rebuttal to this recommendation (section 2.2 on p168 of the same document) is inadequate as it fails to address, for example, the clearance required as shown on diagram TPMA1512-101 (page 49 in Part 1 of the Transport Assessment). The imposition of these double yellow-lines would have a severe detrimental impact on parking in remainder of Berkeley Close, on the Leaze and on the adjacent road (Broadway Lane - see below). 
The only access to The Leaze is via Broadway Lane. In addition to the access issues within The Leaze / Berkeley Close that would be created by the proposed development, the application also fails to recognise the effect that such a development would have on the major problems that already exist on Broadway Lane. Broadway Lane is the only road running from south to north into the centre of the village, and it is already severely encumbered by the recent increase of traffic generated by the 149 new houses on the new Redrow housing development, also only accessible via Broadway Lane. 
Broadway Lane is also severely affected by the separate and serious issues caused by the ongoing, increasing development of the large B1, B2 and B8 sites either side of Broadway Lane, known as The Mallards and Lakeside. Not only are they causing the ongoing significant increase in traffic volumes, but also major existing issues with parking by employees on Broadway Lane. Both of these issues are cumulative, ongoing and increasing. Indeed, the parking on Broadway Lane is such that in parts it already resembles a single-track road during working hours. 
Even notwithstanding these special circumstances, Gladman's traffic analysis (TRICS) is flawed. This is evidenced by the fact that none of sites used for comparison (Appendix G in Part 2 of the Transport Assessment) appear to be similar in nature to South Cerney. This flawed traffic analysis is noted by the GCC Highways Development Management submission (Appendix B in Part 2 of the Transport Assessment) where it is noted that TRICS is not suited to Gloucestershire's rural areas. 
In summary, the access issues are severe and clearly such that they cannot be mitigated: on this ground alone, this application should be refused. 

2) Density and Over-development 
Putting aside the complete absence of mitigation of the access issues, the SHLAA process recognises this site as only being potentially suitable for 64 dwellings. The Gladman proposal of around 100 dwellings would patently be far too dense for this site. This is not only because the number of houses would increase the access issues. South Cerney is a village, not a town, and it is not designated as a "strategic settlement" in the emerging Local Plan. The application is for a green-field site, outside the village development boundary, and yet the proposed density would be significantly greater than the recent, brown-field, Redrow development A further indication of overdevelopment is that whereas the Redrow development has approximately 30% public space, only around 10% of this application's area is designated as public space - with some of this being occupied by a mandatory attenuation pond. 
Because of the Redrow development, the population of South Cerney has increased by more than 10% in the last three years. Therefore, further substantial development would cause an additional significant burden on many local resources such as the GPs' surgery, playgroup and primary school. The Gladman proposal offers absolutely no mitigation for such issues. For this reason of density and over-development alone, this application should be refused. 

3) Other issues 
Either one of the issues above (Access and Density/Over-development) on their own is sufficient for the application to be rejected yet the Parish Council also notes the following additional issues, which add further weight to the argument for rejection: 
- The Parish Council is informed by the local district councillor that CDC already has a sufficient supply of land. 
- A similar application for development at the site was refused in 1991. This set a precedent in that it was seen as being detrimental to the rural character of this area of the village. 
- The Residential Framework Travel Plan (section 3.2.11 of the Transport Assessment) refers to an existing PROW from the site to the High Street - this does not exist (inaccuracy). In addition, nothing is said about improving pedestrian and cycle access from the site to the rest of the village. 
- There has been poor community engagement and consultation by Gladman. Unlike Redrow's proactive approach for the recent development, Gladman has not suggested holding any public meeting or exhibition-event to answer questions and concerns in public. This is despite the fact that this is a large development for the village and is considerably more densely built than the recent Redrow development. 
In summary, the Parish Council strongly objects to this application and believes that there is overwhelming evidence to reject the proposed application."