Minutes 25 August 2015

BARTESTREE WITH LUGWARDINE GROUP PARISH COUNCIL

MINUTES OF THE EXTRAORDINARY PARISH COUNCIL MEETING HELD ON
TUESDAY 25 AUGUST 2015 AT 7.30 PM
IN BARTESTREE VILLAGE HALL

Present:
Councillors: Mrs W Soilleux (Chair); G Davies (Vice-Chair); R Williams; Mrs L Hoppé; Mrs F Matthews; M Wilson; P Wargent; N Shore; D Forrest; S Garner; D Greenow (Ward Councillor) and Mrs J Karayiannis

In Attendance:
Mrs E Wilson (Parish Clerk/RFO)

Members of the public: 18

1. To Accept Apologies for Absence
None

2. To Receive Declarations of Interest and Applications for Dispensations
Item 3 Cllr D Forrest Non pecuniary – Lives in Longworth Lane
Resolved: Noted

3. To consider the following Planning Application Appeal:
3.1 143771 – Land at Longworth Lane, Bartestree, Hereford, HR1 4BA
Site for development of up to 100 dwellings with associated open space and community orchard with all maters reserved, except for access
3.2 To consider recommendations made by the Planning Committee
Comments: The Planning Committee recommended that the following points be included in the comments sent to the Planning Inspector:
(a) Cumulative Effect – due to successful appeal of development of 51 houses on Land East of Church House, Bartestree
(b) Poor visibility and signage at Bartestree Crossroads
(c) Subject to the Councillors’ comments, the base line for traffic using Longworth Lane may be incorrect, due to works being carried out by Western Power
(d) There should be a representative at the Public Inquiry, although election of that representative should be done at a later date given the timeframe involved.
Resolved: Noted.
3.3 To receive comments from the public
3.4 Discussion by Council
3.5 Decisions of Council
Comments: Prior to the Parish Council considering the planning application, the 19 members of the public in attendance were invited to make constructive comments. There was a detailed discussion between the members of the Parish Council and the local residents.

The residents and Parish Council maintained their position as set out in representations sent to the Herefordshire Planning on 12 February 2015. This will be reiterated to the Planning Inspector and the following further comments made.

Location/Impact on Village

It is clear from the Applicant’s Design and Access Statement that the proposed development is intended to be a ‘new neighbourhood’. It can be seen from the plans provided that the development does not integrate with existing surroundings and would simply be a suburban area.

The Parish Council considers that the development of 100 houses is disproportionate, given that Bartestree fits into the landscape of the whole area. Further that such a large development would not be sustainable, as residents would suffer from the poor supply, or indeed, lack of services. The Applicants suggest that Bartestree and Lugwardine have better services/amenities than other surrounding villages. This is not so. It has already been pointed out that there is a village shop, hairdresser, specialist fine furniture shop and one pub that serves both Bartestree and Lugwardine.

Orchard/Trees

It is noted that the Applicant has suggested that they would relocate the ancient trees and/or replace them with a small modern orchard. The residents feel very strongly that attempting to re-locate the old trees would simply kill them. A new modern orchard bears no comparison to the existing habitat.

Cumulative Effect

Since the comments made on 12 February 2015 there have been several planning applications passed in the parish. To date 137 dwellings have been approved, of which there are 3 developments of 30, 40 and 51 houses. A further development of 7 properties has been supported by the Parish Council, which gives a total of 144 houses. The Core Strategy has recently advised that the Parish should accommodate 152 dwellings. That figure has almost been reached, with 16 years yet to run.

If all of the dwellings approved/supported are built now, then they will only be in line with current design and there will be no leeway for improved types of property, ie: energy efficient, design.

Traffic/Highway

The Applicant has re-submitted traffic flow data using software. That software is only as accurate as the information put into it. Details of 14 locations have been inputted. Those locations were either on the edge of town or suburban and not, therefore, appropriate or proportionate to Bartestree and Lugwardine. Village locations should have been inputted, as residents in villages rely on their own transport. Residents living on the edge or in town are able to walk into town or enjoy a more frequent bus service.

Further, the Applicant does not acknowledge the fact that traffic leaving the proposed site is likely to turn right as well as left. Details of the unsuitability of Longworth Lane have already been submitted, together with photographs (Comments 12 February 2015).

Residents are also much concerned at the extra traffic that will use the Bartestree Crossroads. There have been accidents at the Crossroads and indeed residents have written to the Highways Department of the Herefordshire Council to lodge concerns. Visibility is poor when traffic is travelling from Longworth Lane, heading straight towards Whitestone and when turning right to Ledbury. Also, signage is not adequate and the Parish Council wrote to the Ward Councillor on the 9 November 2014 with the request that the matter of signage and speeding is addressed with the Highways Authority. This is currently a recurring item on the Agenda.

The Applicant also suggests that there is no waiting at the Bartestree Crossroads junction. This is not correct. A resident has taken photographs of queuing traffic at different times.

Resolved: In view of the above comments, the Parish Council does not support the proposed development and considers it is against the wishes of the community

3.6 To consider whether it is necessary to elect a representative to attend and speak at the Appeal Meeting and if so to elect that representative
Resolved: It was agreed that a representative would be elected at a later date

Meeting concluded at 8.50pm

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Signature of Chair           Date: 8 September 2015