SHILLINGSTONE PARISH COUNCIL
4 The Orchard, Ibberton, Blandford Forum, DT11 0EL
E mail: Shillingstone@dorset-aptc.gov.uk
Telephone: 01258 817786
Clerk: Malcolm Wilson
North Dorset District Council
Application 2/2015/0382 – Land at Hine Town Lane – develop the land by the erection of five dwellings
The Parish Council objects to this application on the following grounds.
1. The land is still the subject of an IOWA and within the Conservation Area, and the development as configured would have an unacceptable impact on the characteristics of this area of the village and in particular the single track lane which is the only option for access based on the site outline proposed. During a recent visit, as part of our Neighbourhood Plan consultations, NDDC’s Conservation Officer highlighted the special essence of Hine Town Lane as something worth protecting. Hine Town Lane is a single track road with a number of blind corners and runs South East to North West parallel to the busy A357 Blandford Forum to Sturminster Newton Road. It is greatly used by pedestrians, dog walkers, cyclists and horse riders and offers a choice to those who do not wish to walk from one end of the village to the other avoiding the main road with its narrow pavements. This is particularly important for children walking to school from the north of the village.
It has been in existence for hundreds of years and with its established high hedgerows, twists and turns and access points to the Trailway, the River Stour, Child Okeford and Hambledon Hill - it is a hugely important area of character for the village.
2. The development is considered to be a piece-meal development of a much larger field in order to remain under the affordable housing threshold, when there is clearly potential for a larger scheme to come forward that could deliver some affordable housing and indeed the site layout suggests a further phase is being left open.
3. The responses to the Village Questionnaire and review of the 2011 Census data clearly demonstrate that there is no requirement for more 4 bedroom properties; but a need for 3 bedroom and 2 bedroom properties to enable villagers to move to smaller dwellings i.e to downsize, or to provide houses that might be affordable by younger people and familes This does not exclude providing low cost housing.
4. There is strong concern in the community over the impact of surface water flooding. The existing culvert by Honeysuckle Gardens is already inadequate and floods frequently. The site is on a sloping gradient and the proposals for dealing with surface water run-off seem wildly optimistic.
5. There is widespread dismay in the community that Dorset County Council Highways has approved the development. We understand that this is not a matter on which NDDC can bring any influence but it is appropriate to record our concerns. This is a single track road with few adequate passing places and the flow of existing traffic volumes is chaotic at times as walkers, horses, cyclists etc struggle to navigate safely the cars and vans using the lane. Drivers need to be able to reverse skilfully to use the Lane!
A draft of the Shillingstone Neighbourhood Plan is in the course of being prepared and it is anticipated that this will be presented at the next meeting of the Neighbourhood Plan Committee on Monday 13th April 2015. During the formation of the Plan the Committee has identified the Land At E 0382790 N 111000 as possibly suitable for residential development; but with such development being sited towards the south east boundary of the land. It is clear from the recent Village Questionnaire that the characteristics of the lanes around the village including Hine Town should be retained; therefore the preferred access to the land is from the Blandford Road. It is accepted that this proposal will call for some negotiation with the owners of adjoining properties in order to secure rights of way. It is understood that such arrangements will have to be made for the mains drainage.
In view of the progress being made on the Neighbourhood Plan and the Committee’s emerging proposals for the site, we would very much welcome discussion with the landowner/agent to allow them to see the “bigger picture” and give consideration to an alternative scheme that would potentially be beneficial to them and more in-keeping with what the community want. Indeed, we are disappointed that the owners have not sought to engage with the Neighbourhood Plan Committee which has been going about its work for 18 months. We would welcome the involvement of the Case Officer in setting up such a meeting. As a result the owners of the land and their Planning Consultant may consider it appropriate to withdraw the application at this stage and re-submit later in the year after the Draft Neighbourhood Plan is submitted for examination.
Notwithstanding the previous paragraph, as things stand the Parish Council objects on the grounds listed above.
Clerk to the Council
4th April 2015
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