ECNF response to Rossendale Council’s Draft local plan

The Forum’s comprehensive representations regarding the local plan for Rossendale have been submitted to Rossendale Borough Council by our planning consultants, Troy Planning and Design.

Our key points are:

  • The choice of Edenfield as a major site for development is flawed
  • There is insufficient regard to the importance of Green Belt
  • There is no evidence to justify the release of land from Green Belt
  • There are sufficient brownfield sites available for development in the Borough
  • There is a failure to address infrastructure issues particularly in relation to highways

The detailed report runs to 66 pages in total and now that it has been submitted to the council, we are pleased to reproduce it here. Thank you to all of our supporters and financial donors who have helped and continue to help us in our struggle to protect our environment.

To view the report, please click the link below:
Rossendale-Reg-19-Local-Plan-ECNF (pdf)

 

 

ECNF Objections to the Rossendale Draft Local Plan

ECNF would like to thank everyone who gave their support to the Forum’s objections to the Rossendale Draft Local Plan or who submitted their own objections direct to the Council. 1,213 people registered their support for our representations, including 898 residents of Edenfield. This represents over 50% of the households in the village. That level of support was fantastic and shows the depth of feeling against the Council’s proposals to release our Green Belt for development.

The Forum’s comprehensive representations were submitted by our planning consultants, Troy Planning and Design, on our behalf.

As these representations run to 66 pages we summarise the main points below:

  • The choice of Edenfield as a major site for development is flawed
  • There is insufficient regard to the importance of Green Belt
  • There is no evidence to justify the release of land from Green Belt
  • There are sufficient brownfield sites available for development in the Borough
  • There is a failure to address infrastructure issues particularly in relation to highways

We understand that the Council intend to publish all the representations that they received in the near future . When they do this, we will post on the Forum’s website the full representations submitted by Troy Planning and Design on our behalf.

It is Rossendale Council’s intention to submit the Draft Local Plan and all relevant representations to the Planning Inspectorate early in 2019. The appointed Planning Inspector will then make a decision on whether the Draft Plan should be implemented after examination of all information and representations and after local public examinations. This decision is likely to be made in mid-2019.

BBC News article – Young couples ‘trapped in car dependency’

This is an interesting BBC News article describing the dependence on cars in new build developments. Obviously some food for thought in here as we develop our own development plan for Edenfield.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-45956792

Jenny Raggett, researcher at Transport for New Homes, said: “We were appalled to find so many new housing developments built around the car with residents driving for almost every journey.

“As those cars head for our towns and cities they clog up existing roads. Commuter times get longer and longer. Car-based living of this kind is not good for our health or quality of life.”

She goes on to say,  “The problem is that planners are measured by whether they hit their targets for new housing,” she said. ‘At the moment they just approach developers who are sitting on greenfield sites and end up peppering housing round towns without any regard to whether the land is accessible or not.”

 

Coffee Morning – 20th October 2018

The Forum held a Coffee Morning at the Community Centre on 20th October. It was very well attended by village residents who enjoyed coffee, tea and cakes as well as a bric-a-brac stall and a raffle – not to mention a good natter!

We raised £570 for Forum funds which was excellent. Many thanks to everyone who attended and to those who organised and helped out.

CPRE reports 5000 hectares of Green Belt Land lost in 2017-2018

Yesterday’s Daily Mail published details from a report by the Council for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE). 


According to the report:

  • 10,000 hectares of land have been removed from green belt since 2012
  • 5,000 hectares of land lost green belt protection in 2017/2018
  • Nationally there are plans to build 460,000 homes on green belt land

The CPRE report states that green belt land is the most profitable and desirable for developers due to it being ‘shovel ready’, surrounded by countryside and within commuting distance of major towns and cities.

The CPRE goes on to state that “There is currently enough brownfield land in England to accommodate more than a million homes, with almost three quarters of this in areas with green belt land.” The CPRE urged the Government and local authorities to ensure brownfield land is redeveloped before any more land is released from the green belt.

ECNF shares this opinion and has made this representation to RBC in response to their local plan.

ECNF members and residents meet to discuss the RBC local plan

On 7th September members of the ECNF management committee met Troy Planning & Design consultants to discuss the implications of the proposed local plan on Edenfield as well as to develop our own alternative proposals to the RBC plan.

The meeting was very informative and gave local residents an opportunity to learn about the planning process from the consultants as well as to identify our preferences for sustainable development in Edenfield.

After the meeting, everybody braved the rain to walk around Edenfield to point out areas of interest to the consultants. We’re grateful to the cricket club for allowing us to use their facilities.

Object to Rossendale Borough Council’s Local Plan

Rossendale Borough Council have published their revised draft Local Plan and you have until the end of the final consultation period on 5th October to make your voice heard before the Local Plan is submitted to the Secretary of State (Planning Inspectorate) for examination by an independent Planning Inspector. The 800+ objections made in 2017 to the previous draft Local Plan ARE NOT carried forward as objections to the revised Plan. The Plan can be viewed online at https://www.rossendale.gov.uk/localplan or at local libraries and the One Stop Shop at Futures Park, Bacup.

Despite the strength of local feeling with over 800 objections made last year to the proposals to remove land from the Green Belt in Edenfield, the revised Plan still proposes the release of 45 acres of Green Belt land and the building of 456 houses in the village including 400 on the Green Belt land in the area west of Market Street. This will virtually double the built up area of the village and increase the population by at least 50%.

Objections to the draft Local Plan will only be considered if they relate to (a) legal and procedural compliance, (b) the duty to co-operate (for example with neighbouring authorities) or (c) soundness (has the plan been positively prepared, is it justified, effective and consistent with national policy?)

It is the view of the Edenfield Community Neighbourhood Forum (ECNF) and the Edenfield Village Residents Association (EVRA) that the draft Local Plan does not meet the soundness test for a number of reasons. ECNF and EVRA are, with professional advice, preparing a comprehensive response to the draft Local Plan which will be considered by the Inspector through an independent public examination before issuing a report to the Council.

The objections can be summarised as follows:

The draft Local Plan in respect of the proposal to release Green Belt land in Edenfield for development is unsound for a multitude of reasons including the following: –

  • We consider there are sufficient developable brownfield and other sites within the Borough to satisfy housing need without the need to release Green Belt land for development.
  • There are over 1,000 empty homes in Borough that have not been taken into account when assessing housing supply.
  • The Council have failed to demonstrate that ‘exceptional circumstances’ exist to propose the removal of Green Belt in the Borough and therefore the proposal is contrary to national planning policy.
  • The A56 as a possible Green Belt boundary does not justify the release of the land to the east of it from Green Belt.
  • The contention that the release of the Green Belt will have only minimal impact on openness is unfounded.
  • The transport access arrangements for strategic development in Edenfield are inadequate and have not been tested or considered by the Council before proposing the allocation.
  • The impact of strategic development in Edenfield on the junctions and roundabouts in the area have not been fully tested by the Council before proposing the allocation.

WHAT CAN YOU DO?

 It is important that ECNF and EVRA can demonstrate that their objections have wide popular support. If you support an objection to the Plan on the above grounds please confirm by either completing the objection form below. This must be done no later than 4th October. Please do this whether or not you intend to submit your own representations about the draft Local Plan. Every name will help further demonstrate the local support behind our objections. Please encourage every adult in your household to object.

Let’s all act to save the valuable and
irreplaceable Green Belt land in our village.

Confirmation of support

*I support the representations made by Edenfield Community Neighbourhood Forum and Edenfield Village Residents Association to the Rossendale Draft Local Plan August 2018.

*If more than one adult at your address wishes to object, please complete the form once for each objector. If you’re sharing the form with friends online they may also visit a more concise version of the page here. If you’re having difficulties completing the form, please send us an email and we’ll help you if we can.

Signatories must be over 18 years of age. Your personal details will be held by the management committee of Edenfield Community Neighbourhood Forum and be shared with The Planning Inspector.  It will not be shared with any other third parties without your consent.

Rossendale BC opens consultation on Local Plan

Rossendale Borough Council have now issued the latest version of the Local Plan which can be accessed through the following link:

https://www.rossendale.gov.uk/downloads/download/11106/consultation_on_the_publication_pre-submission_version_of_the_local_plan

Consultation on this Plan will run from 23rd August until  4th October. Edenfield Community Neighbourhood Forum (ECNF) and the Edenfield Village Residents Association (EVRA) will be reviewing the Plan in the next few days and will then offer advice to residents on how to respond during the consultation period. This advice will be posted on the ECNFand EVRA websites and we will also jointly deliver a flyer to all households in Edenfield.

Scoping Questionnaire for ECNF neighbourhood plan

As you may be aware the Forum is now starting work on preparing a Neighbourhood Plan for Edenfield and we have appointed planning advisors to advise us and assist in this. It is important that we fully take into account the views of residents when preparing the Plan which we propose to do in the following way.

There is a short scoping questionnaire which we would like you to complete and submit by 6thSeptember. This includes questions on your views about the village as well as ideas of what changes you would like to see in the future. You can access the questionnaire here: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/7YLR3C2

The Neighbour Plan needs to involve all residents of the village not just members of the Forum so please also encourage any non-members to also complete the questionnaire.

The information we get from this short questionnaire will help us and our advisors to produce a detailed questionnaire which will be delivered to all houses in the village later in the year. We will then be in a position to produce an Edenfield Neighbourhood Plan which reflects as far as possible the views of all residents.

If you would like more information about Neighbourhood Plans we have prepared a short question and answer sheet which is attached. Information is also available on the Locality website athttps://locality.org.uk/services-tools/neighbourhood-planning/

All information submitted in the questionnaire will be treated confidentially in accordance with the Data Protection Act and only used in connection with the Neighbourhood Plan.