Comments to Free Press in response to press release by Taylor Wimpey and Anwyl Land – “Exciting Masterplan Vision unveiled for new homes in Edenfield”

These comments from ECNF’s chairman, Ian Lord, have been posted in today’s Free Press together with articles from “The Scribbler” .

Snippet from Free Press 1st July 2022

The Rossendale local plan requires a masterplan for the entire site reference H66 land west of Market Street, Edenfield which is estimated to yield 400 homes. We are surprised that the masterplan in the Taylor Wimpey/Anwyl consultation lacks any detail about the land in H66 in other ownerships. The Local Plan is quite specific that the masterplan must be for the entire site.

The consultation says 235 homes will be built in the developers’ first phase but omits the crucial information about the number of homes in their second phase. At the very least, the masterplan should indicate how many dwellings will be built and where and when.

The consultation period is only two weeks which is ridiculously short in the summer holiday season.

The developers suggest their scheme will be ‘community-led’. The fact is that their development is overwhelmingly opposed by local residents. A major concern is the impact on traffic of a 50% increase in housing in a village which already has significant traffic problems. This was recognised in the local plan which requires that before any development a Transport Assessment be prepared which demonstrates that all traffic issues can be resolved. The minimal comment on this subject in the masterplan infers that this is not a significant problem which is definitely not the case.

Our Forum would encourage residents to respond to the consultation, emphasising the deficiencies in the masterplan as it stands. Members of the public can make comments on the Taylor Wimpey / Anwyl Land master plan by e-mail – [email protected] or by completing an online questionnaire on the website – www.marketstreetmasterplanconsultation.co.uk .

Ian Lord
27th June 2022

Inspector’s post-hearings letter now published

Green Belt fields in Edenfield after silage making

The Inspectors’ post hearings letter mentioned in our last update now been published on the Council website.

EL6.017a Post Hearing Letter | Rossendale Borough Council

It is not good news for Edenfield. The Inspectors have provisionally accepted the Council’s position that there are exceptional circumstances to justify the release of Green Belt land for development and so the 456 houses allocated to Edenfield in the Plan will be unchanged. The Forum has long argued that there is no need to release Green Belt for development as there are more than enough brownfield and greenfield sites available in the Borough. We have supported our arguments with an enormous amount of detail but all of this seems to have been ignored.

The letter also specifically mentions Housing Allocation H72 which covers the three sites west of Market Street with a total allocation of 400 houses. There is an acknowledgment that there are issues related to heritage, schooling and highways but that these can be addressed when the Plan is updated. These are all issues raised by the Forum in our representations on the Plan so we await the proposals.

Needless to say we are extremely disappointed with the Inspector’s comments but the fight is far from over and we are now exploring how best to continue our challenge to the proposed over-development of Edenfield

The Council have also published “Potential Compensation Measures for Green Belt Release” which includes proposed measures to compensate Edenfield should a lot of land in the village be released from Green Belt for development. There is a public consultation on this document which ends on 28th July.

Both of these documents and other information related to the Local Plan can also be accessed through the Local Examination page on the Council website:

Local Plan Examination | Emerging Local Plan | Rossendale Borough Council

Update on Forum activities – 8th September 2020

Edenfield Neighbourhood Plan

Following the consultation with residents and businesses on 29th February and subsequent consultations with non-resident landowners, the draft Neighbourhood Plan was updated to incorporate relevant comments received. The revised draft Plan was then sent to Rossendale Council in early April for their comments and also for them to undertake a screening assessment as required under environmental regulations. We are still awaiting both the comments and the screening assessment although we anticipate receiving them during September. Once we have received the Council’s screening assessment and comments we will be able to finalise the Regulation 14 version of the Plan which will go to a formal public six-week consultation. We had hoped that this consultation would take place by July but the delay in receiving responses from the Council now means that it will be much later in the year.

Rossendale Draft Local Plan

At the conclusion of the Examination Hearings in October 2019 the Inspectors issued a Schedule of Actions of over 80 items for the Council to respond to. It was agreed that the Council would respond to these by May of this year – but that was before coronavirus struck. On 18th June the first batch of responses was published on the Council’s website which covered fourteen of the Inspectors’ requests and by 31st August there have been no further responses. The latest information published on the Council website on 1st September states that “additional items are anticipated in the current month with a series of consultation exercises to relevant parties anticipated thereafter”.
All announcements and documents can be viewed on the Council’s website:
https://www.rossendale.gov.uk/info/210148/local_plan/10629/emerging_local_plan/3

The timetable issued by the Council in January anticipated that the Inspectors’ final report would be issued in November but, with the delays, it is now more than likely that this will go into next year.
The responses issued on 18th June included some that relate to the proposals for Edenfield and the Forum has been reviewing these in detail in readiness for any future consultation. We will review the remaining responses as they are published.

We have had a meeting with our MP, Jake Berry, who remains very supportive. Jake subsequently wrote to the Inspectors and the Council with details of some of our major concerns providing summary comments that we felt had not been fully addressed at the Hearings. The inspectors responded and both letters have been posted on the Council website (Examination Library documents EL6.012a and EL6.012b). We hope that our information will now get fully considered. Jake also submitted questions to the Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government).

We have concerns with some of Highways England’s statements on the proposed developments in Edenfield particularly some of the technical aspects. We engaged our highways consultants, SK Transport Planning Ltd, to write to Highways England detailing our concerns. This letter and subsequent correspondence has been posted in the Examination Library 6 on the Council website under reference EL6.013a-e.