ECNF Response to Taylor Wimpey/Anwyl Land Market Street Masterplan Consultation


Consultation Process
In our opinion, the consultation process is totally unsatisfactory because;
the two-week consultation period is ridiculously short, particularly in the summer holiday season;
our information is that not all Edenfield households received the consultation leaflet, although at the webinar on 29th June 2022 it was claimed that about 1,000 leaflets had been delivered;
the leaflet gives limited information, with the result that anyone without internet access will be unaware of the detail and thereby be at a disadvantage in responding;
the leaflet says there will be “two webinars where you can join and ask questions of the team” but provides the time of only one, held at barely one week’s notice;
it was not until the webinar that it was confirmed no developer has yet been chosen for the area promoted by Anwyl Land (Chatterton Hey site);
and there are other omissions and errors in the consultation, as noted below.

Masterplan comments
Masterplan does not satisfy Local Plan

  1. The consultation masterplan falls short of the requirements of the Rossendale Local Plan. The Local Plan requires a masterplan for the entire site reference H66 land west of Market Street, Edenfield which is estimated to yield 400 homes. The consultation masterplan 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. Rossendale Borough Council have pledged that they will work in partnership with key landowners and key stakeholders, including Edenfield Community Neighbourhood Forum, to ensure that such a masterplan is prepared (Local Plan, page 56, paragraph 121).

    Lack of information
  2. 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 (Chatterton Hey site). It emerged from the webinar that the second phase would yield some 90 dwellings. At the very least, the masterplan should indicate how many dwellings will be built and where and when.
  3. Without this information it is impossible to have a comprehensive Transport Assessment.

    Traffic
  4. 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 states that development will be supported provided that a Transport Assessment is provided demonstrating that the site can be safely accessed. It will need to address issues arising from the proposed accesses from Blackburn Road, Market Street and Exchange Street, including the consequent reduced availability of on-street parking, as well as the impact of the inevitable increase in local traffic on the Market Place roundabout and at the beginning
    and end of the school day in the vicinity of an enlarged Edenfield CE Primary School. There is no indication in this consultation about when this Assessment is going to be prepared and when the highway authority will be involved in the process, but it is crucial to any consideration of the masterplan.
  5. At the webinar it was admitted that the new Market Street access would require a ghosted right-turn lane. The consultation leaflet and website are silent about this but should have disclosed the information.
  6. Although the consultation documents show the highway access to the Chatterton Hey site from the foot of Exchange Street, the highway authority has stated that Exchange Street would be unsuitable for this purpose. The consultation ignores the highway authority’s suggestion that vehicular access to this area should be through the estate to connect to the proposed access from Market Street, with only pedestrian and cycle links to Exchange Street – see Local Plan Examination Library document EL8.014 Actions 14.1 to 14.4, paragraph 4.1 Action 14.3 – www.rossendale.gov.uk/download/downloads/id/16396/
    el8014_actions_141_to_144_-housing_site_allocations
    _edenfield_helmshore_irwell_vale_and_ewood_bridge_with_appendices.pdf

  7. In the webinar it was claimed that access to the Chatterton Hey site from Exchange Street and Highfield Road would be all right as only 90 houses were involved. However, at the time of Lancashire County Council ’s comments the estimated yield from that area, according to the Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment, was only 70.
  8. It would clearly be undesirable for motor traffic resulting from the development to use the existing public footpaths (which are also private vehicular rights of way serving Mushroom House, Chatterton Hey and Alderbottom/Swallows Barn). The masterplan is not clear how estate traffic would be segregated from those footpaths.

    Community involvement
  9. Edenfield Community Neighbourhood Forum has been working over the years to bring forward a Neighbourhood Plan and has involved the community, stakeholders and the local planning authority in the process. The masterplan consultation claims that the scheme will be community-led, although this is hard to reconcile with the fact that local residents are overwhelmingly opposed. If the developers are serious in this claim, they must commit to ensuring that the development will be in accordance with the emerging Edenfield Neighbourhood Plan and its design codes. In the webinar it was stated that the Taylor Wimpey houses would be mainly two-storey but with a few at 2.5 storeys. We are concerned that any houses more than two storeys high would have a seriously detrimental effect on views across the site to the other side of the valley. Those views are part of the distinctive character of the village and are highly valued by the community.

    Green spaces, sports provision, landscaping and biodiversity
  10. The new green spaces to be opened up are all located on the western and northern periphery of the consultation site. Apart from these, the masterplan depicts a development that will be a mass of, to use the wording of the leaflet, “just bricks and mortar.” There is no provision for green spaces or landscaping with hedgerows within the development.
  11. Far from being ‘long-lasting’ as claimed, some of those green spaces will be short-lived if National Highways proceeds with a scheme to widen the A56.
  12. It would benefit both existing and new residents if green spaces were provided on the eastern flank of the consultation site. A green buffer on this side would mitigate any clash between the styles of existing and new development.
  13. The green space deficiency might be ameliorated to a small degree by keeping open the field between Market Street and Mushroom House. This area could be used for a parking area for the benefit of existing residents whose access to on-street parking is going to be diminished.
  14. The consultation website refers to ‘Providing generous areas of public open space and outdoors sports provision’, but, even if the green spaces are included, the open space provision is far from generous and, discounting the locally equipped area of play (LEAP), the outdoor sports provision is non-existent.
  15. In the Masterplan layout, the LEAP is poorly located, adjacent to the junction of busy B6527 Market Street and the main site access.
  16. We note that the illustration on the website pages between the sections ‘Our Proposals’ and ‘Masterplan’ suggests that it will be houses, not a LEAP, in this position. That illustration shows also a path across a grassed area adjoining Market Street and the estate road, but that path is not marked on the masterplan. These inconsistencies immediately cast doubt on the reliability of any of the information provided.
  17. In view of the prospective requirements in the Environment Act 2021, the masterplan should demonstrate how the biodiversity value attributable to the development will exceed the pre-development biodiversity value of the onsite habitat by 10%.
  18. Cycle route provision is perfunctory. It is not clear what it connects with. It should be included as part of the green spaces and as part of a wider cycle scheme.
  19. It is surprising that the sustainable drainage system (SUDS) features so prominently in the
    consultation, after National Highways has indicated that it is likely to be problematical. The Local Plan expects consideration to be paid to the suitability or not of sustainable drainage systems on the boundary adjoining the A56, but there is nothing in the consultation to show that this has been done.

    Heritage
  20. The paragraph about Heritage in the Virtual Exhibition misrepresents the listed status of Edenfield Parish Church. It is in fact Grade II* listed, not merely Grade II. We do not agree that it is not visible from the development site or that it is so well screened by existing tree cover that the development would have a negligible impact on its setting.

    Green Belt
  21. The consultation does not state what compensatory improvements will be made in the remaining Green Belt to compensate for the proposed development on former Green Belt land.

    Topography and geology
  22. The tipped earth on the site that forms a mound to the west of Mushroom House needs to be removed and carted away off-site, restoring the original contours. Otherwise, any dwellings built there would be on an unnaturally high level and over-dominant.
  23. Because of the underlying laminated clay, it is probable that extensive piling will be required, to ensure the stability and protection of the A56 and the new homes. The consultation does not mention this or explain how the effect of this on residents will be mitigated.

    Ian B. Lord
    Chair, Edenfield Community Neighbourhood Forum
    3rd July 2022

Market Street MasterPlan and Notice of AGM

Picture of "flyer" from developers

Market Street Masterplan

As you are probably aware Taylor Wimpey and Anwyl Land last week distributed leaflets to most homes in the village entitled “Market Street Masterplan”. This gives general proposals by which they will improve the village by building 400 houses! We feel that it does not adequately address a number of unresolved issues particularly that of the vast increase in traffic on our already busy roads.

This is a public consultation which gives an opportunity for residents to give their views by e-mail – [email protected] or by completing an online questionnaire on the website – www.marketstreetmasterplanconsultation.co.uk . We encourage you to let the developers know what you think before the deadline of 6th July. The Forum will also be submitting detailed comments to Taylor Wimpey and Anwyl Land on the proposals which we will subsequently share with residents.

Annual General Meeting

We have scheduled the second AGM of the Forum for 7.45pm on Thursday 14th July at the Edenfield Community Centre, Exchange Street. The Notice of Meeting and agenda has been emailed to all members.

As mentioned in our previous update in March we are taking this opportunity to invite non-members to the meeting. This will hopefully lead to more residents joining the Forum and get more ideas and support for our future work on the Neighbourhood Plan and challenging the developers’ masterplan and planning applications. A copy of a leaflet that we are circulating in the village is available here: https://edenfieldcommunityforum.uk/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/Your-village-needs-you.pdf

We hope that you can attend and please encourage any non-members to also attend. Also, there are vacancies on the Management Committee so please consider if you would like to put your name forward. You can put your name forward even if you are unable to attend the meeting.

Local Plan update

The Inspectors have now issued their post Hearings letter to the Council which is available to view on the RBC website. The letter does not contain any views on the soundness of the Draft Local Plan due to the amount of information that the Inspectors still require from the Council before they can complete their assessment.

The timetable for provision of this information (Schedule of Actions) has also been made available on the RBC website. This indicates that it will take about six months for all the information to be provided.

Some proposed modifications to the Plan were agreed between the Inspectors and the Council during the Hearings and they have now been collated and are also available on the RBC website (List of Main Modifications).

The link for all of these documents is:
https://www.rossendale.gov.uk/downloads/download/11276/examination_library_6_-_further_documents_following_the_close_of_hearings

The Inspectors’ letter mentioned above, requests the Council to produce a revised indicative timetable for production of the Local Plan. Once this is published we will have a better idea of when to expect the Inspectors’ final views on the Plan and the effect it will have on the future of our village. We will give a further update after this timetable is published.

Draft Local Plan Update

Draft Local Plan Update

The Inspectors have now issued details of the public examination on the Council’s Draft Local Plan. The hearings will take place between Tuesday 24th September and Friday 11th October at the Council offices at Futures Park, Bacup. Edenfield Community Neighbourhood Forum (ECNF) and our planning consultants will participate in all sessions relevant to Edenfield. The general public can attend but only to observe.

The Inspectors have also issued an extensive list of MIQs (Matters, Issues and Questions) to all those who submitted representations to the Draft Local Plan in October last year and requested participation in the hearings. People or groups such as ECNF who made representations can make Hearing Statements on any of the listed matters, these have to be submitted by 30th August. The Forum will be submitting statements on all relevant matters.

Full details of the MIQs and the arrangements for the examination are available on the Council’s website at: https://www.rossendale.gov.uk/info/210148/local_plan/10629/emerging_local_plan/2

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.