These comments from ECNF’s chairman, Ian Lord, have been posted in today’s Free Press together with articles from “The Scribbler” .
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 .
Edenfield Community Neighbourhood Forum have been monitoring planning applications received by Rossendale Borough Council as the Council works towards the target in their recently adopted Local Plan of building 3,191 new homes in Rossendale between 2019/20 and 2035/6.
It is particularly interesting to see the large number of “windfall” sites which are sites not included in the Local Plan. Rossendale Council, unlike some other Councils, chose not to make any allowance for windfall sites in the Local Plan. The Forum’s analysis of planning applications for 2021/22 below shows windfall sites with 26 homes actually approved and the potential for up to 170 more if all the pending applications are subsequently approved.
The Local Plan did include an allowance for “small sites” of 19 per year even though the Forum argued that a more appropriate number was 25 per year. A small site is one with less than five homes. The Forum’s analysis of planning applications for 2021/22 below shows small site approvals of 33 homes with the potential for 26 more if all the pending applications are subsequently approved.
If the Local Plan had included in each of it’s fifteen years a more appropriate level of housing from small sites (25 rather than the 19) and a conservative allowance from windfall sites then the Edenfield Green Belt site H66 (400 homes) could have been excluded and there would still be a sizeable excess over the 3,191.
There was a Council determination in the Local Plan to increase the housing in Edenfield by nearly 50% (mostly on Green Belt land) despite the above and the serious infrastructure issues which are still unresolved.
Summary of Planning applications from 1st April 2021 to 31st March 2022
The quantities below are the number of homes
Table showing Small site and Windfall site planning applications 2021-2022
In addition there were 10 approvals in the year for small site applications submitted in previous years.
The 170 windfall homes pending consideration include 104 homes on the old Grane Mill at Helmshore.
In addition there is an opportunity for up to 138 homes on the Clod Lane / Manchester Road site if the developers make a new Planning Application.
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 456houses 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.