BRACKLA COMMUNITY COUNCIL
THE NEXT MEETING OF BRACKLA COMMUNITY COUNCIL
Wednesday 12th May 2021 7.00pm
Via Video Link
Cllr K Hughes – Chairperson
Cllr D Aston
Cllr I Hibble
Cllr T Walsh
Mrs R Keepins – Clerk of the Council
Miss H May – Admin Assistant
14 Apologies for absence
Cllr E Caparros
15 Declarations of interest
16 PLANNING APPLICATIONS
P/21/301/FUL – Land rear of Waunscil Avenue extending to rear of Morfa Street Bridgend CF31 1TG
Following consideration of the Planning Application as well as detailed discussions, the Community Council wish to highlight the following points as evidence and argument against the above Planning Application:
1. The history of the applications by this Company previously registered as Paddle Homes Ltd is well documented and listed in para 2.17 of the Agents Planning Statement. We fully support the previous reasons for refusal of these applications by Bridgend County Borough Council (BCBC) and the subsequent planning appeals by the Applicant that were dismissed by the Planning Inspectorate.
2. The Community Council feel that the Local Authority should recognize the numerous concerns that residents and ourselves have raised over almost twenty years and the need to retain this valuable Greenfield asset. Whilst this application may fall outside of the parameters of section 70A of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (as amended) this should be a factor of consideration on this development. We are minded in the requirements laid down in the Development Management Manual and five ways of working, and as a general principle, that planning is concerned with land use from the point of view of the public interest.
3. More specifically we understand that the land in question was previously used as a railway track for the Vale of Glamorgan Railway and that no permanent structure was ever present. This fails to meet the definition of previously developed land as laid out in section 3 of PPW Edition 11. Therefore we feel this parcel of land should not be classed as a brownfield site but recognised as an important green wedge with all that entails so far as the latest Welsh Government legislation and priorities dictate.
4. Furthermore, we consider this parcel of land as forming a natural green wedge boundary which clearly fits the purpose of a greenbelt preventing the coalescence of merging the settlements of Bridgend Town and Brackla as stated in para 3.67 of PPW Edition 11.
5. The David Clements Ecology report summary states “All of the habitats within the site are considered to be of Local Value to wildlife. The mosaic of grassland, scrub, trees and woodland are known to support a range of common and widespread bird species, foraging bat species, invertebrates and reptiles. Some of these species are known to be of conservation importance but only in the local importance. Local residents and ourselves believe in the importance of Well-being through Placemaking and retaining this natural environment plays a key role in this. European protected species legislation should ensure that proposals of development works should not contravene this protection.
6. The same report makes reference to the issue of Japanese knotweed on this site which appears not to have been managed by the landowner and we feel that BCBC should consider taking action under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 Wales through a section 215 notice to address this matter and the overgrown nature of the site.
7. The loss of habitat, mature trees and hedgerows would increase the carbon footprint for this area and coupled with a considerable increase in traffic flow, air pollution would also be increased. This would go against UK/Welsh Government key planning principles and Environmental legislation aimed at maximizing environmental protection and limiting the negative ecological impact.
8. The CJ Associates report of 2008 recognised the site is in a radon affected area and remedial measures would be necessary to reduce these levels below the government action level which was exceeded at the time of the report. This coupled with high methane gas readings and potential other contamination on the site would potentially only be exacerbated should any development be permitted.
9. The lack of a supporting Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) report with this application makes it difficult to fully assess exactly how the developer proposes to deal with the considerable groundwater found on this site. The redirecting of the main sewer coupled with years of Building work is likely to cause unnecessary disruption and noise for adjoining properties. A great many elderly and long-established residents live within the vicinity of this proposed development and the potential adverse impact to their well-being should be avoided at all costs. Many feel the approval of the development will impact on their privacy as their properties are currently not overlooked at all.
10. Section 6 of the Planning Application form indicates no known or suspected contamination for all or part of the site which appears to be at odds with the support documentation accompanying their Application.
11. Section 13 of the planning application form does not provide a clear indication of what we will be permitted by Welsh Water/DWR Cymru at this stage and this will be critical to the development going forward.
12. Section 14 of the planning application form indicates that no provision has been included to incorporate areas to store and aid the collection of waste and no arrangements have been made for the separate storage and collection of recycled waste which is of great concern to us given the volume of development proposed.
13. Section 23 of this application form was obviously completed prior to the Agent realizing the need for a Pre-Application Consultation in WALES.
14. We commend and support the Welsh Government’s goal to encourage walking, cycling and the use of public transport however we do not feel that this has yet been embraced extensively in the area, illustrated by many households still owning in excess of two cars. We feel that parking on the site will be inadequate and this has been partly recognised in the Agent’s rather small-scale plan under the heading Location Plan with red line A3 where they hope to widen an area of land at Waunscil Avenue to accommodate ‘informal visitor parking’.
15. Realistically local opportunities for work are restrictive with the majority of these potential new residents have to commute by car to their place of work.
16. We understand that this area of land covered in Location Plan with red line A3 is owned by Valley 2Coast Housing and whilst the Agent includes the area within their red line boundary V2C are not shown under section27 of the planning application form regarding land ownership certificates. This will need to be addressed and requisite notice given to V2C to comply with planning.
17. We believe the traffic report is somewhat optimistic regarding the overall impact on traffic from the development, due to the number of homes proposed and the fact that the increase in traffic linked to the local school, Penybont has not been taken into account. The traffic flow on Waunscil Avenue will also, we believe, further exacerbate the congestion ingress/egress of vehicles onto Cowbridge Road and subsequent motor pollution for existing local residents.
18. We believe that as one of the largest private housing estates in Europe, Brackla has reached saturation point in terms of further development, especially on the scale of this proposed site and the surrounding infrastructure, facilities and services are already oversubscribed.
19. We note that the Applicant has made no provision for affordable housing in their submission but are clearly aware of the requirements of policy COM5 and flag up the potential impact that this may have on the viability of this development stating that such a requirement will be subject to negotiation with BCBC. Based on the knowledge that previous applications have seemingly been refused on this matter we would have expected some form of pre-application discussion take place as part of the planning application form process to clarify their actual intentions with this submission insofar as affordable housing inclusion. No pre-application indicated with BCBC in section 25.
20. We understand that the location of this proposed development has not been listed as one of the Candidate sites for the next Replacement LDP 2018-2033 and therefore is unlikely to support the Preferred Strategy compatibility especially as it is potentially a greenfield site.
For all the reasons stated above, the Community Council object to the application and recommend that it be rejected. Furthermore, the Community Council wish to recommend that the Landowners consider gifting this important protected asset to one of the many organisations throughout Brackla who will nurture and develop this land.Print Document