TWC/2021/0109 Land South of Springfield Industrial Estate, Station Road, Newport

Prior to the expiry of the consultation period for the above application submitted by Bloor Homes, NDCS submitted the objection below :-

Objection on behalf of Newport and District Civic Society

We refer to the letter dated 03/02/21 from T&WC which was received in mid-February 2021 following an approach by CAPC to T&WC having heard from others that a consultation on the Reserved Matters application had already commenced.

In the time available to us we have reviewed the documents submitted and would draw to the attention of T&WC that only a few of the Reserved Matters have been referenced by number and have evidence submitted by the applicant or its consultants in a manner which we assume is intended to be considered by T&WC as to whether the evidence satisfies the requirements of the relevant individual condition.

The majority of the individua Reserved Matters have not been identified in the documents by relevant individual number and we do not believe that it is the responsibility of council tax payers to trawl through the documents and identify aspects of the documents that might relate to individual conditions. It is for the applicant to submit evidence to each individual condition.

Without prejudice to our position as set out above we comment in general terms on certain aspects of the documents :-

Design and Compliance Statement – Compliance Summary Table

Access and Movement.
The applicant admits that significant changes have been made from what was set out in the plans in the Reserved Matters. Whilst these changes have been made in discussion with the Highways team at T&WC they are of such a nature and magnitude that they are clearly not in accord with the Reserved Matters and must be taken back to the T&WC Plans Board in order that the applicant can provide a full explanation as to why the changes have been made. It is then for the Plans Board to decide if they are prepared to accept the changes or require that the access and movement layout in the Reserved Matters be complied with.

Access and Movement / Layout.
Given the changes to the access and movemen,consequentially the layout of the site has changed fundamentally to that as set out in the Reserved Matters. The substantial non-compliance with the Reserved Matters is again an issue on which the applicant must be required to address with the T&WC Plans Board in order to seek approval or otherwise to the changes.

With the significant departures from the Reserved Matters requiring the need for the applicant to return to Plans Board to explain and seek approval for the departures which, if approved, would require a revised Reserved Matters document to be promulgated by T&WC, the Plans Board would be able to consider the effects of both the T&WC ‘declared climate emergency’ and the recent declaration in the Local Plan 2040 which recently went through its Option review that the borough is a ‘forest community’.
T&WC ecology officers will be well able to draw attention to the evidence from many parties that the ripping out of mature hedgerows, trees etc only to be replaced by new saplings will have a significant negative effect on both climate change for many decades and the diversion of the ROW on the land from the existing routes and green surrounds will gave a negative effect on mental health and wellbeing at a time when with the covid virus lockdown mental health is at an all time low. It was understood from the Local Plan 2040 Local Plan document that mental health and wellbeing is an higher priority for T&WC due to the lockdowns endured since March 2020.

Sustainable Drainage.
The proposals as regards replacing the ephemeral pond with a concrete attenuation basin appear to not accord with the findings in the previous application for a superstore from which a car washing facility with a concrete water capture facility in the location of the ephemeral pond was removed from the application due to serious concerns as to the potential pollution effects on the underground aquifer flowing under the site. In this regard we do not consider that the response to the relevant Reserved Matters adequately addresses the concerns raised in the superstore application.

In summary, due to the significant changes to layout and access and the consequent effects of the these changes on other aspects of the application; the applicant acknowledgement in its own Design and Compliance Statement that it has not been able to comply with the main aspects of the Reserved Matters requirements as the layout and access from the 2015 outline application apparently simply does not work for them to deliver the development of the site which they now wish to take forward; as such, the applicants 2021 application must go to Plans Board for the reasons and for the actions set out above.

Since the submission of the objection we understand that discussions continue between the Council and the developer Bloor Homes. The application is now likely to go before the Planning Committee, possibly in May, following a further round of consultation on amendments to the applicant’s proposals for the site.

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