TWC/2022/0854 – Land North/East of Chetwynd Aston Roundabout, A518. Erection of 215no. dwellings with associatedaccess,openspace,landscaping, ancillary infrastructure, ground remodelling and reservation of land for future dualling of the A518.

Objection on behalf of Newport and District Civic Society.

In the application documents the applicant acknowledges that first application which related to parts of the site contained in the current application goes back to application number TWC/2011/0871. The applicant acknowledges that the 2011 application intended to provide, inter alia, 4.5 ha of employment land and extra care housing in addition to a much smaller number of houses.

The site plans submitted under TWC/2011/0871 showed a layout for housing, extra care housing and employment land that differs substantially from what is contained in the current application. On this basis the application must go before the T&WC Planning Committee for consideration as a stand-alone application.

We would question the timing of this application given the Bloor Homes development (which the applicant references in the application) has only recently commenced on site but is already causing issues as to the amount of site traffic, mud on the busy Station Road etc. With phasing of Bloor Homes site possible extending over a number of years, to allow works to commence for the above application will cause significant disruption to traffic along the bypass.

More particularly, results from the 2021 Housing Delivery Test show that the housing is not needed at present. The relevant details are as follows:-

1. The 2021 Housing Delivery Test showed that T&WC exceeded the housing delivery target by 233%.

2. It is stated that The Housing Delivery Test figure is calculated by taking the total net homes delivered over a three-year period then divided by the total number of homes required over a three-year period. The 2020 test considered years 2018/19,2019/20 and 2020/21. However, to take account of the March 2020 lockdown to stem the spread of Covid-19 these figures were adjusted. In September 2021, the then Housing Minister Christopher Pincher said the 2021 results would be calculated using a four- month adjustment to the housing requirement figures to account for fluctuations in construction output.

In light of the above, if T&WC are only allowing the application to come forward at this time to take funding from the applicant towards the cost of the dualling of the A518, then the applicant has already challenged this in para. 7.11 of the Planning Statement from which it is clear that T&WC have failed to convince the applicant that any further contribution would be CIL Regulation 122 compliant.

In addition, the applicant is highly critical of the stance taken by T&WC as regards the retention of the four arm roundabout. We support the applicant on this as the removal of the 4.5 hectares of employment land which was in the 0871 application removes any need for the roundabout. Part of the savings from this removal could be used to construct a footpath and cycle way from Station Road to the A41 by the side of the dualling which is needed given, if you include units in the care facility on the land on the west of Station Road, the number of houses/units could be in excess of 700.

We would strongly urge that given the 10 years or so that the question of the cost of the dualling has been in contention that a final position on this should be established before the application is taken before Plans Committee and not after both as regards the financial contribution to the dualling and the need for the four arm roundabout.

In relation to the affordable homes element in the application, it appears that only 20% of the 35% affordable element is to be delivered on the site with the 15% balance to be by way on an off-site financial contribution. Where to do T&WC intend that the balance of the affordable homes will be built if not on this site ?

Heritage and Archaeology – we support the recommendation from the Shropshire Council Historic Environment Team that:-

‘No development approved by this permission shall commence until the applicant, or their agents or successors in title, has secured the implementation of a phased programme of archaeological work in accordance with a written scheme of investigation (WSI). This written scheme shall be approved in writing by the Planning Authority prior to the commencement of works.
PROW – We would ask if the T&WC Rights of Way Officer has been consulted on the changes outlined in the application as we are not clear from the documents precisely whereas to the route of the path from the proposed diversion. We have not seen any comment from the Officer under the ‘Application Comments’ tab on the T&WC application website.

Drainage – A number of the application documents note the shallow ground water levels particularly in the winter months. However, this appears to be down played with comments about levels over the past few years. However, as this period has been one of low rainfall and higher temperatures, we would suggest T&WC drainage engineers and the applicant visit the Bloors site across Station Road to see first hand what effect a few weeks of slightly above average rainfall does to the ground water level.

Schools – As against the increased pressure on schools in the area with the 700 plus units referenced above adding to all the housing built over recent years, the S.106 contributions appears grossly inadequate.

Car Parking in Newport – We understand that T&WC Highways are finalising a study to bring forward solutions for the existing parking problems in Newport including for the High Street. We would ask if the study is taking account of the increased number of vehicles arising from the developments either side of Station Road and for the details of the publication date of the study.

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