Agenda item

Attleborough : Proposed Residential/Employment Development, London Road : Reference : 3PL/2011/0528/H

Report of the Director of Commissioning.

Minutes:

Cllr Sharpe declared a personal interest by virtue of being the Executive Support Member for Assets & Strategic Development.  Members had received correspondence with regard to the application.

 

David Higgins of Norfolk County Council Highways was in attendance to answer questions.

 

The proposal was deferred by the Planning Committee on 11 April 2012 to enable further consideration to be given to transport matters, in consultation with the applicant and the Highway Authority.  Concerns about the potential amenity impact of 2½ storey houses on London Road were also raised.  The application was deferred again by the Planning Committee on 14 May 2012.

 

Revised plans had since been submitted which proposed an extension of the traffic management measures further eastwards along London Road towards the town centre.  Speed reactive signs and enhanced cycling links were also now proposed.  The number of 2½ storey houses on the London Road frontage had been reduced from seven to five.  The remaining units would be interspersed evenly amongst the 2 storey houses.  

 

Mr Hall, Objector and representative of the Attleborough Community Team, questioned the public consultation, and reasons for refusal were the severe impact on the Town Centre and a cycle way that went nowhere.  He asked the Committee to support local democracy, the residents of Attleborough, the Town and District Councillors and refuse the application until it was included in ASHAAP.   

 

Ms Taylor, Attleborough Town Council,  stated there had been no consultation and despite strong representation by the Town Council and Ward Members no changes of substance had been made to the proposal.  The Town Council was not against the development but as it was outside the Settlement Boundary it should be part of the ASHAAP.

 

Mr Osborn, Agent advised that they had listened and acted on all matters of concern.

 

Cllr Stasiak, Ward Representative commented that if the scheme was not viable, then it should not go ahead, as the people of Attleborough did not want it in its present form.  He was still of the belief that it was a “cheap fix”.   He questioned if any surveys had been done on air quality and air pollution.  If there was a need for higher storey houses, they should go in the middle of the development so they overlooked the new houses, and not the residents who currently had private gardens.  It was outside the Settlement Boundary.

 

Cllr Martin, Ward Representative stated that as the application was prior to ASHAAP the totals should come off the proposed 4000 units, and that Attleborough needed assurance that the long term affect on the town, traffic and infrastructure would be taken into account.

 

In answer to a Councillor’s concerns about the safety of the fast London Road, what part of it would be narrowed particularly from the south west, and there being no mention of New Road on Highway’s plans, Mr Higgins of NCC Highways believed that whilst there would be more traffic, with the speed reduction features taken down to the full extent of the site and past the employment land, he did not think there would be any significant problem.  A balance would need to be arrived at with regard to the positioning of the 30mph sign.  He felt it would be difficult to impose a 40mph limit from the A11 roundabout.

 

When questioned whether a public consultation meeting had taken place, Mr Osborn confirmed that one had been held at the beginning of the process, but the latest proposals had not been discussed, although the Town Council had been copied in to the letter received by Members.

 

A Councillor asked that weight be given to the comments made by Norfolk Landscape Archaeology.

 

At New Road there was a blind bend with a 40mph limit, so either end of the development would come into blind bend situations, and as such, a Councillor believed that more thought needed to be given to that access.  Added to that, if the development which was outside the Settlement Boundary was approved, she requested that all the hedgerows were carefully dismantled outside of the bird nesting season.

 

Views from Councillors covered the heavy traffic the employment site would accumulate, could traffic be re-directed to the roundabout rather than into the town, the cycle lane went nowhere, views of the many people upset about the proposal had not been taken into consideration, lack of consultation, and that a meeting should be held in the town before the proposal went ahead.  The viability of the site was the concern of the developer, the scheme did not reach the Council’s standards and it was premature.

 

The Planning Manager advised that consultation requirements had been met, with the Council going beyond its statutory duty.  People had engaged but agreement had not been reached.

 

The recommendation for approval was not supported.

 

Members were given advice by the Solicitor and Principal Planning Officer but despite that, a new proposal was made and seconded to refuse the application on the grounds that it was outside the Settlement Boundary and that the highways aspects had not been properly assessed.

 

RESOLVED, that contrary to the recommendation of Officers, the application be refused.

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