Impact of local plan on Greetland and Stainland ward


POSITION PAPER

 

RESPONSE TO AMENDED CALDERDALE PROPOSED LOCAL PLAN

SITES IN GREETLAND

 

(Please note that references can be added to this report. However time restraints and external pressures have not allowed me to do this over this weekend period)

 

 

 

Main points of Objection:

 

  1. Loss of large area of Green Belt and Wildlife Corridor
  2. Current Chronic Congestion in West Vale, Greetland
  3. Impact on current Road Layout of Local Villages
  4. Lack of Infrastructure
  5. Creation of Urban Sprawl
  6. Impact on Air Quality
  7. Flooding Risk
  8. Sites Recommended having Negative Assessments
  9. Failure to plan the "Right Homes in the Right Places"
  10. The possible Creation of Homes for "Incomers"
  11. Area with no Sites available for Planned Local Employment

 

 

  1. Loss of large area of Green Belt and Wildlife Corridor

 

There is a necessity for the Local Plan to address the implications of the NEW section and specifically Para 177 of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and the associated PPG in the Sustainability of Greenbelt Sites

 

The Green Belt that separates the two main areas of the Greetland and Stainland Ward is made up of two hillsides. One side of the hill is home to a Golf Club and Black Brook runs along the valley bottom. This Wildlife Corridor has a well-used public footpath that travels the whole length of the proposed Local Plan build site.

 

This area is home to wild deer, foxes, squirrels, field mice, barn owls, kingfisher and much more. The brook itself is a healthy natural water-course with a thriving population of wild brown trout. (The result of a recently commissioned survey by     Dr Paul Gaskell of the Wild Trout Trust). The Local Neighbourhood Plan Committee commissioned this as just a part of their programme to preserve and retain Green Spaces for the Health and Wellbeing of all local people.

 

A recent application to the Woodland Trust has secured the donation of 105 x indigenous trees specifically recommended for an area such as this. Furthermore, as the horse chestnut is at risk, a programme of replacement is also being arranged.

See ** under Flooding Risk para 7. A wild flower meadow is also in the planning stage. This work is in conjunction with a local large employer who is supporting and has donated to the scheme.

 

Please note: every mature tree supports over 100 species of animals, birds and insects.                                                                                    

 

The grid reference of this locality indicates that proposed housing fences could block sunlight from the footpath and brook.

 

Extract from Defra 25 year Environment Plan:

"We will protect ancient woodlands and grasslands, high flood risk areas and our best agricultural land. Protect Green Belt to make this land a "breathing space" for our urban populations to enjoy and our diverse wildlife to flourish".

 

A Senior Planning Officer stated this week at a Local Plan Meeting: "We have saved much Green Belt". My rebuttal to this was that the Authority have proposed to build on even more Green Belt in Greetland than on the previous Proposed Local Plan.

 

A report was recently submitted to the Adult Health & Social Care Scrutiny Board (of which I am a member) stating the need to retain Green Spaces for the Health and Wellbeing of Calderdale residents. This was submitted by the Head of Planning. (This report is on Calderdale MBC's Website)

 

 

  1. Current Chronic Congestion in West Vale, Greetland

 

The Current Chronic Congestion in West Vale will not be remedied by, as was stated by a Calderdale Senior Officer this week, "adjustment to West Vale traffic lights". This is akin to saying a mop and bucket is needed to tackle a Tsunami.

 

Furthermore, a comment made this week a the Local Plan Meeting stating that "We will ensure that there are bus stops near any new developments" is not going to improve the situation to any great degree.

 

I do not believe that major improvements to the A629 will have the impact anticipated as this is a distance way from the immediate locality.

 

A planned station at Elland will not alleviate any of this congestion either, as more proposed build will mean more people trying to access a station. Traffic from a wider area will have to come through West Vale to access the new fly-over to join the A629 Elland by-pass to reach a station.

 

Therefore, proposed large-scale building on Saddleworth Road will cause huge problems for residents not only from our Ward but for adjoining areas.

 

WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff Report on Transport Network states that:

  • This report identifies that traffic congestion at the juncture of Stainland Road-Saddleworth Road would increase by approximately 105%
  • This report also identifies that traffic congestion at the juncture of Stainland Road-Rochdale Road would increase by over 100%

However the WSP PB Report seemingly fails to identify the output from Stainland Road-Saddleworth Road junction feeds as an input to Rochdale Road junction.

 

 

 

  1. Impact of current Road layout on Local Villages

 

Traffic congestion is at a chronic level in the Greetland & Stainland Ward already and we must take into consideration that our surrounding areas have narrow roads, many with no other choice but to park on the roadside and we simply cannot satisfactorily support any further traffic.

 

The M62 is not so easily accessible to the area. We have seven existing large companies in the immediate area with lorries that rely on the motorway - currently at saturation point.

 

 

  1. Lack of Infrastructure

 

Local Schools are full - both Greetland Academy and Brooksbank, Elland. The current proposed plans are not clear enough to show if there would be any space left to extend Saddleworth Road School. A more sensible approach would be to extend Saddleworth Road Academy and demolish the Academy at School Street, Greetland and use this site to build homes. Integrating the school would alleviate some morning traffic and would be more convenient for parents/guardians currently having to access both schools.

 

With a proposed 600 houses, using Calderdale MBC's figure for school places of .36 per household (IDP section 9.14) this indicates another 206 places would be needed.

 

Local Dentist has a waiting list of 600 for NHS places. The nearest NHS dentist was recently found (July 2019) 11 miles away in Kirklees.

 

The GP Surgery would be strained to take this proposed capacity.

 

There would also be a further strain on local Hospitals

 

 

  1. Creation of Urban Sprawl

 

Large open spaces are needed for the mental and physical health and wellbeing of all.

 

Urban Sprawl has many negative consequences for residents and the environment, such as higher water and air and noise pollution, increased traffic fatalities and congestion and increased car dependency.

 

Should we move towards sustainable cities and protect urban growth boundaries and develop buffer zones in Green Belt areas? There is much more widely available information on the Internet regarding this subject and the negative effects of Urban Sprawl.

 

 

  1. Impact on Air Quality

 

This speaks for itself. This is why there is a need to plant more trees in the Ward. This will be negated by the building of some many houses. The current air quality needs to be assessed.

 

 

  1. Flooding Risk

 

Over the past week (w/c 7th October), Councillor Paul Bellenger and myself have dealt with numerous calls and concerns regarding localised flooding. The rainfall has been intense but these cases are constant and have only been exacerbated by recent heavy rainfall.

 

On Saddleworth Road, Greetland, water has been oozing out of cracks in the middle of the road. Five properties have reported flooding within the curtilage of their properties. If there is a freeze, black ice is prevalent in the area.

 

The hillside in question is known locally to be historically awash with springs, wells and gullies that divert water into the valley bottom.

 

The latest Local Plan proposes 600 x houses on the land below Saddleworth Road. This land currently soaks-up rain run-off.

 

A current planning application for the centre of West Vale indicates that the Environment Agency assesses that part of the site is at risk of flooding. Please note that the Sites on this new amended Local Plan are positioned at approximately the same level.

 

Water & forest Services:

A healthy 100-foot-tall tree has about 200,000 leaves. A tree this size can take 11,000 gallons of water from the soil and release it into the air again, as oxygen and water vapour, in a single growing season. See **

 

 

  1. Site Assessments on New Proposed Plan

 

LP0952: Of the 17 Sustainability Assessments this allocation has 11 x Uncertain Assessments and 2 x Negative Assessments

 

LP0177: Of the 17 x Sustainability Assessments this allocation has 9 x Uncertain Assessments and 4 x Negative Assessments. This Site has also recently been Refused Planning Permission (5 July 2019).

 

At Call-in this was also refused by the Planning Committee.

 

CMBC Comments:

"The site lies within the approved Green Belt. The proposed development does not meet the exceptions as it does not preserve openness and conflicts with the purpose of including land in the Green Belt.

 

As such it represents inappropriate development in the Green Belt, which is by definition harmful. No very special circumstances have been demonstrated to clearly outweigh the harm caused by the development. It is therefore considered that the proposal would be contrary to Section 13 (Protecting Green Belt Land)"

 

LP1625: No Sustainability Assessments

 

LP0026: Of the 17 x Sustainability Assessments this allocation has 10 x Uncertain Assessments and 1 x Negative Assessment

 

We should therefore consider two further sites as replacements:

  1. Village Brownfield Site
  2. A further alternative but less sensitive Site in order to protect this Wildlife Corridor

 

A meeting has been requested between Chief Planning Officers to discuss this matter.

7th October 2019. No response to this yet at today's date 13th October 2019.

 

 

  1. Failure to Build the "Right Homes in the Right Places"

 

The Local Plan should be focussed on building the "Right Homes in the Right Places".

I agree, there should be more affordable homes for families and people living alone.

Sites for new homes should be considered nearer West Vale village setting with all amenities within walking distance.

 

There should be more Independent Living Accommodation with Care on Site planned for our increasing Older Population. This will free-up family homes in the area of those wishing to down-size and perhaps requiring extra care and support. There are not enough suitable places in Homes with Care in our area.

 

  1. The Possible Creation of Homes for Incomers

 

It has been suggested recently that to support the need for "Economic Growth", we will need to build more housing for "incomers". These people will then possibly commute to their places of work outside our Ward and a wider area.

(This suggested need for Economic Growth is the reason for this amended new Calderdale Local Plan)

 

Plans from large developers for housing on the Saddleworth Road proposals have already been drawn-up (I viewed this two years ago).

 

 

  1. Area with no Sites available for Planned Local Employment

 

There are no areas within Greetland & Stainland Ward available for a Business Park or Industrial Site. Therefore, this will mean more people commuting to their places of work.

 

Current Business Development in the Area: A local employer of over 200 people is now investing in a 10 million pound expansion programme. This is to automate their production line. They state that they will not require any further additions to their workforce.

 

There is a message here that "Economic Growth" will come from productivity not workforce led.

...........................................................................................................................................

 

 

THEREFORE WE FEEL THAT THE CURRENT AMENDED PROPOSED CALDERDALE LOCAL PLAN FOR THE GREETLAND & STAINLAND WARD IS NOT FIT FOR PURPOSE

 

Written by Cllr Marilyn Greenwood

Greetland & Stainland Ward Councillor

 

Sunday 13 October 2019

 

 

(Ch) Greetland Norland & West Vale Neighbourhood Plan Committee

Calderdale Adult Health & Social Care Scrutiny Board

Calderdale Flooding Scrutiny Board

Calderdale Employment Relations Committee

Calderdale Tourism Board

Greetland & Stainland Ward Forum Member

 

Contact: 01422 374090 - email: marilyngreenwood@hotmail.com

or councillor.mgreenwood@calderdale.gov.uk

 

 

Endorsed and approved by:

Cllr Paul Bellenger

Greetland & Stainland Ward Councillor

 

 

(Ch) Strategy & Performance Scrutiny Board

(Ch) Commercialisation Strategy Review Group

(Dpt Ch) Planning Committee

(Dir) Board of Weave Homes

(Ch) Stainland Parish Council

Greetland & Stainland Ward Forum Member

 

Contact: 07801867891 - email: councillor.pbellenger@calderdale.gov.uk

 

 

Confirmation response awaited from

Cllr Sue Holdsworth

Greetland & Stainland Councillor

 

 

 


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