Stratford-on-Avon District Council

Agenda item

Application 09/02196/OUT - Land S.W. of Alcester Road, Stratford-upon-Avon

Construction of up to 800 dwellings, mixed use local centre to consist of residential development, retail/commercial floorspace (1,000 sq.m. A1-A5) and D1 uses and primary school; laying out of green infrastructure consisting of open space, structural landscaping, and areas of equipped play and associated infrastructure; construction of new highway infrastructure between Alcester Road and Evesham Road and associated highway works and access connections; associated engineering and ground modelling works and drainage infrastructure; and demolition of nos. 3 and 4 Bordon Hill.

 

Recommendation:   GRANT, subject to a legal agreement

Minutes:

 

APPLICANT

J S Bloor (Tewkesbury) Ltd and Hallam Land Management Ltd

APPLICATION SITE

Land S.W. of Alcester Road, Stratford-upon-Avon

PROPOSAL

Construction of up to 800 dwellings, mixed use local centre to consist of residential development, retail/commercial floorspace (1,000 sq.m. A1-A5) and D1 uses and primary school; laying out of green infrastructure consisting of open space, structural landscaping, and areas of equipped play and associated infrastructure; construction of new highway infrastructure between Alcester Road and Evesham Road and associated highway works and access connections; associated engineering and ground modelling works and drainage infrastructure; and demolition of nos. 3 and 4 Bordon Hill.

SPEAKERS

Cllr Peter Emmerson, (Chair, Old Stratford & Drayton PC) – objecting

 

Martyn Luscombe, Stratford Voice – objecting

 

Richard Ford – on behalf of RASE – objecting

 

Robert Harding – objecting

 

Gordon Harrington – objecting

 

Cllrs Beamer, Hobbs, Cockings, J Fradgley (District Council Ward Member)

 

Updates since the preparation of the Officer’s report were circulated to the Committee as set out on the attached sheet.

 

Councillor Lawrence now disclosed a Personal Interest as the daughter of Mr Robert Harding was known to him.

 

NOTE:

 

  • During the consideration of the application, the Committee adjourned at 6.45pm and reconvened at 7.05pm; and,

 

·         During the discussion on this item the Chairman reported that the Committee had been in session for 3½ hours and under the Constitution a decision was required as to whether the Committee would remain in session. It was unanimously agreed that the Committee continue in session.

 

Having considered the application and the representations made at the meeting including advice from the Planning Policy Manager who clarified the current position of the Council with regard to the Core Strategy and the District Council's five year housing land supply, the Committee, by a unanimous vote, did not support the Officer’s recommendation.

 

Following the above vote on the Officer’s recommendation the Committee adjourned at 8.15pm in order to take advice from Officers for reasons for refusal and reconvened at 8.25pm. 

 

Thereafter, by a unanimous vote, it was

 

            RESOLVED:

 

            That Application 09/02196/FUL be REFUSED for the following reasons (precise wording delegated to officers)

 

Visual

In the opinion of the Local Planning Authority, the introduction of this large scale development to the rural landscape in this location, and the resulting loss of farmland, would have a detrimental impact on the character and appearance of the urban-rural fringe in this location, resulting in unacceptable harm to the setting of the town.  In particular, the housing density in the northern housing parcel, which is identified a being of medium sensitivity in the Landscape Sensitivity Study, is considered to be too high in this rural setting, with the open countryside to the west.  In addition to this, the housing land in the south west corner of the southern housing parcel would result in an area of development which would appear incongruous by reason of it being the only built development to the west of the link road, resulting in further unacceptable visual harm.

 

In particular, the development would cause significant visual harm to two key gateways into the town by reason of:

 

-         The urbanisation of the rural landscape to the south of the Alcester Road as it enters the town to the east of the Wildmoor Roundabout.

-         The construction of a roundabout, lighting, signage and associated engineering works at the foot of Bordon Hill, which would harm the iconic vista of the town from Evesham Road at the top of the hill.  The importance of this vista is identified in the Landscape Sensitivity Study and lies in an area of medium to high sensitivity.

 

It is therefore considered that the proposal is contrary to Saved Policies PR.1, DEV.1, SUA.1, SUA.2 and CTY.1 of the Stratford-on-Avon District Local Plan Review 1996 - 2011. It would also conflict with the findings of the Landscape Sensitivity Study, which has been received by the Council’s Cabinet and is a material consideration forming part of the evidence base for work on Core Strategy.

 

Heritage

In the opinion of the Local Planning Authority, the proposal would cause significant visual harm to the setting of Anne Hathaway’s Cottage, a Grade I listed building, and its associated Registered Historic Park and Garden as well as to the setting of Shottery Conservation Area.

 

In addition to this visual harm, the tranquillity of the setting of these heritage assets would also be harmed by reason of the increased noise impacts as a result of the link road.

The harm caused would be unacceptable, as it would reduce the appeal of Anne Hathaway’s Cottage and gardens, which is currently a very popular tourist destination.  Tourism forms a significant part of the District’s economy and it is an objective of the Local Plan to support sustainable tourism.  Furthermore, it is a priority of the Council’s Corporate Strategy 2011-2015 that the District's business development, rural economy and tourism needs are promoted at a strategic level. These objectives would be harmed as a result of the unacceptable harm caused to the identified heritage assets.

It is therefore considered that the proposal is contrary to Saved Policies PR.8, EF.5, EF.13 and EF.14 of the Stratford-on-Avon District Local Plan Review 1996 - 2011.

 

Highways

In considering the site at the Local Plan Inquiry, the Local Plan Inspector stated that there would be substantial highway benefits to the town and this was one of his reasons for recommending the allocation of the site.  The Transport Assessment submitted with the application demonstrates, however, that the proposed link road would not alleviate congestion in the town as a whole and would not therefore be the “relief road” that it has been purported to be.

 

Not only would the proposal not deliver the substantial highway benefits anticipated by the Local Plan Inspector, but in fact, the Transport Assessment shows that the proposal would result in a significant worsening of congestion along Evesham Road, which would be detrimental to the safety and function of the highway network.

 

It is therefore considered that the proposal is contrary to Saved Policy DEV.4 of the Stratford-on-Avon District Local Plan Review 1996 - 2011.

 

Noise

In the opinion of the Local Planning Authority, the anticipated increase in traffic as a result of the development would result in increased noise levels causing unacceptable harm to the amenity of existing residents on Evesham Road, Bordon Hill and West Green Drive.

 

The proposal would also result in residents of some of the new dwellings being subjected to unacceptable levels of noise caused by the proximity of proposed dwellings to Alcester Road and to the new link road.

 

The proposal is therefore considered to be contrary to Saved Policies PR.8 and DEV.1 of the Stratford-on-Avon District Local Plan Review 1996 - 2011.

 

West Green Drive amenity

In the opinion of the Local Planning Authority, the intensified traffic use of West Green Drive would result in unacceptable harm to the amenity of residents of that road, by way of traffic congestion, parking problems and delays.  The proposal is therefore considered to be contrary to Saved Policies DEV.1 and DEV.4 of the Stratford-on-Avon District Local Plan Review 1996 - 2011.

 

Renewables

Saved Policy DEV.8 of the Stratford-on-Avon District Local Plan Review 1996 – 2011 states that the layout and design of new development will be expected to minimise the amount of energy resources consumed in its occupation and use.  Given the substantial scale of the development and in light of the timescales involved in building the complete development, it is the opinion of the Local Planning Authority that the application is not ambitious enough in reducing its carbon footprint and therefore does not adequately minimise its energy use as required by Policy DEV.8 of the Local Plan Review.

 

SSSI

The increased drainage run off as a result of the proposal would result in a harmful impact to the Racecourse Meadows Site of Special Scientific Interest and therefore it is the opinion of the Local Planning Authority that the proposal would be contrary to Saved Policy EF.6 of the Stratford-on-Avon District Local Plan Review 1996 - 2011.

 

Prematurity

For the reasons stated above, the proposal is not considered to be environmentally sustainable with regard to Paragraph 69 of PPS3, given the significance of the issues identified. Therefore notwithstanding the site being covered by saved Proposal SUA.W in the Stratford-on-Avon District Local Plan Review 1996-2011, an application of the scale proposed is premature pending an assessment of the appropriateness of identifying the site for development in the Local Development Framework.

 

S106

In the absence of a completed legal agreement to secure appropriate infrastructure and contributions in respect of the matters listed below, the development fails to comply with Saved Policies COM.4 & COM.5, COM.7, COM.8, COM.11 and COM.13 of the Stratford-on-Avon District Local Plan Review 1996 – 2011 and in particular Policy IMP.4, which requires development proposals to include proper arrangements to put in place the full range of physical and social infrastructure necessary to serve and support the proposal.  In appropriate cases, sums would be calculated using formulae.

 

·         35% floorspace as Affordable Housing;

 

·         A Community Park;

 

·         Appropriate levels of Equipped Play Space and Incidental Open Space;

 

·         Publicly accessible areas of Green Infrastructure;

 

·         Appropriate levels of commercial floorspace in the Local Centre and marketing requirements;

 

·         An off-site Youth/Adult open space contribution;

 

·         Management of arable land to the west of the site for the benefit of Skylarks;

 

·         Land for a health facility within the Local Centre;

 

·         An appropriate contribution towards a replacement Leisure Centre for Stratford;

 

·         The provision of land for a primary school and an appropriate contribution towards Education;

 

·         An appropriate contribution towards Libraries;

 

·         An appropriate contribution towards bus service improvements;

 

·         An appropriate contribution towards the provision of sustainability packs for each proposed household;

 

·         An appropriate contribution towards the costs of a Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) for Cottage Lane;

 

·         An appropriate contribution to Warwickshire Police;

 

·         An appropriate contribution towards the implementation of Stratford Parkway Station;

 

·         An appropriate contribution towards improvements to the local Rights of Way network.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Supporting documents: