Planning application 16/00904/OUT
100 houses between Wallsworth and Sandhurst Lane
OBJECTION from Down Hatherley Parish Council
Down Hatherley Parish is adjacent to Twigworth and the Parish Council is a partner in the preparation of the Neighbourhood Development Plan for Down Hatherley, Norton and Twigworth. After much considered work we are determined to progress the NDP and to not allow it to be de-railed and undermined by the speculation of this application.
Down Hatherley Parish Council objects to the above application for the reasons set out below:
Undermining and conflicting with the emerging Neigbourhood Development Plan
In the past three years Down Hatherley Parish Council has worked with Norton and Twigworth PCs to prepare a Neighbourhood Development Plan for the area, including this application site. A much more modest housing allocation has been found to be appropriate for the Twigworth area. This application area is wholly inappropriate due to the environmental constraints and the valued landscape character of this part of the vale. A housing sites assessment in the emerging NDP clarifies this and demonstrates why the modest housing allocation is planned elsewhere in Twigworth. The application is therefore in conflict with the emerging NDP.
Exacerbation of pluvial flooding immediately adjacent to the lip of the flood plain
The heavy clay solids of Sandhurst have little gradient and at this location they are adjacent to the edge of the flood plain. The risk of pluvial flooding is severe at this location and photographs show worrying flood episodes in this area in recent years. Pluvial flooding adding to fluvial flooding poses a severe environment risk, meaning Parish Councils are bound to object to infrastructure being proposed here, however permeable the developments are claimed to be by the applicant. Futhermore, the applicant would not have to deal with the future liabilities if any housing was developed at this location.
Overwhelming the scale and the social structure of Twigworth at a stroke
Twigworth is a small settlement which has evolved slowly, partly due to the severe environmental constraints all around. Although it has been given Service Village status by TBC there are actually few features in the location which can justify the label. To introduce 100 houses in one development to Twigworth would radically impact the social dynamics and the characteristics of the village. Twigworth would become unrecognisable, being transformed from a small village into a swathe of suburbia. This would have a dramatic and negative impact on the wellbeing of residents.
Severe impact on the openness of the Vale landscape
The Neighbourhood Development Plan has recorded the valued views and the valued open character of the Vale landscape in Twigworth. This proposed development would create a severe impact on the open character of the landscape, effectively creating a loss of views and openness on the west side of the A38 through this section of Sandhurst.
The proposal would add excessive additional traffic on the A38 and on neighbouring narrow rural roads which are already under strain and would be overwhelmed by the additional traffic levels. For example it is likely that significant proportions of the generated traffic would use roads through neighbouring Sandhurst to access Gloucester. This would threaten people’s ability to walk or ride horses safely on the narrow rural roads of Sandhurst. Additional traffic using the A38, especially in the Gloucester direction, would exacerbate the peak time traffic back ups at Longford Roundabout which can often queue to stretches of the A38 which are beyond (north of) this application area.
This speculative and cynical application should be refused by Tewkesbury Borough Council on many grounds, as above. Assuming the application is refused, Down Hatherley Parish Council stands ready to support TBC in resisting any further attempts by the applicant to pursue this proposal.