Developer greed must not be put before community safety
Bellway Homes have gone to appeal against South Ribble Borough Council’s decision to refuse the development of the Brindle Road site. CPRE Lancashire has highlighted a number of issues with the site, which sites its affordable homes in close proximity to the motorway.
CPRE believes that the application fails to meet planning policy requirements over the lifetime of the development, due to a substandard layout that maximises profit, but cuts corners with public safety, promoting poor health and well-being to residents of affordable homes in too close proximity to the M61 Motorway.
Application refused by South Ribble Council
South Ribble Council refused the application on 7 March 2018, with key reasons being:
1. Over-intensified form of development, contrary to National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF Paragraphs 9 and 56), Central Lancashire Core Strategy, Policy 17, and South Ribble Local Plan.
2. Eight affordable homes sited too close to the M61 resulting in unacceptable noise and air pollution, such that people would not be able to open bedroom windows at night.
3. Affordable housing must be spread out throughout the housing area, and not be clustered in line with the Central Lancashire Affordable Housing Supplementary Planning Document (SPD).
Not a sustainable development
CPRE Lancashire emphasised the application’s negative balance, with problems such as:
· Inadequate acoustic mitigation, which should be addressed by developers planting up a green buffer of trees to form a natural barrier between the homes for people and the motor vehicles generating noise and air pollution on the M61 motorway.
· Travel routes for all modes need to be safer. There is a real danger of causing future problems locally as the local road network isn’t adequate to cope with the volume of generated traffic. Pedestrians must have safe footpaths, within the scheme and externally. The case officer report referred to the application deficiencies on this issue. The application is too road focused, bus services to the site are not frequent enough to promote regular bus use.
· As a minimum, if the appeal were to be allowed we would expect the viability assessment to be placed in the public domain, as it is in the public interest. Enforceable planning conditions and contributions for 30% affordable housing, an on-site children’s play park, an adequate green buffer/bund, safe travel routes to, fro and around the site must be put in place.
CPRE Lancashire champions the planning system which operates to achieve an appropriate balance between the developer viability and the overall long terms sustainability of the community who will reside in the new homes provided. Therefore, the commuted sum proposed to date is much too small a contribution. There must be adequate contributions for community infrastructure.