OBJECTIONS AND RESPONSES TO PROPOSED PIP SITE AS REQUESTED BY THE P.C.

For the purpose of this communication the objections submitted on the
EDDC planning website have been divided into two sections:
Firstly, some comments on how we would seek to avoid or mitigate any
foreseeable issues with those aspects of the project that are scrutinized by
the Planning Department, AONB and Highways as part of the overall
planning process :


Detrimental to the environment and hedgerow
We note that some concerns have been raised about destruction of the
hedgerow. There is no plan whatsoever to damage or remove the hedgerow
and indeed the Planners would be looking for maximum screening, with
which we fully agree, so this threat does not really exist.
Apart from the rigorous environmental preservation conditions that would
be demanded at any event by the Planners and AONB consultants, BNCLT’s
concern for safeguarding our environment is clearly expressed in our Vision
and various other communications. If we were unable to meet the strict
environmental demands of the Planners and ANOB, there is no way the
project would receive Full Planning permission.


Topography
While there are challenges, they are by no means insurmountable. First, it
should be noted that the area of any housing built would be less than half
the size of the plot as indicated on the application. The visual impact would,
therefore, be only half as much as some might fear. As it stands the
orientation of the building has not been decided, advice would be taken from
all parties to minimise the visual impact for immediate residents.
No work has yet been undertaken on building design or a site plan: we are
simply exploring whether a project here is feasible at all.


Run off
This would receive full consideration not only from the project design team but especially from the Environment Agency and Planning/ Building
Regulations officers. It is inconceivable that Full Planning would be
awarded if this could not be satisfactorily addressed.


Flooding
Please refer to the paragraph above.

Increase in Traffic
We are a small village and any additional housing and car ownership – even
for just four homes – can be expected to affect all areas of the village to the
same modest extent. Just consider, however, how Affordable Homes funded
by a commercial development of perhaps ten or 12 larger homes opposite
the Millennium Hall, would impact on traffic in our village.
Disruption from building work, materials deliveries, etc
It is not unusual for Planning authorities to make it a condition that this
work is only carried out within specified hours on specified days, for
example, to preserve tranquillity at weekends and in the evenings. In
building terms, this is not a major project and certain aspects can almost
certainly be prefabricated off-site; the building work can be considered as
relatively short-term.


Parking
Onsite parking would certainly feature in our plans, ideally out of sight
behind the new affordable homes.
It is important to reiterate that, at this stage, no design proposals have been
submitted and BNCLT is entirely open to all and any suggestions from the
community about other mitigating factors that might be integrated into the
plans. We will be taking detailed advice on the first stage of the process from
all the departments listed above in order to ensure minimum impact on
existing residents, the ecosystems and existing built environment.

Secondly, the points raised relating to the BNCLT’S actions and choice of

site:
The needs survey results have only just been made available on the PC
website, therefore the shortness of time has led to a lack of
consultation…..
This is sadly correct and is the main contributing factor to the unfortunate
situation we find ourselves in. If the survey had been initiated with less
haste, the CLT would have had more time in which to establish itself and its
membership, thus being in a far better position to consult before applying for
the PIP.
However, with the encouraging growth in membership as well as the
breathing space that the PIP might buy us, consultation will of course be
very high on our agenda.
The needs survey identified 4 houses, 2 of which were in Kerswell. If the
CLT’S vision is… build only where needed….. then why not actively
pursue the 2 houses in Kerswell?
Correct. In the time we had available, we actively set out to identify
potential Rural Exception Sites around the Parish with a view to short listing
21 sites down to a possible 4 realistically strong candidates. This we did and
presented them to EDDC. They made us aware that the strongest contender
for a Rural Exception Site in the framework to which we were working
towards, was the one we ended up submitting. The overriding reason being
that it was within 600 meters of the village services.


Why has the proposed site been moved from the original plan opposite
the Memorial Hall?

The last time this site was looked into in 2016, a survey of the villagers
overwhelmingly rejected the idea of supporting any development on that site
(60% 40%), not least because it involved significant commercial housing
development on the edge of our heritage village in return for providing a few
affordable homes.

Our site selection process included this site along with some other old
SHLAA sites in order to create a level playing field. However, they did not
perform as well against the combined criteria we used which were; the Rural
Exception Site and HELAS site selection and our own criteria based on the
Vision and Mission Statements of the BNCLT.
Important to retain the few green areas that are left within the village to
preserve the natural environment and the character of our rural
village….
Absolutely. Green areas are identified in the Conservation Area Design
Statement for Broadhembury as being important to the whole. The village is
full and there are very few sites if any, that could be deemed suitable around
it.
What is important though, is to recognize that building out from the village
in fields with expansive boundaries could be asking for trouble down the line
with the potential for unfettered development once a footprint had been
established. Thus creating considerably more environmental and visual
damage.


Should we be building in an AONB at all?
The PIP is within the Blackdown Hills AONB. The AONB recognizes the
importance and special character of our natural environment, and thus any
proposal would have to be scrutinized by the AONB Planning Officer and
have to conform to their own Design Criteria.
The dominating position, reorientation of the development….
Because this is a PIP application, there are no plans, conceptual, outline or
anything else for that matter. These are issues that if the PIP were to be
granted, it would only be right that full consultation be undertaken by the
community to address these issues before taking it to the next level.

Fait accompli since there is no plan B.
We do not see this as a Fait accompli, this is the beginning of an exploration
into avenues for providing the delivery of affordable housing for those in
need in our Parish and it can only be endorsed with the backing of the
members of the BNCLT and the wider Parish Community.
If the PIP is rejected, will that not create an opportunity for someone
else to step in and put forward an alternative proposal that might create
something far more undesirable?
Yes, that could well be the case and that is why it is so important to
recognize that this PIP has been submitted in such a short space of time with
that in mind. The overarching difference is that if it our application goes to
the next level, it will be the community that determines the outcome and not
a developer.

What is very clear from the rejection of the potential site back in 2016 by the
villagers and the concerns about this particular site, is that there is always
going to be resistance and sadly disharmony in our community to this kind
of approach of providing affordable homes. We need to ask is the format for
providing affordable housing using the Rural Exception Site criteria,
whether on donated land or by using affordable housing simply as a tool to
obtain planning permission for a market-led development, actually the right
way forward to address our Parish’s housing need or is there another way?
With over 100 BNCLT members now, maybe there are some laterally
thinking minds out there that could possibly come up with creative solutions
to a conundrum that will never go away?
However, in the meantime this is the only tool we have in the box and unless
there is anything else out there we have missed, we would ask you please to
seriously consider the merits of this PIP proposal off the back of what you
now know.

Published by Broadhembury Parish Council

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