Controversial plans for 18 new homes in Brent Knoll have been recommended for approval by a Sedgemoor District Council case officer despite a petition opposing the proposals signed by 104 Brent Knoll residents, along with more than 83 formal objections.
Coln Residential wants to build 18 new homes at the junction of the A38 and Brent Street in the village, as we reported here.
The plans are due to be considered by district councillors at next week’s Sedgemoor Development Control meeting.
However, in a report to councillors, the council’s case officer Dawn de Vries recommends the plans be given the go-ahead, subject to 23 planning conditions.
Local resident David Sturgess, who has lived in Brent Street for over 20 years, told Burnham-On-Sea.com: “My reaction is astonishment. This application is submitted under “P4 rules” for development outside the village’s approved development zone.”
“P4 rules dictate that such a development must be led or supported by the community. This – Coln Residential’s third application for this sensitive site – has been overwhelmingly and consistently opposed by the community.”
“More than 100 villagers signed a petition, while more than 70 took the time to submit detailed objections on Sedgemoor’s consultation website. Hardly anyone supported the application.”
“That does not make this scheme community-led or supported!”
“The grounds for opposition include serious concerns about the traffic access so close to an already dangerous junction with the busy A38. A former application from Coln Residential included the offer of funding a partial traffic-lights solution to that road junction: that offer has been withdrawn from the latest application, and replaced with a few “affordable homes.”
“At a time when Sedgemoor planners can meet all our local housing needs (commercial and ‘affordable’) with the plans for hundreds of new homes at the neighbouring Edithmead site, there is just no reason to permit this potentially dangerous project to create 18 homes on a sensitive site outside the development zone.”
“We have to hope that Sedgemoor’s planning committee will ignore this planning officer, and recognise the rules of a “P4” application.”
Brent Knoll Parish Council “decided by a majority to make no observations to these latest set of amendments.” But Cllr Bill Revans objected, saying: “I would like to formally object to this application. After conversations with local residents I am not satisfied that this application complies with the Core Strategy/Emerging local Plan. Given that the application is of significant scale and there is some local contention on the issues, I would like the Development Committee to look at this in appropriate depth.”
In the report to councillors, the case officer recommends councillors “grant permission subject to the applicant first entering into an Agreement under Section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990” to secure several conditions.
23 planning conditions proposed by council:
- “delivers at least 40% affordable housing through on site provision and part contribution;”
- provides a play area on site;
- starts the construction within 3 years of consent;
- investigates possible site contamination and puts in place a plan to deal with
- compiles a Construction Management Plan (CMP) to manage the impacts of construction during the life of the works;
- provide a written commitment to the sourcing of local labour shall be submitted to and approved in writing by the local planning authority.
- carry out an air quality assessment to safeguard the amenities of the occupiers of the proposed dwellings in respect of atmospheric pollution
- appoints an Arboricultural Clerk of Works to ensure that construction works do not have a detrimental impact on the existing trees/hedgerows
- carry out a scheme detailing flood resilience measures to reduce the residual risk and impact of flooding to the proposed development and future occupants
- carry out a programme of archaeological work in the interests of the surrounding heritage assets
- submit a detailed landscape planting scheme to provide enhancement of the environment, mitigation for vegetation that is to be removed, and ensure biodiversity is maintained
- compile a “lighting design for bats” plan in the interests of the Favourable Conservation Status of European protected species
- Install three bat boxes at east, west and south facing positions on a semi-mature or mature tree within the site to ensure the development contributes to enhancing biodiversity
- Compile details of the maintenance and management of the surface water drainage scheme and adjacent rhynes in the interests of surface water drainage of the site
- Prior to the occupation of any of the homes, construct a proper access route (not loose stone or gravel) in the interests of Highway Safety
- The proposed footbridge shall be constructed in accordance with the approved plans prior to the occupation of the 10th dwelling and retained and maintained thereafter
- The proposed estate roads, footways, footpaths, tactile paving, cycleways, bus stops/bus laybys, verges, junctions, street lighting, sewers, drains, retaining walls, service routes, surface water outfall, vehicle overhang margins, embankments, visibility splays, accesses, carriageway gradients, drive gradients, car parking and street furniture shall be constructed and laid out in accordance with approved plans
- The proposed roads, including footpaths and turning spaces where applicable, shall be constructed in such a manner as to ensure that each dwelling before it is occupied shall be served by a properly consolidated and surfaced footpath and carriageway
- Provision shall be made within the site for the disposal of surface water so as to prevent its discharge onto the highway in the interests of Highway Safety
- The development hereby permitted shall be constructed with finished floor levels of all dwelling houses set at a minimum of 5.93mAOD and garages of selected plots set at a minimum of 5.78mAOD to reduce flood risk
- Ecological measures shall be carried out in the interests of protected species and biodiversity
- No demolition/construction work (other than completely internal fitting out) or deliveries to and from the site shall take place outside the hours of 07:00 to 18:00 Mondays to Fridays, 08:00 to 13:00 on Saturdays, with the exception of specific works which shall have been agreed in advance and in writing
- The development shall be carried out in accordance with the mitigation measures identified within the noise assessment to safeguard local residents from noise and disturbance
- Prior written permission of the local planning authority shall be obtained for any additions, extensions or alterations to the dwelling by the submission of a planning application in the interests of the character and appearance of the building