Why Gladman are wrong
A clear case against the Gladman application for 245 unsustainable houses in Eye & Dunsden has been made by many people who have already commented on the SODC website.
To find out more you can read the submission made by Eye & Dunsden Parish Council below.
P16/S3630/O – development of up to 245 residential dwellings, land off Peppard Road, Emmer Green, Gladman Developments Ltd
Eye & Dunsden Parish Council Response
1. The landowners have proposed the site as an urban extension to Reading (their response to the Reading Local Plan Issues and Options, January 2016). Such an urban extension beyond the Reading boundary would not meet South Oxfordshire’s housing supply requirement as the site is not connected to any settlement in South Oxfordshire. It would not therefore accord with the preferred options identified in the South Oxfordshire Local Plan 2032 Preferred Options (Stage 3, June 2016).
2. The proposed housing development is unsustainable and in an unsuitable location:
It is located in South Oxfordshire and the nearest local services in South Oxfordshire are provided in Sonning Common which is some distance away from the development site. Residents will be unlikely to walk from the new development site to Sonning Common along the B481 as there are no pavements or roadside footpaths. It would be dangerous to walk or even risky to cycle along the road in places as there is often a high volume of traffic, including heavy weight vehicles and farm machinery. In addition, the road has a number of bends which increase the risk to pedestrians and cyclists.
In reality, residents would use the services and amenities located closer to them in the neighbouring authority of Reading; in particular, Emmer Green. However, education and health-care provision in and around Emmer Green is already over-stretched and struggling to meet the needs of the existing population. Primary schools are over-subscribed, there is only one secondary school serving the whole of Caversham and Emmer Green and existing doctors' surgeries are under significant pressure. . As the applicants do not accept this, the planning application fails to make provision for the necessary infrastructure and facilities to ensure that the development is sustainable.
It is proposed that site access by residents is to be primarily via a narrow, winding rural road, without a pavement (Peppard Road/B481). This route is currently extremely unsuited to non-vehicle users (see (1) above) and therefore is to the detriment of the development’s sustainability. The developers propose some mitigation measures, but these would be at the expense of a loss of a significant length of hedgerow of high amenity and environmental value.
The alternative proposed access is off Kiln Road, which is also narrow and leads to a network of country lanes in Eye & Dunsden which only allow single lane traffic in many places. This road network is already severely overstretched and dangerous to use, particularly at peak times. The Oxfordshire Cycleway crosses this route and cyclists would be put in danger as a result.
The proposed development would place intolerable pressure on the already seriously over-stretched river crossings in Sonning and Reading and it is highly unlikely that this situation will improve in the foreseeable future given the lack of a consensus in respect of a third bridge across the Thames.
The applicants’ traffic flow data collection is flawed and inaccurate. Photographic evidence has been collated to demonstrate that collection points were sited at points where speeds would be atypically slow. As a result local access roads are much more dangerous than they claim.
Bus services are inadequate locally for a development of this significance. The applicants' assertion that an increase in demand will result in additional bus services being provided is speculative. The proposal to provide bus stops near the entrance to the development site on the B481 (Peppard Road) will have a detrimental impact on traffic flow on that road which is a busy cut-through for traffic travelling through South Oxfordshire to Reading and beyond (to the M3 and M4).
The applicants themselves have identified issues with the water supply for the development. We are also concerned about the capacity of the sewerage system.
The Oxfordshire SHMA identifies job growth in Didcot and the Science Vale and not in this part of South Oxfordshire. Emmer Green is not an area of high or even growing employment and it would not be sustainable to locate a significant number of houses adjacent to it on the premise that the development will meet South Oxfordshire’s needs and/or will benefit residents in Emmer Green. In reality, there will be no benefit from this development to local residents in neighbouring Emmer Green in Reading, or Sonning Common in South Oxfordshire.
Significant amenity value will be lost if the development goes ahead. The site is defined by the applicants themselves as "ancient countryside" and has long been used unofficially for informal recreation purposes. There are ecological and environmental benefits also in retaining the existing landscape which is typical of the Chilterns dip slope and offers pleasing vistas from a large number of neighbouring properties.
The proposed site currently provides an important Strategic Green Gap between Reading and Sonning Common. The development would create a precedent for further intrusive breaches into this gap and the separation between Emmer Green and the communities of Dunsden and Sonning Common.
The Chilterns AONB is just 700m away. We are concerned that the proposed development would affect the setting of the AONB.
The development would be out of keeping with the rural character of the parish of Eye & Dunsden.
We are concerned that the applicants have inadequately addressed the geology of the local area where there are a large number of chalk caverns and swill holes.
The development site is in the parish of Eye & Dunsden and residents in the parish have not been consulted about the application, either by leaflet or other means. At the Applicants’ insistence, a private presentation was made to the parish council members only, but no formal response was solicited or provided by the parish council.
3. In summary, for all the above reasons the site is not considered to be sustainable or in a suitable location and it therefore fails the test for acceptable development as set out in the National Planning Policy Framework.
Eye & Dunsden Parish Council therefore strongly recommend refusal of the application.
Final vs 5, 9.1.17