This application – 13/01965/Ful is a resubmission of 13/00125/Ful, so you are able to make a very similar response. Also remember that the applications are similar to the site proposed in BaNES DPD – so obviously many of out reasons for objection will be similar. Again the objections must be made via the planning route.
It is in greenbelt. National guidelines say that gypsy and traveller sites in green belt “are inappropriate” development. That means that planning permission would not be available.
2.Inadequate road access
The site is on a predominantly single track lane. The road access is incapable of coping with a large increase in traffic. As there is no bus service through Stanton Wick all residents have to use the car in order to get to shops, doctors etc. All previous planning applications have been refused where there was likely to be an increase in traffic. Wick Lane, Stanton Wick Lane and the junctions, cannot support any real increase in traffic volume without substantial road widening and junction alteration: BaNES have cited traffic volume in previous refusals. The route to Pensford narrows considerably into a conservation area and crosses a dilapidating bridge.
3.Access to amenities
The site has no safe walking route to schools, shops, doctors etc only a steep, unlit and muddy track. It is desireable to site Gypsy and Traveller sites so that children can walk to school. How they will safeguard so many additional people walking around with no pavements. This development is unsustainable as everyone will have to use cars to access the basics of life.
The size of the pitches would accommodate far greater numbers than can be controlled by planning restriction.
5.Overwhelming the nearest settlement
National guidelines state that the site should not overwhelm the next nearest settlement. Even at 12 pitches the travellers would double Stanton Wick’s population. How will social cohesion be achieved under these circumstances. There is an obligation to ensure integration and cohesion.
6.Contamination and safety
In an expert report and survey the site was found to be contaminated with dangerous levels of arsenic that has not been removed. The majority of the site has not yet been surveyed. It has mineshafts and safety issues have not been considered. The land at the Old Colliery shale tip is contaminated, unstable land with steep sloping dangerous sides. These issues have not been acknowledged and proposals for remediation have not been proposed.
The site has nothing in common with the type of site preferred by travellers as shown in the West of England Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Assessment. Travellers prefer close proximity to amenities and small family sites of up to 5 pitches.
8.Cost to Tax Payers
This will be a private site, however since it is over half size of the whole of Victoria Park in Bath there will always be the possibility of unauthorised expansion. If this were to happen the cost would be passed onto the taxpayer.
9.History – There is a long history of planning application refusals, both at the Old Colliery and the adjacent site (Filer’s Coaches): the only permission that has been granted in recent years is for a single dwelling. Inappropriate development in the Green Belt has been cited as reason for refusal.
10. Access to schools and shops – There is no safe walking route along the roads either to Pensford or Stanton Drew villages/schools. The public footpath from the side of the Winding House to the A37 is difficult terrain and muddy all year round. There is no public transport within safe walking distance. The only local shop in Pensford is very small, does not stock sufficient for a food shopping requirement and there is no safe walking route. The nearest Doctor’s surgery is around 5 miles away and there is no public transport.
Other issues that ought to be considered:
- The Old Colliery shale tip is a Site of Nature Conservation Interest and provides a habitat for many important species, including European Protected Species.
- There is limited employment in the area.
- The water supply to Stanton Wick is notoriously unreliable and is at capacity for the infrastructure. There is no mains sewerage in Stanton Wick and any sewage disposal would need to respect Salter Brook close by.
- The site is very close to the Pensford Conservation Area and the red brick buildings are historic mining assets and of symbolic significance to the local communities.
- Site is not on a recognised traveller route
BaNES have made strong political commitment to identifying gypsy and traveller sites with which we agree. They have already identified one site that will be taken forward to the next phase. We support the development of the Twerton site. During the DPD consultation the Twerton site did not have any objections.