Greater Norwich Local Plan

Following the Greater Norwich Local Plan meeting held on the 6th March and the subsequent approval of comments at the Town Council meeting held on the 14th March, the Town Council responded to the GNLP consultation as follows. Residents are encouraged to make their own representations before the deadline on Thursday 22nd March

The following are the Reepham Town Council responses to the questions raised in the Greater Norwich Local Plan Growth Options Document as agreed at a sub-committee meeting held in the Reepham Town Council office on 12th March 2018. The Town Council response to the Site Proposals consultation will be made separately.

It was agreed at the sub-committee meeting that the Town Council would only respond to individual questions as they affect the town and parish of Reepham and that councillors could make their individual responses to the document on a personal basis.

Q1       No response

Q2       No response

Q3       No response

Q4       While we don’t dispute the methodology by which the OAN is calculated, and which averages out at 1880 pa, the inference that sites allocated within GNLP should be included in this figure without recognising the failure of developers/housebuilders to deliver to the previous JCS allocations at the rate desired risks the over allocation of sites and allows developers to cherry pick those most likely to improve their commercial performance at the expense of community benefit. Concern was also expressed that the consequences of Brexit may lead to a reduction in the need for additional new building which needs to be recognised in the strategy.

Q5       The statement in 4.22 that “A delivery buffer lower than 10% would make it much less likely that needs would be met” is not supported by the evidence which is that the satisfaction of needs is dependent on delivery, not targets. The practice of raising targets (and increasing buffers) because existing targets are not being met makes it even less likely that the new targets will be met. This is another demonstration of why allocations should be phased, that the current ones should be delivered before new ones are added.

Q6       Not agreed. There is no significant scope for windfall development in Reepham.

Q7       Reepham is poorly served with infrastructure, particularly road access, and any significant development within the parish would need appropriate improvement of the existing infrastructure.

Q8       No planning applications have yet been received for the existing sites allocated under the previous JCS.

Q9       To quote from the Foreword to the GNLP document, “sustainable access from homes to services and jobs will remain the key consideration for good planning”. Options 1, 2 and 3 are already best served with infrastructure, and are suitable for larger scale developments which the larger firms are able to provide. The railway to Cambridge, running alongside the A11/A14, forms a potentially invaluable communication link which is so far woefully unexploited thus making commuting by anything other than by car a problem. Options 1, 2 and 3 are the Town Council’s favoured options.

The statement that Options 4 and 5 “are more likely to address the draft plan delivery to deliver homes. This is because they provide for a much wider dispersal of development, and in doing so increase diversity, choice and competition in the market for land, which would be beneficial for delivery.” is disputed. These options are more likely to be served by windfall developments undertaken by smaller developers and builders; not only are these more likely to be built, because they are smaller scale and tend to have more local support but they are more likely to be sustainable than large scale developments. Options 4 and 5 are not favoured.

Similarly, Option 6 is not favoured.

Q10    No response

Q11    No response

Q12    No response

Q13    No reponse

Q14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20 and 21           Not appropriate to Reepham, no response.

Q22    No response

Q23    No response

Q24    Support Option SH1

Q25    No response

Q26    Yes, within the Norwich urban area.

Q27    The Town Council support option EC1.

Q28 and 29   No response

Q30    The Town Council is of the opinion that site reference GNLP0096 of the Sites Proposal should be designated as a new employment site.

Q31, 32 and 33        No response

Q34    There is a requirement to improve the frequency of public transport to and from Reepham and to extend the hours of service during the day and into the evening.

Q35    Support option TRA1 with particular emphasis on improving mobile ‘phone connectivity and improving public transport.

Q36    The Town Council is of the opinion that building density for new developments should be in keeping with the existing built environment and would oppose higher density development in long established settlements like Reepham.

Q37    Support Option AH2

Q38    Support Option AH3

Q39    Agreed

Q40    Support Option AH7

Q41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49 and 50          No response

Q51    Support Option AQ1

Q52    Support Option FR1

Q53    Support Option NC1 subject to adequate funding for future upkeep.

Q54 and 55   No response

Q56    Support Option SG1 but no views expressed on proposed locations.

Q57    Support Option EN1

Q58    Support Option W1

Q59    Support Option COM1

Q60 and 61 No response

Q62    Support Option CUL2

Q63, 63, 64, 65 and 66       No response.

 

Reepham Town Council – Comments concerning sites submitted

Sites Question 1                  No discussion on this topic.

Sites Question 2

GNLP0096 – land off Wood Dalling Road adj. to Collers Way.

Reservations were expressed concerning the proximity of the site to the adjacent industrial area of Collers Way. Given that    the Collers Way industrial estate appears to be fully occupied and that the estate is very congested it was felt that serious consideration should be given to designating this site as suitable for commercial/light industrial development. If the site continues to be considered for housing development, concerns were raised about the distance from the Town centre and, in particular, the schools.

GNLP0180 – land north of Whitwell Street

Concerns were raised about access from the site to and from School Road/Whitwell Road. Given an adequate traffic management solution to the problem of vehicular access to the site and subject to the provision of sufficient land within the development area to allow for expansion of the primary school buildings and playing field the Council would have no objections to development on this site.

GNLP0183 – land east of Whitwell Road

It is likely that the Town Council would find this site unacceptable because it is outside the settlement boundary and would represent an unwelcome and inappropriate development on one of the main access routes in to the town. Concerns were also raised about the lack of safe pedestrian access to the site from either Whitwell Road or Mill Road at the rear of the site.

GNLP0221 – land off Norwich Road

The Town Council would find development of this site unacceptable because of the lack of a safe pedestrian access to and from the site. Given the location of the site it is unlikely that a safe pedestrian route from the site to the town centre could be created.

GNLP0353 – land north and south of Dereham Road

Concerns about the size and nature of development on these sites and the fact that they are outside the settlement limit were expressed by councillors. Of immediate concern is the lack of safe pedestrian access from the sites to the town centre and the schools, the only viable route being along Dereham Road. The pavement along this road is very narrow and is not wide enough for pedestrians to pass each other safely; neither does it extend to the frontages of the two sites on Dereham Road. In addition pedestrians leaving the site to the south of Dereham Road would have to cross the main road where visibility is restricted. It is unlikely that the existing pedestrian access could be improved to an acceptable standard. It is likely that the Town Council would find these sites unacceptable because they are outside the settlement boundary and would represent an unwelcome and inappropriate development on one of the main roads in to the town.

As representation over 100 words – summarised as follows: Concerns are the lack of safe pedestrian access from the sites to the town centre and the schools. The pavement along the Dereham road (only pedestrian access)is too narrow for pedestrians to pass others safely; neither does it extend to the frontages of the two sites on Dereham Road. Pedestrians leaving the site to the south of Dereham Road would have to cross the main road where visibility is restricted. It is unlikely that the existing pedestrian access could be improved to an acceptable standard. Sites are outside the settlement boundary and would represent an unwelcome and inappropriate development.

GNLP0543A – land adjacent to Wood Dalling Road

The Town Council finds this site unacceptable because it is outside the settlement limit, it is not contiguous with existing development and there is no safe pedestrian access to the site. Concern was also expressed about the distance of the site from the town centre and schools.

GNLP0543B – land adjacent to Wood Dalling Road

The Town Council finds this site unacceptable because it is very narrow and would not allow for development appropriate to the location and in keeping with existing development. Concern was also expressed about the lack of safe pedestrian access to the site and the distance of the site from the town centre and schools.

GNLP1006 – land at the Old Rectory kitchen garden.

The Town Council found this site unacceptable because of a lack of suitable access to the public highway.

GNLP1007 – land at the Old Rectory meadow

Given that this site has been proposed for an extension to the sewage works, the Town Council has not expressed a view on this submission except that we believe it would be unsuitable for housing.

Sites Question 3                  No discussion on this topic.

 

Planning application 20171974 concerns

At the Town Council meeting on the 22nd November, the Council agreed unanimously to strongly object to planning application 20171974 –

Demolition of garage / deopt & erection of convenience store (A1 use) with associated parking & first floor staff and storage areas at Reepham Motors, 31 School Road, Reepham, NR10 4JP

The Council submitted the following response to Broadland District Council;

‘Reepham Town Council strongly object to this planning application.

The Council wish to draw attention to the Joint Core Strategy, Policy 14 – Key Service Centres which states that; ‘Established retail and service areas will be protected and enhanced where appropriate’.

This application cannot in anyway be considered as an enhancement to existing retail as without doubt it would destroy the already struggling Wednesday market and impact heavily on existing, well established businesses in the Town.  The Reepham economic strategy report compiled by consultants Ingham Pinnock in September 2013 (supported by Broadland District Council) reports that :

‘Reepham has a good range of local retail businesses concentrated in and around the town centre. A number of these have been in Reepham for generations and are an important part of the character and economic base of the town. When asked, the local community have frequently commented that they value these retailers and that they add significantly to the attractiveness of the town. However, common to many town centre or high streets, a number of the traditional retailers in Reepham are struggling to survive and the situation has become increasingly fragile in recent years. The fragility of the retail sector in Reepham was demonstrated in 2012 when the only bank in the town was closed for a number of months following a robbery. With the loss of this one activity, retailers reported a significant drop in footfall and trade as fewer people came into the town centre to bank and undertake other linked activities. The impact of the temporary loss of this one part of the retail mix in Reepham demonstrates how vulnerable the sector is.’

Since this report was written, the HSBC bank has closed so the economic situation in Reepham remains fragile and is therefore in need of protection.

The existing Spar convenience store is open from 7am to 10pm and already caters for residents when other businesses are closed.

In addition, there are Highway concerns. More chaos would be added to the existing issues with traffic on Townsend Corner and parking in Reepham in general.  It is difficult to see how any delivery vehicles (articulated lorries) will be able to service the store without encountering and adding to the traffic issues, particularly if deliveries are made at school start / end times.

School Road/Whitwell Road is unsuitable for large vehicles and any such vehicles servicing the proposed store would have to approach and leave via the crossroads at Townsend Corner.  This would entail vehicles making a “U” turn after loading/unloading and there is no place anywhere along School Road where this could be safely achieved.”

There is concern that this application will mean increased noise and light pollution, especially to the detriment of those residents living in close proximity to the site. Concern has been expressed about the direct impact this application will have on neighbouring properties.

The site has already been approved for residential development which it is acknowledged Reepham has need of and to which the Town Council had no comment or objection to.’

Congratulations George!

Congratulations to George Hardiment as she celebrates her 25th Anniversary of cleaning Reepham Public Toilets!!

George started working for Broadland District Council, cleaning the toilets on the 18th October 1992 and when responsibility for managing the toilets was passed to the Town Council, George came along too!

The Town Council would like to say a huge THANK YOU to George for all her hard work and enthusiasm, often going above and beyond the call of nature, sorry I mean duty! George is NOT retiring, so the Town Council and all the users of the public toilets are looking forward to another 25 years of excellent service!!

Kerdiston church / chapel – cable route concerns

Following concerns about the proposed cable corridor for the wind farm, the Town Council agreed to send the following letter to Vattenfall drawing attention to the site of St Marys Church or Chapel in Kerdiston.

The following image of the church / chapel was also sent.

 

 

Stimpson’s Piece Dog Restrictions

At the Trustee of Stimpson’s Piece meeting held on the 9th March 2016, the Trustees unanimously agreed that restrictions for dogs on Stimpson’s Piece (initially approved in 2008) should be reintroduced in light of the increasing amount of dog’s mess found on the field.

Whilst the Trustees recognise that the reintroduction of these restrictions may impact on the pleasure and enjoyment of dog walkers at Stimpson’s Piece, these measures are necessary to ensure the health and safety of other users of the field.

Signage has been installed to inform members of the public.

The restriction is as follows

Dog restriction diagram

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