/ Parish Council / Mhue 2 / Minutes 9th July 2020



CREECH ST MICHAEL PARISH COUNCIL

Chairman PCllr Simon Hutchings.

Clerk: Steve Altria, 23, John Grinter Way, Wellington, Somerset, TA21 9AR

Tel: 01823 666295 Email: clerk@creechstmichael.net


To Andrew Penna Esq

Garden Town Coordinator

SWTC, Taunton.

Via a.penna@somersetwestandtaunton.gov.uk


9th July 2020

Dear Andrew


CSM PC Consultation Response to SWTC Monkton Heathfield 2 Master Plan and Design guidance.


This is the CSM PC response to the SWTC consultation on SWTC Monkton Heathfield 2 Master Plan and Design guidance. The Parish Council thank SWTC for the consultation and we look forward to seeing revised plans and being fully participative in the stated engagement with Developers and Highways in due course.


  1. Strategic Points;


1.1. Road Safety within CSM. Following the building out of MH1 and other nearby developments, the priority of CSM PC is that the identified road safety issues along St Michaels Rd/North End must be addressed and be in place ahead of any further development (including this site) is commenced.

(CSM NH Plan Page 32. Point 7.1.10).


There should be a significant contribution via S106 from the development of housing and employment to mitigate the additional traffic on Hyde Lane, St Michaels Rd and North End.


1.2. Employment site. The Walford Cross Site is the preferred site for employment situated as it is close to but not adjoining the planned housing.  In a post Covid environment, and with the land earmarked for employment at Walford Cross and Nexus, the need or desirability (given classification 8) for the employment site, which is located alongside housing, south of Manor Farm Langaller is questioned. The PC would like this to be replaced with other uses possibly further Housing and if required the additional employment units to be sited alongside those at Walford Cross.


1.3. Employment Site entrance onto existing A38. If the employment is to be built at Walford Cross the existing junction at Walford Cross with its poor site lines should be replaced with a roundabout in order to improve road safety. Access to the employment site for vehicles should only be from this roundabout. Pedestrian and Cycling access should be provided and should link with CSM, Land South of Manor Farm, MH2 and onto MH1 all with controlled crossings over Langaller Lane x2 (one near the ERR2 and one near the M5) and ERR2.


1.4. Employment site. Para 15 refers. Little detail is provided in the reports on the employment site. As insufficient details are provided of the proposals these are requested; particularly as the land has been given classification 8.


1.5. Para 10 refers. The section of A38 Road between Langaller/ Cricket Ground Rd should be left open with road heavily calmed. We would seek greater clarity over road calming and crossings as they are not clear from the plan. As a “safe route” to School they will need to be in place from day one. Tree lining of the road to create a boulevard is welcome as is removal of the bunds and fencing.


1.6 Pippin Road. If the proposal at 1.5 above is NOT carried out and the A38 Road between Langaller/ Cricket Ground Rd is to be pedestrianised then Pippen Road should be truncated to prevent through traffic.


1.7. School Access. With “families now exercising parental choice” and “dropping and running enroute to work” drop off access is required from the existing A38 contrary to para’s 13 and 16. Access to the school for drop off should not be via the estate roads as this will result in congestion and disputes. Pedestrian and cycle only access to the School should be from MH2 centre (no vehicles) and CSM in order to provide “safe routes to school.”


The school to have sufficient carparking spaces for all its staff, deliveries, visitors and coach pickups/drop-offs accessed from existing A38


1.8. A38 dual carriageway as a single carriageway Road. The proposal is noted for the A38.


The Bus Gates at the Cricket Ground are not supported. CSM PC wish to participate in any further discussions on the provision of Bus Gates because of the implications for CSM Parish.


The importance of road signing is also highlighted and we would welcome discussion and agreement on these too.


1.9. ERR2 to be built ahead of housing development. It could be left unsurfaced to be used by contractors’ developers during a staged build out. Need to understand phasing of ERR2.


To be tree lined with sufficient width to permit future dualling. The importance of the numbers and types of crossings are highlighted at Para 9.3 and we would welcome discussion and agreement on the forms these will be in. Please confirm Persimmon/Redrow is funding the road.


1.10. The Spine road through the estate should have an additional access (possible access to District Centre) onto the existing A38 and be built of adequate width (i.e. wider than 6.3m) and designed to provide access past parked cars by large vehicles such as buses and lorries.

The Parish Councils are seeking a 20mph speed limit across the whole of the MH2 development with appropriate calming (to be agreed with PCs).


1.11. District Centre. Para 11 refers. Spine road to provide vehicle access to rear of shops and to carparking, which should not go through the shopping areas itself. The PC welcomes the intention is that “out of Town” retail area with large carparking is not considered appropriate.

The size, number, positioning and type of Shops and numbers of carparking spaces are not clear and clarity is sought. The number and type of retail outlets required needs to be considered very carefully given recent trends in retailing.  All to be provided in Phase 1 of MH2.

Confirmation is sought that a Medical Centre will be included. Also place of worship.

The Parish Councils would expect to have sight of the Marketing Strategy for the District Centre and have contact information for the agents at the commencement of the development of the site i.e. simultaneously with the start of the first parcel of houses. Similarly, for the employment site at Walford. This very strong approach is necessary because of the complete failure to deliver the Local Centre in MH1.


1.12. Community Centre. To be provided in MH2 District Centre close to pedestrian school entrance and shopping. Siting and facilities to be provided to be agreed.


1.13. Design. Quality needs to be of the highest standards. The Plan recognises the need to link MH1 with MH2 at Para 10. The PC would like to see a similar focus be placed on the links from MH2 to CSM as well in order to bridge the sites urban setting with the rural countryside surrounding e.g. Adsborough, Langaller, Creech Heathfield, Creech St Michael.


No 3 level houses. The documents lack sufficient acknowledgment to the sites wider rural setting.


Requirement is for bungalows and low-cost housing for young people (starter homes). Bungalows are part of Neighbourhood Plan policy.



Extract from CSM NH Plan;

Policy CSM 3 – Housing to meet local needs

Planning applications for residential and residential led mixed-use development of 10 units or more or where the site has an area of 0.5 hectares or more must demonstrate the delivery of housing which will help to meet the local need identified in the Creech St Michael Housing Needs Survey (September 2017), and any subsequent update.

Justification and

The Housing Needs Assessment (August 2017) suggested a need for low cost

conformity with Core

and shared ownership housing, as well as smaller, 2 bed properties and

Strategy and NPPF

bungalows. This is mainly due to a high percentage of existing single and two person households (making up around 74%) and an almost equally high number of those living in 3+ bed properties (73%). Therefore, whilst a high need for affordable housing may not currently exist, there is clearly a demand for a more appropriate mix of house types to cater for local demand.

Extract from WM & CF PC Neighbourhood Plan

Housing Policy H1 Housing suitable for older people states 10% single storey dwellings, 1, 2, 3 bedrooms, smaller ones to be closer to facilities.  First requirement is for smaller bungalows followed by sheltered housing.


1.14. Key areas. The Land South of Manor Farm Langaller identified 6 Key areas in Thrives 3rd report. The PC particularly welcomed the Main Green which was shown in the Green necklace between Hyde Lane and Langaller Lane. This area was not included as a key area, The PC questioned this and requested more details of what is planned for this area, but will particularly wish to see having linked Footpath and Cycle routes. These would necessitate 2 controlled crossings over Langaller Lane and ownership of all the fields between the ERR2 and the M5.


1.15. Bungalows. There is a need (CSM Neighbourhood Plan Policy CSM3) for Bungalows and the PC welcome the plan (see item 3.12) for the site to include specialist provision for older people.


1.16. Courtyards. CSM PC does not wish to see parking provided in side or rear courtyards, these are underused in MH1 and the PC does not wish to see them repeated.


1.17. Play grounds. What provision is there for equipment? e.g. LEAPS, NEAPS.

The Parish Council would expect the proposed new play areas to be provided with quality equipment and to be ready to use, i.e. not loads of builders’ rubbish with a thin skin of top soil spread over it, as was the experience in MH1.


1.18. Connectivity for pedestrian and cyclists i.e. across the ERR2, through the Tunnel under M5 and over the bridge at Creech Heathfield as well through to the land South of Manor Farm, to MH1 and towards North Petherton and Durston.


1.19. Controlled crossings in Langaller Lane. Two are required, one either side of the Langaller Hamlet.

The first towards MH2 from the development, and the other alongside the M5 in order to facilitate access to the MH2 Allotments, Green necklace and onto the Walford Cross Employment site.


1.20. Buses are needed to link the new MH2 development to CSM within the same Parish. There needs to be both “rapid” buses direct into Town and “Hopper” buses that run through the estates timetabled via CSM village. We want more discussion on the plans for buses. Support HIF bid for public transport. Need to be in place from day one.


1.21. Education Provision. It is not clear from the proposals what provision for the School is being made from this development. There should be detailed discussion on the School, the facilities to be provided and its access with CSM PC.


1.22. District Heating. To be provided with dual fuelled powered by solar heating.


1.23. Bus and ride. Please clarify what facilities are to be provided and number of places. Para 14 refers. Also, what is the difference between a P&R and a Bus and Ride? All spaces should be provided with electric recharging points. The building should provide public toilets.


1.24. Gas Mains. Little detail is given of the (re)routing and intention for the replacement high pressure gas mains across the site beyond there being referred to and this detail will need to be understood and acceptable.


  1. Specific points;


2.1. Design. The PC welcomes SWTC commitment to ensuring the highest possible design quality is achieved (Para 2.6). The importance of the quality, character, mix and variation of design and materials is recognised and welcomed. The painting of houses and front doors different colours, housing with chimneys, for example, is desired.


2.2. The Manor Farmhouse and Langaller Hamlet are Listed Buildings and the PC recognises the importance of supporting the aim that their setting and status be respected.


2.3. Building height. Contrary to para 8.8 CSM PC do not wish to see buildings on the development above 2 floors in height (although it will accept 2 ½ high in non-key places and away from open spaces i.e. not as previously permitted in the nearby Hopkins Field Dev. The PC does not wish to see block of flats or so called “statement” buildings on junctions.


2.4. Green Wedges. The Design guide would benefit from mentioning the new Green Wedge in CSM up to Creech Heathfield as this would strengthen the proposal.


2.5. Safe Route to School. The important aspect not stated for CSM PC is that a safe route to the new school at MH2 as well West Monkton Heathfield Secondary School for the village children is in place using both Hyde Lane, Langaller Lane as well as the Canal, the two tunnels under the M5 and the footbridge at Creech Heathfield.


2.6. M5 Barrier Planting. The development would benefit from barrier planting alongside both sides of the M5 in order to reduce noise and bring health benefits to the residents.


2.7. The Stream is prone to flooding. At times of heavy rainfall parts of CSM Village/Langaller/Hyde Lane/North End/C Heathfield and roads are subject to flooding or the risk of flooding. We would highlight this problem and expect that it is both fully addressed in MH2 but also to ensure there that as a minimum there is no adverse consequence and preferably improvement in CSM Village.


2.8. Provision for senior citizens. Warden controlled and sited very close to District centre should be included


2.9. Statement buildings. The PC does not wish to see flats on junctions or corners as these both encourage parking on the roads at key points, thereby blocking the roads and making access difficult for all, but particularly larger vehicles such as refuge lorries, buses etc. Para 12.1 refers


All flats should have outside communal spaces, balconies or Juliet balconies as they are important for well-being.


2.10. Parking. We do not wish to see Courtyard parking or flats/3 storey statement buildings on junctions. This simply leads, as in MH1, to ‘on street parking’ blocking narrow estate roads.


All properties to have at least two parking spaces (with adjacent parking not one vehicle behind another as a minimum or on street parking provided (these could be grassed blocks) together with drop off points. PR 8.9 refers.


2.11. Roads. The PC wishes to know what the different road widths will be? The roads in MH1 are too narrow. The primary routes should be wider than 6.3m.



2.12. Cycle and walk way. Connectivity with Neighbourhood Plan policy e.g. will these be provided along all of the Boulevard, ERR or new/old A38? Access to Allotments not clear. Existing Walford Cross Employment area to be connected to the Cycle/Pedestrian way.


PRoW T10/20 from Langaller Lane (near M5 motorway bridge) needs to be made into a footpath and cycleway which runs alongside the M5 and connects to the employment site. Additionally, there is a requirement for a footpath and cycleway from the bridge over the M5 at Creech Heathfield, running beside the motorway and connecting to PRoW T10/20.  Also, the two tunnels under the M5 are to be connected into the footpath/cycleway networks on either side of the M5. Para 15 refers.


The route of the footpath coming down Walford Drive and crossing A38 needs to be clarified.


2.13. Private drives. The PC prefer all highways are adopted highways. If “private drives” are proposed the PC is concerned these “routes” will be beyond the affordability of many households and would not support them.


2.14. Electric charging points. The PC wishes ALL dwellings and the P&R spaces to all have Electric charging points, but the expectation is some are also installed in the public realm as part of the development.


2.15. Sports. It is not clear what is being offered and what sports other than pitches are being offered? There is a requirement to provide a MUGA for developments over 500 houses. We would wish to have a lit MUGA suitable for tennis (and other sports), Bowling green, BMX/Skate Board Park etc. See Neighbourhood Plan.


2.16. Design guides. Not mentioned specifically the PC prefers that items such as benches, waste bins etc are quality recycled plastic to natural as these are longer lasting, less prone to vandalism and require less maintenance


2.17. Community Cohesion. The expectation is that the developers will take action to help positively integrate the new development with the existing community in Creech St Michael as well as Monkton Heathfield.


2.18. Allotments. These are not shown. As allotments need to be provided wee look forward to learning of further details and proposals for agreement. Access, adequate parking and services will need to be provided. The Parish Councils would expect the proposed new allotments area to be provided ready to use, i.e. not loads of builders’ rubbish with a thin skin of top soil spread over it. In preparation for its end use, it should not be used for the storage of building materials etc which would cause the ground to become so compacted as to render it sterile. It should not have sub soil deposited on it.


2.19. Micro gardens. No mention of these were noted. If they are proposed these are not supported. Areas should be grassed initially so that community lead planting over the site can take place once a community is established and a need identified, if any. Planting of daffodils on the site welcome and to be agreed.


2.20. Urban Gardens. Again, no mention of these was noted. If they are proposed the PC does not support. Can these areas be grassed areas initially so that community led planting over the site can take place once a community is established and a need identified, if any? Planting of daffodils on the site would be welcomed.


2.21. Trees and Hedgerows. Existing Trees to remain. The Parish Council would expect plentiful and appropriate species of additional tree planting. If tree planting cannot be done within the street scene, then compensatory planting must take place elsewhere, demonstrating equivalent biomass. Trees must be planted in and staked correctly, with a maintenance and watering regime immediately in place to ensure their establishment. The profligacy of tree planting in MH1, where trees were planted and not watered during a dry summer, leaving them to die, shocked many residents. Species planted in community orchard areas should produce edible fruits and have sufficient tree numbers to reasonably expect community harvesting days. The PC would welcome more discussion on planting; seeking a proper diversity of planting with greater use, for example, of ornamental cherry trees.


2.22. Green space and wildlife. The expectation is that the existing green space, water and woodland should be protected and maintained, and new areas and planting should support Somerset Pollinator Policy (SCC). CSM PC would expect as many of the existing hedgerows to be retained as possible. The hedgerows are over 30 years old and therefore may be classified as ‘Important’ under the terms of the Hedgerow Act 1997. Although the removal of Important Hedgerows is allowed where planning permission has been granted, it would be expected that a compromise could be reached which accommodates the aspirations of the Taunton Garden Town, the declaration of Climate and Ecological Emergency, and the Neighbourhood Plan revisions as well as the desire of the developers to build as many houses as the site can take.


2.23. Water and Flood attenuation/water conservation/drainage. The PC would expect habitat appropriate planting to take place, particularly in swales and rain gardens, in accordance with Somerset Pollinator Policy. The Parish Councils would expect all houses to be fitted with rainwater butts.

The SUDs for the entire MH2 site need to be available with an explanation of how the proposed swales, rain gardens and attenuation ponds interlink, with proper drainage strategy and plans before the Parish Councils can make their observations on the proposed attenuation ponds shown on the Indicative Masterplan. The attenuation ponds to have different size inlet/outlet pipes rather than be of a control valve type.


The PC notes the plan to relocate the SUDS area and whilst appreciating there is no detail at this stage regarding relocation would wish to consider any proposals as they emerge and feel sure that we share the aim that local residents i.e at Langaller, Creech Heathfield or in CSM are not impacted by additional flood water.


2.24. Broadband. Fibre to be provided to inside of each house from occupation date. Is an upgrade of the telephone exchange required as current broadband in the area is very weak?


2.25. Waste Bins. It is noted (Para 7.8) that suitable refuse bin and recycling box storage to be incorporated into the front of the dwelling/curtilage of all properties that are either terraced or have no garden so that wheelie bins/recycling boxes can be easily used and are stored in a concealed position for every property. Expectation is that sufficient storage will be provided to accommodate new recycling initiatives being undertaken by Somerset Waste Partnership.


2.26. Climate change. The expectation is that buildings will conform to new legislation in terms of extra

insulation and suitable external materials to increase energy efficiency of buildings getting as close to net emission rate of zero as possible within viability argument. Materials used are to be compliant with the declaration of Climate and Ecological Emergency (SCC, SWTC, WMPC and CFPC). Layout and orientation to maximise solar gain.


2.27. Dark Skies. The expectation would be that installation of all lighting, including employment units,

external lights on dwellings, footpaths and street lights would use warm white LED or other equivalent and that lux levels should be such as to not disturb habitats and resting places or prevent their use by bats and other wildlife. The expectation would be that such lighting units when installed would be connected to appropriate power sources (unlike the delivery of lighting in MH1).


2.28. West Monkton Scout Group have suggested a serviced site for a Scout HQ and their request is supported for either MH1 or MH2 development sites.


2.29. Girlguiding UK. A serviced site for a Guide Hall is also required for either the MH1 or MH2 development site.


We trust these points will strengthen the development and look forward to working with SWTC, Developers and Highways to deliver the plans.


Yours Sincerely




Steve Altria

Clerk

for CSM PC

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