/ Parish Council / Mhue 2 / Minutes 5th June 2020


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

Friday, 05 June 2020

Dear Andrew

Land South of Manor Farm Langaller Consultation on SWTC Master Plan and Design guidance

This is the CSM PC response to the SWTC consultation on Land South of Manor Farm Langaller Development Master Plan and Design guide documents. 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. Need for the Employment site.   In a post Covid environment, and with land earmarked for employment at Walford Cross and Nexus, the need or desirability (given classification 8) for this further employment site, which is located alongside housing, is questioned. The PC would like this to be replaced with other uses possibly further Housing. In any event there should be no through route this part of the development site for vehicles from the ERR roundabout No 2 through to Hyde Lane.

1.3. Employment site entrance onto Hyde Lane. If the employment land is to be built out then the entrance from it onto Hyde Lane must be removed. This entrance would cross the newly provided “safe route to school” and as a result there would be increased traffic movement of cars/vans/lorries travelling along Hyde Lane, past the village primary school into CSM Village and beyond as a short cut to A358/M5. Access to the employment site for vehicles should only be from the ERR. Pedestrian and Cycling access should be provided onto Hyde Lane and also link with CSM, Langaller Lane and MH2.

1.4. Employment site. Little detail is provided in the Thrive reports on the employment site (page 46 on the third report). As insufficient details are provided of the proposals these are requested; particularly as the land has been given classification 8. The road should not be shown as a principal route.

1.5. Key Buildings. It is noted that some buildings are planned to face the roundabout (2) and along Langaller Lane; these will provide the setting for CSM and Langaller. These are key buildings and sites and more details are required please of what is envisaged.

1.6. Key areas. There are 6 identified in Thrives 3rd report. The PC particularly welcomes the Main Green shown in the Green necklace between Hyde Lane and Langaller Road. However, the PC does question why this was not included as a key area? The PC request more details of what is planned please for this area, particularly Footpath and Cycle routes.

1.7. Design. The PC would prefer a rural design influence to the development, which needs to integrate more with the rural area beyond it.

1.8. Facilities. There is a lack of planning gain for CSM, despite the fact that the large designated site for employment within the development is sited within the Parish. There appears to be a total lack of community facilities. What facilities will be provided for CSM Parishioners in the S106 agreement?

1.9. Bungalows. There is a need (CSM Neighbourhood Plan Policy CSM3) and the PC would welcome the site including provision for older people.

1.10. Courtyards. CSM PC does not wish to see parking provided in side or rear courtyards, these (changed from they are) are underused in MH1 and the PC does not wish to see them repeated.

1.11. 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.

1.12. Connectivity for pedestrian and cyclists i.e. through the green necklace to Bathpool, Hyde Lane to Langaller, the Tunnel under M5 at Langaller to CSM is sought.

1.13. 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.

1.14. Buses are needed to link the new South of Manor Farm development to CSM.

1.15. Education Provision. It is not clear from the proposals what provision for Schools is being made from this development. There should be s106 money forthcoming to contribute to both primary and secondary schools in the locality.

  1. Specific points;

2.1. Design. 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. 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. DG Part 1 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. DG Part 3 Point 6.43 refers to the current uses of Hyde Lane. The important aspect not stated for CSM PC is that it provides a safe route to Monkton Heathfield Secondary School for the village children.

2.6.M5 Barrier Planting. DG Part 3 Point 43 Point 6.52. 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. Hyde Lane floods annually in periods of heavy rainfall. Please be aware of this problem and ensure this problem is addressed.

2.8. Statement buildings. Nor does the PC 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. DG Part 3 Item 6.24 refers.

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

2.9. Parking. All properties to have at least two parking spaces (with adjacent parking not one vehicle behind another as shown in DG Part 3 Item 3.9) as a minimum or on street parking provided (these could be grassed blocks) together with drop off points.

2.10. Shop. It is appreciated that this development is in itself too small to justify a local shop, but the PC does support the provision of a shop in nearby MH1. As this is a requirement of the MH1 planning permission this should be enforced by SWTC.

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. Private drives. Can it be explained who will ensure that the “private drives” referred to at DG Part 3 Point 2.4 item 2.8 are repaired and replaced when they wear out? The PC is concerned these “routes” will be beyond the affordability of many households and prefers they be adopted highways.

2.13. Electric charging points. DG Part 3 Point 3.3 uses the word preferably. The PC wishes ALL dwellings to have Electric charging points, but the expectation is some are also installed in the public realm as part of the development.

2.14. Sports. What provision is (other than pitches) being offered? A Bowling green, BMX/Skate Board Park etc are identified in the CSM Neighbourhood Plan.

2.15. Design guides frequently show and refer to “natural” furniture such as benches. The PC prefers quality recycled plastic as these are longer lasting, less prone to vandalism and require less maintenance

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

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. Urban Gardens. DG 3 Page 79 shows urban gardens are to be provided. 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.

2.19. 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.

2.20. 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.

2.21. 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 the residents are not impacted by additional flood water.

2.22. 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?

2.23. 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.

2.24. 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).

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


for CSM PC