Minutes of the Extra Ordinary meeting of Moreton-on-Lugg Parish Council held in Moreton-on-Lugg Village Hall on Wednesday 20th September 2017 at 7.30p.m.
Parish Clerk – Lesley Hay
Councillors: Cllr K Cooper (Chairman) Cllr. P. Spong (Vice-Chairman); Cllr. C Cowley; Cllr. D Preece; Cllr. Richard Styles; Cllr. Barry Garbett; Cllr. C Boden. Cllr B Jackson.
Present: 45 members of the public.
Present: Parish Clerk: Lesley Hay. Ward Cllr Kema Guthrie.
The Chairman welcomed those present to the September meeting.
1. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE – Cllr V Javens
2. DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST AND WRITTEN APPLICATIONS FOR DISPENSATIONS by Parish Councillors – None
3. To Consider Planning Matter:
APPLICATION NO & SITE ADDRESS: No 172919 Outline Planning Application Land West of Church House Farm Morton on Lugg.
Outline planning application for the erection of 64 dwellings (including 35% affordable) access and associated matters. Matters of appearance, layout, landscape and scale are reserved for future consideration.
APPLICANT(S): Beachcroft Land Ltd and Crawford Richard Perkins
GRID REF: OS 350392, 245499
Chairman of Moreton on Lugg Parish Council, Cllr Kim Cooper, opened the meeting and gave a brief explanation with regard to the current outline planning application for the erection of up to 64 dwellings (including 35% affordable).
The Chairman introduced Ward Cllr Guthrie who gave a brief explanation with regard to her role as Ward Councillor; her position on the Planning Committee and that she was unable to give any verbal opinion at this meeting but would be making notes and would hopefully be able to explain any issues that needed further explanation.
Those residents present were invited to voice their comments on this application.
A lengthy discussion followed and these comments were primarily based on:
1. The huge impact this development will have on the village of Moreton and all 1000 residents who live in this village. There are no plans to improve the infrastructure of the village to accommodate these extra dwellings and their occupants. The village facilities are expected to absorb a possible 150 extra residents without change.
2. The existing sewage works at the top end of the village is hardly adequate for the existing houses – often overflowing and necessitating attention. There is no indication that the existing sewage facilities/capacity is to be increased to allow for the extra 150 inhabitants plus at least 20 in Ordnance Close and 8 – 10 at The Beeches – where planning applications that have already been passed.
3. Urgent negotiation is required with Welsh Water on their findings and thoughts with regard to this proposed development – as yet, from the documentation available, they do not appear to have been formally approached for their recommendations/comments or guidelines.
4. If the access to the new development is retained as indicated on the drawings – this will cause considerable problems to existing users of the village road and the A49 junction. It is already acknowledged that it is very difficult to get on to the A49 during the morning rush hour especially turning towards Leominster. It has to be acknowledged that these additional cars – at least two per dwelling – will add to an already existing queue to access the main road.
This will then encourage residents to use the other exit road via the Grade 11 listed bridge – this is a dangerous minor road with one-way traffic – not well signed posted – and certainly not built for additional traffic of these proportions – it was built for horse and cart not daily commuters.
It was also acknowledged that the route through the village is already used by other commuters cutting across from the Worcester Road to the A49 as so cutting out long delays on and round the Aylestone Hill / Bobblestock area – and these delays will become worse with the new housing developments in these areas.
5. The Ward Cllr explained that according to a Draft Head of Terms document recently circulated the plan was to allocate all 106 monies to Wellington School. Ward Cllr explained that she had followed up this draft requesting an explanation and maybe a change of direction for some of this money – copies of these documents – the original document; Ward Cllr’s follow letter and the subsequent reply – were available at the meeting and are attached to these minutes as reference.
It is acknowledged that Wellington School is the catchment for Moreton on Lugg primary age children – but many children go to other surrounding schools in the area i.e. Bodenham; Marden; and the secondary children to various Hereford/Leominster schools. It was strongly felt that some of the106 monies should come back into Moreton to improve the infrastructure and to help accommodate such a huge increase in population.
6. Those present expressed their concerns about road safety. There are reports of numerous incidents of cars ploughing into the first garden on the village road – knocking down lamp posts etc. It was appreciated this is due to bad driving but photographs produced indicated that there are many bad drivers using the Moreton village road. Pedestrian crossings will be needed to enable children catching and returning by bus from Hereford schools to cross the village road in safety.
7. With regard to access – thought should be given to constructing a mini a roundabout at the junction with St Andrews Close and/or to use the farm entrance as access – or, even better, to take the access entrance for the development on to the A49 itself and away from the only access road in and out of the village.
8. The speed limit on the A49 passing the Ordnance Close and Moreton village junction is 60mph – and despite repeated requests to Highways England for this to be reduced – this has been refused. With the possibility of all these extra vehicles coming from Ordnance Close and from Moreton village – a further representation should be made to both Highways England and to the Police – Safer Roads Partnership – both of whom have refused to support any requests to try and get this speed limit reduced.
9. The volume of houses planned for this development goes way beyond the allocation suggested in a previously circulated in a Neighbourhood Plan document.
At that time, the minimum proportional growth for Moreton on Lugg was as following:
Proportional requirement = 63 over a 25 year period.
Built between 2011 – 2017 = 2
Commitments as at April 2017 = 12 (Ordnance Close and The Beeches)
Residual requirement = 49
It was noted that this outline planning application would exceed the requirement by 15 houses which is an increase of 19%.
It was also noted that some of these proposed dwellings have very small gardens and some have no garages/storage space. However, it would appear that houses are allocated two parking spaces despite the recent survey indicating that there would only be an increase of 25 vehicles at peak times if this development went ahead. It was felt the increase would be nearer 125 which would have a huge impact on the village road and A49 entrance and exit. There is no provision shown on the plans for bicycle shelters
10. There is concern regarding the boundary fencing; planting of replacement trees and land scaping. There was concern with regard to future maintenance of the public areas associated with the development – despite reassurance to the contrary in the Planning documentation – there was concern expressed about future maintenance and the impact on precept/budget for the village as a whole.
The Ward Councillor was asked to apply for a conditional redirection request to be considered by the Planning and Regulatory Committee on the grounds that the application has attracted a high level of public interest and raises sensitive planning issues which would benefit from consideration of the Planning and Regulatory Committee,
The Ward Council explained that she can only apply for a redirection and site visit –the request is considered by the Planning Officer before being taken forward for consideration.
It was felt that for those who live in properties within close proximity to the development would be disadvantaged regarding property value and future saleability. In fact, one resident present at the meeting explained that she had already experienced this – the purchasers of her house had recently withdrawn their offer based purely on this proposed development.
The Parish Council listened to all the objections/comments and observations associated with this outline planning application and agreed to now discuss their response at the next Parish Council meeting on the 3rd October – when a vote will be taken on the final content of the response letter.
The Clerk was asked to draft a response document and circulate to Councillors for them to add their own thoughts/amendments prior to the meeting.
It was acknowledged that although there were 45 people in the room – some may have attended out of interest, not because they objected. However, when the Chairman asked all those present if anyone else wished to speak or add any comments to the discussion and points made so far – there was no further response from any of those present.
The Chairman closed the meeting at 8.45p.m.