To consider a report of the Service Director (Place Development)
The report details the amended version of the draft Woodford Aerodrome Opportunity Site Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) which has been developed following a six week public consultation which ended on 15 October 2012 and which included the consideration of the comments made at the meeting of the Area Committee on 11 October 2012.
The SPD is also scheduled to be considered by the Planning and Highways Regulation Committee on 6 December and the Environment and Economy Scrutiny Committee on 18 December 2012 prior to approval for the SPD being sought at the meeting of the Executive on 7 January 2013.
The Committee is asked to note the contents of the report and the proposed amendments to the Woodford Aerodrome Opportunity Site (SPD).
Officer contact: Richard Wood on 0161 474 4386, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Service Director (Place Development) submitted a report (copies of which had been circulated) detailing the amended version of the draft Woodford Aerodrome Opportunity Site Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) which had been developed following a six week public consultation which ended on 15 October 2012 and which included the consideration of the comments made at the meeting of the Area Committee on 11 October 2012.
The SPD had also been considered by the Planning and Highways Regulation Committee on 6 December and was scheduled to be considered by the Environment and Economy Scrutiny Committee on 18 December 2012 prior to approval for the SPD being sought at the meeting of the Executive on 7 January 2013.
The Service Director (Place Development) attended the meeting and made a presentation in relation to the principal changes that had been made to the SPD following the consultation process.
The following comments made/ issues raised:-
· Members of the public had previously expressed the view that any development should be restricted to the site of the existing ‘Major Existing Development Sites’ (MEDS) which had now been incorporated into the SPD as ‘Concept A’. However any access to the southerly part of this development would need to be via a new access road through the area from Chester Road.
· It was noted that in Concepts A and B the proposed primary school would form part of the developable area thereby reducing the potential number of houses that could be built, which was not the case in Concept C which therefore provided more land for homes.
· It was the responsibility of the developer to select a preferred concept when submitting a planning application for the use of the site. It was further commented that the eventual application may look different to any of the proposed concepts in the SPD or be a hybrid of them all.
· Concern was expressed in relation to traffic generation and its impact on the Woodford, Bramhall and Cheadle Hulme areas prior to the construction of the A555 link road.
· It was highlighted that there was an apparent significant variation in housing density between existing development in Woodford which was in the range of 9-12 per hectare nearest the development area, and the proposals for the site of between 22-24 houses per hectare.
· A member commented on the impact of the loss of green belt land to development.
· The revised SPD provided for a development of houses in the range of 750-850 which had reduced from the original draft which had provided for 950. This had been achieved by reducing the housing density from 30 houses per hectare which was usually the Council’s minimum to a level which more closely reflected the nature of existing development in the Woodford area.
· There had been approximately 700 individual comments received to the consultation, and the responses to these would be published as part of the report that would be submitted to the Executive on 7 January 2012.
· The only access onto the development site would be from Chester Road save for any additional emergency access which may need to be catered for.
· The addition of employment land within the revised SPD was welcomed, although it was commented that the proposed level of provision was on the low side.
· It was important that the development of the onsite primary school should be of such a size as to be able to sufficiently cater for the number of pupils in the area.
· It was commented that the concerns of residents may have been allayed if the developer had been told they could only build on the footprint of the existing factory buildings and not on any land that was currently open land. In response, it was stated that the MEDS had been defined by an independent planning inspector as those locations on which development had already had an existing negative impact on the green belt.
· It was suggested that further consideration should have been given to marketing the site for employment use.
· It was stated that the proposals to consolidate the existing MEDS in Concepts B and C were simply a suggestion in the Core Strategy and not policy and further that any consolidation would spread development deeper into land that was designated as green belt. It was further stated that the corridors of green land in Concept C would not genuinely and positively contribute to the openness of the green belt.
· There needed to be further consultation with the North West Ambulance Service in relation to the proposals for the site as there could already be significant delays for emergency vehicles travelling to Stepping Hill Hospital from the Woodford area which would only be further exacerbated by increased development.
· It was questioned whether the gross area of land used for development in Option C was likely to be in the range of 50 hectares.
· Concern was expressed that the legal advice the Council had received was flawed.
· The developer could apply for planning permission and once granted, do nothing with it.
· There were a number of ways in which affordable housing could be accommodated within the development site, including social rented and intermediate housing and a suitable mix and range would need to be determined appropriate to the development and the Woodford area.
· There was a concern that the Council had not taken sufficient consideration of development that was taking place in Cheshire East and the cumulative effect that this would have on traffic generation and demand on local resources.
· A strong desire from members of the public to see additional employment uses for the site being explored was noted.
· It was noted that there remained unused secondary education capacity at Bramhall High School which it had been determined would be sufficient to accommodate the anticipated number of pupils that would result from the development of the Woodford site.
· Any development needed to fit in with the existing character of Woodford.
RESOLVED – (5 for, 2 against, 1 abstention) That the Executive be recommended to defer consideration of the ‘Woodford Aerodrome Opportunity Site Supplementary Planning Document’ from the 7 January 2013 meeting of the Executive to allow for a further period of public consultation on the revised proposals.