10th January 2017


Report of the Neighbourhood Plan Working Party
held in the Memorial Hall
on Tuesday 10th January 2017

Present: J Marsden Chairman

Also Present: Cllr T Weston K Cotton J Finnigan J Gibbon B Morgan J Weston H Woodman

1. Apologies: None
2. Declarations of interest
When discussions concerning Dobbins Pitch arose J Weston and T Weston declared an interest and did not participate in the discussion.

3. Report of 16th November 2016 and Public Meeting 7th December 2016
The reports for both of these meetings were accepted for submission to the Parish Council.

4. Review of Reg 14 Consultation Responses Summary Briefing Document

As the main focus of this meeting centred on this document it is reproduced here in full and is shown in blue.

Much Marcle NDP Reg 14 Consultation Responses Summary Briefing

1. Introduction

The purpose of this summary briefing note is to provide Working Party members with an overview of the comments and issues raised in responses to the Reg 14 consultation which closed on 3 January 2017.

2. Statutory consultees

Acknowledgements of receipt of the Reg 14 consultation and/or “no specific comments” were received from CPRE, Environment Agency, English Heritage Highways Agency, Natural England and Severn Trent water.

Dwr Cymru Welsh Water’s response stated “There are no issues with supplying any of the proposed allocations with a supply of potable water, though in some instances the provision of off-site water mains may be required in order to connect to the existing network”.

Historic England’s response stated support for the content, vision and objectives of the draft Plan, and considered it to be “a good example of community led planning”.

Herefordshire Council’s Planning Policy and Development Management Teams both take the view (contrary to written advice received from Karla Johnson of the Neighbourhood Planning Team on 23 September 2016) that Kynaston is not identified as a settlement in Figures 4.14 and 4.15 of the Core Strategy and so should be treated as open countryside. Therefore, any new housing development at Kynaston would need to accord with the criteria of Policy RA3. In terms of treating Rushall and Kynaston as a single settlement, Kynaston is considered to be divorced from Rushall in terms of location, to the point that the two should be considered separate settlements.

3. Local residents’ responses

We received substantive responses from 9 local residents at Rushall and 3 local residents living in the vicinity of Old Pike at Much Marcle.

a) Settlement Boundaries

There was a concern about whether we need to be drawing Settlement Boundaries at all, and specific concerns about the definition of the Rushall Settlement Boundary to include land at the rear of the Council Houses (Orchard View), which does not follow any physical or landscape feature and so was considered to be in conflict with guidance and criteria set out in ‘Neighbourhood Planning Guide to Settlement Boundaries’ (Herefordshire Council), April 2013 – Revised June 2015.

b) Disproportionate Housing Land Allocations

Responses from 8 local residents at Rushall stated that the allocation of almost 50% (11/23) of new dwellings to Rushall and Kynaston seems disproportionate, compared with Much Marcle.
We have a definitive number from Karla Johnson of 18 new dwellings built/permitted since 2011. We know that at least 8 of those new dwellings are accounted for by the new developments at Monks Orchard and to the rear of Monks Orchard.

Do we know how many more of the 10 residual new dwellings built/permitted since 2011 are within or nearby the Much Marcle village/settlement boundary?

The Working Party will wish to reflect:
• At least 8/18 new dwellings built/permitted since 2011 are within Much Marcle village (i.e. Monks Orchard/rear of Monks Orchard);
• All of the 19 identified redundant buildings for conversion/re-development are within or adjacent to Much Marcle village (we have assumed that 10/19 will be brought forward for development); and
• 13/24 housing land allocations proposed in the Reg 14 consultation draft NDP v4.3 are within or adjacent to Much Marcle, whereas 11 are in Rushall and Kynaston.

Therefore, in total a minimum of 8+10+13 = 31 new dwellings are planned for Much Marcle and 11 are in Rushall and Kynaston = a ratio of approx 75% to 25%, based on what we know – but this ratio could be significantly higher if more than 10/18 new houses already built/permitted are confirmed to be in and around Much Marcle.

c) Specific housing land allocations at Rushall and Kynaston

None of the 9 local residents who responded to the Reg 14 consultation supported the 3 proposed housing land allocations at Rushall, and no alternative sites were proposed:

• Land opposite Rushall Club was objected to because of its current use as an overspill car park for the Rushall Club and the public footpath that diagonally crosses the site.

• Land and barns around Gatchapin was objected to by the landowners because of fear that they would be compelled to offer land for development that would result in loss of part of a much loved garden.

• Land at rear of council houses (Orchard View) was objected to because of its current agricultural land use, access difficulties, potential surface water flooding, field runoff and seepage from existing septic tanks polluting the adjacent stream.

Whereas, all 3 of the proposed housing land allocations at Kynaston were supported by their respective landowners (thereby providing a degree of certainty that they will be brought forward for development) in response to a further limited and specific questionnaire carried out by Parish Councillor Alison Taylor. The owners of the land by The Steppes and behind Bridge Cottage both responded that they would consider developing their sites for affordable housing.

d) Specific housing land allocations at Much Marcle (Old Pike & Dobbins Pitch)

We received responses from 3 local residents who objected to the proposed land allocations for 2 new dwellings at Old Pike for the following reasons:
• Traffic burden past Old Pike to and from Westons
• Difficult access at the crossroads
• Lack of pedestrian access to village centre facilities
• Loss of informal play ground
• Those living nearby don’t want the land to be developed
• Personal business (B&B and cottage rental) would be adversely impacted.

The Working Party will recall that we received similar written objections in letters from several other local residents in April 2016.

Local residents at Rushall who responded to the Reg 14 consultation cited the recent refusal of planning permission at Dobbins Pitch (Planning Application No. 163084) for the primary reason:

“The proposal represents unsustainable new residential development in an open countryside location, contrary to Core Strategy Policies SS1, RA2 and RA3 and the relevant aims and objectives of the National Planning Policy Framework”
as grounds for objection to other ‘open countryside’ housing land allocations, but they do not propose any alternative sites within or adjacent to the proposed Settlement Boundaries.

4. Implications of Reg 14 consultation responses for draft NDP v4.3

If the Working Party is minded to recommend to the Parish Council that we should accept the various objections to proposed housing land allocations made in responses to the Reg 14 consultation, the revised housing land allocations would be as follows:

Kynaston (6 dwellings on 3 sites) & none at Rushall
Land by the Steppes
Land behind Bridge Cottage
Old Chapel Site (3)

Much Marcle (9 dwellings on 5 sites)
Rye Meadows – plot between Farley and New Normandy (1)
Slip and area around
gardens of houses, Watery Lane
Land adjacent to Audley Farm
Land beside Glebe Orchard

This outcome would be 8+10+9=27 new dwellings at Much Marcle and 6 for Kynaston = 33 (i.e a ratio of approx 82% to 18%), plus 10 others already built/committed since 2011, would leave us 2 new dwellings ahead of the minimum 14% growth target of 41 new dwellings built/permitted by 2031.

However, we have received contradictory advice from Herefordshire Council (see at 2 above), to effect that we can no longer treat Rushall and Kynaston as a single settlement with the meaning of Core Strategy Policy RA2. The Parish Council resolved at its December meeting to seek a meeting with Herefordshire Council to discuss the implications of this change of view (date to be confirmed), but if the Planning Policy and Development Management Teams cannot be persuaded to review their position, we will probably have to rule out any realistic possibility of new dwellings at Kynaston which will create a potential shortfall of 4 new dwellings against the 14% growth target to be achieved by 2013.

We could assume, as some of the Reg 14 consultation respondents have suggested, that all of the 19 identified redundant buildings could be brought forward for re-development but that would seem unlikely to happen. Therefore, the Working Party and Parish Council may need to identify additional housing land allocations and re-consult if we accept all of the objections made in responses to the Reg 14 consultation.

5. Referendum

Local residents at Rushall have expressed concern in written responses to the Reg 14 consultation that the planned referendum will not allow Rushall/Kynaston to have a fair representation, and that with no representation on the Working Party they are effectively disenfranchised and will be outvoted by a majority in Much Marcle. Similar concerns were raised at the Reg 14 consultation public meeting held at the Memorial Hall on 7 December 2016.

6. Recommended ways forward

In the short-term (pending confirmation of a date to meet Herefordshire Council’s Planning Policy, Development Management & Neighbourhood Planning Teams), the following ways forward are proposed:

a) The Working Party should consider this analysis, the summary of Reg 14 consultation responses summary proforma, and all of the written responses to the Reg 14 consultation at its planned meetings on 10, 17 & 24 January.
b) Tim Weston (Parish Council Chair), Graham Baker (local Parish Councillor) and James Marsden (Working Party Chair) should offer to meet all of the local residents at Rushall who responded to the Reg 14 consultation – given Doreen Powell’s interest we might offer to meet them at the Rushall Club?
c) Tim Weston and James Marsden should offer to meet all of the local residents at Much Marcle who objected to the Old Pike housing land allocations.
d) The Working Party should reconvene to consider the outcomes of the meetings with local residents at Rushall and Old Pike.
e) The Working Party makes recommendations to the Parish Council to amend the draft NDP v4.3 to take account of comments/issues raised in Reg 14 consultation responses and during subsequent meetings with local residents at Rushall and Old Pike.

James Marsden
Chair, MMNDP Working Party
6 January 2017

a) Statutory consultees

The majority of the statutory consultees had made no substantive comment.
The comment from Historic England was favourable.
The failure of Severn Trent to respond about sewerage capacity for specific housing land allocations was an important omission.
J Marsden to check with Severn Trent concerning the absence of a response.

Herefordshire County Council response contradicts written advice that had previously been given by Karla Johnson of the Neighbourhood Planning Team with regard to the policy treatment of Rushall and Kynaston.
A meeting to discuss this mismatch has been arranged with Karla Johnson and colleagues from Planning Policy and Development Management on Tuesday January 24th. B Durkin, J Marsden and S Tagg to represent Much Marcle Parish Council.

A survey of landowners in Kynaston, conducted by Councillor A Taylor, has identified that some (Steppes and Bridge Cottage) would consider affordable housing but the Chapel site owner was only interested in developing open market housing.

A similar survey of Rushall landowners has yet to be completed.

J Marsden to arrange to have the Public Sector Mapping Agreement information included on all of the maps to be included in the next version of the NDP.

b) Rushall residents’ responses

Settlement Boundaries
Rushall residents have suggested that the proposed settlement boundary at Rushall is flawed and the area behind the council housing (Orchard View) was reported as subject to surface water flooding and seepage from septic tanks. The Environmental Agency needs to be advised. They have also suggested that the settlement boundary for Much Marcle is too restrictive.

J Marsden to arrange a meeting with the Rushall residents, possibly at the Rushall Club. G Baker and T Weston to attend.

c) Disproportionate housing numbers

The responses from Rushall concentrated on the numbers of remaining to be developed before 2031, but failed to take into account the developments that have already taken place in Much Marcle since 2011, and the locations of the redundant buildings for re-development. K Johnson has indicated that 18 developments have been built or committed and these have almost exclusively taken place in the vicinity of Much Marcle.
T Weston to identify the location and date of development/commitment of the 18 developments in the parish since 2011.

d) Representation of Rushall and Kynaston residents

It was pointed out that R White was a member of the Working Party and that A Taylor had been a member in the past. Further representation was provided by the presence on the Parish Council of G Baker, A Taylor and Frank Powell.

After the meeting with the Rushall residents J Marsden and T Weston would bring back recommendations for the Working Party to consider before any final recommendations are forwarded to the Parish Council for approval.

e) Much Marcle issues and responses from Old Pike residents

Dobbin’s Pitch
Discussion confirmed that Dobbin’s Pitch was capable of development despite the rejection of recent planning applications and the Working Party recommended it should continue as a site identified for development within the Neighbourhood Plan.

Old Pike and Hazerdine
The Working Party wish to support the views expressed by parishioners in their ambition for affordable housing within the community. Proposed land allocations at Old Pike, Hazerdine, and adjacent to Glebe Orchard remain the only plots within the parish that can be clearly identified for this purpose.
The views expressed by the residents in the neighbourhood of Old Pike concerning the absence of footpaths and traffic issues are felt to be outweighed by the need for affordable housing.
J Marsden and T West to arrange a meeting with the respondents from around Old Pike possibly in the Memorial Hall.

Much Marcle Settlement Boundary

Depending upon the outcome of the meeting with Herefordshire CC it may be necessary
to review the Much Marcle Settlement Boundary but currently potential development sites are:
Kynaston 6
Rushall 5
Much Marcle 13 (2 of which at Old Pike & 1 at Hazerdine)
and redundant buildings 10

5. Agenda for January 17th Meeting

Much Marcle Settlement Boundary
Review of Proforma “Summary of Regulation 14 Consultation Responses”
Preparation for meetings with Rushall residents on 23 January & Herefordshire Council on 24 January.

J Gibbon January 2017