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GLADMAN DEVELOPMENTS SUBMIT PROPOSALS FOR UP TO 65 HOMES TO BE BUILT TO THE EAST OF CHURCH STREET, TARVIN

Gladman Developments Limited have submitted an outline planning application for their scheme to construct up to 65 dwellings at land to the east of Church Street, Tarvin. To view the application, navigate to the CWaC planning website here and enter the reference 16/05568/OUT. The scheme lies outside the Tarvin settlement boundary proposed by the CWaC Local Plan which is currently in development.

The proposed settlement boundary, together with consideration of the Gladman proposals, was discussed at the meeting of the Parish Council on Monday 23rd January.

At the meeting, the Council agreed to object to the proposal for the following reasons:

o the Local Plan minimum target for new houses for the period 2010 to 2030 has already been met and there are further small-scale infill type proposals in the pipeline. In the near future this will mean the minimum target for Tarvin Parish will be exceeded.
o the capacity of the local infrastructure, e.g. drainage, sewage pipe system, highways, car parking, and health is inadequate now and the proposal will not address these issues.
o loss of good, productive farmland.
o some loss of rural views from Tarvin towards Kelsall Hill and from Oscroft towards Tarvin village.
o a sensitive site close to the conservation area and the listed buildings within it.
o the proposed site would create an isolated finger of developed land which would encourage development either side as infill. Indeed it will lead to the natural development of the whole of Church Farm.
o proposal is contrary to the emerging policies of the Neighbourhood Plan
o CWaC has identified 7+ years of future housing land so at the moment a site in Tarvin is not needed.
o that the proposal is not in accordance with Guidelines 6 and 16 of the Village Design Statement.

Should the proposal nevertheless be approved, Council would wish to see the following conditions applied:

o design needs to be sensitive in keeping with the location so close to a Conservation area and therefore should complement the setting.
o layout of the housing should aim to minimise the loss of important views from Tarporley Road towards Kelsall and from Oscroft towards Tarvin.
o houses should not be greater than 2 stories high.
o the affordable housing should be the type needed by the community i.e. shared ownership and rented using an established Housing Association.
o any important trees or other environmental assets to be protected.
o recreation facilities to be properly managed on behalf of the whole community by the Parish Council.
o a comprehensive and objective assessment of the current infrastructure to be published alongside the plan for full implementation of the proposals necessary to overcome the problems identified.

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CHESHIRE WEST AND CHESTER LOCAL PLAN (Part 2) CONSULTATION

Chester West and Chester Council ('CWaC') issued a consultation document in August (see link, left) to help shape future land allocation policies and other matters. The document invited responses from local parish councils, residents and other interested stakeholders with a deadline for submissions set as Friday 23rd September.

A key consultative item is the matter of Gypsy and Traveller and Travelling Showpersons' accommodation. CWaC are legally obliged to identify and develop suitable sites for such accommodation and have employed a firm of consultants to prepare a short list of potential sites for further, more detailed consideration.

Two of the short-listed sites are within Tarvin parish. One is on land owned by Church Farm, accessed off Cross Lanes on the way to Oscroft. This site has been designated 'Red', which is defined as 'insurmountable constraints present on the site which would make the development of a traveller site unsuitable'.

The other potential site is on land adjacent to Tarporley Road, Tarvin, approximately opposite the junction with Hockenhull Avenue. In the consultation, it is referred to as 'Holding No. 10'. This site is designated 'Amber', which is defined as 'site considered to be suitable subject to further investigation or the introduction of mitigation measures'.

Note that at this stage that the Tarporley Road site is one of several under consideration and no decision has yet been taken as to which of the sites, if any, will be progressed. The consultation document is reproduced here and the relevant section starts on page 131.

The Parish Council has considered the matter in detail at two open council meetings and has concluded that the site is wholly unsuitable for a development of this nature. The council's response to CWaC is reproduced above left.

Update December 2016

On November 21st, the CW&C Local Plan Working Party met to discuss aspects of their draft Local Plan -- Part 2. The inclusion of a number of sites as possible Gypsy sites was a dominant feature of the meeting with a many local representatives speaking against many of the proposed sites. Tarvin was represented by a number of individuals who spoke out strongly against the inclusion of the land on Tarporley Road in the list. Borough Councillor Leather's objections were read out in his absence.

Over 2,000 comments on the different Gypsy Site proposals had been received and there were objections to the consultants work voiced by Borough Councillors. One comment was that "it was the poorest piece of work ever submitted to the Council"'. In the face of such strong opposition the Working Group agreed to set up a smaller Task Force to visit all the disputed sites so that they were aware of the full context of the local objections.

The Parish Council expressed a desire that they should be involved in any such a visit so that the consultation could be truly 'local'.

Despite this the Planners present at the meeting expressed a wish to maintain the time table for progressing the Local Plan process through to adoption, as follows:

Nov 2016 Local Plan Working Group Initial report back to Members of the level and nature of consultation comments received and outline of next steps

Early 2017 Local Plan Working Group Consider detailed report of consultation responses received on traveller sites

April/ May 2017 Local Plan Working Group Consider draft Publication plan and recommend to Cabinet that the draft plan is approved for public consultation

June 2017 Cabinet / Council Approve draft Publication plan for public consultation (6 weeks).

Late 2017 Local Plan Working Group Consideration of responses and recommend to Cabinet draft Submission plan is approved for submission

CwAC approval of draft plan for submission

Late 2017/ early 2018 Examination in public by independent Inspector

Inspector's report.

2018 CwAC decision whether to adopt the Plan with the modifications proposed by the Inspector.

Given the strength of local objections from many areas to the gypsy sites this may not prove possible, but the timetable does indicate that there may be some time to go before a definitive answer is available for the Tarvin and other villages.

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