Wagtails objections sent to WC
Published: 19 March 2023
Land to the East of Wagtails, Southampton Road, Alderbury , SP5 3AF
Outline Application for up to 30 dwellings (as amended) with all matters reserved (except access)
Alderbury Parish Council objects to this application.
Alderbury Parish Council called an extraordinary meeting to discuss this application on 13/3/23. This meeting was well attended by residents and councillors, and we believe the views expressed below seem unanimous in the village. The strength of feeling is clear.
With 50 houses currently being built at the former football club site and 28 erected at Matron’s College in the past few years, we have seen a big expansion of the village already.
Everyone commenting has expressed great disappointment that almost nothing has been done to address the objections raised when this application went in last year. The developer has made very little effort to explain how they have addressed the points.
ALDERBURY PARISH COUNCIL WISHES ALL ITS COMMENTS FROM JUNE 2022 TO GO FORWARD.
In particular, the following points remain:
· Density – this development is out of keeping with the surrounding area. Removing 2 houses does not address this problem. We found the comment from Landscape 13/2/23 that this is ‘urban infill’ particularly unsettling. It certainly is not and Alderbury remains firmly within the legal definition of ‘rural’.
· Drainage – we noted the concerns of the official drainage consultee, which we reiterate and would suggest that anyone visiting the site after some rain will see the evidence of ground surface runoff for themselves. The area is also known to be a source of many underground springs.
· The village boundary – when this application was last submitted, we did acknowledge that there was some uncertainty about the boundary. This has now been confirmed and this site clearly sits outside that boundary.
· The need – analysis in the comments from Spatial Planning 9/2/23 states that there is no need for this additional housing as the local requirement has been met, and in fact, exceeded. They conclude that the ‘proposal does not constitute sustainable development’. Do note above the number of houses already recently built or agreed in the village.
· Biodiversity net gain – Sustaining the environment is a matter which is of great importance to the parish and all who live here. We know too, that it is a matter of concern to Wiltshire Council. Many comments bring up the loss of the trees which were on this site ahead of the original application for planning permission. The land when it had those trees MUST BE the base point for measuring any biodiversity gain. Whilst the statutory 10% net gain does not come into force until November 2023, it would surely be already relevant here as it seems unlikely there will be a start on construction before then. Residents and councillors know that developers can fulfil their obligations with land elsewhere, but the loss of so many trees in the village begins to change the very nature of the place. It is here in Alderbury that we want to maintain a nature-friendly environment. The removal of two houses and the introduction of a few bat boxes and nesting boxes is just not enough and a clear indication the developers do not take the bio-diversity issue seriously. Residents begin to feel the very essence of being a rural village is being lost by the continual loss of green space.
· Traffic – residents consider the number of existing exits onto Southampton Road already to be high. This will add another. Whilst National Highways have not objected, we do know that they are looking at the A36 and collating data on how planned developments in villages feeding onto it will impact traffic volumes. Alderbury residents experience the delays when traffic backs up on the A36 already and assume that these will be exacerbated by the addition of yet more properties in the village when a solution has not been identified.