Minutes Extraordinary Council Meeting 25th January 2021

Cotgrave Town Council Extraordinary Virtual Meeting (via Zoom) 25th January 2021

Present                          
Councillors D Stothard (Acting Chairman), H Brumpton (from7.06pm), K Chewings, B Handbury, N Monday,
C Patterson, I Shaw and A Simpson.

Apologies Received     
Councillors R Butler, M Chewings, L Healy, C Jeffreys and D Wilkie.

Absent                          
Councillors D Eldridge and S Ellis

Attendance                       
The Town Clerk, Administration Manager (Cotgrave Town Council) and 1 member of the public.
                                                                                                                   

The meeting was held virtually, via Zoom, and commenced at 7.03pm

Apologies

1350    
The apologies given by Councillors M Chewings, C Jeffreys and D Wilkie were approved.

1351    
Councillors K Chewings requested that the Clerk ask Councillors R Butler and L Healy for more information relating to their apologies before approval of them could be made.

Declarations of Interest

1352    
No declarations of interest were received.

Public Open Session

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No members of the pubic wished to speak.

Planning Application 20/03248/OUT – Land Rear of Mill Lane/The Old Park, Cotgrave

1354    
This item had been deferred from the previous Town Council Meeting, where the item could be discussed in further detail before Council agree to the comments to be put forward to the planning department by 28th January 2021.

1355    
Councillor K Chewings and the working group had previously met to discuss various issues and the impacts on Cotgrave by further building.

1356    
Councillor K Chewings shared a document which outlined the breaches of planning conditions of the Local Plan Part 1 for the building of dwellings at Hollygate Lane regarding the building of an access bridge, which has still not been carried out and why this would need to be addressed before any new building starts.

1357    
Council also indicated that they had concerns with issues of traffic within Cotgrave and had planned to carry out a traffic survey which was not possible to do at the present time due to Covid-19 restrictions, also a survey also at this time would not be a true reflection on the amount of traffic movement in the current national lockdown.

1358    
Issues were also raised with regard to school places, both primary and secondary and provision of the medical centre services.

1359    
Councillor K Chewings indicated that council should comment to Rushcliffe Borough Council regarding the planning application including that the Local Plan Part 2 stated that the housing provision would be 180 dwellings on this site and not 210 as per the outline planning application.

1360    
Council had been copied into a letter from a resident, who was objecting to the planning application, that she had forwarded to the Planning Department.

1361    
Councillor H Brumpton discussed various issues that she had noted with the ecological surveys that should have also been carried out prior to the planning application and when they would be carried out prior to building consent.

1362    
Councillor K Chewings asked Councillor Brumpton if she could write up a report for approval by Council to also be submitted to the Planning Department.

1363    
Councillor I Shaw had written a traffic report previously, which showed how many cars came into Cotgrave from one entrance/ exit and this was also used for inclusion with the documents.

1364    
Councillor K Chewings proposed that Council submit the comments to Rushcliffe Borough Council Planning Department as reproduced as follows: –

Previous Planning Condition Breaches

Cotgrave Town Council notes that the applicant has recently completed a significant development in Cotgrave on the Hollygate Lane Site. It notes that the planning application for that site had planning conditions. Including condition 49 OF 10/00559/OUT VARIED BY 14/00075/VAR

(10/00559/OUT) was granted for the Hollygate Park site on the 30th March 2011, with condition 49 stating:

Prior to the commencement of development, a scheme shall be presented and approved in writing detailing the location, design and method of construction of the pedestrian /cycle bridge. The scheme shall also include protected species surveys and proposed mitigation measures. The bridge shall be constructed in accordance with the approved scheme prior to the commencement of development.

This condition was varied on the 22nd August 2014, by application 14/00075/VAR, condition 49 now states:

Prior to the occupation of the 100th (one hundred) dwelling a scheme shall be submitted and approved in writing detailing the location, design, and method of construction of the pedestrian / cycle bridge. The scheme shall be constructed in accordance with the approved scheme, prior to the occupation of the 200th dwelling.

Even though the site has now been completed for a number of years and nearly 10 years has passed since the original planning condition was imposed. The applicant has still failed to meet its legal obligation to provide a pedestrian / cycle bridge, breaching all deadlines imposed by Rushcliffe Borough Council (Planning Authority). This raises a concern and asks questions on the ability of the applicant to adhere to planning conditions assigned to any application.

We ask the planning authority to give due to consideration to these persistent breaches and consider whether the developer is suitable to undertake another development when they still have not met the conditions of the last development. If the application is granted, we ask that any conditions placed on the plan have clear time / milestone markers, that these are monitored if breached, then enforcement action is taken rather than left to slide for nearly 10 years!

Housing allocation

Rushcliffe Local Plan Part 1 allocated a development for 470 houses, this allocation increased the amount of dwelling’s in Cotgrave by approx. 20%.

Rushcliffe subsequently undertook Local Plan Part 2 which created a new strategic housing allocation required for Rushcliffe up until 2028. This document sets out what is required to meet the need for expected growth within the Rushcliffe. It allocated Cotgrave a further 370 houses over 2 sites.

  1. Land rear of Mill Lane / The old Park (This application) – 180 Houses
  2. Land South of Hollygate Lane – 190 Houses

If the allocation of houses detailed in Rushcliffe Local Plan Part 2 were built in line with the document. Cotgrave would see an increase in number of dwelling by circa 35% since 2014.

Site Name Allocated by LP 1 & 2 Proposed Increase of 16.7% Hollygate Lane 470 470 (No change) Land Rear of Mill Lane 180 210 South of Hollygate lane 190 222 Total 840 902  

However, this planning application that is listed is for 210 dwelling, an increase of 30 dwellings (16.7% greater) than detailed in the Local Plan Part 2. It is Cotgrave Town Council’s belief that if this is accepted it would set a precedent for the other site – Land South of Hollygate Lane to increase their allocation (and in fact we have already heard from a developer from that site expressing an interest in increasing the allocation).

If that site (South of Hollygate) was to be increased by the same percentage as this application, then Cotgrave will face an increase of dwellings by circa 37.2 % since 2014.

Cotgrave Town Council notes:

  1. The Local Plan Part 2 sets out the required number of housing required to meet demand for Rushcliffe, there is no necessity or reason to increase the allocation for this site or any other site. 
  2. Cotgrave has already faced significant growth in the last 6 years, with an increase of circa 20%
  3. Forecasted growth in line with local plan part 1 and 2 would see an increase in dwellings for Cotgrave circa 35% without any additional increases by the developers.

We ask the planning authority to consider these points when considering this application and return a refusal. Requiring the developer to keep the development size within that set out in the local plan part 2, to ensure that Cotgrave does not face excessive growth putting strains on local amenities, infrastructure, and transport networks.

Ecology Concerns relating to planning application

Cotgrave Town Council have noted that there are no current up to date surveys submitted regards the ecology or environmental impact in this application for the site.

Barratts representatives admitted at a meeting with Cotgrave Town Council in November 2020, that there had not been any surveys taken since 2019.

It takes a year to compile surveys for all flora/fauna, and so these outline plans cannot possibly mitigate for any current biodiversity without current surveys to be undertaken.

This being the case for the peat area of the site too.

Looking at the plans and the report by Geo-Matters Ltd, they mention the removal of peat where some houses are to be built, Cotgrave Town Council believes peat is a protected habitat and removal of it can cause flooding within other areas, as nothing else will soak up the water and regarding the carbon footprint/environmental impact, it would be very unfriendly to remove it. To do so, would impact upon the habitat and that cannot be replicated in mitigation.

Geo-Matters Ltd have stated that the balancing pond is not feasible – again, further flood risk, detrimental to all surrounding habitat and homes, new and existing, gardens, roads, and sewers.

Existing traffic volume in Cotgrave

In order to present a case for considering the problems that exist with the road system in Cotgrave, evidence of usage needs submitting. 

Two serious problems are pinch points and excessive volume of traffic by non-resident users of the access/egress main roads.

The considered pinch-points within the village area: i) the junction of Hollygate Lane and Colston Gate.; ii) the junction of Plumtree Road and Main Road; iii) the junction of Scrimshire Lane and Plumtree Road.  All roads leading to these three points carry volumes of traffic both from residents of Cotgrave, and drivers from the Vale of Belvoir seeking a route after crossing or exiting the A46, to reach either the A52 or the A606.  Because of vision impairment, junctions i) and iii) have added danger in addition to congestion.

It will be necessary to carry out a traffic count on the following roads:  i) at a point after the Stragglethorpe Road junction and before the roundabout at Hollygate Park to count traffic travelling into Cotgrave.  ii) at the start of the houses on Colston Gate to count traffic travelling into Cotgrave.  iii) at the top of the hill on Owthorpe Road to count traffic travelling into Cotgrave.  iv) at the signed entrance to Cotgrave on Plumtree Road to count traffic exiting Cotgrave.  v) at the signed entranced to Cotgrave on Main Road to count traffic exiting Cotgrave.  The suggested times would be 07.00 to 0830 and a reverse situation at 1630 to 1800 – i), ii) and iii) to count traffic leaving Cotgrave, iv) and v) to count traffic entering Cotgrave.   In this way traffic entering and leaving Cotgrave at the morning and evening rush hours could be measured and none-resident usage could be calculated with a reasonable degree of accuracy.  The morning and evening counts should each be simultaneous again to ensure as near as possible reasonable accuracy.

Pinch points exist at the traffic lights at Home House and at The Shepherds.  The main cause is the phasing of the lights at Home House.  A buildup of traffic waiting to turn right off Radcliffe Road at times can result in the filter lane being full and traffic stopped in the fast lane.  Also, as a result of the current phasing, traffic backing up along Stragglethorpe Road can reach beyond the junction with Cotgrave Lane causing a bottleneck at that point.  Additional to these problems, the volume of traffic travelling through Cotgrave uses Bingham Road onto Main Road or Plumtree road.  With a school on Plumtree Road close to the junction, this is a problem point with parents taking their children to school which necessitates them stopping in this area.

These proposed traffic counts should not be held at the present time as the COVID-19 restrictions has reduced the volume of traffic using these roads.  Once the COVID-19 restrictions are relaxed and things return to some form of normality will be the time to conduct the counts.  However, it is envisaged that this could be as long as six months or more in the future.

It is considered this evidence will indicate the unacceptable volume of traffic that uses the Cotgrave road system – a volume that will increase following the building of more houses and the re-cycling plant.

1365    
Councillor I Shaw seconded the proposal.  All Council agreed.

1366    
Resolved          :          
‘To approve the planning application for 180 houses and to object to the request of 30 additional houses.’

1367    
The meeting closed at 8.09pm.

Chairman…….………………………………… Signed as a True Record (Date)………………………………

Council minutes remain in draft form until approved at the next Council Meeting.