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Minutes Extraordinary Virtual Meeting 4th November 2020

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Present :         
Councillors S Gardner (Chairman), H Brumpton, R Butler, K Chewings, D Eldridge, S Ellis, B Handbury, L Healy,
C Jeffreys, N Monday, C Patterson, I Shaw, A Simpson and D Stothard.

Apologies Received:          
Councillor D Wilkie and M Chewings

In Attendance:         
The Town Clerk, Administration Manager (Cotgrave Town Council),  Robert Galij and Charlotte Henson from Barratts/David Wilson Homes and 11 members of the public                   

The meeting was held at virtually, via Zoom, and commenced at 7pm.

Declarations of Interest

No declarations received.

Presentation from Barratts/DavidWilson Homes outlining plans for Hollygate Lane North

Robert Galij, Planning Director and Charlotte Henson, Planning Manager for Barratts/DavidWilson gave a presentation of their plans for the site on Hollygate Lane North.

Robert Galij thanked Cotgrave Town Council for allowing their website to share the consultation documents for the proposed planning of the site and for allowing of an extraordinary meeting to share their plans with council and members of the public.

Councillor K Chewings commented that this meeting would not be allowed to be used as part of Barratts consultation and a public consultation would still need to be completed. This meeting was to inform council of their plans and allow council to ask questions.

Robert Galij noted that the consultation paperwork contained a few minor grammatical typing errors.  Sheet 6 discussing facts and questions should only read seven questions not eight, there is no question eight and on sheet 3, it mentions removed from the green belt, this is completed and a public consultation was completed prior to 2019, which was tested and examined in public.

To date, Barratts have received comments/responses from eight residents and they have commented on loss of green belt, flood/surface water/ roads, noise & disturbance, potential layout of houses and mixes of housing stock, and scale of size of development. Barratts have responded to the residents.

Questions were opened to councillors alphabetically, due to the meeting being held via Zoom.

Councillor Brumpton asked if a full archaeological and ecology work and reports had been completed for the most western part of the site and when this work had been completed? Would the council be given a copy of the reports before planning is applied for?

Councillor Brumpton also asked if the dates of the reports could be made available and a copy of all the reports conducted?

Robert Galij noted the work and reports had been completed and this area would remain open and free from development. The archology dig is still being clarified. The normal surveys carried out have not identified anything exceptional in this area. All reports will be produced and form part of the planning application.

Charlotte Henson, Barratts, informed that some reptiles were found, but were not endangered ones and work to mitigate these will be completed. The reports included breeding birds, reptiles, and other wildlife.

Councillor Brumpton asked for copies of the reports to be made available to her.

Councillor Butler commented on the impact of the additional traffic which the new houses would bring through Cotgrave and that some of the roads in the immediate area were already having issues, especially for pedestrians needing to cross Bingham Road near East Acres. Would any crossing be considered within the plan, also making sufficient car parking places for the new homes and their visitors, to try to reduce the problem of cars partially parked up on the pavements and to not allow the new houses make the situation any worse?

Robert Galij stated that all the impact of the traffic in the new housing area and the surrounding area would need to be thoroughly considered and this would be worked through and agreed with Nottinghamshire County Council, Highways Department. The development would need to not allow to make the traffic situation any worse at peak times. A full transport assessment will be submitted including a travel plan offering other method of transport including public transport for the area. The plan cannot be completed in isolation for this site, it will need to take in consideration the traffic requirements from the planned development for the south of Hollygate Lane.

Councillor K Chewings thanked the public for attending the meeting and for others raising comments, it is very important that the residents are aware and informed of the plans.

Councillor K Chewings noted that Cotgrave had been allocated and now built 470 houses in the Local Plan Part 1 and now Cotgrave is to receive more houses in Local Plan Part II and that housing is required for residents, Local Plan Part II stated 190 new homes, but the plan is now stating 210 new homes, which is an increase of over 10% and then the plan for the south side of Hollygate has also increased from the information given in Local Plan II. Why is there an increase of 20 additional houses?

Councillor K Chewings, as did all the councillors, shared concerns about the increased amount of traffic and its impact and making sure that safe pedestrian crossings where considered in the plans. He noted that the bridge to cross the Grantham Canal was a planning consideration from Local Plan 1 and should have been completed before the completion of Hollygate Park which would have given a safer pedestrian route away from the main road for the families living in Hollygate Park.

Robert Galij noted that Local Plan has a starting figure to achieve, but developments can exceed this number, this is government guidance to make the most use of any space which is to be built in line with the guidelines.

Robert Galij stated that Barratts had been struggling to come to a satisfactory agreement with the Water Ways regarding the building of the bridge and their demands had not been sustainable. An agreement had now finally been reached and the planning application to build the bridge was with Rushcliffe Borough Council and would be sent to Cotgrave Town Council for comments.

Councillor K Chewings asked if the bridge would be completed before any works began on this site?

Councillor K Chewings shared his concerns regarding trust of Barratts when they had not completed all works and why we should put trust in them again.

Robert Galij said that he did not have that information now, but the bridge will be completed by this time next year.

Councillor Eldridge commented that he was not against the development of the houses but would like to know what the mix of housing would be? Would there be any social housing included?

Robert Galij stated that the final mix of housing has not been completed yet but would have a minimum of 10% or 21 units of affordable housing included. There would be a selection of sizes of houses and height and the affordable housing can also include social housing. It may also include shared ownership and discounted rents; this will be all discussed with the planning officers at Rushcliffe Borough Council when the plans are drawn up.

Councillor Eldridge noted his concern about the sharp bend on Bingham Road and the problems this causes, and would the development take this into consideration?

Robert Galij noted that the two plans for Hollygate Lane would work together towards making the roads in this area much safer and better system.

1079     Councillors Gardner, Ellis and Handbury noted that questions concerned the roads and traffic impact in the area, had already been asked, Councillor Handbury just commented that the developments would be likely to bring at least another 400 additional vehicles to the area. He also asked if any residents would be able to have employment on the sites to help with local employment and would Barratts be helping with the issues of additional school and medical places?

1080     Robert Galij said that the development will bring impacts but through the Town And Planning Act, they must work with all departments who provide services to any place, so they will be in discussion with Highways department, Education and the Health Service to consider the impacts and what funding would be required to be produced by the building of the houses. The discussions will include all aspects of the development.

Councillor Handbury suggested the houses could increase the population of Cotgrave by at least 1000 people.

Robert Galij stated that the houses which are to be built in Local Plan II is decided by the Rushcliffe Borough Council and the developers just provide houses within these identified sites.

The western area is being checked by an archology dig to ascertain that there is nothing under the ground of significance importance and the northeast side of the development is ’peaty’ and this could be used for other purposes other than housing in this area.

Councillor Healy asked if some of the land is found not to be suitable, would this change the numbers of houses to be built? Councillor Healy also had concerns regarding the roads and pedestrian footpaths in the area and through the main road,

Robert Galij stated that the number of houses could be affected if some areas where found to be unsuitable.

Councillor Shaw raised his concerns about the number of school places the houses would create and that the current schools had not got many spare places to accommodate the amount of children, he also shared his concerns about the carbon footprint this development could create and that getting appointments to see healthcare professionals was already struggling. He commented that Cotgrave for its size, had an under provision of facilities, including no community hall and concerns regarding the surface water drainage which was an issue in some areas and would the bridge be built if the houses are not built due to reduced numbers. Will there is anything done about the junction at Hollygate and Bingham Road?

Robert Galij stated that the bridge will be built and not affected by this planning consideration and that Barratts would be considering where surface water drainage will be guided to, this will be in discussion with the Environment Agency and other technical engineers. A balancing pond is to be built within the plans to help at storm times and very heavy rain. The additional water will then be directed towards the ditches in the local fields and country park.

The strain on the schools and medical provision will be considered and be part of the CICL/S106 money to be paid by developers to help achieve more facilities for the local area.

The road format will be considered and guided with discussions with Highways Department and other relevant bodies.

Councillor Simpson noted that he felt that Barratts were not answering the questions fully and they need to give more detailed information.

Councillor Stothard noted that the consultation closed on 2nd November and asked why Barratts had not done more to inform residents of Cotgrave about the consultation?

Robert Galij noted that it is difficult to offer a public consultation as previously, due to COVID and that this information had been discussed in a previous consultation. It is still very early days and when a planning application is published, there will be time to make any further comments or observations.

Councillor Stothard asked if they can design a plan without the Archology dig being completed?

Robert Galij stated that Barratts can put in outline planning forward but must be assured that the Archology dig is completed and that nothing has been found. There are many documents and checks which must be completed before planning can be approved.

Councillor Stothard noted that he did not believe that shared ownership is a good option, it is just as expensive as a full mortgage.

Robert Galij noted the comment and said it has a delicate balance when achieving the 10% of affordable housing requirement.

Councillor Stothard felt that the bridge should have been built and that Barratts allowed the discussions over the bridge to allow for the delay and could Barratts allow for any larger proportion of more realistic affordable houses? He noted his concerns over trust with Barratts, especially over the handover of the allotments and how Cotgrave Town Council were publicly criticised on social media.

Robert Galij noted that delivery on all building developments is not straight forward and he is sorry to hear that comment.

Members of the public were asked to present their questions.

A resident who has a property which is very close to the boundary of the development site is dissatisfied that they have not been informed and have concerns regarding the privacy of their property, they have not received any notifications and they live on Morkinshire Lane and what would be the timescale to build out the development?

Robert Galij responded that privacy will be a consideration when building houses in that area and this will be discussed with the Rushcliffe Borough Council, Sheet 4 does have information on timescale considerations but the critical time path has not yet been completed, it maybe Spring 2021, May 2021 will has details of all reserved matters and legal completions and the show home and some roads from May 2022.

A resident noted that the bridge would now be started and that the authority who Barratts had need to work with, are very difficult.

The resident noted the number of houses and noted that a SUDS system is in the northeast corner of the site, close to Cotgrave Country Park, this area has been waterlogged for many years and runs off into the pond on the country park and fills the drainage ditches around the park which are natural features, What will Barratts do to help with the water/drainage?

Robert Galij commented that Barratts proactively capture run off water and place it into existing ditches and ponds where it can.

Residents asked how they would be kept informed about the planning application?

Robert Galij said there were several stages to the planning application and residents would be informed by letter, if they adjoin the site or site notices on lamp posts in the area and this will give them time to express any concerns they might have. He would also like to allow further council meetings to give more information and Rushcliffe Borough Council would inform Cotgrave Town Council and residents when it is time for comments or concerns.

A resident noted that the Church of England school is at capacity and if the trend continues, local primary children will need to be bused to schools outside of Cotgrave by 2023.

A resident enquired what the profit Barratts would make from building houses on this site, and commented that this site had been looked at previously for building? Also, shared their concern that the plan was progressing without the full findings from the archology dig yet completed.

Robert Galij noted the comment, but that information on profit is commercially sensitive and not for discussion.

Another resident asked if Barratts could say what the minimum distance on the western boundary from the existing properties to the new houses would be and when would the first house be built and how far into the western development? Also asked if some of the land was unusable would Barratts push more houses into a smaller area, rather than reduce the number of houses?

Robert Galij noted that some inform is shown on sheet 4/5 of the documents, which copies can be found on the Cotgrave Town Council website and some of this area will remain open.

Charlotte Henson, Barratts, noted that houses to be built will have a gap of 19/20 metres facing each other.

Robert Galij stated that the site will be used efficiently, and the plans shown currently, are not necessary the final plan. Any current flooding issues around the site but not currently on the site will not be dealt with.

1114     Councillor K Chewings put forward a motion to council to

‘Form a working group to consider the planning application and make comments and to put the recording of the meeting in a place for the public to access.’

Councillor Stothard seconded the motion.

Council all agreed to the motion, apart from Councillor Healy who abstained.

Councillor Brumpton noted that none of the ecology reports had been completed this year and said that they would need to be completed again. The peaty area was of concern to her because this is an area of special importance to some wildlife and this would need to be looked at.

Robert Galij said that if any of the reports were required to be completed again, because of delayed start, this would be completed again and Barratts are advised by Natural England, Nottinghamshire County Council, and other legal bodies.

Council thanked Robert and Charlotte for attending the meeting and giving their presentation and for answering the questions raised.

All councillors were asked to comment, but those who are not mentioned, noted that the questions they had wished to raise had already been covered by another councillor.

There being no further business the meeting closed at 8.45pm

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