Aylesbury Vale Area

MM075

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Object

VALP Main Modifications

Representation ID: 3075

Received: 17/12/2019

Respondent: Clifton Kirstie (Bovis Homes Limited)

Agent: Define Planning & Design

Legally compliant? Yes

Sound? No

Representation Summary:

As Bovis Homes' representation to MM0076.

Change suggested by respondent:

As above.

Full text:

As Bovis Homes' representation to MM0076.

Object

VALP Main Modifications

Representation ID: 3221

Received: 15/12/2019

Respondent: Miss Marlen Lawrenz

Legally compliant? No

Sound? No

Representation Summary:

I object to MM070, MM071, MM075 and MM076 (in respect of 'Shenley Park') given that:-
1) The modifications were made without due consultation of the affected parties, thereby preventing a proper comparison testing of the three potential sites (Eaton Leys, Salden Chase & Shenley Park).
2) AVDC failed to comply with its 'Duty to Cooperate' with the adjoining local authority MKC in terms of i) local planning aims, and ii) developer's contributions.
3) The Sustainability Appraisal appears to be incomplete, jeopardising the report's soundness and validity of its conclusions.

Change suggested by respondent:

Modifications MM07, MM071, MM075 & MM076 need to be deleted from the VALP before adoption of the VALP occurs. Eaton Leys, Bletchley or Salden Chase, Newton Longville should be considered as a sustainable replacement for Shenley Park. Ideally, alternative sustainable sites should be identified closer to the larger towns within Aylesbury Vale - thereby helping that towns' sustainability and economy rather than that of Milton Keynes.

Full text:

I object to the proposed Main Modifications MM070, MM071, MM075 and, importantly, MM076, which have all been made in respect of 'Shenley Park (WHA001). My objection is based on the following key points:-

1. Shenley Park was only included at this late stage by way of 'modification'. It is, however, evident that AVDC's decision to prefer Shenley Park over the two competing sites (Eaton Leys & Salden Chase) was taken without allowing for a full hearing of the parties affected by the proposed site allocation. This lack of consultation denied Whaddon Parish Council and local residents the opportunity to properly examine, scrutinize and discuss Shenley Park and its impact. Importantly, this also prevented a due & proper comparison testing of the three potential allocation sites. This is unfair and the modifications are not adequately justified. I ask the Inspector to open a further hearing session at the end of the consultation period to rectify this defect, which could otherwise render the final plan unsound and therefore, potentially, unlawful.

2. The proposed modifications were made by AVDC without complying with its 'Duty to Co- operate' with the adjoining authority (being MKC). Whilst AVDC stated that it kept MKC informed, no records or minutes have been provided to evidence effective discussions or proper joint working. It was acknowledged by MKC at the Full Council Meeting on 23 Oct 2019 that a failure to cooperate had occurred. This breach of Government guidelines and national policy may affect the soundness of the plan. I therefore ask the Inspector to re- open the hearing sessions to allow AVDC to adequately respond.

2.1. This failure to cooperate is particularly concerning as the AVDC Local Plan fails to take into account the strategies stated in the MKC Local Plan, in particular in terms of MK's proposed development areas, infrastructure, accessibility and biodiversity aims. This casts serious doubt on the effectiveness of the AVDC Local Plan where it is not aligned with the MKC Local Plan.

2.2. Further issues arise in respect of the proposed distribution of S106 payments, or indeed the complete lack of discussion regarding CIL payments. All three proposed sites are located in immediate proximity of Milton Keynes. As a result, residents will primarily use MK's public services, in particular for healthcare, policing, ambulance, fire services, education etc. This was even acknowledged in the proposed modification MM076. Yet, the AVDC Local Plan fails to address or mitigate the respective strain on MK's infrastructure. In fact, there is a fundamental mismatch between the two local authorities' treatment of developer's contributions: Whilst MKC operates a tariff system under the CIL regime (with a guaranteed amount paid per dwelling), AVDC have not yet started preparing for the adoption of CIL; this is only expected to commence after the Local Plan is adopted. Instead, AVDC rely on the S106 method which is open to developer debate and challenge, therefore potentially delaying the Local Plan's delivery.
And yet, this discrepancy was not remedied by way of 'proper joint working'. I therefore ask the Inspector to re-open the hearing to allow for full discussion of the above points.

3. AVDC uses the Sustainability Appraisal (SA) as main evidence for its decision to favour Shenley Park over suitable alternatives at Eaton Leys and Salden Chase. However, it appears that the SA fails to adequately discuss and appraise some important aspects of Shenley Park in terms of landscape, traffic & highways and biodiversity, therefore casting serious doubt on the completeness and effectiveness of the document. Importantly, the document completely omits the importance of the North Bucks Way (Bridleway). This is not justified. Without duly considering the importance of this ancient landscape boundary, natural habitat and wildlife corridor, the report's soundness is seriously jeopardised, in particular its reasoning and conclusions regarding the sites' landscape and biodiversity aspects. I therefore urge the Inspector to re-open the hearing to be able to adequately discuss and assess the impact of interrupting the North Bucks Way by the proposed grid road extensions.

Object

VALP Main Modifications

Representation ID: 3426

Received: 17/12/2019

Respondent: Willis Dawson Holdings Ltd

Agent: Pegasus Plannning Group

Legally compliant? Yes

Sound? No

Representation Summary:

Object to the proposed allocation of Shenley Park to meet needs in the north east of the district.
Object to the site selection process - see reps on MM007
Land West of Newton Leys should be allocated for c.400 dwellings (the HELAA fails to take account of new evidence for West Newton Leys yet assessments for other sites have been updated).

Change suggested by respondent:

Pegasus seek a change to the proposed modification so that an additional site is included - land west of Newton Leys, Milton Keynes for approximately 400 dwellings.

Policy D2 Delivery site allocations in the rest of the district - should be amended to include land west of Newton Leys (this can be in addition to the other sites such as part of Shenley Park or part of Eaton Leys in recognition of the need to provide a range and choice of sites to ensure delivery in the plan period and acknowledging that there are already delays to the Salden Chase strategic allocation following the refusal to grant permission for highway access by Milton Keynes Council).

As a consequence other sites do not have to deliver as many dwellings in the plan period.

Full text:

This representation addresses MM075- new site policy for Shenley Park.
Pegasus object to the proposed allocation of Shenley Park.
Whilst supporting the strategy of concentrating the additional development required in the AVLP around the southern and south western edges of Milton Keynes, an objection is made to the reliance on one site of approximately 1,150 dwellings.
See representations to MM007, MM070

Object

VALP Main Modifications

Representation ID: 3493

Received: 17/12/2019

Respondent: L&Q Estates

Agent: Barton Willmore

Legally compliant? No

Sound? No

Representation Summary:

Considers that the SA Report Addendum's appraisal findings are deficient and should be revised. It is deficient in its assessment of Eaton Leys vs the other two sites on grounds of - HEELA update flawed assessing Eaton Leys to take account of adjoining development; more nuanced approach on landscape & AAL needed; biodiversity conclusions not accepted; conclusions of SFRA Addendum not accepted - green infrastructure will contribute to Climate Change Adaption; could provide a secondary school if required; highway transport impacts slight sustainable transport initiatives not properly considered.

The revised appraisal demonstrates that Eaton Leys performs well against the majority of
objectives and is ranked ahead of the Shenley Park and Salden Chase Extension. Should recommend Eaton Leys as the preferred option.

Change suggested by respondent:

A further update to AVDC's HELAA which identifies Eaton Leys as 'suitable for
housing'.

Having regard to the wide-ranging flaws in AVDC's site selection process, the
proposed allocation of Shenley Park through Policy D-WHA001 is it is demonstrably
unjustified and therefore unsound. Additional hearings are required to consider
the procedural and evidential concerns which are set out above.

Full text:

see attachment

Object

VALP Main Modifications

Representation ID: 3636

Received: 13/12/2019

Respondent: West Waddy

Legally compliant? Yes

Sound? No

Representation Summary:

(Officer's summary)
The allocation of Shenley Park is unsound. It would extend Milton Keynes beyond a firm landscape ridge and have significant adverse landscape impacts, particularly on the southern parcel where Milton Keynes would effectively coalesce with Whaddon village, adversely impacting upon the
character of its Conservation Area. Alternative brownfield land is available on part of the FCC
Environment land at Bletchley Road, north of Newton Longville, which was a former Brick Works.
Redevelopment here would have a much lower environmental impact and could help preserve the
separateness of Whaddon and Milton Keynes.

Change suggested by respondent:

Allocate previously developed FCC Environment land at the former Brick Works in Bletchley Road, north of Newton Longville for up to 600 dwellings and make a proportionate reduction in the size of proposed allocation at Shenley Park, for the reasons outlined in the full representation.

Full text:

VALP Proposed Main Modifications - Representations on behalf of FCC Environment:
Enter your full representation here:
Fundamental to a plan being justified and sound is that it is based on proportionate and up to date evidence that looks at reasonable alternatives (NPPF, paras 31 & 35). AVDC has singularly ignored this requirement, in allocating land at Shenley Park for at least 1,150 homes, 110-bed care home/extra care and associated
services & infrastructure. This is a large greenfield site, currently in agricultural use, parts of which are highly sensitive in landscape terms. The Council's 'Landscape & Visual Capacity Comparison Assessment,'
(2019), states that "Development within the western part of the northern parcel would be seen as extending
the development edge [of Milton Keynes] to within close proximity of Whaddon Conservation Area, to include
Whaddon Hall. Development within the southern parcel would represent an unacceptable extension of
development into the countryside and visible from the wider landscape," (para 5.1.25 of ED201A). Despite
this negative assessment the Council has nonetheless decided to allocate the whole site for development,
with the north-westernmost corner actually being contiguous with a part of the Whaddon Conservation Area.
The effect of this allocation would therefore, if adopted, be to cause the coalescence of Milton Keynes with
Whaddon and would also involve development crossing the landscape ridge that has hitherto defined the
built-up edge of Milton Keynes. The Final Housing & Economic Land Availability Assessment (HELAA)
version 4 (Jan 2017) also described the Shenley Park site as "highly sensitive in landscape/visual impact
terms so the scale, layout and form of development, will be very important," (Site ref: WHA001 p.253).
Development of Shenley Park would result in the loss of an extensive area of greenfield land (99ha) that
contributes to the character and beauty of the 'Whaddon Chase' countryside and is of some value for its
agricultural use.
Despite the significant detrimental effects that would arise from this proposed allocation, the Council has not
made any assessment of the potential of the FCC Environment land at Bletchley Road, near Newton Longville. This site is located adjacent to the southern edge of Bletchley town and a substantial part was
formerly occupied by the Newton Longville Brickworks. Despite the fact that part of the former Brickworks site is allocated for employment-use redevelopment in the adopted Aylesbury Vale District Local Plan
(AVDLP) (2004) and another part has an extant consent for further employment-use redevelopment, surprisingly, the Council state in their 2017 HELAA that it is: "unsuitable - the site is in the open countryside separate from Newton Longville and Bletchley" and states that "development would be likely to have an adverse landscape & visual impact" (Site ref: NLV029).
That assessment conclusion is unsound on three grounds:
1. The site is adjoined by a ribbon of ten residential properties fronting Bletchley Road, which were originally associated with the former brickworks, and have the character of an urban terrace extending south from the built edge of Bletchley town and the soon to be reopened East-West rail line connecting
Bicester with Milton Keynes;
2. The Council has a long history of identifying the site as suitable for redevelopment. In 1995 the Council approved a Planning Brief for the Newton Longville Brickworks, which identified the former brickworks
as having: "potential for employment development" and also stated that: "this area could also be suitable for some low value/bad neighbour uses, provided they cause no significant nuisance to nearby residents" (p14). Subsequently, in the Local Plan 2004, parts of the former brickworks were allocated for employment use under policy RA.34. Subsequently, the Council granted planning permission for
erection of a single-storey modular office building with associated car parking and landscaping (15/00235/APP) on the southern part of the FCC Environment land; installation and use of a leachate treatment plant (09/20001/AWD); and planning permission has also been granted for the area
adjoining its northern boundary for temporary use for a construction compound incorporating storage area, site offices and car parking (18/04521/APP) associated with the re-opening of East-West rail;
3. The FCC site does not have the character of countryside, as it contains the remains of the former industrial use including access roads & hard standings. It is also very well screened by mature trees, 25 October 2019
so is not visible from the countryside to the south or west and would not therefore have a detrimental landscape impact. The assessment that the site is in the open countryside is therefore wrong. Indeed, this is confirmed by the
Council's own assessment of what it refers to as NLV024 in its 2017 HEELA, which relates to the part of the FCC Environment land furthest from Bletchley and therefore most likely to impact on the character of the countryside. That assessment describes the NLV024 land as suitable for employment and acknowledges that it has granted planning permission for 645m2 of employment in a modular office building in this location.
Unlike Shenley Park, the previously developed FCC Environment land in Bletchley Road is currently unused, so is not being used efficiently or most effectively. Therefore leaving it as it is would not accord with NPPF
advice, which states that planning policies should: "give substantial weight to the value of using suitable brownfield land within settlements for homes and other identified needs, and support appropriate opportunities to remediate despoiled, degraded, derelict, contaminated or unstable land" (para 118 c) and
to "promote and support the development of under-utilised land and buildings, especially if this would help to meet identified needs for housing where land supply is constrained," (para 118 d).
Despite the imperative need to make suitable use of the FCC Environment land opportunities at Bletchley
Road, near Newton Longville, the Council has not undertaken any proper assessment regarding its redevelopment potential and has not been willing to engage with FCC Environment, despite the clear NPPF requirement for early, proportionate and effective engagement. In order to ensure that it was considered as
part of any main modifications, FCC Environment made a site submission to the Council on 1st March 2019 and stated that they would welcome the opportunity to meet the Council to discuss the site. Further follow up letters were sent on 2nd April and 14th August 2019 requesting a meeting, and also enclosing an
illustrative masterplan demonstrating how 600 dwellings could be accommodated on the FCC land. Council Officers have thus far declined to respond positively to FCC's approaches.
Given that FCC Environment had identified the land as available for redevelopment within 5 years and is
ideally placed to meet identified needs in the local area, the site should have been assessed in the sustainability, transport, landscape, flooding, viability, ecology, water supply and heritage assessments that were subsequently undertaken on the Council's behalf in relation to the proposed main modifications and
the Housing and Economic Land Availability Assessment Update 2019 (ED204; ED205; ED206; ED208; ED210; ED211; ED214; RED215; ED216; ED217 & ED222). Regrettably, no consideration was given to the site in any of these documents. It is acknowledged that the majority of the site is currently a Biological
Notification Site. To achieve a net gain in biodiversity a large area would be left undisturbed to protect the
underlying geology and biodiversity enhancement areas are proposed in the south-west and north-east
corners of the site.
We note that the identified delivery of housing at Shenley Park is over the period 2024 - 2033. Over that
period, we consider that there would be potential to deliver up to 600 dwellings at the FCC Environment
Bletchley Road site, which would substantially reduce the amount of development needing to be provided
on greenfield land at Shenley Park. Any such reduction in size of the Shenley Park proposal would help
mitigate its landscape, transport and heritage impacts.
An illustrative masterplan of the potential development layout on FCC's land in Bletchley Road and how this
could be delivered in three phases delivering in total up to 600 dwellings is attached.
It is therefore suggested that the amount of development at Shenley Park should be reduced proportionately
by allocating the FCC Bletchley Road land, as identified on the attached illustrative masterplan, which would
in turn:
- enable a landscape gap to be maintained, thereby preserving the separate identity of Whaddon
and preventing coalescence with Milton Keynes;
- protect the character, appearance and setting of the Whaddon Conservation Area;
- significantly reduce the amount of greenfield development needed on the sensitive southern parcel of the Shenley Park site; and
- enable the unused previously developed FCC Environment land of the former Brick works to be
brought back into active use.
Without these adjustments, we contend that the Plan is unsound as the proposed allocation of Shenley Park
does not constitute "an appropriate strategy, taking into account the reasonable alternatives, based on proportionate evidence", nor is it consistent with the NPPF in terms of making most effective use of land
(para 35).