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Paul Wilkinson
webmaster
Thursday, October 9, 2008 07:58
A splendid sample letter...
James Wood of Cross Hills posted a copy of his letter of to Craven District Council on the Craven Herald site. I've reproduced it below (James, I hope you don't mind, if you do please let me know and I will remove it).

The letter refers specifically to Plot 304 on the map, I think our case needs a similar type of response for each of the plots on the map.

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Dear Strategic Director

Re: Objections to Craven Local Development Framework SHELAA

I am formally objecting to the SHELAA sites for South Craven and in particular number 304 on the plan dates May 2008.

The plot of land outlined as 304 is unsuitable for building purposes for the following reasons which form the basis of my objection:


1. The majority of the site (roughly 90%) is situated within the Environment Agencies Flood Zone 3 and is therefore not suitable for development Government guidance contained within PPS25 gives detail that:
Areas of flood risk should not be developed for housing. This area (304) regularly floods and is therefore not suitable for development.
The guidance also states that areas within flood zone 3 (which includes 304) should not be considered for development until areas in zones 1 & 2 have been developed. This is not the case and so remains unsuitable for development. Areas within flood zones 1 & 2 should be considered first, which includes sites 307, 308, 311, 312, 313, 314, 315, 316, 320, 321, 323, 324 & 325.

2. Area 304 is currently designated as open plan countryside in the Craven District Local plan and so there is a strong presumption against development in this area.

3. The land which currently controls access to the site is owned by the Highways agency, which creates possible third part ownership. The SHELAA states that development can be delivered within 5 years, this is clearly not the case here and so area 304 is unsuitable for development. Policy ENV1 of the Craven District Council Local Plan seeks to protect and enhance the quality of open countryside and small scale development should only be allowed if it clearly benefits the local economy, helps the maintain or enhance landscape character........etc
. Appendix 4 of the SHELAA states that site 304 would be developed into 104 dwellings, which constitutes a large scale development and as this site is outside the development boundary for Cross Hills, would be contrary to Policy ENV1. This area is also classed as Greenfield and so is not suitable for development.

4. Site 304 currently provides division between Sutton in Craven, Cross Hills and Glusburn. To develop the site would merge these villages and so loose identity, which is important to local people. Craven District Local Plan Sept 2007 Policy BE3 states that this area was saved for a further 3 years and that this area is green wedge. The policy states that green wedge development will be resisted where it would compromise the gap between settlements. Site 304 is therefore unsuitable for development, as it would close this gap.

5. The site is beautiful and contributes to the rural setting in which my family and I have chosen to make our home. The council have designated this site as open countryside and so I ask that this be respected.

6. There are already severe infrastructure problems within Cross Hills, Glusburn and Sutton in Craven.
The level crossing is down for around 60 70% of every hour, causing severe congestion on local roads. The approach to this area from any direction at peak times is already significantly congested. Further development, and so increased vehicles in a small area without these problems being addressed would cause further significant challenge.
South Craven school already struggles to handle the large numbers of pupils already enrolled and would struggle with larger numbers of school children, as would the local community. This school is large enough and impacts upon the local community enough before and after school as well as during lunch periods. The community would not benefit from an increase in this.
The local Primary schools are also at capacity
The health centre is at capacity and there is a shortage of Doctors.
There are not enough NHS dentists in the area
The rail network is already struggling to cope with passenger numbers and their parked cars at stations and so could not cope with an increase.
There are insufficient jobs for additional people. The majority of people who took up residence in these proposed dwellings would work in Leeds or Bradford and so would not benefit the local community. They are more likely to have a negative impact upon the local community and to spend their money elsewhere.

7. There is a significant range of wildlife, including birds, field rodents, newts and frogs, which will loose their habitats if this development goes ahead. This cannot be good for the environment and to an area classed as rural and open countryside.

8. The Yorkshire and Humberside Regional Spatial Strategy, states that Craven falls into the remoter rural category. I ask that this view is recognised and respected. We have a responsibility to preserve areas of beauty and boundary for future generations.

To conclude, I would suggest that site 304 is totally unsuitable for development into dwellings for the above stated reasons, which include:
Flooding
Unsuitability due to access problems & ownership of access road
Site is open countryside
Development would merge rural villages
The infrastructure is already challenged and could not cope with further development
Wildlife would be adversely affected

I would urge the council to include these comments also as applicable to the Leeds City Region New Growth Point Bid, for which consultation is currently running in tandem with SHELAA.

I look forward to receiving your response and ask that this be in writing and to include confirmation of receipt of this letter.

Yours faithfully



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