Draft Local Plan - Supplementary Consultation

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Object

Draft Local Plan - Supplementary Consultation

Question 19 - Infrastructure Requirements at Hockley Heath

Representation ID: 8488

Received: 15/03/2019

Respondent: Hockley Heath Residents Association

Representation Summary:

The Hockley Heath Residents Association do not consider that this is a complete list of infrastructure requirements for Hockley Heath, either for the current level of residents or for the settlement in the future

Full text:

The Hockley Heath Residents Association do not consider that this is a complete list of infrastructure requirements for Hockley Heath, either for the current level of residents or for the settlement in the future. There are a number of key matters that have been omitted, including:

Highways issues on School Road - as raised by us during the Blythe Valley consultation, there is already an issue with volume and speed of vehicles using School Road. The speed outside the primary school is 30mph and should be reduced to 20 mph in accordance with other schools area. Vehicles reach inappropriate speeds throughout the length of the road and given the nature of the road (being a small, almost single lane in places) the volume and type of vehicle using the road needs to be addressed through highways changes. This is all prior to the inevitable increase in traffic following the various Blythe Valley developments. And before considering site 25 land south of School Road. In our recent residents survey (part of the Neighbourhood Plan process) 87% of respondents indicated that it was very important for highway changes to be made to School Road to prevent excessive vehicle use.

Drainage - There are significant issues with road flooding throughout Hockley Heath particularly on the main A3400 Stratford Road, but also in parts of School Road. Investigations are ongoing but it would appear that the main drains are not adequate for the current load.

Transport & connectivity - para 189 describes Hockley Heath as having "regular bus services". Following the recent review of bus services, our services have been significantly reduced. As of February 2019, The X20 service which serves Hockley Heath will terminate at Shirley and not extend to Birmingham. The local service, connecting Hockley Heath to Solihull and Dorridge, has been reduced to an hourly service and does not tie in with train times from Dorridge. In addition, without consulting, the service no longer extends to Knowle meaning additional arrangements have had to be put in place to provide a service that allows children to travel to Arden Academy in Knowle and to connect residents to a better range of facilities in Knowle (nearest library and banks).

Limited facilities - Hockley Heath has very few facilities in the village. There are few "useful" shops, and the Post Office is due to close in 2019 (it should not therefore be included in the local plan). There is no doctors surgery, no pharmacy and no ATM. The convenience store is very small and cannot accommodate pushchairs or wheelchairs.

School Parking and safety - The consultation document mentions school parking but we do not consider that it would be appropriate for this to be provided on the other side of School Road as part of the proposed development of site 25 (due to the issues outlined in Highways para above). Significant additional road crossings would need to be put in place to ensure the safety of our children and parents.

School capacity - Hockley Heath Academy is a small, one form entry school. It forms the heart of the community and exists to serve the needs of the communities families. Following the most recent intake application for nursery and reception places, the school classes will be full meaning no additional spaces will be available to new developments without displacing some existing Hockley Heath children.

Object

Draft Local Plan - Supplementary Consultation

Question 20 - Site 25 - School Road

Representation ID: 8491

Received: 15/03/2019

Respondent: Hockley Heath Residents Association

Representation Summary:

The Hockley Heath Residents Association do not consider that site 25 should be included as an allocated site due to fundamental damage to the character of Hockley Heath and due to extensive highways issues already present in School Road.

Full text:

The Hockley Heath Residents Association do not consider that site 25 should be included as an allocated site. We represent the views of the residents and as such have taken evidence from the Neighbourhood Plan survey conducted in Summer 2018. The survey received an excellent response rate for a survey of this type (50% of the village responded) and its findings will form part of the evidence base for the forthcoming Neighbourhood Plan. Key data that leads us to this conclusion includes:

- 87% of respondents indicated that highways changes were required to School Road even bore further development is considered (see above)
- The top priority for village residents in terms of natural environment was to protect the views of the Green Belt land and green spaces from inappropriate development (92% of residents). This is entirely consistent with SMBC's own wording in para 187 "The Green Belt is also valuable in the settlement's overall environmental quality and contributes to its semi-rural setting'.
- In particular, 69% felt that School Road should be protected from development (the highest response)

The draft concept masterplan for the site indicates a density of housing that is out of proportion to the village as a whole. 100 homes would mean an increase of 12.6% in the total number of homes in the village and this is in addition to 19 homes built in 2018 and further developments that are taking place on the parish boundary, e.g. Aylesbury House, and in-fill developments along Aylesbury Road, residents of which will use the parish of Hockley Heath as their main centre. This is an unsupportable percentage given the limited range of facilities and infrastucture within the village as highlighted in para 192 of the consultation document and further outlined above.

The Hockley Heath Residents Association do recognise that site 25 does offer a more defensible green belt boundary than other sites in the village and agree wholeheartedly with SMBC that should other sites be released (particularly in the north of the village) this would more likely lead to future erosion fo the green belt. However for the reasons stated above, we feel that the release of the specific site should be avoided. We want to state strongly that this view is made on the assumption that should this site retain its green belt designation, that another less favourable site would not be "released" to compensate.

Object

Draft Local Plan - Supplementary Consultation

Question 21 - Green Belt Changes

Representation ID: 8493

Received: 15/03/2019

Respondent: Hockley Heath Residents Association

Representation Summary:

We do not consider that it is appropriate to remove the washed over Green Belt from the north of School Road as we believe additional higher density development will be sought by existing home owners affected.

Full text:

We do not consider that it is appropriate to remove the washed over Green Belt from the north of School Road. Para 200 talks about the fact that due to there being existing development with minimal gaps it would appear logical to remove it from the Green Belt, however, we don't consider that there is a defensible boundary to the north of these gardens. By removing this 'washed over' Green Belt status we consider that the level of attempted development throughout this ribbon of houses and into the land behind would be inappropriate and could jeopardise the quality of the green belt surrounding Hockley Heath with no clear boundary. We don't consider that any release of the land to the South automatically suggests a revisit to the boundary to the North.

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