Barrington Parish Council (BPC) considered the following three planning applications at its meeting on Thursday 14th October
114 dwellings (re-plan of northern parcel of development site for an increase of 38 dwellings above approved scheme ref: S/3485/18/RM).
- Lack of Prior Engagement
1.1 As background, Barrington Parish Council (BPC) wishes to point out that despite the Planning Statement’s implication that an acceptable level of engagement has occurred on this application, that is not the case. BPC only received a very brief 5 page power point presentation on both of the proposals from Redrow and was requested to maintain confidentiality prior the official Planning submission. That presentation had very little detail and was very hard to interpret in terms of the proposed changes. Councillors were taken by surprise and had no forewarning. No prior effort was made to discuss the proposals with the village or the Parish Council when they were actually being drawn up – they were only presented to the Parish Council as a finished plan. Further, proper prior engagement would have benefitted the applicant.
1.2 Councillors have subsequently seen the two planning applications which were accompanied by 74 documents on one and 87 documents on the other application. More documents have since been added to the files. Councillors also received a number of comments from residents expressing concerns about the proposed further increase in house numbers.
1.3 The applications were discussed at the BPC meeting on 14th October. Redrow did not attend.
- Encroachment and Over Development
2.1 It was noted that the southern application brings the development further into the green space previously separating the site from Haslingfield Road. The northern site also squeezes housing units into the green boundary around the site.
- Urban Layout
3.1 The plans overall now have even more the look of an urban layout separate from the village. Tree lined boulevards have no relationship to Barrington. The proposed “Green” area however, does. However, spacing between houses appears to be overly compact. While the removal of some apartment buildings is welcome, some remain, and the additional housing units appear cramped within the site. No attempt at improving connectivity with the village has been made.
- Demographic Impact and Lack of Community Facilities
4.1 No community facilities are provided within the site. Barrington has a church, one shop, one school, and a pub. It has a dilapidated village hall, and a sports pavilion that is borderline being condemned. Both are located within the Conservation Area and yet re-development of these key facilities will intensify pressure within the heart of the village Conservation Area. Mitigating the impacts of the Redrow housing development itself has potential negative effects on the village because no attempt has been made to provide additional recreational facilities within the Public Open Space area.
- Impact upon Local Infrastructure
5.1 Barrington has no GP, there is no Pre-school provision, there are infrequent bus services, there are no footpaths or cycle ways linking Barrington to local villages; Barrington is used as “rat run” by motorists accessing the A10 at Foxton and Cambridge/ the M11 at Barton, yet there is no parking at the school for parents to drop off their children and the traffic management and safety outside the school has been totally neglected by the County Council.
5.2 BPC does not accept the applicant’s exculpatory Traffic Study based on 2019 data and assessment which does not acknowledge the effect on “rural Barrington” with its significant Conservation Area. The major increase in cycle clubs and individuals using Chapel Hill and Barrington generally since 2019 heightens the risk of accidents particularly around the school unless further traffic calming is implemented.
5.3 BPC recently commissioned an independent traffic survey for the whole village. In late October this year it recorded at Haslingfield Road very close to the school (currently a 30mph zone):
Site 2 Haslingfield Road
Northbound: 9% of vehicles exceeding 40mph
Southbound: 4% of vehicles exceeding 40mph
In the words of the engineer:
“the problem is considered severe if there is more than 5% of the total vehicles travelling [at] 40mph plus. Figures above this, should be concerning for local authorities and enforcement teams. This shows that along Haslingfield Road there is an issue with the numbers of vehicles travelling at or over 40mph, which isn’t acceptable within a village. [A]lso note that Haslingfield Road [South Bound] SB would be a lot higher without the measures in place such as build out and on-street parking that will slow vehicles down.” (email report from 2020 Consultancy 26.10.21)
5.4 These results are very concerning. BPC considers that the traffic impact of a further 40 housing units is not “marginal” because the baseline assessment has underplayed the severity of the current traffic problems – largely speeding into and exiting from the village – has been underestimated. The situation on Haslingfield Road and especially at the school is unacceptable.
5.5 BPC has made previous and continuing comments about the need:
- to improve connections between the housing development and the village;
- for improved recreational facilities in the Public Open Space area on the site;
- to provide utilities connections to the POS. This would enable a future scout hut for example; there even seems to be no water stand pipe proposed for the allotments; and
- to address the need for improved traffic safety at the school
None of these issues appear to have been addressed in the new application(s).
- Surface Water and Foul Water
6.1.1 Councillors also raised concerns yet again about surface water drainage from the site. Barrington historically depends upon a surface water ditch system to deal with extreme events and is at risk from increased surface water flows.
6.1.2 Whereas the 750mm diameter headwalls to the Gault Pit and the Southern Balancing Pond might comply with 100 year storm plus increments as required as a planning condition, BPC is concerned that the Exceedance Flow routes discharge through French drains into the ditch alongside the Haslingfield Road. This ditch in turn discharges into the village’s ditch system through the same culvert as the Swales leading from the Balancing Pond. Due to its relatively shallow depth and an acceptance volume estimated to be 1,820 cubic metres and with the discharge flow limited to 13l/s by a hydrobrake, it is inevitable that this pond will overflow in an uncontrolled manner so that the village’s ditch will receive, in effect, all the Exceedance Flow from the development – both northern and southern parts.
6.1.3 Measures are therefore still required to protect the village from this eventuality. The Offsite Flow Control System proposed by Redrow’s Consultant, Walker Associates, to pump excess water from the balancing Pond to the Gault Pit in extreme conditions could be made to secure the flow into the village ditch system if the pump were sited appropriately.
6.1.4 Councillors are disappointed to see that no water conservation measures are contemplated in the light of the recent realisation of the dire condition of local chalk streams, and that household wastewater with be combined with sewage water instead of being made available for non-potable use on site. In view of comments in section 6.2 following, this is to be greatly regretted.
6.2 Foul Water system
6.2.1 The original application S/1427/19/RM which was approved on 23rd September 2019 accepted Redrow’s Drainage Strategy and SuDS Report prepared by Walker Associates. In that report, paragraph 4 Foul Water Drainage Strategy, section 4.2 contains the following statement:
“Anglian Water has advised that they can initially accommodate 170 units at this point of connection. Prior to 170 units being occupied and connected to the sewer network downstream reinforcement work may be necessary to accommodate the remaining units”
and section 4.3 states:
“Anglian Water will be reviewing the downstream network and will advise whether further properties are permitted to connect at this point without reinforcement, or whether a scheme will be progressed internally to support the wider site.”
6.2.2 The revised application for additional units on the northern sector of the site has received a further comment from Anglian Water which reads as follows:
“The foul drainage from this development is in the catchment of Foxton (Cambs) Water Recycling Centre which currently does not have capacity to treat the flows from the development site. Anglian Water are obligated to accept the foul flows for the development with the benefit of planning consent and would therefore take the necessary steps to ensure that there is sufficient treatment capacity should the Planning Authority grant planning consent.”
6.2.4 In 2020 according to data from the Rivers Trust (theriverstrust.org), the Barrington Slid Lane H2 sewer storm overflow spilled raw sewage into the river Rhee 4 times for a total of 16 hours. This can be attributed in part to the discharge from the new developments in Orwell which regularly lifts manhole covers in some of the properties in Back Lane Barrington – an area of the village Conservation Area where the LPA has allowed development against the express recommendations of the Parish Council. The prospect of further such polluting incidents and of the Malthouse Way system being similarly overloaded and contributing to the pollution of the river Rhee is unacceptable to BPC.
6.2.5 In the light of the lack of clarity surrounding the actual capacity of the Anglian Water sewage network and the arrangement (if any) that has been reached between Redrow and Anglian Water concerning the original application for 220 dwellings, it is unsafe to approve yet another 40 dwellings using the same sewage network – unless and until this matter is properly resolved.
6.2.7 BPC therefore suggests that if the LPA approves this application, a condition is applied to the effect that there should be no occupancy of the housing units unless and until Anglian Water has provided the necessary additional sewage treatment capacity.
7.1 In summary, BPC is concerned about social and demographic impacts upon Barrington which will result from these applications which together involve an 18.2% increase in housing numbers over and above those already approved. It is also concerned about surface water discharges into the village ditch system; the increased load on the foul sewer system which is already overloaded; and about the increased traffic impact especially around the school.
7.2 The revised development would have 260 housing units – Barrington currently has approximately 460 houses and 830 residents. Redrow is therefore proposing to build a site that will be a 56.5% increase imposed on the village with no doctor, one shop, and no cycle routes or footpaths to neighbouring villages.
7.3 If we guestimate Redrow house occupancy as 3 per unit – Redrow is now proposing to increase the population of Barrington by an additional 120 people on top of that already permitted – making a total increase of approximately 780 – almost a 94% increase in the size of the village population.
7.4 The applications therefore appear to councillors to be unsupportable as they stand and at its meeting on 14th October BPC recommended refusal.
7.5 If the LPA decides to approve the applications, then appropriate conditions need to be applied to address the issues outlined above.
- Comment re 106
8.2 If the Local Planning Authority decides to approve these proposals, then a substantial increase in and structural amendments to the 106 funding agreement are required to mitigate the effects upon Barrington. Barrington Parish Council will address this aspect in detail by separate correspondence. However, it wishes to stress that the Local Planning Authority and the County Council would need to work closely with the Developer and the Parish Council to find workable solutions.
35 dwellings (re-plan of south eastern parcel of development site for an increase of 2 dwellings above approved scheme ref: S/3485/18/RM).
- Layout: Removal of Apartments vs Encroachment
1.1 This is a marginal change to the currently approved housing numbers. However, it was noted that the southern application brings the development further into the green space previously separating the site from Haslingfield Road which was not desirable. It was noted that an apartment block appeared to have been removed from the plan and this was welcomed.
21/01474/CONDA: Submission of details required by condition 9 (Secure Cycle Parking), 11 (External Lighting), 13 (Land Contamination), 22 (Post-Excavation Assessment) and 23 (Fire Hydrants) of planning permission 21/01474/S73
1.1 BPC noted that the plan drawing attached to this application is for an application that has not yet been approved. It is therefore incorrect and needs to be withdrawn.
BPC found this to be both premature and presumptive.
BPC was particularly unhappy to see this application submitted in this format.
Barrington Parish Council