Taylor Wimpey held their consultation into the White Dirt Farm proposal today at Clanfield Memorial Hall. Please find below some notes on the consultation, and the next steps.
A total of 627 visitors (Taylor Wimpey count at the door) came to the consultation and the feedback is that the community view is overwhelmingly against the development of the land. The community turnout was very high, so thank you for getting there if you could, and read on to find out how to comment if you could not. It is important to get as many views as possible so that the level of opposition is clear.
Horndean or Clanfield:
Taylor Wimpey have been approached by several people and Councillors and advised that the land is in Horndean, not Clanfield. It is important that the correct Parish is engaged as the Councillors there will have views on the community need, local issues and be able to engage properly. Taylor Wimpey are going to hold a Horndean consultation to make sure the consultations reflect this. Please keep an eye here to see when this will be. At this point I believe it will be the same information presented in a different area, but if Taylor Wimpey advise me otherwise I will let you know.
“It’s a Done Deal”:
A number of people said they left the consultation getting the impression that there has already been a level of discussion with East Hants District Council. Visitors attending advised fellow Councillors and members of the WDF Action Group that they had understood the plans had been agreed, and as a result felt that there might be little point consulting on something that was already discussed and approved. This has been fed back to the planning team at East Hants who, along with the Councillors are very unhappy with this perception as it is totally incorrect. Taylor Wimpey’s consultation letter described “advanced plans” and “Through discussions with EHDC”. I can categorically confirm the following:
* There have been no meetings between Taylor Wimpey and East Hants District Council about this development. Taylor Wimpey have written to ask for a pre application meeting and this will be held on the 19th or 21st March, date still TBA.
* The plans we have seen would not be described as “At an advanced stage”. Indeed, anything but.
* For those who had understood the land was already in the ownership of the council and development was going to go ahead, nothing could be further from the truth. The land remains firmly in the ownership of the farm, and Taylor Wimpey have an ‘option’ to buy this depending on the outcome of planning.
* “The Town Planner on the next stand will tell you…” A number of people were directed towards a member of the presentation team described as The Town Planner, and asked us why a representative of East Hants planning team was supporting the scheme. What was the point in commenting if East Hants were participating in the presentation? There was no-one from East Hants presenting for Taylor Wimpey at the consultation, and this was the first time representatives from East Hants had been given the chance to view the consultation information. The ‘Town Planner’ is a job title and a representative of Taylor Wimpey at the presentation.
If you had any discussions at the consultation with the presenters that left you feeling the plans had already been agreed, that it was a done deal, or that there was little point giving your views as the development was simply going to go ahead then please email me on firstname.lastname@example.org providing as much detail as possible and this will be taken up with Taylor Wimpey.
In the meantime there is every reason to give your feedback and please email this to them on the contact addresses at the end of this posting.
At the consultation I met with Lynn McIver and raised the issues above. I also discussed the Gap Land, Landscape Value, East Hants’ very clearly stated position on the land. I also informed Lynn we were looking to hold a consultation to form an allocation plan, and East Hants were only interested in building ‘The Right Houses in The Right Place with The Right Facilities’. White Dirt Farm was most definitely the last SHLAA site on the list we felt was suitable to build on, and there was extensive detail stating this in formal EHDC Landscape assessments. Expect the consultation to show that this land will not be supported. I also explained that we were due to see emerging plans for a large scheme that could provide our aspirations on a site which does not damage our landscape and join our villages. Taylor Wimpey have spent a relatively small sum taking the plans to this point and they should stop now before taking plans to a point where they spend a lot of money on a site which is most unlikely to be approved. Essentially, as a business they should invest their money elsewhere.
March – Taylor Wimpey will be looking to hold a further consultation in Horndean.
March – Not Taylor Wimpey related, but significant to opposing this consultation and important that everyone in Horndean participates. EHDC are holding a public consultation on the available site to build on, and your views are essential. The developer looking at Hazleton Farm is also hoping to apply for their EIA Screening application, and hold the first consultations with the Parish Council. Wider public consultations will follow in April.
April – There will probably be a ‘Interested Parties Meeting’ at a local hall which will be organised jointly by myself and the WDF Development Action Group. This will aim to raise the understanding of the planning process, what Material Considerations are, and how to give high quality objections to an application.
May – Taylor Wimpey anticipate a planning application late in May, although this may slip back based on feedback from the consultation.
August – A May application would be decided at a planning committee 13 weeks later at the end of August.
Viewing the consultation and giving comments online:
Taylor Wimpey have kindly given permission for me to repost the consultation document here. to view the plans please click on this link: White Dirt Farm TW Consultation 2014-03-07
To give your feedback please email Taylor Wimpey on email@example.com but please also copy in Cllr Schillemore and myself and we will pass all feedback to the case officer too. firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com
Please note that Cllr Schillemore sits on the planning committee and can not speak publicly about the application and give her views. It would be like a magistrate deciding a case before hearing the evidence, and this would prejudice her seat on the planning committee. She can however listen to any views given to her so please keep emailing these in.
It is also important to credit the invaluable input of Cllr Carolyne Jacobs, Andy Stevens and the 22 volunteer deliverers who have worked hard to keep the local community informed and I am sure there will be more leaflets to be delivered with updates.
Click here for the report in The News http://www.portsmouth.co.uk/news/business/local-business/anger-as-plans-for-220-homes-are-revealed-1-5922920