Below is my contribution to the latest BLP consultation. AL21/22 and the A308 Corridor Review have been mentioned by others. Not sure how many will have brought up the Parking Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) but for me this is key to how many properties you can build on a piece of land and so felt it needed highlighting.
Another 450+ homes increasing the pressure on our current infrastructure in Clewer & Dedworth West is not what we need.. The Objectively Assessed Need for RBWM requires urgent review and re-assessed based on the impact of Covid. The area should remain as Green Belt land.
If they are to be included, before any development plans are agreed, we need an updated Parking SPD in place as the current version is from 2004. It was strongly recommended by the Inspector at a meeting on 22 Oct that if a revised full policy could not be in place then some more realistic numbers should be published as a better guide for both developers and residents.
14.6.3 A Parking SPD will be produced by the Council, which will include parking standards and parking design requirements. This should be read in conjunction with any locally specific parking standards included in Neighbourhood Plans.
Prior to adoption of the Parking SPD:
- The maximum parking standards in the 2004 Parking Strategy will be applied as the starting point for determining the appropriate level of on-site parking provision, although consideration will also be given to the accessibility of the site and any potential impacts associated with overspill parking in the local area.
- Parking provision in excess of the maximum standards in the 2004 Parking Strategy might be justified in specific cases.
I do not believe the above meets the Inspectors request in the video below.
In the video of the RBWM BLP Examination Hearings – 22 Oct, 14.30pm – Session 3 (Matter 10, All Issues at 1:20:30 the Inspector commences the discussion on parking and sums up 20 mins later asking the council to bring in standards that improve on 2004 Parking Policy but the above does not deliver on that request. If anything, the last point looks to ignore even those standards!
The video talks of a draft Parking SPD but as a resident says in the video, she’s heard this all before, too many times.
The new Parking SPD needs to be brought in sooner rather than later to address the realistic needs of residents which may mean fewer houses can be built on a plot of land. Leaving many residents assuming this is why this policy has not been forthcoming, furthering the divide in confidence between residents and council, breaking a key aim of the Corporate Plan that RBWM is seen as a council trusted to deliver on its promises.
I would request the Inspector asks for this to be tightened up and is given sight of the draft Parking SPD to perhaps suggest how this might be worded for the current BLP.
A308 Corridor Review
Totally understand that the A308 Corridor Review was pushed back due to Covid as there was much less traffic on the road. Now things are getting back to normal it would be fair to assume the areas identified as problem areas, there was talk of 44 identified and funding available for 10, should be brought to consultation. Has the Inspector had sight of these issues to see how they might impact the infrastructure in relation to new builds and other pressures along the A308?
There are mounting pressures on the A308 including:
- The proposals for AL14 as the employment triangle
- The increase in quarry traffic
- Racecourse hotel
- Expansion of Bray Studios
- AL21 & AL22
- And proposals for 2,000 homes up Jealott’s Hill
The drainage on the A308 near Bray Studios is not fit for purpose when we have heavy rain and this is only going to be exacerbated if all the above are given the go, go, go via the BLP.
WIth heavy rain, there has also been reported issues of sewage being forced up onto residents gardens in the area. More housing would naturally increase the pressure on the historic sewage and drainage infrastructure. Has this been considered and thought through?
This piece of infrastructure needs urgent attention and significant investment if RBWM wishes to grow but we simply don’t have the necessary resources because of constant under funding or seemingly the foresight to future proof capacity in line with building needs and climate change.
Cllr Clewer & Dedworth West