Response to Supplemental Planning Document Part AL5
Employment site allocation development brief:
If 38% of the population in South Northamptonshire attained NVQ 4 Level or higher qualifications the large scale warehousing developments and distribution businesses are surely at the lower end of qualification level than that of NVQ 4 Level as most of these job opportunities are of unskilled or semiskilled levels.
What is the reasoning behind the joining up of the Ouse Valley Parkland? Is this a backdoor entry for Milton Keynes to move into South Northamptonshire as they have tried to do with their 2050 Vision?
Why does this document put great emphasis on the Ouse Valley Parkland at Old Wolverton Mill and Old Wolverton?
In AL5 the document states small to medium scale units the dimensions state small 220 M2 and Medium 7,150M2 But on the footprint size of the Small units it states 250 M2 Medium units 8,000M2. Is this to give developers the opportunity to increase the size above that stated AL5?
Why are there NO maximum height for warehousing units as this height shown in AL5 will have a massive visual impact, not only on visibility from the A5 roundabout also on the Stratford Road to Cosgrove. If this was planning brief’s for domestic properties then then the phrase Incongruous to the Street Scene this surely hold true with such high buildings as warehouses.
Should the SPD provide guidance on the types of materials to be used in the types of buildings as well as their maximum heights?
In the light of high density warehousing and distribution developments how can this be shown to promote zero carbon footprint due to large scale vehicle movements? It should be mindful of the expected 180,000 daily vehicle movements at the rail freight gateway terminal at junction 15 of the M1. Unless all these extra vehicle movements are to be done by electric vehicle the zero carbon footprint is not achievable, merely planting thousands of trees is not the full answer to achieving zero carbon footprint.
The document talks about reducing the need to use private transport and to promote a more sustainable public transport system. AL5 is situated some five to six miles to the nearest railway station and three to four miles from Milton Keynes. At present there is little or NO public transport to interconnect between either of the two afore mentioned places.
For Companies to fulfil their employee requirement they will have to recruit from outside of Old Stratford catchment area, which will mean transporting into the area adding to the volume of traffic in the Old Stratford area; this also damages the zero carbon footprint.
The document recognises that there is a flood plain site within the AL5 development. The large 16 hectare site will generate vast volumes of run-off water and one have to assume that this would be directed to this flood plain area, the volume generated during a rain storm delivering one inch of rain would generate some 27 million gallons of run-off water and again it must be assumed that there will be attenuation lakes and ponds to cope with volume of run-off water. If the surface runoff water is allowed to flow into the Dogs Mouth Brook this will produce flooding not only to the already stated flood plain, but may generate a new flood plain within the AL5 development site.it should be remembered that the Dogs Mouth Brook passes through the AL5 site and leaves via a 1.5 X1.5 meter brick lined culvert passing under and through the Buckingham Arm canal. Reference to the recent (xmas 2000) damage caused to the residents of neighbouring Cosgrove, Stony Stratford and Deanshanger parishes.
Sewage waste from this AL5 will have to be disposed of into old antiquated systems developed in the 1950’s. These are not suitable for such a large scale development as AL5. Some 10 meters from the brick lined culvert there is a large open sewage outlet which on many occasions, throughout a year, runs raw sewage directly into the Dogs Mouth Brook. Evidence of this can be seen downstream of the brick lined culvert, where toilet paper and sanitary products can be seen hanging from the vegetation and when this open sewer culvert is running the colour of the Dogs Mouth Brook looks like raw sewage.
Land use has purposely been left to degrade to allow the land owner to provide this, so called poor quality land to be used for warehousing development.
The Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) does not provide any guidance on traffic issues that many of these AL sites may give rise to, it is understood that any planning application must be accompanied with appropriate traffic surveys and mitigation proposals, nonetheless some guidance would be welcomed. The cumulative impact of the AL sits along the A5, A43, and A508 must be addressed. Guidance should be given that West Northamptonshire Council would expect to see that traffic surveys will show that all of these AL sites will have impact from all of the AL sites. AL1 to AL4 are along the A43 corridor, however, AL5 may have impact on this road corridor also. Any traffic leaving AL5 with routes to the M40 may use the A5 towards Towcester or the A421 towards Buckingham and Brackley and then join the A43, this will have impact on the movements generated by the AL1 to AL4 proposals.
Some guidance should be given as to the scope and how exhaustive any traffic survey should consider would be very welcome, e.g. approximately 9 miles along the A5D at Fenny Stratford there is currently under construction of 2 m2 ft. of warehousing; some of this traffic will use the same stretch of the A5 as would be required to access the AL5 site, this should be taken into consideration.
It is also well documented that much of the traffic end at a pinch point in Farthinghoe, in the South of the county, which goes the A422 towards Buckingham and Brackley, creating the need for a village bypass at Farthinghoe.
Some reference should be given in the guide to times when the A5 and A508 serve as an alternative route to the M1, this becoming a more frequent occurrence with at least an incident every couple of weeks. The traffic survey/assessment must acknowledge the strategic role of the A5 and A508 when there are issues with the M1 via road works or traffic accidents.
The SPD should state some indication as to what a full and comprehensive traffic survey should cover for these allocated sites and to include the cumulative impacts and the impact when the M1 has issues and traffic mitigates to the A5 and A508.
Transport access to the AL5 site will be via a new roundabout, which is to be sited some 500 Metres from the A5 roundabout already identified by West Northamptonshire Council as a traffic pinch point.
Heritage and Conservation:
I am somewhat perplexed to see that this document keeps discussing the sit heritage as being the Motte and Baily Castle, deserted village and Monastic grange at Old Wolverton, these references occur several times and these sites are some 3 to 4 miles from AL5; whereas the conservation area within and around Old Stratford, which is less the half a mile from the AL5 only get a cursory mention, what is the rational for this?
AL5 Impact on Residential Properties – Stratford Road and Old Stratford (Black Horse Drive)
Stratford Road and Black horse Drive homes that overlook the northern and western edges of the AL5 site. This is acknowledged in the SDP and mentions that it needs to be handled sensitively.
This may be more for a planning application to set out and add conditions as to hours of use, light issues, odour and noise pollutions. The SDP should give some indication that 24 hour operating times or pollutions along the road will not be permitted. The type of conditions that the Council should be seeking would give clarity to both residents and developers.
The SDP should give an indication as to the type of conditions the Council would seek to impose on the units near to residential properties on the AL5 site to prevent noise, light or odour pollution also the conditions for the hours of operation.
Derek M Everett PSLCC
Old Stratford Parish Council 11th August 2022