The Chairman of Falmouth Town Council’s Planning Committee Councillor Jenny Booth held a public meeting last month to provide an opportunity for members of the public to raise any concerns regarding the recently submitted planning application for proposed 122 houses at the former MOD land at Swanvale.
The meeting was well attended by over 30 residents and the Case Officer Laura Potts was also in attendance to respond to issues raised.
As a result of the meeting a list of questions raised by members of the public was forwarded to Wainhomes (South West) Holdings Ltd for their comment and a response has been received which follows at the end of this report.
In a bid to try and address some of the residents concerns a site visit took place on 10th November 2011 with Wainhomes and Highways representatives to provide an opportunity for members of the planning committee to further discuss the issues raised at the public meeting.
Councillor Jenny Booth stated ‘Wainhomes representatives gave members of the Planning Committee a tour of Phase 1 and 2 of the sites. Falmouth Town Council and Cornwall Council are keen to work with Developers to provide appropriately sited homes for the area, including much needed affordable homes. We raised issues brought to our attention by the residents. We were also pleased to learn that Wainhomes are putting paths in to join into the Cuckoo Mills footpath from both sides of the development, making easy access to the footpath from the Boslowick and Swans Reach areas’.
QUESTIONS / COMMENTS RAISED AT PUBLIC MEETING 18TH OCTOBER 2011 WITH RESPONSES FROM WAINHOMES (SOUTH WEST) HOLDINGS LTD
• How many houses exist on the whole Swans Reach/ Golden Bank & Swanvale Estate at present and how many will there be on completion of phases 1 & 2?
Golden Bank existing 552
Phase 1 approved 125
Phase 11 proposed 122
• More access points / larger road network required (Penhale & Treveglos Roads in particular will suffer from the increase in traffic)
• Access should not be through Trenoweth Road only as if it becomes obstructed people will be effectively trapped on the estate
• Traffic flow along Penhale Road and surrounding streets has already vastly increased with ques as far back as Boslowick. Access alternatives for vehicles and pedestrians required
• Emergency access point must be adhered
Both applications for phase 1 and phase 2 are accompanied by detailed traffic reports demonstrating that the local road network has sufficient capacity to deal with the number of new homes proposed. Phase 1 included substantial new works including the new roundabout and other traffic management measures which have been designed to benefit phase 2 as well.
• Why have works started on Phase 1 when the roundabout is not yet completed. Was this not a condition?
Wainhomes let a separate contract for the roundabout works to Cornwall’s own contractor Cormac on the basis that this would provide the most efficient solution. We were as frustrated as you at the various delays they encountered during the contract.
• Phase 2 is being progressed too early why not wait for Phase 1 to be completed so the impact on the community can be properly assessed before progressing with phase 2?
This is a brown field site that has been identified along with the phase 1 land for housing since 1992, it was always agreed that phase 2 would be designed at an early stage to ensure that services and highway links were designed in a coordinated fashion.
• The cumulative impact of the development as a whole should be looked at
That is another reason why phase 2 is coming forward early; consideration of the impact of the proposed development is part of the decision making process
• What is proposed for the exit by Prislow Fields?
The exit by Prislow Fields was a requirement of Cornwall Council and is not something that is necessary for our development.
• What is going to be done about the unsupported 20ft mound of contaminated earth on Turnaware Road that is close to where children play?
This is the temporary storage area for the topsoil, which will be reused on site.
• Phase 1 environmental waste disposal? Who is monitoring the level of toxins on the site?
Regular samples are taken from the site, Tregoniggie stream and from Swanpool by Specialist Consultants SKM Enviros and reports given to Cornwall Council and the EA in accordance with planning condition 6 of planning consent reference C1/EA02/0456/10/M and the approved Construction Environmental Management Plan (CEMP)
• Lack of enforcement from Cornwall Council
There is nothing to take enforcement action over.
• Demolition of tanks will exceed acceptable noise levels
The demolition of the tanks will be carried out in accordance with best practice and normal demolition process by specialist demolition contractors DRS who are well aware of their responsibilities and will be working within the approved Method Statements.
• Footpath access to beaches via Swanpool Hill requested
Footpaths are provided which link up to the path to Swanpool
• What thought has been given to open spaces, landscaping and the transport infrastructure?
We have employed professional landscape architects, ACD to design the open space and landscaping, Professional Urban Designers, Focus on Design to design the layouts and one of the largest Civil Engineering Consultants in Europe, WSP to design the roads and drainage infrastructure.