COPCUT RISE COPCUT RISE DROITWICH SPA CONSULTATION STATEMENT. November Prepared by Capita Lovejoy on behalf of William Davis Limited

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1 COPCUT RISE DROITWICH SPA CONSULTATION STATEMENT COPCUT RISE November 2010 Prepared by Capita Lovejoy on behalf of William Davis Limited

2 Copcut Rise Land north of Copcut Lane, Droitwich Spa: Consultation Statement

3 1 Introduction This Consultation Statement summarises the process of public and stakeholder consultation undertaken by William David Limited (the Developer) and its appointed project team, in respect of the outline planning application for residential and employment development on a 40.28ha site north of Copcut Lane, Droitwich Spa. Consultation has been carried out over an extensive period, in parallel with the emerging Local Development Framework, notably the South Worcestershire Joint Core Strategy (SWJCS), as well as specifically in relation to the evolving proposals for the site. 2 Strategic Consultation In accordance with the Planning & Compulsory Purchase Act 2004, Wychavon District Council has been preparing the core documents that will form part of the Local Development Framework for the District. As part of this process, and during the preparation of the SWJCS, the consultant team has been engaged in an on-going consultation process with planning officers at Wychavon District Council. Specifically this related to the potential allocation of the site for development in the emerging SWJCS. Following consultation on the Issues and Options at the end of 2007, the Preferred Options consultation took place between September and October A further public consultation event was held by Wychavon District Council on 27 January 2009 seeking comments and suggestions on all Droitwich development sites. Feedback from members of the public attending the event that is specific to the Copcut Lane site is incorporated into Section 4 below.

4 3 Pre-Application Consultation Detailed consultation been carried out over the period from November 2009 to October 2010, specifically focussing on the emerging planning application proposals for the site. A Record of Consultation is appended to this statement as Appendix A. The record lists the core consultees and specific consultation events that have taken place to inform proposals for the Copcut Lane site and the subsequent outline planning application submission. The events listed include consultations with the general public, key stakeholders, District and County Council Officers and Members, Parish and Town Council Members, infrastructure operators and managers, and environmental organisations. All events listed were led and attended by the developer and members of the professional project team. The strategic considerations included: the extent of future development in the area; what the development should comprise in terms of housing and employment provision; the nature and scale of community facility provision; and the green infrastructure, including recreation and play space provision. Detailed public consultations have included a wide variety of the local representatives. On the 20th May 2010 the developer and project team attended a meeting with Hindlip, Martin Hussingtree & Salwarpe Parish Council and local resident groups to explain the emerging proposals and the programme for the future planning application. A similar exercise was undertaken with the Droitwich Town Council on the 14th June. Both events provided the opportunity to make comments, provide information and ask questions. A public consultation event was also held on the 7th June 2010 at Salwarpe Village Hall in the form of an exhibition. This location is close to the site and the hamlet of Salwarpe, and therefore within easy access for residents of Droitwich. The purpose of event was to meet with local residents to explain the emerging design principles and initial concept for the future development of the site. The event was publicised at the earlier Parish Council meeting, featured in the Droitwich Standard and Droitwich Advertiser, and leaflets were distributed to all properties within Salwarpe, Droitwich and within close proximity of the site. Posters were also placed on public notice boards and within public / town centre buildings. Publicity posters and the flyer for this public consultation event are appended at Appendix B and Appendix C respectively. A copy of the Consultation Questionnaire issued to support the public exhibition event and associated summary of responses are appended at Appendix D. In total 202 residents attended the public exhibition on 7 th June between the hours of 2pm - 8pm. Feedback from all of the consultation events outlined above has been recorded by way of formal minutes, ongoing correspondence between key parties and written summaries of key issues arising. These have been managed by the developer and core members of the project team. The feedback and outcomes of those discussions are reflected in the masterplan proposals and are summarised in Sections 4 and 5 below.

5 4 Pre-Application Consultation Feedback The pre-application consultation feedback is summarised below, together with a brief description of the key issues under each core topic. This enables issues relating to each topic to be clearly understood and addressed as comprehensively as possible. Feedback from the completed questionnaires received following the public exhibition has been incorporated into the broad summary of issues below, but the specific detailed responses can be reviewed at Appendix D and have been used to inform the development of the site masterplan. Site Suitability The need for the development has been queried in light of the Government s indication that they were to abolish the Regional Spatial Strategy (which has now happened); Development should focus on the north of the town; The use of brownfield sites nearer the town centre should be given priority for development, to ensure the new development becomes an integral part of the town; Infilling development more preferable to destroying historic Salwarpe and green surroundings; Preserve the Saxon and Medieval history of Salwarpe (birthplace of Warwick the Kingmaker and Jane Seymour s marriage dowry to Henry VIII); and Flooding issues along Copcut Lane and Chawson Lane would be exacerbated; Scope of Development Provision of school and community buildings; Affordable housing provision; The reasoning for including the employment development element of the proposals; How design quality will be ensured in the development; and Clarity on the sustainability of development. Transport & Access Traffic generation and whether congestion and rat running problems would be exacerbated; Concern about existing levels of congestion, notably in the morning and evening peak hours around Copcut roundabout, A38 Worcester Road roundabout, Copcut Island and M5 Junction 6; The proposed vehicle access strategy and the reliance on a single access point from the A38; Copcut Lane exit onto A38 is very busy and dangerous, needs improvement if more housing occurs here; Copcut Lane should be left to retain its attractive rural features, with traffic to/from the site via enhanced existing routes if possible;

6 Provision of a canal footbridge to provide direct access from the south of the town, via Droitwich Woods to the canal towpath. Green Infrastructure and Biodiversity A desktop site analysis undertaken by Worcestershire Wildlife Trust has identified specific site constraints and possible enhancements. Key suggestions relating to green infrastructure associated with the Copcut Lane site include: The protection of the Droitwich Community Woods through the provision of a buffer and stand-off; To further augment the green corridor to the south of Droitwich Spa; To make enhancements to the existing pond and hedgerow network; Provide links between proposed landscape features; and A biodiversity-led scheme. Feedback from the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Scoping Opinion Request also identified the need for development of the site to consider the following: SWJCS Green Infrastructure Study should be used to guide future development; Careful consideration and mitigation needs to be given to the Droitwich Canal Conservation Area and nearby listed buildings, notably Copcut House; An aspiration to deliver 40% open space on site; Deliver meaningful ecological enhancement; Screening from the north through expansion of Droitwich Community Woods; Creation of new footpaths and accessible bus stops; Take account of the adjacent Green Belt; and Consider the impact on trees, all of which are afforded TPO status. In addition to this, feedback from the wider public and stakeholder consultation exercises identified the following: An extensive green community area / corridor from the Droitwich Woods to the Copcut area; Green infrastructure needs to enhance biodiversity; Creation of a community orchard ; Retention of hedges within the site.

7 5 Planning and Design Response The consultation responses have been considered in detail during the design development of the proposed masterplan. As such it has informed the planning application proposals currently being considered for the site. This will continue through the subsequent detailed design process. A summary of how the proposals have evolved in response to the matters raised above is outlined below. Site Suitability The revocation of the RSS and its development targets, does not mean that the underlying need in the District has diminished. The Planning Statement submitted with the planning application, identifies a clear requirement for residential and employment development to come forward to meet short and long term development needs in the District and Droitwich specifically. The urban capacity in the District is extremely limited, and that housing and employment development need can only, therefore, be met through the development of greenfield sites. The land to the north of the town is heavily constrained, environmentally and because it forms part of the designated Green Belt in which there is a presumption against development. Moreover the preparation of the SWJCS, which proposes to allocate the site for development, indicates that it is the most sustainable and developable strategic site at Droitwich. The Environmental Statement that accompanies the planning application, includes an assessment of the potential implications on important cultural heritage features in the area and concludes that there will not be an unacceptable impact on their integrity. Scope of Development The development proposals described in the Design and Access Statement (DAS) that accompanies the planning application, include the provision of a local centre in the centre of the site- the community hub- that will accommodate any appropriate onsite community facility provision, e.g. a doctors surgery and/or neighbourhood police office, and some local retail provision to meet the needs of the residents of the new development. Consultation with WCC indicated that a school on-site was not required. If necessary, however the applicants will make financial contributions to off-site primary and secondary school provision via a Section 10-6 Agreement. The applicants propose to exceed the WDLP requirement for 30% affordable housing provision by providing 35%. Therefore, the anticipated development of 740 dwellings would provide 259 affordable homes. The evidence base that underpins the preparation of the SWJCS has identified a need for further employment provision in the District and at Droitwich specifically. That is reflected in the proposed site allocation and the application proposals. Through the masterplanning process, important spatial and functional relationships between all of the land use types proposed have been tested, and the parameters for

8 development clearly established. The DAS outlines the key development principles which will ensure the delivery of a high quality and sustainable development. Transport & Access The planning application submission includes a full Transport Assessment (TA) that considers the implications of the proposed development in this location. During this process the consultant team have been in regular consultation with transportation and highways officers at WCC to agree the site access strategy for private vehicles, public transport, cyclists and pedestrians. Initially the scheme proposed two access points for vehicles, but also providing pedestrian and cyclist access; the first via a sixth arm from the Copcut Roundabout and the second via a roundabout on the A38 Roman Way. However, further to discussions with WCC, the access via a sixth arm on the Copcut Roundabout was removed from the scheme in 2009 due to WCC officer s highway safety concerns The detailed access proposals for a new roundabout on the A38, with an internal dual carriageway to an internal roundabout has now been agreed and tested. A sustainable transport strategy has been developed for the site, that seeks to take advantage of the relationship the site has with other key locations within the town (schools, places of work, shops and community facilities), maximising public transport access with new and enhanced services and providing improved pedestrian and cycle connections. Green Infrastructure and Biodiversity The application proposals include green infrastructure provision that meet the requirements of WDC (confirmed in consultation). The required provision of children s play and informal open space, according to Wychavon District Local Plan Policy, is exceeded within the development. WDC have expressed a preference to meeting formal recreation need off-site and have request a financial contribution to improving and / or expand existing sports facilities. A large area of natural green space will be located to the north of the site, providing an extension (and buffer) to the Droitwich Community Woodlands, water attenuation and informal play opportunities. Additional recreational facilities and landscape buffers are also located to the south (adjacent to the Green Belt and including an orchard) and throughout the development. This includes 2 locally equipped areas of play (LEAP) and 1 neighbourhood equipped area of play (NEAP). The ES submitted with the application includes an ecological assessment that highlights how the retention of the existing hedgerows and trees and significant green infrastructure provision incorporating sustainable drainage systems offers significant potential to enhance biodiversity.

9 6 Summary The process of stakeholder and public consultation has been an essential part of the preapplication and design development process. In particular it has enabled the applicant and its project team to have direct contact with a broad cross section of the local community and to establish a clear set of constraints that have set the parameters for the future development of the application site and its surrounds. As described above, this process will continue to inform the detailed design of the project.

10 APPENDIX A Copcut Rise: Record of Consultation Wychavon District Council - meetings and correspondence in relation to site allocations for South Worcestershire Joint Core Strategy (2007 to date) and subsequently with planning officers in relation to specific site proposals Worcestershire County Council (Transportation & Highways) regular meetings held and correspondence throughout site allocation and masterplanning process Highways Agency - EIA Screening Request 1 st December 2009 EIA Scoping Opinion Request 12 th February 2010 Environmental Agencies and Managers includes consultation and feedback from Worcestershire Wildlife Trust Public Consultation Event Salwarpe Village Hall, 7 th June 2010 Hindlip, Martin Hussingtree & Salwarpe Parish Council Presentation on members, local interest groups and residents 20 th May 2010 Droitwich Spa Town Council Presentation to members, local interest groups and residents on 14 th June 2010 Droitwich Spa Civic Society Consultation feedback from Committee meeting, June 2010

11 APPENDIX B Copcut Rise: Public Exhibition Poster

12 APPENDIX C Copcut Rise: Public Consultation Leaflet

13 APPENDIX D Copcut Rise: Public Consultation Questionnaire

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15

16 APPENDIX D Copcut Rise: Consultation Questionnaire Feedback

17 APPENDIX D Copcut Rise: Consultation Questionnaire Feedback

18 APPENDIX D Copcut Rise: Consultation Questionnaire Feedback

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