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News  »  Jaqueline Road Development additional information



   Jaqueline Road Development additional information    25 September, 2015

 

Design Statement

 

Page 2 – no mention of Groby, no mention of Field Head – an oversight which has continued since the first public exhibition

 

Page 5 – Markfield is closer to the centre of Charnwood Forest than it is to any edge. The applicants doesn’t appear to have seen the agreed revised boundary for Charnwood Forest which was agreed between the 3 district and the County Council in 2008.  Additionally there is no mention of Charnwood Forest being a Regional Park – this was agreed in 2012.

 

Map linked to Page 5 – There are the following errors/omissions - there is no longer a newsagents, the bakery is more of a café and there are 3 supermarkets. The “Queens Head”, “Bulls Head” and the “Coach and Horses” aren’t shown

 

Page 11 – There is still no reference to Field Head – it is called “the existing built-up areas of the village lying immediately to the north”.

 

They say that Launde Way is poorly overlooked. However, not all properties in the Countryman Way development back onto Launde Way – some side on, 2 public open spaces open onto it and there are 2 formal pedestrian crossing points. The pavements along Launde Way are regularly used by dog walkers, joggers etc. It’s a lot busier than the statement makes out. It’s unclear what point, if any, the consultants are trying to make here especially since their proposed layout couldn’t overlook Launde Road either.

 

Page 11 - to say that Launde Road “provides an important route through the eastern part of the village” paints the wrong picture.  Launde Road was/is essentially an eastern bypass for the village which was required to both help serve the growing village and reduce the amount of traffic using Ratby Lane.  Launde Road, which has no weight restricts, also functions as the one of the two links to the Newton Unthank distribution warehouses and Desford.  As a result it carries an increasing number of HGVs. At times both it and Ratby Lane also function as alternative routes into Leicester and other areas to the south-east of the city when there are problems on the A50 and the M1.

 

Page 11 – the woodland is not 50 metres wide.  At its widest it is about 39 metres.  What the consultants have done is include the hedgerow and the footpath width in their calculations.

 

Pages 13/14 – no mention of the Leicestershire County Council Landscape Characterisation boundaries for Charnwood Forest, nor the Regional Park boundaries nor the agreed vision for the Charnwood Forest (agreed by the 3 district councils and the county council)

 

Page 17 – the woodland to south and east is not mature – it is semi-mature and is in need of management

 

Page 18 – no mention of the flooding which has affected properties on Jacqueline Road

 

Page 19 – At peak times the A50 roundabout is increasingly busy.  There are safety Issues around vehicles leaving the A50 at either Ratby Lane or the other turn-off nearer to the Bradgate Hill roundabout.

 

 

Page 19 – It gives the impression that the bus stops are easy to reach when it fact you have to cross 40 mph roads to get to them.

 

Page 19 – the public footpath to the south of the site is often impassable after heavy rain because it gets so muddy – probably as a result of the adjoining field drainage being neglected.

 

Page 21 – how can you say that the proposed development “has the potential to relate strongly to built-up areas” when at the same time you are trying to say that Launde Road is “a poorly overlooked” environment.  The proposed housing won’t relate to Launde Road because it is physically cut-off from it.  Its relationship with the properties on Jacqueline Road is also somewhat remote since, although house gardens would abut each other, no direct access is planned between that road and the new development.

 

Page 21 – it says that “the setting and privacy of adjoining properties” (Jacqueline Road) has to be respected but then this masterplan produced is no different to the one displayed at the public exhibition in Markfield, which was heavily criticised on this point.

 

Page 21 – the opportunities listed all relate to the proposed development, nothing is said about what it might give back to the village.

 

Page 23 – questions about the long-term feasibility of the “landscape buffer” along the Jacqueline Road boundary were raised at the Markfield exhibition – Savills didn’t have a real answer.  In truth it will all come down to individual house owners and how they manage what is on their land.  At one point the developers talked about reversing the layout and having the POS to the north.  That would have address some of the Jacqueline Road issues and, at the same time, have given something back to that area.

 

Page 23 – highway side tree planting as proposed is a nice idea but Leicestershire County Council aren’t keen on it and they would require a considerable commuted sum to cover its maintenance, which the developer might be unwilling to pay.  Planting in front gardens is more realistic, but then with a housing density of up to 40 houses per hectare tree planting space is going to be limited.  Roadside grass verges should also be avoided, unless they are within visibility splays, because of long term maintenance costs, the low standard of maintenance offered by the County Council for such areas and the fact they will be used for over-flow car parking.

 

Page 25 – the proposed drainage outfall crosses a field and then goes into a watercourse which in turn stops at a “sink” – have calculations been done on this to show it is adequate.

 

Transport assessment

 

 Point 2.7 - There are parking restrictions on parts of Ratby Lane – they’re double yellow lines and run from the A50 junction down to almost Link Rise on both sides of the road.

 

 Point 2.11 - Accident data – there have been a number of accidents at the London Road/Ratby Lane junction and at the Ratby Lane/Launde Road junction which do not feature on the LCC database

 

Table 1 does not show 12 collisions, it only shows 8

 

Issues of concern - visibility issues – crest of hill when looking to turn onto Launde Road from Ratby Lane. Traffic speed is often in excess of 40 mph. Hgv usage,

 

Point 2.20 - Public footpath R21 is often almost impassable in at least two locations after wet weather.  There is poor drainage, possibly linked to the adjoining field ditch not having been maintained for many, many years by the current landowner.

 

The walking option for many is questionable. Issues like cars for schools transport, being able to climb the various hills, crossing busy fast roads, an ageing population with mobility issues etc.

 

How much of a barrier is Launde Road likely to be.  Would a pedestrian refuge be sufficient? There has already been a request made for a better means of crossing this road.

 

Point 2.21 – A later edition of the Chartered Institute of Highways and Transport guidance than the one quoted, “Planning for walking – April 2015” shows that whist walking trips of up to 1 mile account for about 78% of journeys, beyond that distance they the number walked drops off significantly. 

 

If you measure the pedestrian route from the approximate centre of the Taylor Wimpey site to the 3 sites in Markfield most likely to be regularly visited you find the following:

 

To the doctors/chemists – single trip approx. 826 metres, round trip 1,652 metres. Round trip in miles – 1.03

 

To the school – single trip 1,121 metres, round trip 2,242 metres.  Round trip in miles – 1.4.

 

To the Coop/Main Street – single trip 1,283 metres, round trip 2,566 metres. Round trip in miles – 1.60.

 

Note – all of these trips would require uphill climbs. Markfield is also one of the highest villages in Leicestershire and has its own micro-climate, which often sees much heavier and persistent snowfalls than other nearby villages and stronger winds.

 

 

Point 2.22 - the data is incorrect - there is no longer a newsagent but there is a hardware shop and now a gents hair dressers too.

 

Point 2.27 to 2.43 – The assessment of school travel options makes no mention of the chaotic traffic condition at the start and end of the day in and around Oakfield Avenue/Mayflower Close. The measurements for the 3 school routes described appears to have been taken from the entrance to the Taylor Wimpey site, rather than a more realistic central position. 

 

The report assumes, since the housing site lies within the Markfield school catchment area any child that wanted to could go to that school. Currently the school has 324XXX children against a maximum of 350. On current numbers it can’t hold whole school assemblies.  The school can’t expand upwards because the original school buildings weren’t designed to do so.  Nor can it expand outwards because it occupies a very constrained site.

 

Houses on the Jelson London Road site are only now being occupied and it remains to be seen how many school age children from there will seek a place at the village school.

 

It must therefore be expected in the relatively near future that there won’t be places for some children from within the schools catchment area.  They will therefore have to be unsustainably transported to alternative schools.  The equivalent schools in Ratby, Groby, Thornton and Stanton under Bardon are already equally close to or at capacity and these settlements themselves are experiencing further growth pressures.

 

Point 2.44 - the local roads do not have relatively low levels of traffic nor is the topography generally flat. I think this section is a leftover from the Kegworth assessment mentioned in xxxx

 

Point 2.45 – this is a gross generalisation. The only cyclists you see on a regular basis on London Road and Launde Way are a few hardy adult commuters or weekend/evening cycling enthusiasts.  They are not attractive for most cyclists. Quite a few children do take scooters to and from school using the pavements but you hardly ever see bikes using the racks at the MCA or the doctors/chemists or the Coop or Londis.

 

Point 2.59 – the figures at the end of the sentence don’t appear to make sense.

 

Point 3.4 – local knowledge would tend to disagree with the statement that “In view of the outcome of the RSA it is considered that the addition of the proposed junction and vehicular traffic would not have a detrimental impact upon highway safety at the site access location.”

 

Point 3.7 – parking on Ratby Lane can make access for larger vehicles difficult at times.  I would have thought emergency service vehicles would have gone to the site via Launde Road.

 

Point 3.9 - Since the residential mix is unknown, car numbers generated by the new development cannot be accurately calculated.

 

Point 3.15 - how is this development designed “to increase choice by improving sustainable transport

alternatives”? It doesn’t focus on the “provision of public transport and walking/cycling facilities” – it mentions them but offers no improvements, other than a crossing point on Launde Road.

 

Points 3.17/3.18 – these sections appear premature – has sustainability actually been demonstrated?

 

Point 3.22 – how would the “use of sustainable transport modes can be

maximised?”.  It has been mentioned but the case for it happening hasn’t been proved.

 

Point 3.23 – how much of this refers to Kegworth – the core text for this study was clearly cloned for one produced for a development there.

 

Point 6.7/6.8 - fails to mention the Jelsons development, which is a committed scheme

 

Point 6.15 – I can’t believe there’d be no queuing.  Makes no reference to the limited visibility when looking towards the Field Head roundabout.

 

Point 6.19 – Why hasn’t the turning into Ratby Lane from the A50 been modelled? From a safety point of view this is surely more critical.  Note also the redevelopment of the Coach and Horses to a restaurant and the potential increase in traffic movements around that junction which may follow.

 

What about the other turn from the A50 onto the Field Head service road closer to the Bradgate Hill roundabout?  Aren’t there safety concerns linked to that turning movement and increased traffic?

 

Point 6.25 – since in 6.7/6.8 there was no mention of the Jelson development it is unclear whether the traffic arising from it has been taken into account in any of the junction calculations.

 

Point 6.29 – With regard to the Field Head roundabout, if this junction is, in 2015, already operating at capacity and this development will increase the traffic movements around it, how can the report say that “No improvement scheme is therefore required or proposed at this junction?” Surely there is a cumulative and the cost of meeting this by way of improvements should be, at least in part, borne by new developments?

 

Point 7.8 – the current visibility splays on either side of the Countryman Way/Launde Road junction are in the region of 100m, so closer to requirements for a 41 to 44 mph road.  At the Ratby Lane/Launde Road junction visibility to the north is limited by a hill crest and is measured at no more than 40m, which wouldn’t meet the 6Cs requirements. Therefore why are no improvement proposed?

 

Point 7.10 – see previous comments ref unrecorded accidents.  Both the Countryman Way and Ratby Lane road signs have been hit by traffic in the last two years.

 

Travel Plan

 

Points 2.14/2.15 repeat themselves

 

 Point 3.5 – in the same report is also says that in Chart 5 (the one after the one included in the report) 64% of trips were made by car and 22% by walking. Chart 6 in the same document shows that between 1995/97 and 2013 there was a 30% decrease in walking trips

 

 In relation to this see also the points about walking distances I made above in response to Point 2.21

 

Point 7.4 – says that “Since, as previously identified within Figure 1, travel to

work forms only a very small proportion of trips by purpose an alternative method is required in order to provide a more realistic assessment of modal split for all trip purposes.” That is somewhat misleading since Figure 1 shows there is only 1% point between the levels of car usage for shopping and travelling to work!

 

Monitoring of the travel plan over 5 years is all very well but how does it take account of changes in ownership/tenancy etc.

 

Has the impact of traffic delivering goods ordered on-line been factored in?

 

Landscape masterplan

 

Is there are demand for allotments? Are they in the right location – shading along the east and the southern sides from the existing woodland belts could limit their value. A water connection would be needed and who would manage them?

 

 

Development framework plan

 

The proposed links to right of way on the southern boundary of the site are on land outside the application area and in private ownership.  As is the overgrown hedge which divides the site from the right of way.  There is also an overgrown/unmanaged ditch along that boundary.  How and who will manage these?

 

It is unclear whether or not any of the public open space is large enough to stage informal kick-abouts.

 

As identified in the Arboricultural report (see below) most, if not all of the mature trees and hedging along the Jacqueline Road boundary appear to be owned by properties on that road. Taylor Wimpey would therefore have no control over them.

 

The proposed Launde Road crossing point may be in a location which meets highway design requirements but is it where local residents will really want to cross?

 

Groby PC own the most if not all of the land where the site entrance is proposed and they aren’t willing to sell.

 

Who will maintain the landscape buffer along the back of properties on Jacqueline Road? Since it would be divided-up between a series of private gardens what enforceable legal requirement would there be to retain and maintain it?

 

The Design Statement talks about 1 to 4+ bedroom properties and appropriate car parking standards.  Also says that on street parking will be in bays?

 

Arboricultural Report

 

From this report it is apparent that the majority of trees/hedges around the site are not within the application boundary.  Their ultimate management is therefore in the hands of other land owners.

 

The 2 proposed links through the southern boundary onto the right of way are on land in private ownership (Milner’s).  Historically this hedge has been unmanaged – who will look after it and the access routes in the future?  Surely it should be included within the application area along with the right of way.

 

 

Savills Report

 

There is a substantial degree of overlap between the content of this report and the Transport Assessment and Design Statement. I’ve therefore only picked-out points from this report which I think are different from either of the others.

 

Point 1.5 has the report really been informed by the discussions, which took place at the meetings with Markfield and Groby PC?  If so where?

 

Points 2.1/2.3 if it had been informed then mention of Field Head would have been made

 

Point 4.1 the applicant is committed to effective consultation and engagement – a comedy script?

 

Point 4.13 – makes no mention of the land ownership issue, which Groby PC raised very clearly.

 

Point 4.16 – a 5 year plus land supply can now be demonstrated.

 

Point 6.47 - This says “The principal means of car parking include on-street parking, car parking courts and private driveways and garages within the curtilage of dwellings”. To be honest, other than providing a multi-storey car park it hard to see what other means of car parking there is.

 

It goes on to say that “on-street parking” will be provided in “parallel bays”.  This could end-up making for a very messy street scene and doesn’t really accord with the concept of tree-lined avenues suggested elsewhere.

 

The idea of “parking courts” hasn’t proved that successful elsewhere in Markfield and has led to a substantial increase in on-street parking and subsequent congestion, in places

 

 

 After receiving a presentation from a representative from Savills Markfield Parish Council agreed the following

 

2nd June 2015 extract from MPC minutes

 

“After further discussion the members agreed that whilst the development actually stood in Groby Parish, the impact would be primarily felt by Markfield.  The additional 140 new homes along with 112 Jelson development would mean that the existing facilities such as Mercenfeld Primary School and Markfield Surgery would not be able to cope with the additional numbers of residents.

 

Resolved, Markfield Parish Council would object to the development as it was totally unsustainable.

 

Further resolved, Markfield Parish Council would work with Groby Parish Council and seek legal advice if necessary to oppose the planning application”.

 

 

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Page last updated: 21 August, 2013