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Planning Issues - March 2019

Site name:  Military Road Wallington

Reference: P/19/0130/OA

WALLINGTON VILLAGE COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION

OBJECTIONS AND OBSERVATIONS TO APPLICATION FOR OUTLINE
PLANNING PERSMISSION FOR LAND ON MILITARY ROAD FAREHAM

March 2019

Wallington Village Community Association (WVCA) wishes to object to development at this location on a broad range of environmental issues including the loss of natural habitat, access and aggravated traffic problems and increased flooding risk.

1.

INTRODUCTORY OBSERVATIONS

Many of the supporting reports and documents submitted by Foreman Homes are desk based and, though apparently glossy and professional, are in fact contradictory and inaccurate in detail.

For example, the Contextual Study is dismissive in tone and fails to mention that Wallington contains a Conservation Area and some listed buildings. It states, inter alia, that: “The houses within the village are typically semi-detached with a few areas of older-styled terraced properties and some larger detached houses…The Wallington River at the west of the site…is fronted by several rows of terraced houses.” Whilst there are photographs of some of the properties in the wider area, there are no photographs of the listed cottages in Drift Road. Some recognition of the Conservation Area and some Listed Buildings is to be found in the desk based Archaeological Report. Furthermore, it fails to acknowledge Welborne and states that “there is vacant Greenland to the north”.

Distances in the Transport Statement are clearly as the crow flies and in no way realistic – e.g. the bus stop in Wickham Road is not 800 metres away.

Finally, the reports often fail to address the impact of the proposed development to the local environment.

2.

THE SITE

2.1 Location

This is a significant green field site, one of a dwindling number of locations within the Village currently protected with a designation of Coast and Countryside. The designation has been re-affirmed at two public enquires in the last thirty years. It could not reasonably be described as having “low landscape sensitivity” considering its prominence or proximity to a site of archaeological/historical significance.

Furthermore, the site lies within the Portsdown Hill Landscape Character Area, confirmed by Fareham Borough Council’s Landscape Character Assessment and acknowledged by Foreman Homes.

With the proposed Welborne development to the north of the M27 there will be even fewer open space for enjoyment of outdoor recreational activities.

Both to the north and south of the site there are Grade 2 listed buildings – Fort Wallington to the north; East Hill House to the south. The fort is recognised as being “of regional significance with the fabric of [the] surviving wall nationally important.” The house is deemed to be of national significance.

Finally, we believe that, in any event, the number of proposed properties is too many for the site. (See also email 7/3/19 from FBC Urban Designer)

2.2 Physical characteristics – flooding and sewers

The site has a significant slope and the Flood Risk Assessment is incorrect when it  states that water flood risk is low and that there are no records of the site being affected by ground water flooding.

There is a problematical and well-known land drainage issues on the site caused by numerous springs and the presence of an area of so-called Blue Slipper Clay. The geological discontinuity means that flooding potential is high and downhill properties have already experienced it, one incident taking place as recently as this year. Interference with anything in the local water table is undesirable given the local predisposition to flooding – run-off as well as fluvial.

Springs are evident on the field and are becoming more and more active in the gardens of properties on Drift Road, Military Road, Woodlands and through to East Hill Close.

The developer proposes that the third most preferred surface water removal option be used – the existing Southern Water sewer in Military Road / Drift Road. Occasional flooding of properties over a number of years demonstrates that the sewage system is unable to deal with significant surface water removal. Furthermore, in times of heavy rainfall and high tides the extra water will adversely affect river levels causing localised flooding (East Hill Close and Wallington Shore Road)

Some properties in Military Road to the south of the site are connected to what was until recently deemed to be a private sewer and joins the main sewer in Wallington Shore Road.

There is known weakness in sewage capacity as evidenced by the Clifton Mews case some years ago (the successfully opposed ‘Clargester’ discharge into the river proposal) and more recently by the major problem apparently caused by the new houses in Delme Drive.

2.3 Pollution

There is recognition in the desk top study that the site is close to the M27 and A27 and “there is potential to expose future site users to elevated pollution levels”. There is also some local concern that air quality has deteriorated as of late.

As FBC’s own environmental report recognises there is potential for noise pollution, something that properties to the south of the site have experienced.


2.4 Visual and Ecological Value of the site

The site comprises a visual amenity quite unique in the area because of its rural, unspoilt character. Because of its prominent location its quality is not restricted to the village itself and is clearly visible from the rear of the High Street in Fareham and Lysses path car park. It enhances the townscape as a green and wooded field in front of Fort Wallington and it acts as a buffer zone between the industrial estate in the Fort and the housing.

Its value in terms of the natural habitat cannot be overstated. The site contains mature oaks and the west of the site is identified as a priority habitat. In addition, protected species (slow worms, lizards, dormice and bats) are acknowledged to inhabit the site. The area is regularly used by Roe deer, foxes, badgers, rabbits, bats, and owls (Barn and Tawny). Wild orchids which only grow on the South Downs are to be found here. Whilst there is no mention in the HCC Ecology Team Report of Great Crested Newts, we are aware that these were found in an earlier study. Of course, it also provides grazing land for horses.

There can be few areas in the borough in which such a diversity of animal life can exist so close to housing. Development pressures are potentially fatal to such unique places – once lost they can never be re-created and the quality of life for humans as well as animals, is thereby diminished.

2.5 Archaeology

Fort Wallington is recognised (Foreman sponsored desk top Archaeology Report) to be “of regional significance with the fabric of [the] surviving wall of national importance”.

However, the proposed development will screen the community’s view of what remains of a building of such significant nineteenth century military history. The application makes no attempt to address this issue, a point recognised in the report by the County Archaeologist.

The desk top report (points 7.8 and 7.9) mention East Hill [House] which is a Grade 2 listed building to the south which the report wrongly states is in Military Way [sic]. It acknowledges that the building is “considered to be nationally important” but incorrectly states that the “the site has limited views of the fort with mature trees in the front garden … but only limited views to and from the PDA.”. All four properties have rooms (especially on the second floor) from which the proposed development will be very visible.

3.

TRANSPORT and HIGHWAY ISSUES

The Transport Statement contains inaccuracies and omissions. The distances cited to various locations must be as the crow flies as they in no way reflect reality. There is also no mention of gradients which make cycling difficult and would force those with young children and buggies to use motor vehicles. Public transport is practically non-existent.

Military Road, Drift Road and Pinks Hill are unlit shared spaces and as such unsuitable for providing access to or from the site. They pose a significant danger to pedestrians, cyclists and motor vehicles.


3.1 Military Road

Speeds are regretfully not as the Transport Statement claims “commensurate with the character of the lane” and far greater than 18 mph cited in the report. It is incorrect to state that it has an “exemplary safety record”. Accidents and near misses do occur but are not significant enough to be reported to the police.

The blind bend opposite Woodlands is very dangerous and has recently been the site of a minor accident. The egress from East Hill House is difficult and has also been the site of accidents. Both of these locations are proposed entrances the PDA.

The junction of Military Road and Pinks Hill is difficult with restrictive sight lines in both directions. As the FBC’s Transport Planner states in an email dated 27/2/19: “The available southward visibility splay is inadequate to enable emerging drivers to see approaching vehicles. Additionally, the junction has an unsatisfactory southern radius and inadequate forward visibility for drivers turning left into Military Road.”  In recent times, vehicles are being parked on the junction, (probably by those employed in industrial estate) which makes matters even worse.

With the speed limit on Pinks Hill being the national speed limit (60 mph) it is surprising what speeds vehicles manage to achieve, especially at the start and end of the working day.

Pedestrian commuters in significant numbers use the road between 06.30 and 8.30; between 12.30 and 14.00; and between 16.00 and 18.00. Additional motor traffic would put them at serious risk.

3.2  Pinks Hill and Standard Way

Pinks Hill is very narrow and steep. In winter conditions it is often impossible to use the road as vehicles have been known to jack-knife, making it impossible to access Military Road, other than in four-wheel drive vehicles.

There is a World War Two type FW3/25 (ARMCO) pill box which is the only example of an intact anti-invasion pill box on Portsdown, which would make widening the road very difficult.

(source www.portsdown-tunnels.org.uk/invasion­_defences/pinks­_­pill­_box.html)

The blind bend at the bottom of Pinks Hill on the downward slope is very dangerous and a potential for rear shunts as vehicles queue to enter the A27 link to the motorway.

The bend opposite the Suez site is blind and dangerous. Those using the route have had numerous near misses with HGVs driving over the midline. HGVs exiting the Fort have also to cross the midline.

Future industrial / commercial development in the vicinity will exacerbate the problems.


3.3     Drift Road, North Wallington and Wallington Shore Road

These roads are very narrow with parked vehicles, especially on the corner of Drift Road and North Wallington. There is no pavement on Drift Road and sections of North Wallington.

The roads through the village and surrounding roads are incapable of accommodating further traffic. It is already difficult to drive along these roads without having to reverse because of oncoming traffic. Accessing the A27 from Wallington Shore Road at the Delme roundabout is currently difficult and queues build up at evening rush hour on Broadcut. The proposed development will worsen the current difficulties.

4.

CONCLUSION

For the above reasons we strongly oppose the outline application and if it were to go ahead, we would seek significant mitigation, which would include £5 million escrow:

Submitted on behalf of:

Wallington Village Community Association

David F.B. Kett

Hon. Sec.

1-2 East Hill House, Military Road, Fareham PO16 8TH      tel 01329 231356

Email: wvca1@tiscali.co.uk

 

Reference: P/19/0169/OA
Address: Land at Standard Way Wallington Fareham

WALLINGTON VILLAGE COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION

OBJECTIONS AND OBSERVATIONS TO APPLICATION FOR OUTLINE 
PLANNING PERSMISSION FOR LAND AT STANDARD WAY WALLINGTON FAREHAM

March 2019

Wallington Village Community Association (WVCA) wishes to object to development of an Employment Space at this location on environmental grounds (including the loss of natural habitat), and in particular access and aggravated traffic problems, together with an increased flooding risk.

1. THE SITE

The site lies within the Portsdown Hill Landscape Character Area, confirmed by Fareham Borough Council’s Landscape Character Assessment and acknowledged by Foreman Homes. and would be visible from traffic travelling east on the M27. Despite its size it is a habitat for protected species (slow worms, lizards, dormice and bats) as well as foxes and other wild animals. With more and more development, including Welborne to the north of the motorway, there are fewer and fewer green spaces in Wallington and its close neighbourhood.

The Hampshire County Council Ecologist has concerns that under the proposals there is insufficient space for the reptiles and there is a threat to the dormice.

The HCC Archaeologist and the developer’s own commissioned archaeology report both acknowledge that the site has moderate archaeological interest. The report (18/2/19) from Hampshire’s archaeologist raises concerns that “having identified that an archaeology issue exists…the planning statement nor the design and access statement offer any insight to satisfy the planning authority that archaeological issues will be addressed.”

However, the major issues with the site concern highways and flooding.

2. HIGHWAYS / TRANSPORT

The i-Transport Statement dated 6 February 2019 quotes both national and local planning policies.

The National Planning Policy Framework (July 2015) paragraph 108 (b) states that the sites that are developed should have “safe and suitable access … for all users”. Fareham Borough Council Local Plan Part One – Core Strategy (2011) states that FBC will permit development which is “designed and implemented to prioritise and encourage safe and reliable journeys by walking cycling and public transport.”

This site will not meet either policy aim. The local highway network with steep gradients, and in places absence of pavements or street lighting is dangerous for pedestrians and cyclists. The accompanying reports recognise that the nearest public transport links are not located within acceptable walking distances.

2.1 Standard Way

Standard Way is a steep road which from the junction with North Wallington up to Pinks Hill is a shared space and currently has no pavement. Pedestrians take their life in their hands and vehicle drivers have to take great care. The speed limit is the national speed limit of 60 mph. Vehicles traveling east accelerate to climb the hill and just short of the brow of the hill is a sharp blind righthand bend.

It is on this bend that access to the proposed site will be located. On the opposite side of the road is Fareham Heights, a small business park. This spot is extremely dangerous

Further up the hill is another blind righthand bend with an entrance to the Suez undertaking on the left. Very large HGVs have to swing to the offside of the road in order to turn into the facility.

Close to Suez and again on a bend is the entrance to Fort Wallington Industrial Estate and once again HGVs exiting the estate have to swing across the road when they turn left to depart, as they should, via Standard Way.

Vehicles travelling south would join Pinks Hill, a totally unsuitable road for goods vehicles.

At the bottom of Standard Way, there are two hazards:

  • Two pedestrian underpasses under the M27

The one directly opposite North Wallington is frequently used by cyclists and vehicles accelerating up the hill will prove a significant danger to them. The second one, just to the west of it, is used by walkers who have to cross-over from the south side to access the underpass.

  • Vehicles, particularly HGVs, that are parked day and night on the south side of the road from the junction with North Wallington to the Lock and Store unit.

In the morning their drivers are frequenting the burger van; in the afternoon many of the drivers are dog walkers; and at night they are HGVs parked up. These vehicles obstruct the highway and reduce it to a single lane, requiring vehicles to queue. Additional traffic will make matters worse.

If the proposed footpath / cycleway were built on Standard Way from the junction with North Wallington to the proposed employment area, pedestrians would be required to cross Standard Way at a particularly dangerous point just as vehicles accelerate and leave the 30mph area.

2.2 Broadcut

Broadcut is already very busy with commercial traffic. At rush hour, significant queues build up at the Sainsbury’s roundabout. More traffic will make things worse.

2.3 Pinks Hill

Whilst vehicles accessing the proposed employment area should not use Pinks Hill, they inevitably will. It is very narrow and steep and in winter conditions it is often impossible to use the road as vehicles have been known to jack-knife.

There is a World War Two type FW3/25 (ARMCO) pill box which is the only example of an intact anti-invasion pill box on Portsdown, which would make widening the road very difficult.

(source www.portsdown-tunnels.org.uk/invasion­_defences/pinks­_­pill­_box.html)

The blind bend at the bottom of Pinks Hill on the downward slope is very dangerous and a potential for rear shunts as vehicles queue to enter the A27 link to the motorway.

2.4 Drift Road, North Wallington and Wallington Shore Road

Inevitably, some vehicles will use these roads. They are very narrow with parked vehicles, especially on the corner of North Wallington and Drift Road. There is no pavement on sections of North Wallington.

The roads through the village and surrounding roads are incapable of accommodating further traffic. It is already difficult to drive along these roads without having to reverse because of oncoming traffic. Accessing the A27 from Wallington Shore Road at the Delme roundabout is currently difficult and queues build up at evening rush hour on Broadcut.

3. FLOODING and DRAINAGE

Land drainage in the area is a problem and there is a local predisposition to flooding – run-off as well as fluvial.It is vital the open spaces exist to absorb rain water. The sitehas a significant slope and there is a danger if developed, more rain water will run into the river Wallington which already is liable to flood.

Sewerage systems throughout Wallington are at full capacity and Southern Water in their report warns that they may be unable to cope.

4. CONCLUSION

For the above reasons we oppose the outline application and would ask that permission be refused.

Submitted on behalf of:

Wallington Village Community Association

David F.B. Kett

Hon. Sec.

1-2 East Hill House, Military Road, Fareham PO16 8TH tel 01329 231356

Email: wvca1@tiscali.co.uk