Agenda item

REDWOOD CLOSE, LONG LEE, KEIGHLEY - 20/05576/MAR

The Committee is asked to consider Document “BF” which details a reserved matters application requesting consideration of access, appearance, landscaping, layout and scale for 32 dwellings (part pursuant to outline approval 17/02809/MAO) at Redwood Close, Long Lee, Keighley.

 

Recommended –

 

That the application be approved subject to the conditions contained in the technical report attached as appendix 1 to Document “BF”.

 

(Mark Hutchinson – 01274 434741)

Minutes:

The Committee was asked to consider Document “BF” which detailed a reserved matters application requesting consideration of access, appearance, landscaping, layout and scale for 32 dwellings (part pursuant to outline approval 17/02809/MAO) at Redwood Close, Long Lee, Keighley.

 

The Assistant Director gave an overview of the application which was detailed in the report, showing photographs of the site and the adjoining area, as well as the elevations and an artistic impression of the proposed development.  He also summarised the representations that had been received, stating that the application was therefore recommended for approval, subject to the conditions set out in the appendix to the report.

 

In response to a question regarding vehicle access points between the two sites, it was stated that there was no proposal for a vehicular access point.

 

A Ward Councillor was present to represent residents of Long Lee and stated that the issue that worries residents the most, is that HGVs and large vehicles would need to access Redwood Close via Cherry Tree Rise and Dale View Road, which is one of the main routes to Long Lee Primary School. We are incredibly concerned for the welfare of the children and families who are pedestrians if there are multiple large vehicles using that route. We are concerned there could be an accident.

 

Our concerns stem from the fact the parking around Long Lee Primary School at key times is already incredibly busy, with cars parked on both sides of the road. Cars are often parked inconsiderately and block the way for larger vehicles, and there is a sharp bend on the approach to the school. Councillors raised this situation only a few weeks ago with police and highways officers, who visited the site and met the head teacher.

 

This traffic and parking situation already causes stress to residents living near the school and were dubious about the practicalities of large vehicles being able to physically access the proposed site at peak times, also on Dale View Road and Redwood Close itself.

 

There is already serious traffic build-up in peak times and turning right out of Cherry Tree Rise towards Keighley is already a struggle, which will be exacerbated by any new houses.

 

There is also the question of snow and ice. Long Lee is exposed and at the top of a valley. The wind is harsh and is gets cold in winter, with drifts. It also sits on natural springs, so ice is common. The council, as per our policy, grits A roads and bus routes. However, despite this the bus regularly fails to service the estate this development would sit on due to parked cars being in the way or due to poor weather conditions. Indeed a few weeks ago an ambulance was unable to access Redwood Close to support a resident, who sadly passed away.

Moving on to the various drainage issues in Long Lee. Springs, blocked and broken culverts, water pouring out of walls, surface water run-off and flooding are already causing problems in several locations in the village and they have not yet been rectified. We object to the building on any land in Long Lee until the current issues are addressed and any developer can ensure drainage will be 100% effective, both land drainage and surface water. This is a particular concern on this Redwood Close site, as water run-off from the field already flows into the back gardens of homes on Long Lee Lane and Linden Rise. Taking away the fields could exacerbate this problem and cause more run-off, impacting the properties as well as the gardens.

 

Any development in Long Lee and the surrounding areas as a whole must be considered alongside the unsuitability of the road and rail bridges at the bottom of Park Lane where it meets Coney Lane and the dog leg they create. Several sites are earmarked for development in Long Lee and they should not be allowed to go ahead without the issue of these bridges being addressed. There was a constraint for many years on building in the area due to the bridges – several sites were earmarked on the housing plan in the mid-1990s, then safeguarded in 2005. The constraint was removed for some unknown and illogical reason in recent years which, to me, is unwise at best as no improvements have been made to those bridges.

 

The Redwood Close site would be the second large development to go ahead in the village in as many years – the other being built currently at Long Lee Lane, locally referred to as the Park Lane development. That development of 61 houses was approved in November 2019. However, after I raised concerns the Committee deliberated over the highway constraints at Coney Lane bridge and decided that further residential developments in Long Lee should be put on hold until these constraints have been addressed. On the decision sheet, it was resolved that a footnote be added that any further development beyond that application would impact on access to Keighley over the Coney Lane bridge. This access application is indeed a further residential development, yet the Coney Lane and Park Lane rail and road bridges are still there, still flooding in the basin, still almost impassable by large vehicles, still being struck by lorries, still creating a dog leg, and still have not been improved. The Ward Councillor therefore urged the Committee to reject the application.

 

The City Solicitor stressed that many of the points raised by the Ward Councillor were not material to this planning application, as they had already been considered at the outline application stage.

 

A further Ward Councillor spoke in objection and stated that he concurred with the concerns expressed by his fellow Ward Councillor’s residents that the access to this development is not suitable.

 

In addition, the condition of the proposed access road Redwood Close near and at the point of access to the proposed development has collapsed in parts and the surface is in need of repair. I understand from speaking to highways officers that the council will resurface the road in this financial year. However, there was concerns the road will still not cope with large HGVs as the foundations of the road is sinking – it’s not simply a resurfacing issue.

 

It’s also worth noting Redwood Close is steep, narrow, has no turning circle, and can certainly not cope with any large vehicles parking on it. The proposed entrance to the linked development on Long Lee Lane is also narrow, so would also be difficult for HGVs to access. Redwood Close would also suffer greatly if the road were to be allowed to become even slightly muddy – the steepness would be a hazard to pedestrians and motorists, and combined with icy conditions in a built-up area it could be a disaster waiting to happen should a vehicle lose control.

 

A Member raised concerns around parking in the vicinity of the site by trades persons during construction, and if this could be conditioned,

so that they parked on site.  In response it was stressed that as long as there were no particular parking restrictions, it could not be conditioned, however the construction management plan could include such a clause to encourage parking on the site.

 

A Member also suggested that a dilapidation survey be undertaken prior to construction so that any damage to adjoining roads can be made good post construction.

 

An objector was present and stated that Redwood Close is small cul de sac, currently serving 44 houses. It is narrow, with a very steep incline and a tight left corner at the top of that incline.

In winter it is frequently inaccessible, only a small amount of snow and ice stops most cars from safely going up or down it. Cars are usually parked on both sides of the road, so the access is particularly narrow. It is infrequently gritted. And the proposal to provide grit boxes is not a reasonable solution to this problem.

Last winter an ambulance was unable to access Redwood to attend a patient and they subsequently died.

The only access to Redwood is via Daleview Road. This is a bus route, but buses cannot access it in bad weather either and, as it is a residential street, cars are parked at both sides further restricting easy access. If buses have a problem on Daleview, so will construction traffic.

These roads (and other adjacent roads, Cherry Tree/Spring Avenue) are unsuitable for the heavy plant vehicles which will be needed for the construction. There are many children around, parents taking children to school (with pushchairs) and children playing out during holidays and after school. Any access problems to the site due to parked cars and during bad weather would be extremely hazardous and dangerous and a real threat to life.

The number of extra cars driving up and down Redwood and to the main road could potentially almost double once the properties are built, again a danger to life and a real hazard due to parked cars and the road conditions in winter. And these roads are a direct route to the primary school on Cherry Tree Rise.

 

A further objector was present and drew Members’ attention to the following points:

 

That road traffic had increased substantially in the area over the years and increase traffic through Long Lee in particular because of the Covid vaccination roll out.

 

That in terms of the roosting bats, I made several observations regarding anomalies in the Preliminary ecological appraisal. It is also noted that a second Ecological report was submitted from a different provider. Which did not include a full assessment of the barn, farm and derelict buildings due to the state of repair and would therefore question the validity of this report.

 

That the height of the walls is such that they would not provide security and seclusion from new residents and others.

The gradient and slope of the site falls from north to south and also towards the lower west boundary where there is a ditch and old drainage pipework. This area of marshy grassland is boggy and wet throughout the year. The site has a spring which flows towards Low Fold. Issues which could affect neighbouring properties re surface flooding. What measures will be undertaken to improve removal of surface water?

In response to some of the issues raised, the Assistant Director stated that boundary wall treatment will form part of the landscaping scheme and details and any remedies can be looked at upon submission and taken up with the developer accordingly.  In addition, any drainage issues will be looked at in light of the details submitted by the applicant.

The applicant’s agent was also present and stated that his principle comments had already been expressed on the previous application, suffice to say that this application was now for 32 units, and hence the density was lower.  In terms of separation distances and layout, these were compliant with planning policy and that the boundary treatment would be enhanced to ensure privacy of existing residents was maintained.  In terms of traffic management during construction, as a considerate contractor the aim would be to ensure that relationships with the local community are strengthened and managed via the construction management plan.  In terms of drainage a fully designed and technically compliant scheme which will take surface and foul water from the upper part of the site and down through to the lower site, in addition surface water storage was being proposed and therefore a robust drainage scheme would be in place.

In terms of the issue of density, as had been highlighted previously, the density now proposed was lower.  

 

Members were in broad support of the proposals and it was therefore:

 

Resolved –

 

That the application be approved subject to the conditions contained in the technical report attached as appendix 1 to Document “BF”, together with an additional condition requiring a dilapidation survey to be undertaken on the adjacent roads used by construction traffic.

 

ACTION: Assistant Director Transportation, Design and Planning

 

 

Supporting documents: