We have listened to the comments from local residents and we believe the site represents a great opportunity to deliver:
• A well designed sustainable development for families which will complement the existing rural character of Charnock Richard;
• The provision a new publically accessible well-planned greenspace network, well integrated into the existing Charnock Richard urban area;
• Infrastructure enhancements to the immediate area, potentially including new off road parking provision, junction improvements, a new local shop, and enhancements to existing community buildings/facilities
The sketch above shows the opportunities within the site
The design principles above have taken into account the constraints and opportunities within the site in order to inform the final masterplan which will form part of the 'Outline' application. As you can see we have now included the village shop, added community parking close to Charter Lane and the school to ensure it is accessible and sought to protect the privacy of existing properties. The Key sets out the significance of each of the colours, however for clarity the 'Proposed indicative building frontages' could be a range of house styles such as mews, semi-detached and detached.
We have provided good pedestrian connectivity throughout the site which creates integration with the wider area and the creation of publically accessible open space will provide a focus point that both existing and new residents can use.
In March 2015 we started talking to the local community in Charnock Richard about the proposals for the land off Charter Lane. An event was held at Charnock Richard football club for local residents to share their ideas and views. This was a real day one, in the sense that we presented no formal plans, but rather a set of initial ideas. We even had a 'word cloud' where residents could write their views on the village about how it was perceived.
We you like to thank everyone that attended on the day for their contributions, which were extremely useful and informative. Whilst a large number of people were positive about the proposals, all agreed it was important that certain key questions were answered.
Following the first community event we took some time away to gather the feedback received. Taking on board the community's ideas and issues raised we presented the following proposals during our March 2016 drop-in event, again at Charnock Richard football club.
One way in which we have responded to feedback is through the provision of car parking spaces within our development. Congestion on Charter Lane is one of the biggest concerns felt by residents and we therefore hope to alleviate the issue by providing new public use car parking which can be used during school pick up and drop off times or when there is a football match taking place (for example).
Another benefit we hope to bring to the local community is the provision of a village shop should it continue to be an aspiration of local residents.
Since we submitted our planning application we have continued to consult with the local community and take on board any comments received.
It has been clear that the biggest concern to local people has been the potential impact the scale of a 90 dwelling scheme will have on surrounding services and infrastructure. Despite receiving no technical objections to the planning application from statutory consultees, we have taken community comments on board and have therefore amended our application from 90 dwellings to up to 60 dwellings.
These changes have effected the masterplan accordingly:
• The space between new homes and existing homes along Leeson Avenue and Charter Lane has increased to enable a larger stand-off between neighbouring properties;
• There is more open green space throughout the development;
• The community parking area has been extended to accommodate up to 20 spaces; and
• The community orchard has been extended along the northern boundary.
We believe this creates a well thought-out, sustainable extension to the village which can benefit both new and existing residents.
Question 1: Why do we need new homes?
Britain is suffering from a severe housing crisis. There are not enough homes being built and the facts highlight the severity of the current situation.
The average mortgage deposit is a staggering £27,000, yet the average salary is just over £26,000, leading to increasing numbers of people being priced out of the property market. Those that do manage to get their foot on the property ladder do so at the age of 37 (and rising) compared to an average age of 23 during the 1960s. Furthermore, over half of these first time buyers can only purchase a new home after receiving financial assistance from their parents. Unless new homes are built, the situation remains bleak.
Nationally there is a need for the around 250,000 new homes to be built each year in England, and at present we only building roughly half that amount. The impact of this is wide reaching as the supply of new homes cannot keep up with demand; this is as much of a case in Chorley Borough as it is in London (for example).
The Government recognised the urgent need for new homes and published the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) in March 2012 to streamline national planning policy. At the heart of the NPPF is a drive towards sustainable development and a commitment to delivering a substantial number of new homes to assist in providing economic growth. In turn, residential development will contribute to building a strong economy, promote vibrant and healthy communities, as well as protect and enhance the environment.
Places need to change to survive and prosper, which can be seen from the growth of Charnock Richard in the past (see the historical maps). Each time there has been growth this has changed Charnock Richard, but changed it into the place it is today, a place people are proud to live in. We hope that this development can be the next stage of this growth in providing a future for the village and a future for the next generation of residents.
Question 2: What is the land’s planning position within the Chorley Local Plan?
Within the 2015 Chorley Local Plan, the site is located within the settlement area of Charnock Richard and is not designated for any particular use. This is unusual, however it may have originally been to allow some development in the future when required in the village.
In sharp contrast, the rural areas surrounding Charnock Richard (outside the settlement boundary) are all designated as Green Belt which is the highest level of protection in England. If housing needs are to be met within Charnock Richard and local improvements delivered, our proposal site is one of very few opportunities.
This current housing requirement for Chorley Borough is a minimum of 417 new homes per year being built. This is an outdated figure carried forward from a time when growth was prioritised within the regional cities of Liverpool and Manchester and pushed away from other areas. Therefore this 417 number is artificially low and does not take into account Chorley’s actual housing needs.
The most recent 2014-based Household Projections for England produced by the central government suggest that Chorley requires 482 new homes per year but this doesn’t take into account factors such as economic growth, the previous under delivery of homes and the affordable housing needs of the Borough.
We have done this work through housing analysts Nathaniel Lichfield and Partners; we believe Chorley needs at least 618 new homes to be delivered every year to meet the needs of the Borough.
The 2012 Central Lancashire Core Strategy, which covers the spatial and level of growth for the Boroughs of Chorley, South Ribble and Preston requires that rural areas should provide at least 1,700 new homes before 2026. With increasing housing needs across the Borough this figure is also likely to increase by around 50%.
We believe this land can help meet some of these local needs whilst at the same time delivering local benefits for local people.
Question 3: How will the village cope with additional traffic brought by the development?
As part of the planning application (at the point in time when we submit), Taylor Wimpey will undertake a full Traffic Assessment of the surrounding road network. This will include full surveys on Charter Lane and at the junctions of Chorley Lane and Church Lane. These surveys are undertaken during the day and also at identified peak hours (e.g. School drop-off and pick-up times). The results of this will be tested by the officers at Chorley Council and Lancashire County Council. This Transport Assessment will identify any improvements that need to take place as part of the development.
The width of Charter Lane was raised as a concern by some residents who live on the road. Unfortunately this road and the adjoining land is out of our control, making it impossible for us to widen the road. We are however proposing to allocate a number of parking spaces at the front of our development. This will help alleviate on-road parking during peak times and will hopefully take away some of the congestion on Charter Lane.
Question 4: The fields and gardens surrounding the site are prone to flooding, what is the plan to alleviate this issue?
The image below is an extract from the Environment Agency Flood Risk map which can also be viewed here: http://maps.environment-agency.gov.uk/wiyby/wiybyController?value=Charnock+Richard%2C+Lancashire&submit.x=15&submit.y=5&submit=Search%09&lang=_e&ep=map&topic=floodmap&layerGroups=default&scale=11&textonly=off
It is important to stress that the land is not at risk of Flooding of any type.
As part of our planning application however (at the point in time when we submit), Taylor Wimpey will have to undertake a full drainage and flood risk assessment to the specialists at Chorley Council and the Environment Agency to ensure that the proposals do not impact upon both the existing and new build properties. Should the existing drainage network be at full capacity then we will be required to provide new drainage systems. Our specialist drainage consultants are currently liaising with United Utilities to ensure our strategy conforms to requirements of Lancashire County Council and Chorley Council.
Question 5: There are few local facilities within Charnock Richard and services such as the school and doctors surgeries are already at full capacity. How will the village cope with an increasing population?
We are looking at the opportunity to accommodate a community shop within our development. This is based on feedback received from the community to date and we would like to discuss this further.
Generally larger populations support better shops and services. If people use them and shop locally, such shops and services grow and thrive. The Dog and Partridge pub in the village is a good example of when this works.
Finally in respect of public services, Chorley Borough Council requires house builders such as Taylor Wimpey to pay CIL (Community Infrastructure Levy) through their developments which is charged at £65/Sqm; on this land the amount payable could reach as much as £300,000 subject to the makeup of the scheme.
CIL is a planning charge which helps the Council deliver the infrastructure required to support the development. It is up to the Council to determine how this money will be spent but examples include schemes which benefit local transport, schools, hospitals, leisure centers etc. We are keen to work with the Council, the Parish Council and any other groups to establish how we can improve and contribute to existing and new facilities within Charnock Richard. Importantly a share of this money goes to Charnock Parish Council to spend.
More information on this can be found here: http://chorley.gov.uk/Pages/AtoZ/Planning-Policy.aspx