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TDCS comments about Planning Application 0308/2016 for Dunstall Farm, Tamworth - 22nd August 2016

TDCS submitted the following comments to Tamworth Borough Council on 22nd August 2016 regarding the outline application for 800 houses and a primary school on land at Dunstall, Tamworth.




Having studied the application above in detail, The Tamworth and District Civic Society (TDCS) would like the following comments placed on record. We note that the site is identified for development in the recently approved Local Plan, and so development of some sort in this area is likely. We also note that the application is, at this stage, an outline application, with all matters reserved. However, the applicant has included a diagram showing what a potential development could look like. Taking this into account, our comments and observations are as follows:

         The access point located very close to the existing Brakes Brothers firm does give us great cause for concern. Whilst we acknowledge that the applicant is apparently attempting to minimise the impact to Plantation Lane and the village of Hopwas by restricting access to just this one point, we are concerned about the viability of one such road being able to accommodate an inevitably huge increase in motor car traffic, alongside the very large number of HGVs that currently use the same access point. The Local Plan expressly makes reference to two access points being needed for this site.

         Following on from our comment above we have concerns about the location of a proposed primary school, indicated on the applicant's diagram. The Sustainable Urban Extension (SUE) section of the Local Plan does indeed indicate that this could be a possible site for a primary school, but maybe the applicant will wish to consider some of the alternative locations put forward in the SUE diagram for Dunstall Lane.

         Before any approval, we would like to see a detailed traffic management plan that shows how mitigation will be put into place for the increase in vehicle usage in and around neighbouring Ventura Park and Cardinal Point at Bitterscote, and for the already very busy Mile Oak crossroads and A5 dual carriageway junction. The Civic Society supports residents' views that the road network in this area is already at breaking-point and often grinds to a halt at peak seasonal times, in all directions.

         If and when the full application that deals with reserved matters is presented, we would like the application to take into account the historical significance that needs to be placed on existing buildings in the area proposed for development. Dunstall is one of the ancient hamlets of Tamworth and Dunstall Farm appears on Yates's Map of 1775.  It is very pleasing to note that the plan submitted by the applicant retains these buildings, but the Civic Society is concerned that the potential new housing appears too close, and will thereby have a negative impact on the setting, appearance, and character of these buildings. For the same historic and environmental reasons, we are concerned that the rural character of Dunstall Lane is maintained, and continues to provide a walking and cycling amenity for residents of the borough and wider district.

We trust you will include these comments on the online planning portal and in your report to the Planning Committee.   Thank you.

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