2 responses from Mr Julian Oston, Dallam Tower Estate
1. Mr Julian Oston, Dallam Tower Estate : 8 Jul 2008 12:37:00
Please write your comment or explain your reasons for supporting or opposing this part of the Report. You may also wish to refer to the tests of soundess in the glossary of the Preferred Options document before making your comments.
SLDC LDF Core Strategy consultation
Comments submitted on behalf of Dallam Tower Estate
Comments referenced to the numbering in the core strategy document.
PO2 – Rural Areas – We agree that some development is needed in smaller rural settlements to allow for provision of local housing. Many of these smaller settlements benefit from some form of service provision such as post office, school, village shop which may require additional users to remain viable and provide a service for the rest of the existing community. As well as new build where appropriate we feel that where there are derelict or unused buildings these should be considered favourably for residential conversion. In many cases these buildings have no alternative use due the size and location of the building means that they are not suitable/viable as commercial premises. In these cases if a viable scheme can be provided by considering the affordable housing requirement a positive development may be achieved. It may be necessary to consider weighting the requirements in favour of local occupancy rather than the proposed local/affordable housing mix, which may be better suited to the location.
We agree with the summary/commentary for this section that a pragmatic view has to be adopted so far as the affordable housing provision is concerned. We feel that there needs to be a balance between the requirements for affordable housing and local needs to ensure that any housing for local needs is brought forward. There are obviously financial considerations so far as the landowners who are expected to bring land forward for development to be taken into consideration. If the requirements are weighted too heavily towards affordable housing provision relative to site development costs the sites will not be brought forward if the returns to the landowner are not deemed to be suitable.
We suggest that headline figures on land values with the benefit of planning permission need to be discounted quite heavily to take into account the fact that Capital Gains Tax and planning gain supplement need to be paid by the landowner. This will have a significant effect upon the return from the proposed development and influences viability and the willingness to bring land forward. The fact that the value of the land with the benefit of planning permission may be greater that the existing use value does not necessarily mean that the land will be brought forward. This will have a significant effect upon the assumptions so far as affordable housing provision is concerned.
We feel that with the proposed affordable/local housing requirements there may be issues with scheme viability that will need to be addressed possibly on a site by site basis if land is to be brought forward.
We also feel that it is important to address the hidden households in rural locations. These are young local people who by necessity live with their families because they can not afford open market housing yet may not meet the affordable housing criteria.
It is important to bring forward sites that provide housing that enables local people to remain in their preferred location for either social or financial reasons i.e. employment. The local occupancy requirements may assist with this housing provision but only if there is sufficient return from the scheme for the landowner/developer to bring the site forward.
The influence of the affordable housing element of the scheme (where costs of provision may outweigh return) may affect viability on the basis proposed which could potentially result in no housing being made available at all which is contrary to the Council’s policy and perhaps in line with the finding following the introduction of IPATH.
We are conscious that the core strategy often mentions the Council’s concern regarding development viability and the effects that this will have upon the provision of housing stock during the core strategy period. We concur that each site will vary due to site constraints and variable costs which means that it will not necessarily be possible to have a set formula to produce viable sites. We do however understand the need to have a starting point in terms of affordable and local housing provision. Our concern however is that based upon the current housing market conditions and the reduction in applications for residential development following the introduction of IPATH the requirements are too stringent to encourage the levels of applications required to meet the Councils targets.
Farm Diversification - We agree with the statement that farm diversification should be encouraged particularly if it enables the next generation of the family to remain on the farm and afford local accommodation rather than seeking alternative employment outside of the region.
PO5 – land at Station Yard – we are aware that demand for development of this site does exist. There are a numbers of companies that are seeking to purchase land to build upon themselves to provide warehouse/processing facilities. Thus far the Estate has not been able to release land within its ownership but now wishes to overcome the site constraints to bring the land to the market. We suggest therefore that part of this land will ultimately be brought forward for development.
We feel that this site (subject to Highways considerations at the canal bridge at Crooklands) is better suited for heavier traffic based employment providers than a site in or on the periphery of Milnthorpe. There is a footpath link from Ackenthwaite to Station Yard so development in this area is readily accessible to residents of Milnthorpe and Ackenthwaite in a sustainable manner i.e. on foot. It is for this reason that we have proposed that additional land in this location be considered for employment use as part of the LDF process.
We are conscious that the employment allocation for the Milnthorpe area is 9ha which we feel would be difficult to accommodate in one area without the creation of a new business park with all the inherent traffic implications.
PO14 - Milnthorpe Functional Area
4.64 – We would question why Sandside and Storth have not been included within the functional area when Heversham and Leasgill have. Whilst Storth has some limited facilities it relies upon Milnthorpe as its principle service town.
Option 1 – Alternative areas of growth.
General Comment – it is very difficult from the core strategy to consider the implications of the proposals on each site as there is no guidance on the levels of development proposed which will have a serious impact upon the aesthetic and practical aspects of the proposals. For example a large scale development at Heversham would have significant impact upon the village in terms of increased traffic on minor roads, possible overloading of the primary school etc whereas one would imagine that a small scale development of say 10 houses could be accommodated within the existing infrastructure
Site specific comments – numbered as per the functional area numbering.
3. South East Milnthorpe – we suggest that this area of land should be considered within the preferred options as the land form would accommodate additional housing without breaching the skyline. A new screened highways access from the A6 to the south of the town could be formed which would reduce the traffic impact upon the town centre. This area could potentially accommodate a reasonable proportion of the functional area’s housing allocation whilst providing easy pedestrian access to the Town’s services either along the A6 footpath or directly from the Square at the northern end of the site. Development in this area would we suggest be more sustainable than at North Ackenthwaite as the town’s services would be more accessible by foot.
4. North West Milnthorpe – we agree with proposal re limited residential development to the rear of existing housing. Main concern is on landscape grounds as this land rises up towards Kirkgate. Any large scale development would be highly visible from the Sandside promontory.
4. North West Milnthorpe – we agree with employment designation of the lower levels of this land adjacent to the land currently being developed. Would suggest that this land is best suited for light industrial and workshop use rather than haulage type businesses for access reasons. The traffic lights and road junction in Milnthorpe are not suited to increased heavy goods traffic loading.
8. East Heversham – It is difficult to comment on this proposal as the view depends upon the scale of the development proposed and the impact additional housing would have on the resources of Heversham, namely the primary school. Would imagine that development would be contained to the lower areas of the field to mitigate impact on views from the South and South West.
9. West Heversham – we agree that development as infill between the existing settlement boundaries and Princes Way is a logical development of the village to ensure provision of more varied housing types (with affordable and local provision) in smaller settlements.
2. Mr Julian Oston, Dallam Tower Estate : 27 Jan 2009 12:33:00
A typed or handwritten document was submitted. This has been scanned and can be downloaded below: