Saturday, 12 December 2015

Thank You



Thank you!
Firstly, a huge thank you to all of you who have donated towards the Rule 6 costs.
We are absolutely delighted with the response and can report back that as of last night we have raised the amount required to get us going, instruct the lawyers and expert witnesses. Now onto the rest, we still need money to pay them!

Donations
So if you have not already donated, please do.

by cheque made payable to : Framlingham Residents' Association
c/o 35 The Knoll, Framlinhgham, Suffolk IP13 9DH

or by BACs transfer into our Co-operative bank account:
Framlingham Residents' Association
Sort Code: 08-92-99
Account Number: 65763735

We will be adding another page to our website early next week that will keep people up to date on progress as well as giving information on how and where to donate.

Fund Raising
We are also planning a calendar of fundraising activities, the first is a Quiz Night(with drink to get those grey cells working better and some food to make sure that you can walk home) scheduled for Friday 15 January at St Michael's Rooms, please keep this date free and bring your friends! Details will follow shortly.

If you have any good fund raising ideas, please do get in touch, and we are very happy for you to run your own!

The objective now is to ensure that we raise the remainder of the fees for our legal representation as well as the fees for both expert witnesses. We are still in negotiation with them so do not have firm figures on these as yet. We will keep you posted.

Objectives
Just to clarify some things that have been raised by members:

Mount Pleasant is a (lost cause/done deal) why don't we just focus on Fairfield Road...and that would be cheaper?

The appeals situation is complicated even for our legal advisers and experts. Both appeals are being held at the same time because there is so much overlap. So, for example, issues such as Suffolk Coastal's five year housing supply are discussed by all parties as it is a common argument to both cases. The difficulty we have is we can't argue that a public transport based travel policy is not sustainable for Fairfield Road and then not present the same case for Mount Pleasant because the lack of argument against MP would be used as a rebuttal to the FR case.

Framlingham Town Council should be a lead Rule 6 participant.

We agree. Because they should represent the views of the residents of Framlingham, and because they can claim back the 20% VAT we will have to pay on the fees.

We have had a meeting with representative councillors last week and they are not going to take the lead role. However they are going to consider making a contribution to the fund and will discuss this at the next meeting on the 7th January.

We have not given up on this completely and are talking to our surrounding Parish Councils to see what they can do.

An aside...
By the way; we can report that neither Taylor Wimpey or Persimmons are very happy with FRAm. Seems we have ruffled a few feathers...wonder why? We applied for Rule 6 well within the deadline and have followed the stipulated procedure (nine days still to go). The Planning Inspector extended the deadline for the documents to be submitted by a further week to allow FRAm to catch up, and this extension applies to ALL parties. We are pleased to report that after a lot of hard work (keeping to the bird analogy -imagine ducks) we were able to submit before the end of play yesterday, the first in a long line of documents, our Statement of Case.

 
Help us make a difference.

   

 
framresidents@gmail.com

www.framresidents.com
Follow us on: Twitter: #welovefram   
Facebook: Framlingham Residents Association  
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Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Reminder

Thursday 3 December at 7.30pm
ST JOHN AMBULANCE WESTBURY CENTRE, FAIRFIELD ROAD, FRAMLINGHAM
The Agenda for this Thursday's meeting is available to download from Framlingham.com
(click on the following link:

http://www.framlingham.com/documents.php
Do you want to make a difference?
Apparently there will be vacancies on the Town Council for further councillors
in the New Year, why not apply?

   



framresidents@gmail.com

www.framresidents.com
Follow us on: Twitter: #welovefram   
Facebook: Framlingham Residents Association  
Pininterest: welovefram

Sunday, 29 November 2015

Full Town Council Meeting Thursday

We urge you to attend the next full Town Council Meeting on Thursday 3 December at 7.30pm, St John's Ambulance, Westbury Centre, Fairfield Road, Framlingham.

If you would like to speak, the Chair of the Town Council will give you an opportunity to do so at some point in the meeting. This will be your only opportunity. The Chair will go around the room and ask each person if they have anything they would like to say. This is your chance!

Seating is limited so we advise arriving early. 


If you would like to read some of the questions asked of the Town Council about the planning applications and appeals at last month's Town Council meeting, please click on the links below.
https://gallery.mailchimp.com/4b7e58442edd492d51c478ba8/files/CS_Question_to_TC_05_11_2015.docx
https://gallery.mailchimp.com/4b7e58442edd492d51c478ba8/files/Questions_to_the_TC_chairman_5_11_15.docx
https://gallery.mailchimp.com/4b7e58442edd492d51c478ba8/files/TC_speech_05_11_15.docx

We sincerely hope that the Town Council will agree to right wrongs and work with the residents of Framlingham and ensure a favourable outcome at the Appeals hearing in January 2016.

The Agenda will be available to download from the Town Council website (Framlingham.com) on Thursday 26 November.


See you there!
 
Continue to help us make a difference.

Monday, 9 November 2015

Meeting 23 November

At the well attended Town Council meeting last Thursday 5 November, the Chair, Carolyn Youngs was asked by a number of residents why she had spoken in favour of MP2 at the SCDC's Planning Committee meeting on 29th October when in fact the Town Council had voted 6:2 against it. Ms Youngs was not answering any questions.

However, what is clear from both the Planning Meeting and last Thursday's Town Council's meeting is that there is a breach of trust.

We should have absolute trust in our elected representatives to fairly represent the views and wishes of the residents of Framlingham. We  expect members of the Town Council 
to work conscientiously and diligently on behalf of the residents of Framlingham.

What we do not expect is for them to state their own views or even a hypothetical view, should the Neighbourhood Plan be adopted. And there is even a question mark over the way data was collected and recorded for the NP!

Well, there are a lot of questions that need to be answered...and we thought it would be an excellent idea to allow the residents of Framlingham an open forum to voice their concerns, table any questions, make suggestions...whatever is pertinent and relevant to the situation the town now finds itself in..

If you would like to come and discuss these and other issues, join us on Monday 23 November, Unitarian Meeting House at 7pm. 

Please RSVP to framresidents@gmail.com as spaces are limited to a total of 70 people. If it looks like interest is greater than we will change the venue and let you know accordingly.

If you would like to read some of the question asked of the Town Council last Thursday, please click on the links below.
https://gallery.mailchimp.com/4b7e58442edd492d51c478ba8/files/CS_Question_to_TC_05_11_2015.docx
https://gallery.mailchimp.com/4b7e58442edd492d51c478ba8/files/Questions_to_the_TC_chairman_5_11_15.docx
https://gallery.mailchimp.com/4b7e58442edd492d51c478ba8/files/TC_speech_05_11_15.docx


 
Continue to help us make a difference.
framresidents@gmail.com

www.framresidents.com
Follow us on: Twitter: #welovefram   
Facebook: Framlingham Residents Association  
Pininterest: welovefram
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Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Framresidents.com

To keep the lines of communication well and truly open we have launched the Framlingham Residents' Association website....

We hope that, as the Residents' Association continues to grow and mature, we will cover more topics of interest to the community.

However, just at the moment we are being extremely single minded...


Framlingham Residents' Association will discussing next steps. If you want to be part of the discussion, please email us at:

framresidents@gmail.com


Continue to help us make a difference.

Friday, 30 October 2015

Bad Day For Fram

SCDC Planning Committee decided in favour of Persimmon's second planning application for 95 houses on Mount Pleasant by 8:5 votes.

Here are some highlights:

•  Framlingham Town Council chair, Carolyn Youngs surprised the meeting by reversing the Town Council's position on opposing the application (which they did on 8 October) and said that they were in favour. This is an interesting volte face as there has not been a Town Council meeting since the 8th October to debate the issue and the last vote was 6:2 against. There has also been a new Town Councillor elected who has not voted on the matter at all.
So by what authority can this now be the Town Council's position?

Carolyn Youngs further confused the issue by saying that we needed Mount Pleasant application approved to reach the '200' new homes target but omitted to say we were already on track and the 200 houses target is over 10 years.
Mrs Youngs also failed to tell the Committee that more Framlinghamians, when asked in the Neighbourhood Plan, voted against the Mount Pleasant site for development than had voted for it.
•  All of this was taken by an influential committee member to mean the town was in favour of the development.
•  Councillor Burroughes substitute gave us a patronising lecture that development wasn’t so bad, just look at how his ward of Martlesham had benefitted from massive development and promptly voted in favour.
• As to procedure...hmmm. Well, our recollection of the events of the 8th differ to those recorded in SCDC's official minutes. It would seem that they also differ to the recollections of one of the Councillors, who questioned this fact too and that on 8th October Mr Ridley interrupted procedures after the vote was taken which we believe is contrary to the normal process. But apparently we are all wrong and he was invited. It may not seem much but the procedure of these events is very important.
•  Mr Ridley, Head of Planning, also told the committee that if they voted in favour of this application it gave SCDC ammunition to better fight other applications - presumably because it helps to strengthen the five year housing supply figure.
So it is first come first served onto the sacrificial alter of development.
 •  Persimmon's agent said, when asked if they would withdraw from the appeal if this application was approved, he didn’t think they would because they were too far down the line. In other words "we have established the development is sustainable so why wouldn’t we go all out for 100 homes when it saves us £500k on CIL and we get five more houses".

If SCDC, Persimmon or Taylor Wimpey think for one moment that opposition to Fairfield Road or indeed to Mount Pleasant's application for 100 houses is simply going to melt away, they are mistaken. We are as determined as ever to fight for Fram!

Yesterday's was a bad decision that will definitely adversely effect Framlingham's future.

Framlingham Residents' Association will discussing next steps. If you want to be part of the discussion, please email us at:

framresidents@gmail.com


Continue to help us make a difference.

Monday, 26 October 2015

Decision Day



This coming Thursday 29 October SCDC will decide whether or not to approve Persimmon's second planning application for 95 houses on Mount Pleasant. 

Their first application was refused in February. Persimmon has gone to appeal, which will be heard in January 2016.

This second application was just about to be refused on 8 October by six votes to four when there was an extra-ordinary intervention by the Head of Planning and the Council Solicitor. They claimed members must be aware of privileged legal information before debating the reasons to refuse the application and therefore the decision was deferred until they had been briefed.

Be there to see if democracy still exists at SCDC.
Let us hope that, as our elected representatives, the Committee use their common sense and refuse to be railroaded into a bad decision that will adversely effect Framlingham's future.

8.30 for 9.00am start.
Thursday 29 October 2015
Council Chamber
Suffolk Coastal District Council
Melton Hill
Woodbridge
Suffolk IP12 1AU


In the meantime, any questions please email us at:

framresidents@gmail.com




Continue to help us make a difference.

Sunday, 11 October 2015

ATLASFRAM Site

Besides the Mount Pleasant application at the SCDC Planning Committee meeting on 8th October, there was, but with less profile, the Bennett Homes application for 16 new houses at the AtlasFram site in New Road. Normally we would support development on a brownfield site like this but we were concerned that the developer was trying to wriggle out of the affordable homes requirement just like Hopkins Homes did at Station Road.

Unlike Hopkins and Station Road, Bennett Homes could not use the ‘unexpected high levels of contamination has made it uneconomic' argument because their own site report said the levels of contamination were very low and not of any concern. So instead they argued the introduction of the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) had increased their community contribution by so much it made the site uneconomic if the five affordable houses were included in the build. Instead they were prepared to make a contribution of £60,000 to the affordable housing scheme managed by SCDC. The SCDC Case Officer  recommended approval. This set a worrying  precedent, so we decided to speak against the development and urge the committee to insist on the affordable homes.

We argued that the AtlasFram is a prime site with views across the mere and the castle so houses would sell at a premium price. There are no hurdles to development (contamination, flooding, access restrictions) so if the Planning Committee agreed that CIL made this site uneconomic then this would become a precedent that could be used by every subsequent developer to avoid building affordable homes. We suggested that SCDC should negotiate the overall CIL contribution to protect the affordable homes but Philip Rowson made it very clear to Committee that the CIL trumped affordable homes and this was non-negotiable.

We were heartened to see the Town Council were also at the meeting making a similar argument in support of the affordable homes.

It was clear that this argument had some support and the committee debated the issue for some time. There was then a closed session where we believe the details of the Economic Viability Report were discussed. Unfortunately after this session the committee approved the application.

We fear that this precedent will now be used by developers to avoid building affordable homes, particularly on brownfield sites. Another consequence is that SCDC get the CIL contribution and we don’t get the affordable homes. We have to bid to get the CIL monies allocated to Fram and in these budget restricted times there will be a lot of competition from other communities with other needs.

So good news that homes are to be built on the site but bad news that this unfortunate precedent has been set.

In the meantime, any questions please email us at:


framresidents@gmail.com


Continue to help us make a difference.

Friday, 9 October 2015

Unbelievable


How the decision was made and then unmade....
Today in an extraordinary series of events the application for 95 new homes in Mount Pleasant was again 'refused' by the SCDC Planning Committee and then the hearing immediately deferred the decision. (However, because the vote was waylaid, technically it means that the application was not approved, instead of refused).
 
The SCDC Planning Committee listened to the case officers report, heard submissions from interested parties including FRAm and then debated the application. The debate was at times quite heated and the senior planning officers were very determined in their support for the application but there was a strong feeling from some committee members that this was very similar to the application they refused in February and the sustainability issues highlighted then had not been addressed.

Then a couple of extraordinary things happened. Firstly having closed the debate the acting Chairman chose that moment, just prior to the vote, to read out a statement from the usual Chairperson strongly supporting the application. The timing of this was extraordinary and clearly designed to influence committee members. Surely this should have been read out at the beginning of the debate? Next came the vote. There was complete silence as voting hands were raised and a huge sigh of collective relief as the result; 4 votes for, 6 votes against was announced. Suddenly the District Solicitor was out of his seat, across the podium and whispering into the ear of Philip Ridley, The Head of Planning. Mr Ridley then addresse the committee telling them that this decision needs to be deferred. He went on If councillors are concerned that a vote in favour of the application will jeopardise the appeals then they should be re-assured that Counsel has advised us it will not harm our case! Councillors are silent, bewildered, I couldn’t say this before said Ridley because I couldn’t be seen to influence the vote. The District Solicitor whispered some more. Ridley speaks again; we need you to vote in favour of deferring this decision so we can give you more time to consider your objections before reaching a decision.
But, said a councillor, won’t we then face another possible appeal because we have not come to a decision as we are legally obliged to. 
Yes, said Ridley but we can manage that. I have very clear instruction from Counsel that this outcome will not help our case. 
Councillors were clearly confused, in all my years on this committee, said Tony Fryatt, never have I been told after a vote that I need to re-consider and defer a decision.
If you could listen to the advice of Counsel says Ridley (as if Counsel was some mysterious figure only the sacred few got to hear), then I am sure your concerns on sustainability will be answered.
The committee are clearly unsure but they are being browbeaten by the Head of Planning. This is now intriguing says Tony Fryatt so as much as it goes against all my principals I will propose that we defer this decision pending further investigation. The vote is carried 8:2.

So we thought we had won the day only for it to be snatched away from us minutes later by a Head of Planning who is determined to see this application accepted. Of course the final decision has not been made but it means we will have to go through the whole process again only this time the opposition will be better prepared.

And who is that opposition. We used to think SCDC Planning was on our side, they told us they are going to mount a robust defence of the original planning decision against Mount Pleasant and Fairfield Road, but now we question that commitment. We know legal argument can work in mysterious ways but can someone please tell us how a decision in favour of this development will help SCDC in their defence of the original appeal. Of course Philip Ridley didn’t say our defence, he said our case. So what is that case? It doesn’t look like they want to win the appeal, so what is it? One could postulate that if the Mount Pleasant application were to be accepted then as a quid-pro-quo the developer would withdraw from the appeal. Of course that also puts the Fairfield Road appeal in grave danger but the CIL payment of over £1M from Mount Pleasant would help to sweeten that pill from a District perspective.

All in all, a very strange day. One where you come out wondering how your victory was suddenly snatched away by a sleight of hand. Where the arguments used are so counter-intuitive to be beyond baffling. And what now? There will be another planning committee meeting but all the Counsel briefings to Committee Members will no doubt be behind doors so will we ever know what is going on.

The more we think about it the more we come to the conclusion that the committee was never going to be allowed to reject the application. Throughout the hearing Philip Ridley and his colleague Philip Rowson were again and again pushing councillors to support the application.  The way the District Solicitor moved so quickly after the vote against the recommendation says to us that they had a plan; if the committee vote goes against recommendation, interrupt proceedings and get a deferment before the second vote to formally reject the application is taken. This is wrong. The public went to that meeting expecting to see democracy at work. Residents have campaigned in the belief that the planning committee’s vote was final. We have put in weeks of hard work studying the application, looking at the planning law, preparing relevant argument because we thought we had a right to a fair hearing. Today we were cheated of that fair hearing. The SCDC Planning Department now have three weeks to share the advice of Legal Counsel from the appeal team with committee members and convince them of the merits of the application.  Will we have access to that information so we can put forward a counter argument? We doubt it because if that information was going to be made public then it would have been before the committee meeting. This is all disappearing behind closed doors and that is very wrong.

Unbelievable of FRAm
 
 
In the meantime, any questions please email us at:

framresidents@gmail.com



Continue to help us make a difference.

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

We Need You Tomorrow

Important development on Mount Pleasant

In an extraordinary turn of events the SCDC Planning Case Officer has recommended approval for the slightly revised application for 95 new homes on Mount Pleasant. This is despite the SCDC Planning Committee refusing the earlier application for 99 homes on the grounds that it was not sustainable.

We have a ridiculous situation where SCDC are on the one hand fighting a Planning Inspectorate appeal saying the application is not sustainable and on the other they are telling the Planning Committee that they agree with the developer and it is sustainable and recommending approval.

To the Residents' Association it quite frankly beggars belief that this could happen.

If the application is approved tomorrow then it rides a coach and horses through the SCDC defence for both Mount Pleasant and Fairfield Road at the Inspectorate Appeals. The sustainability arguments used by the developers for Mount Pleasant and Fairfield Road are identical, so if this application is approved now SCDC will have no defence against either development at the appeals. It is that important.

We must show the Planning Committee that we don’t agree with this development by turning up in force tomorrow. Please get there by any means possible.


8.45am for 9.00am start
Thursday 8 October 2015

Planning Committee Meeting
Suffolk Coastal District Council Offices
Melton Hill
Woodbridge

IP12 1AU 
 
In the meantime, any questions please email us at:

framresidents@gmail.com



Continue to help us make a difference.

Saturday, 3 October 2015

ACT NOW

Mount Pleasant

We have just learnt that the second planning application to build 99 houses on Mount Pleasant has been included as a 'late entry' to be heard and decided by SCDC Planning Committee on Thursday 8 October.

FRA
m will speak at the Committee meeting and we would welcome as much support from members on the day as possible.

Apparently the site visit has already taken place (so much for transparency), now all that is left for us to do is to write to each of the District Councillors that sit on the Planning Committee and lodge our views. Remember that this is a new Planning Committee made up of Councillors from all over Suffolk Coastal district. 

Here are their names and email addresses.


stephen.burroughes@suffolkcoastal.gov.uk
raymond.catchpole@suffolkcoastal.gov.uk
tony.cooper@suffolkcoastal.gov.uk

michael.deacon@suffolkcoastal.gov.uk
deborah.dean@suffolkcoastal.gov.uk

tony.fryatt@suffolkcoastal.gov.uk
susan.harvey@suffolkcoastal.gov.uk
geoff.holdcroft@suffolkcoastal.gov.uk
christopher.hudson@suffolkcoastal.gov.uk
debbie.mccallum@suffolkcoastal.gov.uk
mark.newton@suffolkcoastal.gov.uk
andy.smith@suffolkcoastal.gov.uk


and

 graham.harding@suffolkcoastal.gov.uk



who will be replacing Councillor Hudson on the day

 
for each councillors contact details please click on this link:

https://gallery.mailchimp.com/4b7e58442edd492d51c478ba8/files/District_Councillors_Contact_Details.docx
Please include:

the application number (DC/15/2759/FUL)
your name
your address
your objection/s
Your objection does not have to be long or involved, just say how you feel about the development application will affect Framlingham - in your own words, or you can use this template (click on this link), if you rather. 
So if you thought you had missed your opportunity to have your say...you still have time but emails have to be sent by TUESDAY 6 OCTOBER 2015.
 
In the meantime, any questions please email us at:

framresidents@gmail.com



Continue to help us make a difference.

Friday, 25 September 2015

Don't Delay. Act Today

Just to remind you that the completed Neighbourhood Plan questionnaire has to be returned TODAY to the Framlingham Town Council Offices, Riverside, Framlingham IP13 9AG.

FRAm would like to draw members’ attention to the fact that the Neighbourhood Plan needs to be evidence based, and reflect the opinions of the local residents. The scale and location of new housing development sites is one of the key decisions within this plan. Indeed, it is perverse that Mount Pleasant is included as a development site given that it came behind both Victoria Mill Road and the Sports Club in the consultation results. Suffolk Coastal District Council rejected the Mount Pleasant application in February this year and 100’s of residents have registered their objection to development on the site.

The chairman of the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group, John Jones, is quoted in the EADT saying "...any votes of ‘no’ were not used in the formation of the draft plan, but that other numerical rankings on the same form would still have been used."
He also said: “It was important that we got a ranking from highest to lowest so we knew people’s preferences. If someone said no to the whole page it was a spoilt vote.”
Of the 286 responses received in the consultation, Mr Jones confirmed around 40 were classed as spoilt votes.

The consultations held at Sir Robert Hitcham's Primary School on 30 April and 1 May in which residents were asked to simply state yes or no in favour of development at the 11 sites, was also not included in the formation of the draft plan. So if you are one of the 150 people who attended those evening sessions and thought you'd had your input to the Neighbourhood Plan you wasted your time as your vote was ignored.
You can download a copy of the Neighbourhood Plan and the Questionnaire here:
https://gallery.mailchimp.com/4b7e58442edd492d51c478ba8/files/NP_PSCD.pdf

 
Don't Delay - You have to do it today!

If for any reason you are finding it difficult to answer the questionnaire or do not have a copy or enough copies (remember, it's one form per resident), then please get in touch and we will try to help:
framresidents@gmail.com
Continue to help us make a difference.

Monday, 31 August 2015

Mount Pleasant Extension

Dear Framlinghamians

Mount Pleasant

The deadline for comments or letters of objections has been extended by SCDC to WEDNESDAY 16 SEPTEMBER. The reason for this is that the site notice was only posted by SCDC on Thursday 27 August and the public have 21 days from this date to comment.

So if you thought you had missed your opportunity to have your say...you still have time.

Your objection should be submitted in writing to the Council by 
WEDNESDAY 16 SEPTEMBER. Your views cannot be treated as confidential and will be available for public inspection. You can also discuss this current application with the relevant planning case officer, Kathryn Oelman, but for views to be formally considered they will need to be put in writing.
Please include:
the application number (
DC/15/2759/FUL)
your name
your address
your objection/s

and please state at the outset of the letter that you are objecting.

You can email your comments to d.c.admin@eastsuffolk.gov.uk or send them to:
Head of Planning Services
Suffolk Coastal District Council
Melton Hill
Woodbridge
Suffolk IP12 1A


Your objection does not have to be long or involved, just say how you feel about the development application will affect Framlingham - in your own words. Read the KEEP FIGHTING email for ammunition.
So letters off and lodged by WEDNESDAY 16 SEPTEMBER 2015.
Don't Delay - Do it Today!
 
In the meantime, any questions please email us at:

framresidents@gmail.com



Continue to help us make a difference.

Saturday, 22 August 2015

Mount Pleasant Urgent Reminder

Dear Framlinghamians
Mount Pleasant

Where is everybody?

As of this morning (Saturday 22 August) there are only 11 public comments lodged on the 
SCDC's planning website regarding the Mount Pleasant planning application. We had over 250 letters objecting to the last application!

Your objection should be submitted in writing to the Council by 
TUESDAY 25 AUGUST. Your views cannot be treated as confidential and will be available for public inspection. You can also discuss this current application with the relevant planning case officer, Kathryn Oelman, but for views to be formally considered they will need to be put in writing.
Please include:
the application number (
DC/15/2759/FUL)
your name
your address
your objection/s

and please state at the outset of the letter that you are objecting.

You can email your comments to d.c.admin@eastsuffolk.gov.uk or send them to:
Head of Planning Services
Suffolk Coastal District Council
Melton Hill
Woodbridge
Suffolk IP12 1A


Your objection does not have to be long or involved, just say how you feel about the development application will affect Framlingham - in your own words. Read the KEEP FIGHTING email for ammunition.
So letters off and lodged by TUESDAY 25 AUGUST 2015.
Don't Delay - Do it Today!
 
In the meantime, any questions please email us at:

framresidents@gmail.com

Saturday, 15 August 2015

Keep Fighting Against Over-development



Dear Framlinghamians

Those that lodged objections earlier in the year against the planning application for 100 new houses on Mount Pleasant, will have received notification of a new planning application by Persimmon Homes for 95 houses on the same site, land south of Mount Pleasant.

This is NOT the same application. This is a NEW one. And apparently, according to SCDC, this is quite commonplace for a developer to lodge another planning application even though one for the same site is going to appeal.

In fact, this is when we most need to muster resistance. The developers have deep pockets and even deeper patience to play the 'long game'. It is after all what they do. Whereas for the rest of us, this is on top of everything else that we do....caring for our families and trying to earn a living!  Also, the timing is quite deliberate, bang in the middle of the holiday period. So we have to start again... and register our objections. Otherwise the developer will claim that resistance to scheme has evaporated now they have revised the plans.

So FRAm has read through the report and surmises the following:
  1. The revised plan is clearly being used to try and address the issues cited by SCDC when the original application was rejected. The covering letter confirms this and refers to a Socio-Economic report which they claim addresses the reasons for rejection. This is clearly a ploy to get in ahead of the appeal and thus influence the outcome. 
  2. The new plans are for 95 dwellings rather than 100 but it is very difficult to spot the differences.
    - amended the two rows of terraced houses near the northern boundary to be 10 standard units rather than 11 affordable houses
    - changed the paths and added a few more trees
    - removed two dwellings from the main access road (one from each side of the road)
    - re-sited the affordable homes that were located at the north of the site to the south which has resulted in a slightly different mix of units
    - added some chimneys to the houses fronting Mount Pleasant.
     
  3. Employment: The applicants use a Socio Economic report to address the infrastructure issues cited by SCDC in their reasons for rejecting the original application. The report concludes Framlingham has almost full employment, a good level of employment provision with increasing opportunity for more jobs via the Technology Centre and further 3.32ha of employment land allocated in the local plan. It also notes that half of all residents either work from home or travel less than 5km to work. It does not note that if the home workers are ignored then 425 people work within 5km but 648 travel more than 5km, and of those 593 travel more than 10km to work. This actually shows that Framlingham does not have a big employment offer and unless you run your own business and work from home you are more likely to travel over 10km to work than you are to work in the town. High levels of self-employment and homeworking are normally an indication that other employment opportunities are sparse rather than plentiful and we think this is actually a more realistic picture of Framlingham than the report suggests.

    Para 6.10 of the report says the development will lead to an additional 111 working age residents but as new developments tend to attract younger people it is likely to be a larger figure and this will boost the economy of the town. The fallacy in this argument is that while the developer can guarantee the 95 new homes in two years, they do not say where the 111 new jobs are going to come from. Given the large proportion of self-employment and homeworking; the cost of the homes relative to local incomes and the lack of any large industry in the town it is certain that the new working age residents will work out of town rather than in it.

    We note that developer's own The Interim Travel Plan contradicts the Socio-Economic report when under the heading 'Barriers to Sustainable Travel’ it highlights ‘Constrained catchment of employment within sustainable travel distance’. This highlights how the report has been designed to present an unrealistically rosy view of local employment.
     
  4. Healthcare: The report concludes that with the reduced number of dwellings a smaller S106 developer contribution is required and that, based on the NHS England figures from the original application, a revised figure of £31,200 will suffice. The reality is this - Consultants LPP working on behalf of NHSE (National Health Service East) report that the Framlingham Surgery is already 2540 patients over capacity. Using the NHS optimum list size per GP the practice will need approximately 1.9 new full time GP’s to make up the existing deficit and accommodate the confirmed developments in Station Road plus the proposed developments in Mount Pleasant and Fairfield Road. This equates to 247m2 of additional floor space – again using the NHS ratios from the LLP paper. The planning permission granted in January 2013 provides 128m2 of additional space so even if this was built then the surgery would still be constrained. The Framlingham Medical Centre Practice Manager has said ‘Should any of these applications be approved, this would have a significant impact on both the current and future provision of primary care services within the local community’ and ‘Framlingham Medical Practice has previously submitted plans to expand the existing surgery site. However, due to the current economic climate the NHS is unable to support or provide any funding for surgery extensions.’ The S106 or CIL monies do not provide the total cost required for the expansion of our medical facilities and as the Practice Manager points out additional funding is not readily available. Given the constrained nature of the site and the current economic austerity it is highly unlikely that the existing facilities will be expanded in time to cope with the existing deficit let alone any additional demand from the Station Road new homes and Mount Pleasant. The truth is that at the moment there are no fully funded plans in place to accommodate the over-capacity and any such plans, if they ever materialise, are very unlikely to be in place before the burden of the new proposed developments is upon us.

    The report also notes that Framlingham has a higher than average number of retired and older residents and elderly people require higher demand for healthcare. Consequently the impact of even a small population increase will be of great detriment to a large proportion of existing residents.
     
  5. Education: The applicant notes that ‘In preparing the revised application, discussions have been held with County Council Schools department and they remain committed to bringing forward additional capacity at Sir Robert Hitcham’s Primary School through extensions and improvement. In other words they acknowledge that there is insufficient primary education capacity. They do not however address how those additional places will be provided. SCC has previously said pupils may have to be bused to out-of-town facilities for the ‘short-term’. Once again this is putting a false gloss on reality. When we consider the CEVA status of the school, the site constraints and general economic austerity it will be a long process to agree any permanent expansion of the school so busing school children to out-of-town facilities is likely to be a long-term solution not a short one. It is irresponsible of the developer to misguide the public by implying that all the above problems are simply resolved by an S106 or CIL contribution.

    No mention is made of the development’s impact on pre-school provision or any additional resources in that area.
     
  6. Economic Benefits – The report identifies that the 201 new residents will generate £1.886M per annum from incremental consumer spending. This figure does not take into account an earlier observation (para 3.6) that the local retail offering was limited and that residents would have to travel to out-of-town sites such as Ipswich, Norwich and Bury St Edmunds to satisfy all but their daily shopping needs. We can therefore assume that this figure is grossly inflated and can be largely discounted.
     
  7. The report is interesting in what it does not address. Roads, parking and public transport are all major concerns for local residents but are not addressed.
     
  8. The Interim Travel Plan is basically the same as the Taylor Wimpey one for Fairfield Road i.e. we will give new residents a £50 bicycle voucher, a £50 bus pass and make sure they get a new timetable bi-annually to stop people using their cars. It notes that there is a good supply of bus stops around the site but omits to mention the very poor supply of buses.
     
So Persimmon have produced a report that concludes that a S106 contribution will solve all healthcare and education infrastructure problems, whilst the economic benefits will be huge despite the contradictions regarding job opportunities and limited local retail/leisure offering to attract that income.

One of our members has kindly sent us his letter regarding Mount Pleasant which he is happy to share with others (please click here for a copy:
https://gallery.mailchimp.com/4b7e58442edd492d51c478ba8/files/Mount_Pleasant_objection_letter.pages).  There are some key points regarding the road and traffic which would be good to reinforce in our objection letters.

It is also worth noting that SCDC have altered their planning committee structure. There is now one amalgamated larger committee that has members from all over the district sitting on it. Therefore planning applications affecting Framlingham will be decided by committee members who come from.... say Felixstowe. Yep, think about it.

So letters off and lodged by Tuesday 25 August 2015.
Don't Delay - Do it Today!
 
In the meantime, any questions please email us at:

framresidents@gmail.com



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