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Planning Application - Mudford Parish Council Update
14/02554/OUT Outline application for development of Sustainable Urban Extension to comprise up to 765 dwellings, 65 bed care home, employment land, retail units, primary school, community building, health care facility, landscaping, open space, and drainage infrastructure, access and associated highway works.
A challenge to the Environmental Impact Assessment associated with the application was submitted by the Parish Council 18 months ago (June 2015.) A revised impact assessment is due to be submitted by the applicant and the deadline for this had been extended a number of times with the latest deadline being 31 March 2017.
In addition, in August 2016 the Parish Council challenged South Somerset District Council’s decision to apply nil rate CIL to the proposed new development (Community Infrastructure Levy – a charge paid by developers, which is invested in local infrastructure. See below.) Unfortunately, the Government Inspector upheld SSDC’s position but we are now awaiting the revised Environmental Impact Assessment.
At the recent Parish Council meeting it was noted that the Senior Spatial Planner (who had been the SSDC lead officer liaising with the developer) had recently resigned from the Council. It is possible that this could have an impact on further progress with the application.
Inspector agrees with SSDC's decision NOT to apply a levy on development!
Developers for the Up Mudford site will not be charged a Community Infrastructure Levy, following a report from a government inspector.
The inspector upheld SSDC's decision that charging the levy would make the site economically unviable, if the required 35% affordable housing was included, even though CIL expert Andrew Burrows calculated that the developers would still make £21.4m net profit from the Up Mudford site if a CIL was charged at £40 per sq metre. Read the report here.
The Community Infrastructure Levy allows local authorities to raise essential funds from developers undertaking new building projects in their area. The money is needed for more infrastructure needed as a result of the increased population, such as roads, flood defences, schools, hospitals and social care facilities, green spaces and leisure centres.
Why should the developers make £21m in profits on the development causing millions in infrastructure costs to be borne by the council tax payers of Yeovil? It is astonishing that this decision has been upheld and that SSDC have wavied the levy.
FULL Anthrax Testing URGENTLY needed!
Mudford PC have commissioned a report from Quality Land Management (LQM) to investigate the proposed anthrax testing procedures by Abbey Manor Group to see if they meet current BS guidelines
LQM are one of the countries leading contamination experts and are headed by Dr Paul Nathanail who is also on DEFRA’a advisory panel.
This report suggests that the UP MUDFORD site be dropped from the local plan ( which is currently under review) due to viability issues.
Please take time to read our solicitors letter to the Council and the report for further details.
As of October 2018, it is as if this report did not exist. This is a major public health issue that South Somerset District Council are determined to ignore. They must be challenged about this.
Just when everyone is off on their summer holidays, The Abbey Manor Group decide to seek the views of the local community on their changes to the development plans. How thoughtful of them!
They say they would welcome any comments or questions that you may have. They will be used to help inform any formal changes to the proposals. We need to engage with this process.
Please look at the plans and contact Boyer Planning who are acting on behalf of Abbey Group. You can do that HERE.
So far, the plans are still rather vague and it's not clear from the drawings exactly how 750+ houses will be crammed in. The current drawings all look very green and pleasant, and there's even some kind of amphitheatre planned. You know how everyone in Yeovil has been crying out for an amphitheatre? Me neither.
The plans for any kind of community centre seem to be very sketchy as well. Local residents really need to engage with the process to ensure that anything that is eventually built is not a planning and housing disaster that we regret for in years to come.
At this stage, there is not much point telling the developers that you don't want these houses at all. You need to tell that to the council. Try emailing your councillors. This consultation closes on 3rd August, so as politely but firmly as possible, make your enquiries.
A larger map of the proposed plans can be found here:
Et tu, Brute?
Oct 2018 Situation Report
The council remain determined to build houses on the Primrose Lane site that no-one really wants. And they don't much care what anyone else thinks on the matter, despite the illusion of democracy and due process.
They cleverly had a consultation period over the summer so that as few people as possible would be able to engage with it. So far that has been no public consultation done in person. Mudford Parish Council pushing hard to change this.
One glaring omission from the documentation is any reassurance that adequate measures are being taking to mitigate the serious risk of Anthrax. Mudford Parish Council commissioned an independent report into the risk of contimination which found that the previous tests - arranged by the developers - were inadequate and not in keeping with current guidelines.
"It is incontrovertible that local residents have long reported a historic risk of Anthrax contamination associated with tannery waste spreading on the site from Yeovil’s historic glove industry... [Mudford Parish Council] strongly urges your intervention since over the past 4 years SSDC have been complacent in failing to require a robust assessment of the current health risk and are complicit in the developer’s intent to develop the land for residential housing without due regard to the risks to human health. They have refused to engage their health officials and have not required the developer to carry out a robust testing regime." (Sept 18)
You can also ask why the Community Infrastructure Levy has been waived, which will save the developers millions of pounds. This makes NO SENSE while local councils are running out of money. The new infrastructure for these hundreds of housands will have to be borne by existing Council Tax payers. How is that fair?
You can also demand that a proper public consultation done in person and in public so that people can present their views properly rather than dealing with people hiding behind documents, email addresses and websites.
The SSDC meeting to discuss Upper Mudford, Primrose Lane application (14/02554/OUT) took place at 9.30am on Tuesday 29th October 2019 at The Council Offices, Brympton Way, Yeovil.
The meeting began late, and then everyone heard a 2 hour presentation by the planners in which they presented their case in support of the application, and took the opportunity to downplay all the serious concerns of FOMAG and our experts. After three hours, members of the public were allowed to make individual three minute statements. Key members from FOMAG and our colleagues in Dorset County and Queen Thorne Parish Council gave pithy and pointed presentations. The lack of viability of the site financially, the lack of social housing and the concerns of traffic and anthrax were made clear.
There were three meetings in all, lasting until 6pm. The first meeting, with the Area South Committee (who have about an eighth of the site in area in their ‘patch’) supported the application, almost entirely on the basis that the adjacent development (Wyndham Park) needs a nearby community hall provided in the application. The Area East Committee who represent Mudford were much more robust in their questions and voted against the application. In the end, the decision was up to Regulatory Committee which voted to in favour of the application.
The application is under a holding direction from the Secretary of State for the Environment and the scheme will now go to MHCLG for review. On that basis we are determined to take representation to the Secretary of State if we possibly. To do this we need more money to pay legal fees. Therefore, we must ask for contributions towards our fighting fund of at least c£30k.
A standing order can be set up if you would find that easier --- details as follows :
BARCLAYS BANK A/C name FOMAG Sort code 20-99-40 A/C 93004562
If you want to a cheque payable to FOMAG, please send it to:
FOMAG, Willow Lodge, Mudford Yeovil BA21 5TG
Be assured every penny you donate goes to the cause and not spent on expenses. Thank you for your continued support in the fight.