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Alrewas Parish Council Development Group News

Alrewas Residents Group - Update

Aug 2, 2019

Update provided by Crest Nicholson, 2nd August 2019

Please find below information relating to preparatory works to be carried out at ‘Greenacres’ in the week commencing 5th August:

  • TRO – works will commence to implement the single yellow lines along Dark Lane, Park Road and Exchange Road as approved by Staffordshire County Council.
  • Machinery will be delivered to the site to facilitate site preparatory works to include the digging of trial holes to ascertain the extent of de-watering works required.
  • Protective fencing will be erected around all trees and hedges to be retained.
  • Matting to be laid to form a temporary haul road will be delivered to the site (the majority of the deliveries are likely to take place from Monday to Wednesday).
  • Delivery of welfare cabin(s).

 

We have instructed Chasetown who are our contractors to have a road sweeper on site for use when necessary.

A letter drop to residents of Dark Lane, Park Road and Exchange Road is due to be carried out this afternoon to inform them of the works in relation to the laying out of the yellow lines.

 

Further information from Alrewas Residents Group regarding the above update.

Just to add a little clarification, the following is offered to assist you:

TRO – This is the Temporary No Waiting Restrictions Order for Dark Lane, Park Road and Exchange Road; Click Here to download a diagram showing the area of the TRO.

De-watering – this is a technique used when the works being carried out are below the groundwater level (in this case, presumably drainage works) and involves the use of pumps to lower the water level so that works can be carried out in the dry;

Preparatory works – this term was introduced by Crest Nicholson’s predecessor into the Section 106 Unilateral Undertaking with Staffordshire County Council. It refers to works that are permitted before “commencement of the development”. The point at which preparatory works finish and development commences (and to which most of the Planning Conditions are related) is unclear and the ARG is seeking clarification. The ARG has reviewed the works that have been carried out to date and the works as described in the e-mail below and considers that they comprise sufficient elements that are not preparatory works. Accordingly, the ARG believes that the development has commenced.

The works described in the Crest Nicholson’s e-mail will inevitably and unavoidably necessitate the use of Micklehome Drive by HGVs, until such time as the route through the development site to Dark Lane is constructed. The ARG sees this as a concession to Crest Nicholson for a very limited period and should be closely and carefully managed. This aligns with details submitted to Lichfield District Council by Crest Nicholson, in respect of Planning Conditions, where it is stated that this Stage 1 is anticipated to take 1 to 2 weeks. Thereafter, Micklehome Drive will not be used by HGVs leaving the development site. This will be very closely monitored by the ARG.

Whilst the ARG recognises that Crest Nicholson will subcontract portions of the development to others, e.g. Chasetown Civil Engineering, the ARG is more concerned as to how these subcontractors are being managed by the Developer, Crest Nicholson. In brief, the ARG is not going to spend the next three years chasing after subcontractors and their supply chains

The ARG updates you on other matters since Update 16, issued on 01 July 2019.

The “New Development in Alrewas” poster and leaflet:

At the Progress Meeting with Crest Nicholson on 18 July 2019, Emily Christie expressed disappointment that this Poster/Leaflet was “anti-Developer”. The ARG categorically states that this was not the intention and wishes to nurture and maintain a good and open working relationship with Crest Nicholson, with a view to achieving the least worst impact on the village. The alternative for the ARG would be to deal through Local Authority Offices, Environment Agency, Health & Safety Executive, etc. which is not the preferred option. The Poster/Leaflet was drawn up in May when many in the village were still unaware that the development was going ahead, or were in denial on the possible impacts on village life, and hence the wording was intended as a wake-up call/reality check to villagers. The views of Crest Nicholson were taken extremely seriously and a full review of all documentation issued by the ARG has been carried out. The original letter sent to Lichfield District Council and all interested parties (dated 22 January 2019 and updated 28 January and 04 February 2019) was in fact criticised for being too accommodating to the Developer. Subsequent Updates 1 to 16 do not contain any criticism of Crest Nicholson. In conclusion, the ARG wishes to work with all interested parties, but will fairly and robustly challenge anything that could unduly impact on the village.

Damage to Heras fencing:

At the same meeting, Crest Nicholson reported that the Heras fencing had been damaged on several occasions. The ARG is fully supportive of Crest Nicholson on this issue and condemns anyone that damages the Heras fencing. The development site is owned by Crest Nicholson and is ramping up to be a construction site with all the inherent hazards. If you know of anyone that is damaging the Heras fencing then please report them to Crest Nicholson, Emily Christie – Planning Manager Emily.Christie@crestnicholson.com or Kevin Fraser – Site Manager kevin.fraser@crestnicholson.com The ARG’s advice is to keep out of the Heras fenced area.

Temporary No Waiting Restrictions Order for Dark Lane, Park Road and Exchange Road:

The Order that I have circulated previously is still the scheme that is going ahead on Monday 05 August 2019. On Thursday 01 August 2019, a letter drop was done by Chasetown Civil Engineering, which appears to be a bit of a disaster. The attached plan shows where the single yellow lines are going. This Order has been referred by the ARG to the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman. This process takes time to progress and so the scheme will go ahead and await the deliberations of the Ombudsman in due course. An alternative (which the ARG considers to be more appropriate, safer and less disruptive) has been put to SCC but they state that they cannot consider it whilst a complaint is being processed by the Ombudsman.

Land to the west of the 121 dwellings site:

In the Alrewas Neighbourhood Plan, this land is designated as “Local Green Space”. The ARG has queried with Lichfield District Council as to what can be done on this land by Crest Nicholson, who own it. It has been confirmed by LDC that Crest Nicholson can use it for its site compound. As part of the drainage system, a pond is to be created in the north west of this parcel of land. Any proposals by Crest Nicholson or others to develop this land will be rebutted by the ARG.

Flood Risk Assessment and Drainage Strategy (FRA&DS):

For those that were involved in the Public Inquiry, I think it is fair to say that not a single person fully understood or could contest the FRA&DS prepared by one of UK’s leading Consulting Engineers, Atkins. Notwithstanding this, the ARG continues to seek assurance from Crest Nicholson, LDC, Staffordshire County Council (as the Lead Local Flood Authority) and the Environment Agency that any associated works by Crest Nicholson are in accord with the Atkins FRA&DS or approved amendments thereto. The ARG is abundantly aware that anything that could increase the risk of flooding in the village is a major concern to villagers and so requires thorough scrutiny.

Section 106 Agreements:

There are five issues that the ARG is concerned with:

    1. General Obligations – Notice to be given to SCC seven days prior to the anticipated date of Commencement of the Development. - See notes on preparatory works above.
    2. Education Provisions – All Saints' (C) C.E. Primary School – Provision of an additional class base – Head Teacher and Governors are aware of this.
    3. Education Provisions – John Taylor Multi-Academy Trust – Provision for a project to add four classrooms. – Chair of the John Taylor MAT is aware of this
    4. Travel Plan Provisions – This is a fee to be used by SCC to compare predicted modal split with actual (i.e. how many use cars, public transport, cycle, walk, etc.)
    5. Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) – This is a way that LDC collects financial contributions from developers to help pay for new and improved infrastructure.

With regard to 1) the RG is pushing for this date to be announced.

With regard to 2) & 3) the ARG considers that these are now being appropriately progressed in a manner that assists the future education of village children.

With regard to 4) the ARG does not have any specific issues

With regard to 5) the ARG will continue to request updates on progress from the Alrewas Parish Council at the Meetings.

If anyone has expertise or is interested in becoming an expert on CIL, the ARG would welcome support. LDC has quite extensive information about CIL on its website https://www.lichfielddc.gov.uk/planning-policy/planning-obligations-1/2

Footpaths:

The ARG has asked Crest Nicholson if access to the land north of the development site can be maintained, i.e. keeping Alrewas 49 Footpath open (i.e. from the “kissing gate” and adjacent to the Trent & Mersey Canal) to the west of the site (this has been agreed) and creating an access off Micklehome Drive in the east of the site (this has been declined due to it giving access to land not owned by Crest Nicholson). It would therefore appear that the only access to the River Trent is via Alrewas 49 Footpath until the development has progressed sufficiently to allow a safe route through completed sections of the development.

Foul drainage discharge:

Severn Trent Water (STW) has informed the ARG “We are aware of growth within the wider area and are currently working towards progressing a scheme to alleviate flows to the sewage pumping station, as of yet there are no set dates to complete the scheme as delivering infrastructure improvements is totally dependent on a rigorous prioritisation process.” In brief, STW is statutorily obliged to accept foul sewage from the new development, the existing foul sewage system has issues and STW does “workarounds” to assist the performance of the pumping station. The ARG has asked Crest Nicholson to support the village in pressurising STW to prioritise the scheme to alleviate the problem: “As discussed at the meeting earlier, the ARG would greatly appreciate Crest Nicholson pressing Severn Trent Water for the implementation of a scheme to address the current foul drainage problems (which the development exacerbates)”. Crest Nicholson has responded as follows: “As discussed, Severn Trent Water has a statutory duty to ensure that the capacity of foul sewers are adequate to meet demand. Our foul sewer requisition is underway and Severn Trent has confirmed that there is adequate provision to serve the site. Any future maintenance or works to increase the capacity of the sewers in the area is the responsibility of Severn Trent Water and as such we would not be party to such decisions/works.”

Accordingly, individual letters from you to Severn Trent Water regarding this matter may assist. Severn Trent, Customer Care, PO Box 407, Darlington, DL1 9WD Internal Reference X843511

A38 Access/Egress From/To:

Over the last six months the ARG has pressed for this to be considered. The argument mainly revolving around the changes in traffic flow and accidents that have occurred since the Public Inquiry, resulting in what the ARG considers to be a too high a speed limit. The ARG suggests that 50 or 60 mph Speed Limit on the A38 would be more suitable, potentially making the existing on-slip road suitable, perhaps with minor improvement. In addition, the ARG considers that the introduction of traffic signals at the junction of Micklehome Drive and the Rykneld Street/Burton Road service road could be considered. Discussion between Crest Nicholson and Highways England have resulted in the following from Crest Nicholson. “I can confirm that Crest Nicholson has explored the possibility of amending the access arrangements; altering Micklehome Drive to a two way system to allow access onto the A38, as agreed at the meeting on the 28th March. However, the feedback that we have received from Highways England has not been supportive. Highways England consider their comments made under the previous investigations, during the assessment of planning application 13/01175/FULM, are still relevant. In light of the above, Crest Nicholson will not be pursuing this matter any further.” Accordingly, it would appear that this option is now reached its conclusion and will not be progressed further by the ARG.

Heras fencing along the northern boundary of the development site:

On 18 July 2019 the Heras fencing along the northern boundary of the development site was outside the development site boundary. Crest Nicholson were asked by the ARG for clarification but to date have not responded. This is an area on concern as the Heras fencing was within the Flood Zones 2 & 3 of the River Trent. This could result in material being deposited on the Flood Plain, which could impact on the risk of flooding in the village. In addition, any loose materials deposited in Flood Zones 2 & 3 could be swept downstream in times of flood and cause obstructions at pinch points, e.g. bridges, culverts, etc. This could result in higher flood levels upstream, e.g. the village.

Archaeology:

The ARG is aware that many of you are interested in the archaeology of the village and surrounds, including the development site. Requests to Crest Nicholson for information about the current exercise have resulted in being referred to the Final Report, later this year. In the interim, if anyone wishes to contact the archaeologist please contact CgMs Consulting (part of RPS) who may be able to assist. https://www.rpsgroup.com/services/environment/archaeology-and-heritage/

Badgers:

Crest Nicholson inform the ARG that the re-relocation of the badgers is being carried out under a Natural England Licence. The ARG has requested a copy of the Licence and any associated conditions off Natural England. No response as yet.

The Alrewas Residents’ Group which comprises over 337 residents and over 20 Societies/Groups/Businesses/Services, including the Alrewas Civic Society)

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