Burstow Parish Council have submitted the following response to the Regulation 19 consultation of the Local Plan
BPC LOCAL PLAN Reg. 19 CONSULTATION RESPONSE
Burstow Parish Council is not intrinsically opposed to the building of new dwellings in Burstow, in fact we believe that in order for the Parish and Village to thrive some new additional homes are necessary. However, regard must be given to community led needs for affordable homes for local people and new keyworkers entering the Parish. In addition, any development must address the needs of our aging population. Many older residents would like to downsize from their larger family homes but be able to remain living within their community, the community that has been their home for many years. Any development in Burstow should include provision for downsizing and these dwellings must be 'future proofed' to ensure residents can remain in their homes despite their changing needs as they age.
Infrastructure Delivery Plan for Burstow
Redehall Road Speed Cushion Removal (Aspirational)
The Tandridge Local Committee meeting of 27.09.2013 resolved to remove existing traffic calming measures and replace them with additional measures. BPC first approached SCC with regard to this at the end of 2015. Throughout 2016, multiple, efforts to negotiate with Surrey Highways, with a view to removing the speed cushions failed. A revised plan reinstating 5 sets of cushions, with the addition of seven kerb 'build outs' was reluctantly accepted by BPC. It has taken until early 2016 to progress this. Funding for detailed design and construction was allocated for the financial years 2017/18 and 2018/19 was allocated at the Tandridge Local Committee Meeting on 09.12.2016. The Parish Council questions how TDC can include this item in their IDP whilst being aware that a) no funding is available and b) the speed cushions are to be retained.
Road Safety Scheme for Burstow School (Aspirational)
Plans for this have previously been estimated by Surrey Highways to cost approximately £100k. There is no evidence within the Local Plan or supporting technical documents demonstrating how this scheme can be achieved for £50k, i.e. 50% of the original estimate, especially as one Surrey Highways Officer (Rebecca Harrison) explained that to even extend a 20MPH zone a few metres would cost in excess of £5,000. She also stated in her email to the Parish Council that, based on previous examples, a figure of £100,000 could be considered a conservative estimate to insert a road table adjacent to the School entrance. Two RTC's involving pedestrians, both directly linked to Burstow School have occurred in the last two years. Both are directly related to school traffic. TDC is postulating an increase in Burstow School to a 3-form entry without ensuring appropriate road safety improvements are carried out prior to this. At a meeting on 22.09.2017 the Tandridge Local Committee merely supported the proposal that funding may be sought, for example via a bid to TDC for CIL; (as and when CIL is available from new housing).
Burstow Parish Council would strongly support any road safety schemes around the school provided funding be provided by SCC and following on from detailed road safety studies. As a Council, we could not support any proposed increase in the school's size without significant investments in road safety, funded at the appropriate level.
Education - Expansion/Improvement of Burstow School
When first built, Burstow School consisted of a single form entry. Over time this has been expanded to accommodate a two form entry and a nursery.
Any further attempts to increase the size of the School would require special consent from the Secretary of State for Education as the existing physical site is too small to accommodate eight new forms. Local Plan technical documents supporting this objective have failed to realise this.
In addition, should the planned 305 new dwellings be constructed, these new dwellings would not generate sufficient increase in population to require a third form per year (as per DofE calculations). In order to fill the extra student places, children from surrounding areas such as Langshott and The Oaks would have to travel to Burstow, thus increasing the number of vehicular movements in an area with inadequate parking and serious road safety concerns. This is not acknowledged within the Local Plan.
Recreation, Sports & Community Facilities
No communication has taken place between TDC and the Parish Council regarding youth provision for the area. We are confused as to why the King George Playing Field on Copthorne Bank is included in the Local Plan and why Burstow Parish Council is earmarked as a funding source. Whilst the playing field land abuts the county border with West Sussex, in actual fact, Worth Parish Council (West Sussex) owns both the land and the sports pavilion sited on the land. WPC borrowed money to build the pavilion. WPC leases the pavilion to the Copthorne Community Sports Association (a charity) and it is the CCSA with WPC backing that has secured financing for the current drainage works that are currently underway.
HSG01: Land at Plough Road and Redehall Road - 160 units
Technical studies fail to note that part of the proposed site (SMA08) has a history of repeated flooding over at least one-third of its area for a significant amount of the year. So much so that the site is known colloquially at 'The Duck Pond".
Furthermore, despite scrutiny, TDC appears to have not noticed a combined foul and surface water drainage system is in place along Orchard Road, the western section of Plough Road, Wheelers Lane and along Chapel Road from the junction with Plough Road to where it meets the main sewer system at the junction of Weatherhill Road.
During prolonged or heavy rain residents living along these roads are at constant risk of having foul water flooding/contamination in their homes and gardens. This has happened on a number of occasions. These residents are now unable to flush a toilet, take a shower or use any appliances/utilities that generate waste water during significant rainfall. Vulnerable residents with additional needs have no choice but to vacate their homes and seek shelter elsewhere until water levels have subsided.
Thames Water has recently cleared all the pipes along this section of the village so that they are working at optimum levels. However, operatives for the water company have informed residents that there is insufficient capacity within the system to cope with existing demand and the pipework is simply too small for the existing requirements. The Parish Council are extremely concerned that there does not appear to be any evidence in the Local Plan technical studies that recognises the existing problem or offer any solutions. Not only that, the Local Plan also proposes to further increase the demand on an inadequate system by the addition of HSG01. Any consent for additional dwellings must correlate directly with requirements for developers to work in partnership with Thames Water to increase capacity of the foul water drainage.
Plough Road Traffic Junction with Redehall Road, Chapel Road and Wheelers Lane
This junction is comprised of a staggered crossroad between the four roads, located in the centre of Smallfield. Burstow School is sited directly adjacent to the junction. Traffic movements are particularly high at school opening and closing times, but throughout the day there is always vehicular traffic passing through the junction.
Traffic is regularly congested and sightlines frequently impeded by illegally parked vehicles, leading to 'near misses' almost daily. On two occasions in the previous 18 months we have had potentially life threating injuries to residents. In the first instance an air ambulance was dispatched to take a woman to hospital after she had been thrown into the air and landing on a pavement after being hit by a car. On the second occasion a small child was rushed to St Georges Hospital with serious head injuries.
The Transport Assessment Report and Transport Assessment Mitigation Report fail to demonstrate understanding of the significant dangers associated with this junction and also fails to address the issues in their mitigation report by offering a generic 'junction improvements' response rather than submitting detailed, evidence based solutions.
These reports also fail to clearly define how up to 300 additional dwellings and associated vehicular traffic will impact upon the junction for all road users be they vehicular, bicycle, pedestrian or animal. Junction improvements must be carried out as part of and alongside any new developments/dwellings in Smallfield.
Smallfield is classified as a Larger Rural Settlement in Tandridge District therefore any development in the area should be of low density and in keeping with the rural nature of the village.
Reviewing the various housing allocations, it is apparent that, apart from the proposed Garden Village at South Godstone, Smallfield is the only area that has been earmarked for major housing development. The District Council has failed to communicate with Burstow Parish Council nor has any explanation been forthcoming to the Parish Council and residents of Burstow as to why nearby areas such as Outwood, Nutfield, Oxted and Hurst Green have far smaller allocations despite many areas having better public transport links.
In conclusion we are concerned that in its haste to produce a Local Plan, TDC has failed to carry out sufficient research and take advantage of the local knowledge Parish Councils hold. We are concerned that errors such as road safety improvements at £50K have been included and feel that some figures/costs have been guessed, without meaningful consideration to the issues presented.