Bramley PCs response to the proposed development of Razor's Farm

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Bramley Parish Council’s response to

Croudace Strategic’s Public Exhibition

on the forthcoming planning application for the residential development of Razor’s Farm, Cufaude Lane


September 2012


The following response was agreed by the Planning and Development Committee and posted to Croudace and the Borough Council by the Parish Council Chairman.

 

The revised SHLAA, currently being put in front of the BDBC for consideration, proposes some 1750 new homes for the village of Bramley which, if given the go ahead, will materially change the rural character of the Village and surrounding Parish.

Included within the SHLAA is the development of the Razor’s Farm site for 480 new homes. The overwhelming majority of the site comprising Razor’s Farm lies within the Parish of Bramley.

The Razor’s Farm development proposal is premature, given that the Local Plan for Basingstoke & Deane is currently being revised, as the initial SHLAA and subsequent LDF were deemed under Judicial Review in April 2012 as having been prepared unlawfully. Following the Judge’s direction, the Manydown site is now included in the revised draft SHLAA. The inclusion of the Council-owned Manydown site, with its huge potential, must question the need for including sites such as Razor’s Farm and the adjacent, previously “reserve” site of Upper Cufaude Farm, that were seen as contentious in the initial SHLAA. Permission to develop Razor’s Farm should not be given until all the sites in the revised SHLAA have been fully considered and evaluated.

Razor’s Farm falls in the logical band that was existent in earlier Borough plans to preserve the spaces between settlements. Bramley Parish Council request that the original Borough policy of maintaining Strategic gaps should be reinstated.

In the SHLAA the Razor’s Farm development, and the other related sites, are denoted with BAS pre fixes. This is misleading as they should be designated as BRAM sites as others in Bramley are so denoted.

Bramley is particularly ill suited to contend with the potential influx of so many new homes, having already a complete lack of services for existing villagers. Bramley has only recently seen the completion of a large development, with high proportion of affordable housing, at German Road. This development brought few infrastructure improvements and has further exacerbated problems with car parking, traffic volume, traffic queuing at railway level crossing, HGV’s passing through the village and also other concerns such as the village hall, Doctor’s surgery and solitary small shop being able to meet the requirements of the increased population.

Bramley’s railway station has no dedicated parking provision and causes much congestion in the residential roads surrounding the station, leading to frustration for dwellers living in those roads. If the proposal for new station at Chineham does not proceed, the pressure from the proposed developments will render the access to and around Bramley as completely untenable.

Other proposed development sites, Upper Cufaude farm and the newly included Land west of Cufaude site, in the proposed revised SHLAA, show themselves dependent on the development of Razor’s Farm. So this part of the Borough could be heading towards excess of 1300 new homes in the period covered by the new Plan. Developments of this magnitude constitute an MDA, which is entirely inappropriate for this rural part of the Borough and will, in effect, remove the identity of Bramley as a village, instead turning it into a suburb of Basingstoke town. Development of these sites will lead to a disproportionate over development of the Eastern side of the Borough.

The Parish Council understood that the Razor’s Farm site adjoining the business park was earmarked for future expansion of the business park which would provide more employment for the local populace.

The development proposal for 480 new homes contains no provision for direct access to a major road. All vehicular access will have to be either via the existing business parks’ roads, or via the Sherfield Park / Taylor’s Farm estate or via Cufaude Lane. The impact on traffic flows on the A33 and its roundabouts must be fully understood before any permission is granted.

The roads in the business park are constricted in places because vehicles are parked on the road due to business’s car parks being full. The junctions at the A33 with the entry / exit roads in the business parks are already heavily congested, especially at peak morning and evening rush hours.

The highway work currently underway to provide access to Sherfield Park estate from Cufaude Lane will see a dangerous increase in traffic flows through both Cufaude Lane and Sherfield Park estate as workers in the business parks seek alternative routes to get to the / from the A33 everyday. This dangerous situation will be compounded with the extra traffic flows that would emanate from development of Razor’s Farm. The main access road through the Sherfield Park estate is very constricted along its entire length, due to the incidence of on street parking.

Cufaude Lane is entirely unsuited to deal with any increased traffic flows as it is a country lane with, in many places, a single carriageway with cut-outs provided for vehicles to pass each other. The Lane forms part of the National Cycle network but cyclists will be put at danger if even more traffic, than uses it already as a rat run to the business park, is encouraged.

The comments for this site within the Landscape Study 2010 document (page 87) concluded “ this site is strongly rural in character and although it is not typical of the open fields to the north it makes an important contribution to the quality of the landscape between Basingstoke and Bramley”. This same document listed the site as med / low capacity. Site Assessment 2011 document – on page 77, Razors Farm is listed as having an overall negative impact on the Borough’s landscape character and diversity.

Neither within the Razor’s Farm proposal nor indeed the nearly completed Sherfield Place / Taylor’s Farm development, both under Croudace, is any provision being made for shops, school, surgery nor dentist; so there no investment for a green future with the expectation that travel, probably by car, to these services outside of the estates will be required.

Finally, we are concerned about the amount of infrastructure work that would be necessary to provide water supply, drainage and sewerage services in this totally undeveloped rural part of the borough if the developments at Razor’s Farm, Upper Cufaude Farm and Land west of Cufaude are allowed to go ahead.

Bramley Parish Council is opposed to housing development on this site.

 

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