Reminder about Tanworth NDP Meeting

 

Just a reminder that Tanworth Residents Association will be hosting a public meeting in Tanworth Village Hall next Wednesday 23 May at 19.30 to discuss the preparation of our Neighbourhood Development Plan.

It is intended that formal presentations will be kept to a minimum and there will be ample opportunities for questions on the document as a whole and on the three sites that have been provisionally identified as candidates for the possible development of what have been described as low cost/ affordable/more affordable houses.

The three sites are allotments on the Common in Earlswood, land to the rear of The Warwickshire Lad near Wood End Station and land along the western side of Butts Lane in the village.

In particular, there will be the first opportunity to briefly question two developers who have made illustrative proposals about what might be done with two of the sites – if the community agrees to their development.   Local resident Steve Parkinson has outlined possible proposals for the Wood End site and Steve Hird’s Duchy Homes has acquired the Cank Farm site and has options on most of the land along the western side of Butts Lane.

There is no longer any requirement to recommend sites for housing developments in an NDP.

The closing date for the receipt of completed NDP questionnaires by the Parish Council is Monday 4 June Copies of additional questionnaires and envelopes for other family members can be obtained from the Parish Office.

Tanworth Village Hall next Wednesday 23 May at 19.30

 

(Source:  Tom Ross)

Do We Want New Housing at Butts Lane and Wood End Station? 

 

Tanworth Residents Association will host a public meeting at Tanworth Village Hall on Wednesday 23 May  at 19.30 to discuss an important stage in the preparation of the Neighbourhood Development Plan (NDP) for our parish. 

The Government inspired NDP must be in accordance with national and local planning policy and is meant to influence, but cannot dictate, all future planning decisions made by Stratford District Council (SDC) up to 2031.

Tanworth Parish Council is about to undertake an important consultation exercise involving all residents.

Each household, not each individual, will receive a letter from the Parish Council together with a summary of the draft plan and a questionnaire.   It is important that every resident reads these carefully and, if possible, either gets a paper copy of the full draft plan free of charge from the Parish Office or reads it online at: http://tanworthndp.org/

The NDP has done much detailed work in a number of important areas such as transport, the environment and the design and look of future housing development.

It has also undertaken a Housing Needs Survey to establish the extent of the need for additional “affordable” houses in the parish, particularly for families and older residents hoping to downsize.

However, one of the most important, and contentious, elements in the draft NDP is the shortlist of three sites which the Plan has identified for possible housing development in Tanworth village, at Wood End Station and in Earlswood.  These are in addition to those which have already been approved by SDC’s Planning Committee in recent years such as Cank Farm and Doctor’s Close.

It is important to stress that the original advice from government was that an NDP had to include suggestions for housing developments but that is no longer the case.

The NDP has chosen to suggest three sites but there is now no requirement for the final document to offer any at all. 

In part, the Parish Council is undertaking this consultation exercise to see if a majority of residents accept there is a need for “affordable housing” and, in particular, to measure public opinion on these three sites before the final document is drawn up and eventually submitted to a referendum.

There would clearly be no point in suggesting sites now that would not attract overwhelming public support at the end of this long and costly process.  So it is vital that residents make their views and preferences known now.

The Three Proposed Sites

In the case of Tanworth village, the proposal is for some “more affordable” houses for families and residents wishing to downsize on the northwest side of Butts Lane.  There is no guarantee this would be in addition to the 18 on Cank Farm and the 5 new builds on Doctor’s Close developments already approved and any proposals for limited infill agreed elsewhere.

A major developer is in the process of has purchasing the Cank Farm site and Summers’ land to the west of Butts Lane.  Anticipating the inclusion of part of the site in our final NDP Duchy Homes have already tried to enlist the support of the school for a mix of both very large and “affordable” housing and revised access and improved parking for the school itself.  As things stand the site is outside the Built Up Area Boundary of the village in open countryside.  Its inclusion in the village would be more difficult but not impossible to justify.

Both the school and the Tanworth Educational Foundation that owns the land say they will not endorse the project.  If this proposal fails there will be others you can be sure – especially if the site is identified in the final NDP.

It is important, therefore, that as many residents as possible go to one of the proposed public meetings and see the site and the developer’s initial proposal for yourselves.  If this were to be successful it would certainly transform the vista of the village and the Church from the northeast for all time.

In the case of Wood End, the site behind the Warwickshire Lad public house would be in addition to those already agreed at Arden Grange, Poolhead Lane and Hardwick House.  A local developer, Steve Parkinson, is hoping to develop the site.   The issues of the lack of disabled and pushchair access at the recently improved Wood End Station and the bad existing vehicle access to Wood End Lane would need to be addressed.

In Earlswood land owned by an Inclosure Trust, administered at present by the Parish Council, would be a third possible site for “affordable” houses in the parish if the agreement of the Trust can be secured.  So far that has not been forthcoming.

Consultation Process

Your Association cannot stress enough the importance of reading and understanding the implications of all the proposals.   A positive or negative response from as many residents as possible to each proposed site is essential for the success of the whole NDP process.

To allow residents to ask questions of those who have helped draft the NDP two open days are planned by the Parish Council.

These open days will take place in

Earlswood Village Hall between 12.00-16.00 on Saturday 5 May

Tanworth Village Hall between 10.00- 12.00, 14.00-1600 and 17.00-19.00 on Monday 14 May.  (Please note this is a slightly earlier time than previously published.)

In addition, both Residents Associations will hold public meetings to allow the opportunity to discuss the proposals in detail.

They will be held at Earlswood Village Hall on Monday 21 May at  19.30  sponsored by Earlswood and Forshaw Heath Residents Association.

Tanworth Residents Association will host its public meeting at Tanworth Village Hall on Wednesday 23 May  at 19.30

Residents of the parish are free to attend either or both open days and public meetings.

If necessary, you can get extra copies of the questionnaire from the Parish Council if you wish to reflect all the views in your household.

Return in the attached pre-paid envelope by the due date of 4 June.

Please also make your neighbours and friends who may not receive this email aware how important this matter is for the future of Tanworth in Arden. 

(Source: Tom Ross)

Various Road Closures

Road closures involving Tom Hill, Bates Lane and Penn Lane will be in operation over coming days.

 

 

 

(Source: Warwick Highways)

Parish Council Website

The Tanworth Parish Council website is not currently available.  A new website will be up and running soon.

In the meantime if residents have any queries call Julie or Sue on 703200.

 

(Source: Parish Office)

Speed along Broad Lane and elsewhere

 

A number of residents have contacted the Residents Association to say that they were concerned about safety at places like school bus boarding points along either The Common in Earlswood or Broad Lane in Tanworth.

For the benefit of newcomers there were major campaigns in recent years to reduce the speed limit on both roads to 30 and 40mph respectively.

These new limits were only achieved because of extraordinary pressure being put on the County Council Highways authority (WCC) to assign the relevant funds.  We were originally told that they would not be possible because of lack of funding or there were not sufficient deaths on the road to justify such measures!

Eventually, “the powers-that-be” relented thanks in no small part to the efforts of our then County Councillor Mike Perry.  Times and personnel may have changed but the reasons for the bureaucrats to do nothing have not.

I went through a number of possible options to reduce speed with someone in the Warwickshire County Council Road Safety Group recently.  All have cost implications and the major problem on Broad Lane is that 40 mph down to 20 is a very sudden jump.

  1. Current County Councillor John Horner’s suggestion of a part-time Lolly pop person – volunteers would be needed and training, kit etc. 40mph may be a problem
  2. Flashing 20 “when lights flash” signs – problem in a 40mph area
  3. Physical choke/chicane with “give way” in one direction to slow traffic
  4. “Residents Priority” temporary signs – used in Shirley but a B road may be a problem
  5. Pelican Crossing – very expensive and not really justified?
  6. Park up a fake white van with a black rectangle on back on hard shoulder morning and afternoon to deter speeders.

All of the above have arguments against – not least the cost.  Also, WCC and local residents have long standing reservations about road humps or bumps.

After a lot of consideration my preferred option is a physical build-out of some kind.

At some carefully chosen sites this would slow down traffic – at all times of the day – and help traffic trying to get out side roads like Rushbrook and Arden Leys or Springbrook Lane. It could also be employed on both Earlswood Common and Broad Lane .  The cost would be £5k to £6k each.  The speed on Broad Lane would probably need to come down to 30mph.

I have attached below a photo of a similar arrangement at Bishop’s Itchington in the south of the County.  In other words, WCC is already operating such schemes.

It must be stressed that it is hard to avoid the conclusion that some in the County is most reluctant to employ such a measure in case it is effective – everyone might want one.

I would appreciate the thoughts of concerned residents as soon as possible to me about both the principle and possible locations – copied to Councillor John Horner.  Please consult neighbours to see if they want to support such measures.

If the idea was a success such physical traffic-calming might be applied elsewhere in the parish.

(Source:  Tom Ross)

 

 

The NDP – What Happens Next?

 

The team preparing a Neighbourhood Development Plan on behalf of the Parish Council have submitted a draft timetable for the next stage in the process.

A Draft Consultation Paper has been drawn up under Mike Saunders and Jonathan Ashcroft and the text of this has been agreed in principle by the Parish Council at a meeting on 18 January.

The most controversial proposals are likely to be the three sites identified as suitable for possible housing developments at Butts Lane in Tanworth itself, at Wood End Station and in Earlswood.

In order to gauge the views of residents on the NDP’s main draft recommendations the Parish Council plans two major initiatives:

1)  A summary of the Consultation paper and a questionnaire will be sent to each household in the parish in the coming weeks together with a stamped addressed return envelope.  Mike Saunders intends this to be the main means of establishing likely public reaction to the proposals.

Copies of the full NDP consultation document will be available on various websites or in printed form from the Parish Office.

2)  Two Open Days will be held one in Tanworth Village Hall (for Tanworth and Wood End) and one in Earlswood on dates to be advised where residents can see maps of the proposed sites and discuss the draft with members of the Parish Council.

Residents are free to attend either location.

In addition to the above, Tanworth Residents Association will host a public meeting before the closing date of the return of the questionnaires to allow a full discussion of the draft plan and its implications.

Mike and Jonathan are keen to stress that this is not the final NDP document and they are open to constructive suggestions about how it may be changed or otherwise improved.

 

(Source:  Tom Ross)

Beware of Scams

 

Warwickshire Police ask residents to be aware of a number of current email, phone and text scams.

One is a so called phishing email that tries to get the unwary to click on an apparently innocent link in what seems to an email from the Police themselves.

The email says that the recipient is being summoned to court as a witness and asks them to follow a link.  By clicking on the link a virus or malware can be downloaded on their computer.

It uses a police.uk heading and suggests it is from the Crown Prosecution Service portal, but is  not official and represents a risk to security.

If any members of the public receive such an email they are advised not to click on any links and delete the email from their accounts as soon as possible.

I know we are all very savvy but there is a worrying story in the Guardian newspaper this week warning never to trust texts or calls from banks (however trustworthy they appear) that urge us to use a specific telephone number to dial about a problem.

The scammers may say or text there has been what they think is a large withdrawal or some mistaken transaction. We need to contact the bank’s fraud department.

The answer is always phone the bank back on a known number such as that given on the back of a debit or credit card. Never use the one the fraudsters suggest and always check the telephone line has disconnected before dialling any number after a call to you. Perhaps dial another number first before the bank to clear the line.

The Guardian says this scam could happen because a third party like Uber may have been hacked giving access to name, telephone number, address and part of debit or credit card number.

Of course, none of us would ever fall for a trick like that.

 

(Source:  Tom Ross)

Vacancies on Parish Council

Following the resignations of Andy Wilkins and Sylvia Stanton there are now two vacancies for the Tanworth ward on the Parish Council.

For more information contact the Parish Clerk on 703200.

 

 

 

(Source:  Tanworth Parish Council)

Bellfield Lock-ups Sell for £126k

At the auction held on Monday 17 July in London the 14 empty lock-up garages between Bellfield and Doctor’s Close  sold for £126,000 to an unknown buyer. The guide price was £30,000.

Orbit Housing, who took over responsibility for the former Stratford District Council housing stock from the South Warwickshire Housing Association, have been selling off similar sites all over the County.

Last week’s  Stratford Herald confirms that a clawback clause means SDC may benefit from the sale of  the 19 sites by as much as £1million.  SDC, therefore, stands to make £63,000 from this sale.

Tanworth Parish Council made several approaches through our local District Councillor and our MP to see if the important site – the last open space at the centre of the village – could be secured in the public interest but was rebuffed by Orbit at every attempt.

 

(Source:  Tom Ross)

Beware Intruders!

Warwickshire Police report that over a couple of days at the end of June a number of householders in Tanworth, Earlswood and Hockley Heath suddenly became aware of masked intruders in the kitchens of their homes.

All the events took place in early evening and the intruder or intruders in each case made off in a black car of some sort.

Please be careful not to leave back doors unlocked and report any suspicious circumstances to 999.

 

(Source:  Warwickshire Police)