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 18.00-20.00 on Monday 14 May.

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)

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