Visitors to the public exhibition last July were asked to complete a questionnaire to give their views. This questionnaire was left online for a further four weeks so everyone had an opportunity to complete it. Following that, we engaged further with local residents, local groups and key stakeholders.
This process has now been completed and we have summarised the concerns, and our actions and responses, in a newsletter, which has been distributed to residents around the development on January 30. A PDF version of the newsletter can be downloaded here, or the text can be viewed below.
JAWBONE LANE UPDATE
We have engaged with local residents and met and discussed our plans with numerous groups including the local parish council, district councillors, county councillor, health centre manager, schools development officer, Melbourne Civic Society, Melbourne Theatrical Society and the King’s Newton Residents’ Association.
We distributed a leaflet to residents surrounding the site and uploaded details of the proposed development on the PlanningConsultation website in early July, and we staged an exhibition with the development team present to answer questions later that month. Attendees were invited to complete a questionnaire, which was then left on PlanningConsultation website for a month after the exhibition to enable all those who wanted to comment the chance to.
A total of 49 local businesses were approached personally during August and 158 businesses were invited to a ‘Meet the Developer’ event held in October.
The main topic raised throughout the consultation was the the scale of development proposed in Melbourne generally, followed by specific concerns about education provision, healthcare provision, traffic impacts of development in the village, the future of Jawbone Lane, the divide between Melbourne and King’s Newton, and flooding and sewage capacity.
General development in Melbourne
Many people expressed reservations about the general level of development proposed in Melbourne. The village has been identified by the planning authority as a Key Service Centre, which means it enjoys a range of services such as retail, leisure, community, civic, health and education facilities, and financial and professional services, which it also provides to the surrounding area. This makes it a sustainable location for housing development and national planning policy encourages sustainable development within such locations. This, coupled with a demonstrable shortage of housing supply within the district is why Linden Homes is bringing forward its site.
The objective of our consultation was to identify local issues and concerns and see if we can address them. It also enables residents to meet Linden and understand the company’s philosophy and approach, and the quality of its design and construction, enabling you, and your elected representatives, to have a view on our company. Most other developers do not go to these lengths.
A key issue raised throughout the consultation was education provision – the existing two schools have few spare places and could not cope with further development. In response to this, we engaged with the local head teachers, and ultimately the schools development officer at Derbyshire County Council. Education contributions from developers are calculated by a set formula which is part of the Section 106 agreement. We understand that the education authority is currently assessing education needs in the area to evaluate the additional facilities required should more development happen in Melbourne. We will do everything within our power to ensure any S106 contributions made are spent locally to benefit village.
Several residents commented on the lack of larger public performance venue in the village – we have passed these comments on to the schools development officer to consider if there is to be any enhancement/construction in school halls in the village.
Another issue raised was health provision, with non-urgent GP appointments taking up to two weeks in the local medical centre. In response to this, Linden contacted the local practice and has been discussing how the existing heath centre could be enhanced or extended to provide more capacity. Although any agreement would be via the S106 discussions, Linden is keen to try and ensure any S106 monies paid as part of the development are spent to benefit the local community in Melbourne as quickly as possible, to address the current capacity issues.
Traffic and access
A number of residents were concerned with traffic impacts of development on the village as a whole, the village centre and the future of Jawbone Lane. Local businesses were concerned about parking in the village centre.
In conjunction with the highways authority, traffic counts have taken place and the overall impact of this development on the local highway network would be limited. The detailed planning application will include steps to minimise the impact on the surrounding roads, including building a new road running north from Station Road, encouraging residents to use that rather than Jawbone Lane.
There have been several views expressed about the future of Jawbone Lane, and in particular the junction with Main Street. We would like to see Jawbone Lane retain its existing character, and as much of the hedgerow as possible. Our steps will encourage new residents to use the Station Road access, although it will be up to the highways authority to decide the future of Jawbone Lane generally.
Flooding and sewage width
Many residents expressed concern about recent flooding in the Station Road area that saw a house on Sweet Leys Way and a playground being flooded with raw sewerage. The view was that any additional development would exacerbate the situation. Although the cause of the recent flooding is still being investigated, Severn Trent Water has confirmed that the existing sewer system, which runs through our site at several locations, has the capacity to accommodate the development.
Our development will include steps which will minimise the surface water flow, reducing the pressure on the drainage system and so reducing flood risk. This includes an attenuation and Sustainable Urban Drainage System (SUDS) which will restrict and delay flows ensuring the run-off from the site is less than it is now.
A full flood risk assessment is carried out as part of the planning application process.
Other concerns expressed by residents included affordable housing provision, open spaces and playgrounds, the lack of a substantial supermarket in the village, the separation between Melbourne and King’s Newton, Swarkeston Causeway and access to Derby generally,
Our proposed development will include on-site affordable housing of 30%, pepper-potted throughout the development in groups. We recognise the importance of maintaining separation between Melbourne and King’s Newton, and have pulled back our proposed scheme from that seen at the exhibition, to maximise the gap between the two settlements. We will also include additional planting to the north-east of the site to reduce visibility, and open space to the north-west, where the existing footpath crosses.
Two further suggestions were made: to provide a scout and guide hut on Packhorse Road, and to include a local shop in the development to serve the local area.
What happens next?
Our outline application has been submitted to South Derbyshire District Council and is currently being considered – it is likely to come to the Planning Committee in the spring.
In the meantime, updates about the project will continue to be uploaded on this website – please register for updates.