Parish Council LDF response

Introduction

South Norfolk District Council (SNDC) has written to interested parties requesting comments for the current round of consultation on the Local Development Framework (LDF). Wreningham Parish Council has considered the contents of the LDF and make their formal response here.
The LDF period is from 2013 to 2026 with the planning base date being April 2008. Those LDF plots selected by SNDC will be monitored to ensure that the building schedule of each is maintained to reach the targets set for new housing. There are 9 plots extant in the LDF for Wreningham which has an LDF target of 10 to 20 additional houses.

Wreningham Parish Plan and Housing

Our response is made in the light of the wishes expressed by the parishioners and documented in the Wreningham Parish Plan published in September 2009 (see www.wreningham.org for a download). The Parish Plan continues to reflect the views of Wreningham’s parishioners.
The parishioners place a high value on the rural nature and open aspect of the village: its spaces, its place in the countryside, and the style and presentation of the built environment. Pages 22 & 23 of the Parish Plan provide detailed information specifically on parishioners’ views regarding housing. In general, parishioners do not want large scale development, particularly of executive style housing whereas limited cottage style building in keeping with the nature and appearance of Wreningham is acceptable. The PC has endeavoured to ensure development is controlled and sensitive to parishioner wishes.

Wreningham Characteristics

SNDC have asked for relevant facts to assist in considering how the LDF is to be applied:

  1. The school needs Portakabins to provide sufficient accommodation for the children on its roll. As the housing within its catchment area increases, there is an inevitable impact on the school’s ability to absorb a larger roll.
  2. The roads:
    1. within the village are narrow, single track, without pavements and have few passing places
    2. The crossroads in the centre of the village is particularly busy and crowded at peak times – rush hour and school day start and finish
    3. Church Road is the main road into/out of the village and is regularly used by large vehicles – agricultural and coaches
    4. The crossroads at Mill Lane, Top Row and B1113 is particularly difficult:
      1. for road users leaving or entering Top Row or Mill Lane
      2. because of a blind corner to the north and a long and fast approach from the south
      3. because of presence and manoeuvring of delivery lorries and articulated trucks visiting Travis Perkins on Mill Lane/B1113 junction
  3. Public transport – limited service
  4. Sewage system – a new installation by Anglian Water:
    1. Does not provide full geographic cover for all of Wreningham
    2. Anglian Water advised that there is some expansion capability but this is limited
    3. No connection can be made to the sewage system between the Pumping Station on Mill Lane and the row of cottages to the East
  5. Social housing is present on Mill Lane, Riverview and Stevens Road.
  6. Since April 2008, 15 new builds have been approved by the PC / SNDC:
    1. 5 houses completed at Glebe Close, Church Road
    2. 1 derelict farm house on Hethel Road approved for restoration for habitation
    3. 1 barn conversion under way
    4. 2 new houses on Hethel Road – to be built
    5. 4 new houses at the Bird in Hand, Church Road – to be built
    6. 2 new semi-detached houses in Top Row
  7. Projecting the current rate of development (3 to 4 houses per annum) linearly during 2012 to 2026 implies an additional 50-60 houses without any LDF intervention.

Wreningham Parish Council’s response to the LDF

The PC has consulted with parishioners about the LDF and is consequently responding in two ways:

  1. Encouraging Wreningham parishioners to use the SNDC consultation mechanism to record their views about individual LDF plots.
  2. Providing some observations and guidelines to aid the planners in making their decisions about which plots to accept in order to help Wreningham meet its LDF target – this document.

As described above, Wreningham has had small scale development which largely meets the villagers’ aspirations and complements the existing built environment. The PC has accepted development which is sympathetic to the size and nature of the village, its infrastructure and the wishes of its parishioners. The PC consider that Wreningham has already largely met its target and that additional “large” scale development is not required. However, some adjustment to the Development Line may be required to enable some development to 2026.
Hence, in respect of Wreningham, the PC invites the SNDC planners to:

  1. recognise the new builds approved and completed since the base date of April 2008 and include them as part of Wreningham’s allocated LDF target
  2. ensure that LDF provision for additional housing remains within LDF target (including bullet above)
  3. ensure that the design of these houses is sympathetic to the parishioners’ wishes
  4. ensure that where an LDF plot is accepted:
    1. it accommodates no more than 5 new houses (see page 22/23 in the Parish Plan for parishioners’ views)
    2. it forms a logical and contiguous extension to the existing Development Line in Wreningham parish
  5. reject plots which would:
    1. significantly affect the local infrastructure – existing narrow roads (and their use), sewage system, school, public transport
    2. add geographic “stretch” to the village – i.e. which would place houses at a distance from current housing.