You need to ACT NOW to object to the Beechcroft proposed development for Almsbury Farm.
You may think initially that this is not of immediate concern to you BUT there is a very strong likelihood that this is one of several applications from developers relating to development of AONB sites in Winchcombe. The closing date to object is 2nd March 2017.
Advice on objecting to planning applications.
INVALID OBJECTION REASONS
Perceived loss of property value.
Loss of a view.
Impact of construction work.
Fence lines etc.
Personal matters or views about the applicant.
I don’t like the application.
VALID OBJECTION REASONS
Loss of light or overshadowing.
Overlooking / loss of privacy.
Visual amenity (but NOT loss of private view).
Traffic generation (including cumulative effect)
Excessive bulk or scale.
Road access and inadequate road system in surrounding area.
Better alternative sites available.
Local, strategic, regional and national planning policies.
Previous planning decisions (incl. appeal decisions)
Nature conservation; harm to rare plants or animals.
Impact on a listed building.
Impact on the setting of a listed building.
- Note carefully the closing date for representations.
- The main objective is to avoid decisions being made by council employees and to put the decision in the hands of Tewkesbury's elected representatives; evidence says that we stand more chance with the planning committee. This is achieved by getting at least 10 letters of objection in by the deadline submission date. Therefore we urgently need a minimum of 10 households to object.
- An objection can be as simple as "I object to this planning application" but clearly it is far better to provide VALID reasons. You don’t need to use all of the objections in our sample letter, just choose those that you are most comfortable with and vary your words to make your letter personal.
- If the number of objections is large, it is possible (though unlikely) that the applicant may withdraw the application.
- On submission of an application, involve your BOROUGH councillors - this is what you elected them for. Send them a copy of your objection and ask for their support.
- One golden rule - however emotional you feel about a planning application, objective hard facts are what counts.
Your address – Winchcombe – Cheltenham – Glos. – GL54 XXX
Miss Lisa Dixon,
Tewkesbury Borough Council Planning Dept.,
Tewkesbury, Glos., GL20 5TT Date
Planning Applications Ref. Nos. 16/01453/FUL and 16/01454/LBC
Dear Miss Dixon,
I write in connection with the above planning applications. I have examined the plans and I know the site well. I wish to object strongly to the development of the care home and assisted living units in this location for the following reasons
Conservation Area and AONB
- The proposed site of the development is particularly ill-considered. It is in the Winchcombe Conservation Area and the AONB and building here would diminish the striking views from many public footpaths above the town. The development would also cause harm to the setting and significance of the conservation area, and cause harm to the landscape and scenic beauty of the AONB.
- The site borders the parkland of a Grade II listed historic house and forms part of the historic and rural approach to Sudeley Castle.
- The site contains a Grade II listed Cotswold Barn and 7.9 acres of Greenfield land
- The site is outside the existing built up southern limit of Winchcombe and on the south side of the river Isbourne that creates a natural boundary.
- There are many other locations throughout Tewkesbury Borough that are not in the AONB where this type of development would be far better located. Planners should consider developing in the wider region before considering building in our very precious AONB.
- It is important to protect the attractiveness of the AONB viewed from the town and elsewhere.
- Development of the AONB on this scale and with buildings of the proposed height would undoubtedly result in unacceptable light pollution from the onsite roadways, car parks and residences. This would result in materially altering the light levels outside the development and adversely affect the use and enjoyment of nearby residential housing and open spaces.
· Paragraph 116 of the National Planning Policy Framework requires applications for major development within an AONB to be refused unless there are exceptional circumstances (“exceptional” in this context connotes rarity and relates to the development itself and not any benefits to the future occupiers). This application cannot be considered as an exceptional circumstance and in the context of Winchcombe, this application is for a “major” development.
- Traffic is already very bad (sometimes intolerably so) in Winchcombe, and the cumulative effect of more development on this scale would add a substantial extra burden on our town.
- Vehicular access to and from the site is via Vineyard Street and over a narrow bridge. The applicant has endeavoured to dismiss traffic concerns on the back of highly flawed traffic surveys that were conducted between 28 November 2016 and 4 December 2016. This period is not representative of traffic flows during at least 8 months of the year when Sudeley Castle is open for visitors and walkers in the area are abundant. Also during this survey period, some roads in Winchcombe were closed to all traffic due to Severn Trent Water works resulting in far less traffic through the town than normal.
- The applicant also dismisses traffic pressure by claiming that Vineyard Street is a non-through route. In actual fact, Vineyard Street is indeed a through route for 8 months of every year. The addition of this development would cause enormous traffic problems for Vineyard Street and especially at its junction with the B4632 Gloucester Street.
- Additional to increased traffic created by the residents of 53 assisted living units, the care home itself would require a considerable number of visits by service vehicles carrying laundry, food supplies, general and clinical waste, medical supplies etc. Many of these vehicles would be 3.5 ton and some would be 7.5 ton with the resultant risk of compromising the integrity of the bridge and causing noise, environmental and vibration pollution in Vineyard Street. These vehicle movements would cause great traffic pressure on the junction of Vineyard Street and Gloucester Street.
- There is firm evidence that an average of 17-27 staff would be employed daily, not 5 as suggested in the planning application, adding further traffic problems for Vineyard Street and again at its junction with Gloucester Street. Additionally there would be traffic movement from visiting Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists, Doctors, Community nurses etc. and on training days, there may be considerably larger numbers present and at shift changeover time there would be increased traffic.
- Pedestrian access to and from the site via both Vineyard Street and Castle Street would be via very narrow and inadequate pavements entirely unsuitable for use by elderly and infirm people. Castle Street has only one pavement and it is far too narrow for use by mobility scooters / wheelchairs. Vineyard Street has only one useable pavement for mobility scooters / wheelchairs and most journeys would then entail having to cross Vineyard Street at both its southern and northern ends.
- I contend that the steep gradients of both Vineyard Street and Castle Street are unsafe for the use of mobility scooters / wheelchairs that would likely be used by many residents. The average gradients of these roads are 9.7% and 16.7% respectively. Expert advice puts the Average Maximum Safe Gradient as 6-8%. The safe negotiation of the junctions at the top of both Vineyard Street and Castle Street is also very difficult for mobility scooters / wheelchairs.
- The age demographic and residency criteria of residents in both the assisted living and nursing units would inevitably cause a strain on the local medical infrastructure as this work would be additional to that already arising from within the community served by Winchcombe Medical Centre.
- Winchcombe’s infrastructure and services already struggle to cope with the current housing numbers; adding more pressure to these would be overwhelming.
Yours sincerely etc.
You may send your letter by post to Lisa Dixon at the address on the heading of this letter or alternatively email it to her at:
It would also be useful to copy your letters to your 3 Borough Councillors at: