Minutes of extra-ordinary meeting on October 25th 2016

CYNGOR CYMUNED      LLANFAIR DYFFRYN CLWYD      COMMUNITY COUNCIL

Minutes of a Community Council Meeting held at the Neuadd Eleanor, Llanfair D C on Tuesday 25 October 2016 at 7.00 pm.  This meeting was convened to consider the Council’s response to the proposed development of 63 houses on land off Wrexham Road, Llanfair D C by PURE Residential & Commercial Limited, New Vision House, New Vision Business Park, Glascoed Road, St Asaph LL17 0LP.

PRESENT – Councillors Steve Whipp [Vice-Chair], David Baker,Dennis Edwards, Tim Faire, Rosanne Jarvis, Jayne Mayers, Keith Moulsdale.  Eirwen Godden, Clerk.

IN ATTENDANCE –  8 Residents together with Goronwy Owen, Development Manager and Gareth P Jones representing PURE.

 APOLOGIES – Councillors John Pugh [Chair], Wini Davies  and Medwen Roberts.

262  Pre-application Consultation

Councillor Steve Whipp took the chair in the absence of the Chairman, Councillor John Pugh, and welcomed everyone to the meeting.

Goronwy Owen explained that this was a pre-application process, the first in Denbighshire and North Wales since the new regulations came into effect.  This is a new process that applies to all planning applications for major development.  PURE considers that it has done more than is needed to comply with the required publicity/consultation procedures to allow for representations to be made in response to the application.  This included placing information/plans on their website, Ruthin library and an afternoon session from 2 to 6 pm on Tuesday 25 October 2016 at Neuadd Eleanor, Llanfair D C to provide an opportunity for people to come to meet them and ask questions.  Fourteen people had visited the hall on this occasion.

Plans had been brought to the Council meeting.  Mr Owen facilitated a question and answer session – the plans show that the proposed development comprises 63 new dwellings, a mix of two, three bedroom semi and detached houses, 4 bedroom houses, a small block of apartments and bungalows.  Some residents expressed concern about noise on the new estate which could be disturbing, that is, cars, children, tankers and so on, adding that a development of this size would have quite an impact on the community.  They noted that there are currently approximately 100 properties which would be increased by 63.

The size of gardens comply with current regulations.  The market value of the properties cannot be determined yet.  Properties will be freehold except the apartments which will be leasehold.  Six properties are subject to Section 106 under affordable housing regulations but no decision has yet been made as to which will be allocated.  This will be made as part of the full planning process.  The site is included within Denbighshire’s Local Development Plan comprising an area of 2.6 hectares and the development would be completed in two stages.  Parking spaces are available, the scheme will include a public open space beneath which a surface water storage area will be built designed to control the flow of water into existing streams via a small pumping chamber.  The responsibility for this facility will depend on discussions with Welsh Water.  Concern was expressed that the proposed crate like structures to hold water need to be replaced by bigger tanks to combat potential flooding.

The County Council will not be responsible for maintaining the open space area.  Further discussions are required about a levy for the whole area and the possibility of the Community Council taking over the cost of maintenance.    Existing hedgerows, except the one in the middle of the site, will remain; all trees except two for entrance access will stay and are protected.    Residents wished to see that there would be long term measures to protect the trees on plots 17 and 36 in particular.  New trees will be planted and the existing public footpath stays.  New fences would be erected between the properties.  Some residents, however, feel that close boarded fencing could affect the free movement of wildlife, such as hedgehogs.   Furthermore, high fencing near the wooded area negates against creating open spaces leading to obstructive views.  It was noted that board fencing is as recommended by the Police and Welsh Government [secure by design] could give rise to problems at some areas on the layout. .

The 30 mph sign will be moved further along in accordance with the Local Development Plan.  The green area is located by the entrance to the site but some people felt that this recreational area is too near the main road for safety.  An LPG storage area will be located underground which can be accessed by driving up the estate road.  Sewerage works will have to be upgraded – the site cannot be occupied until this work has been completed.  It was acknowledged that there would have to be close liaison between Welsh Water and PURE to ensure that there were no delays in such essential work being carried out.

Mr Owen suggested that the development may assist in keeping the village school open by new residents having families that could attend the school. The proposal includes provision for a crossing point on a safe area of the main road for going to school away from the narrow verge.  Attendees pointed out that this would mean that pedestrians would have to cross the main road twice in order to get to the school.  It was noted that the Community Council has already discussed with the County Council the provision of a pedestrian crossing, traffic lights and traffic calming measures in the vicinity.   Reference was also made to recent proposals which the Community Council has put together to improve facilities within the community should funding become available.  Details can be viewed on the Community Council’s website in due course.  Mr Owen advised that a Highways response is awaited regarding pedestrian access and that this is beyond the remit of PURE.  A question was asked whether access could be through Parc y Llan or Bron y Clwyd but this would depend on a landowner agreement.  It was noted that Llysfasi College [Cambria] owns land adjoining the proposed development.  It was strongly felt that a solution was needed for a safe pedestrian route to the school.  For example, five adults are currently needed to accompany children across the road from school to use Neuadd Eleanor.  Views from the school should be considered as part of the consultation process.

This led to a discussion that the proposed development as it stands is not integral to the rest of the community in Llanfair.  There is only one access point to and from the site.  An alternative pedestrian access linking the development to existing housing would allow integration within the whole community.  It was felt that the design and layout of the development could be improved in a number of ways and that comments and suggestions would be sent to Pure.

The deadline for responses is 3 November 2016 following which PURE will review all responses received and prepare a report to be submitted to Denbighshire County Council.  A full planning application will be submitted in about two to three weeks after the 3 November 2016 deadline.  The Community Council will be kept informed in the usual manner through the formal consultation process.  Councillor Steve Whipp thanked Goronwy Owen and Gareth P Jones for their input and co-operation so far.

RESOLVED – that draft minutes and response be prepared and sent by the Clerk to all Councillors for comment as soon as possible. There was general consensus that the development should be supported, could be beneficial in invigorating the village, but there were several matters which give rise for concern and need to be considered and addressed before full planning is granted, namely

[a]  The proposed pedestrian access to the highway and village is considered inadequate and unsafe

[b]  Proximity of public open space too near the main road

[c]  The size of the development in relation to the existing village and resulting impact on the community

[d]  The isolated nature of the development does not integrate the community

[e]  Visual amenities need to be more sympathetic with existing houses

[f]  Not enough consideration given to wildlife, for example, losing a hedge is regrettable

[g]  Contradiction about the number of trees to be removed

[h]  Concern whether Dwr Cymru’s programme will be in synch with the timetable for the development

[i]  Fencing near the public footpath could be hazardous.

It was agreed that a formal response to Pure would be drafted and that this would be circulated to Councillors for their comment and input and that it would then be signed off at the Community Council Meeting on 2 November 2016. It would be e-mailed to Pure in time to meet the 3 Nov 2016 deadline.  A copy would be sent to Denbighshire Planners for their information.

[Note:  Anyone who wishes to make representations about the proposed development must write to the agent at:  The Planning Consultancy, Bridge Farm, Sarn, Malpas, Cheshire, SY14 7LN or by email to:  mcgilbert@btconnect.com ].

The meeting was declared closed at 9 pm.