Tag Archives: Cllr Adam Tugwell

Members of the public are finally to be allowed to speak at TBC Planning Committee during 12 month trial – but at what real cost to local influence?

lectureAt Tuesday evening’s Meeting of Tewkesbury Borough Council, I was pleased to support a change in the Council’s Planning Policy which will allow the trial of public participation in Planning Committee Meetings for 12 Months.

As a result, Applicants, Developers, Objectors and Members alike will get the opportunity to speak to the Planning Committee when Applications are not determined or decided by Officers under Delegated Powers.

Unfortunately, at the same time, a Vote was also taken on raising the bar at which Applications will automatically be taken to the Planning Committee for Determination.

Given the already all-too-arbitrary nature of the Planning Process, this move has given me considerable concern, especially as it will not now be taken as read that a qualifying objection from a member of the public will not necessarily be enough to trigger Committee Determination, leaving many more Applications in the hands of Officers. I do not support this and voted against it.

An Amendment was proposed from the floor to address this, which was dismissed on the basis that any Elected Member will be able to ‘call-in’ any Application.

Sadly, the point was missed that local Members may not always agree with an objection which in the eyes of others could still be considered legitimate. Also, Members representing other Wards are unlikely to step in to help people they do not represent, unless the objectors are known to them, or become known to them in circumstances which would to many raise questions of propriety.

I am pleased that there has at least been a step towards giving local people more of a voice, even if it was clear that many of those supporting the vote were doing so very reluctantly and to the point that the Leader of the Council, Cllr Robert Vines (Conservative) openly said that it would make Planning boring.

I do have some concerns for Residents, based on my experience as a Licensing Committee Chair. Members of the public who attend public meetings to speak have to their great credit often committed a great amount of time and emotional energy into the process, and can clearly feel greatly intimidated just by the experience of speaking in such an environment, even before you consider that to do so may clearly be making a statement which runs contrary to that of seasoned professionals who are present and ready to pick holes in anything they say.

When Residents objecting to a planning application come to discover that the effort they have made has not made the impact that they had hoped, or even come away realising that their contribution will make no difference at all to a Planning Application – which is a significant risk given the state of the Planning System – I would question the validity and justification for putting people through this at any level.

However, like everything, we do have to start somewhere and moving forward in any sense has to be positive. I will certainly encourage any Resident I am representing who is making an objection to a Planning Application to participate if they wish to do so.

We can only hope that the 12 month ‘test’ opens the door to the TBC Planning Committee finally accepting the legitimacy of local opinion, rather than the trial being used as an excuse to close the door on localism in its legitimate sense for another generation – which judging by the behaviour of many Councillors at Tuesday’s Meeting is sadly a very big risk.

image thanks to source unknown

 

 

 

 

Walton Cardiff: Wheatpieces Parish Council decides on the future of the Sports Field

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At the Meeting of Wheatpieces Parish Council on Thursday evening, a decision on the future of the Sports Field was finally taken, after a process which has taken many months and included a Parish Consultation where Residents were asked for their views.

The Parish Council has concluded that the option which reflects what most people want right now, will be to have one full sized football pitch marked out on the Field, along with a smaller one too, leaving part of the Field left as grass only and open to other use at all times.

With the Field currently owned and managed by Tewkesbury Borough Council, the Borough will now be asked to undertake the work necessary to prepare the Field for its intended use, and mark out the Pitches – hopefully in time for use in the Autumn.

The question of ownership of the Field was also considered by the Parish Council on Thursday and they have decided that they will now work towards ‘adoption’ from Tewkesbury Borough Council.

This process will be subject to negotiations and legal agreements, but will see Wheatpieces  Parish Council taking responsibility for the Field, along with a sum of money which came from the Developer to maintain the Field for some years to come.

Adopting the Field will see future decisions for its use firmly in the hands of local people – something I have keenly encouraged throughout the discussions which have taken place so far, not least of all as we are experiencing a continuing period of uncertainty over Planning and Development in the Borough.

I understand that there are no other plans for the Field at this stage, either within the Parish Council or at Tewkesbury Borough.

 

 

Wheatpieces PC to hold Parish Consultation on the future of the Multi-use Sports Field off Starling Road

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With no clear plan in place for the future, steps to put the Multi-use Sports Field into full use on the Wheatpieces 2 Development have caused great concern amongst Residents living adjacent to the Field and along Starling Road.

Wheatpieces Parish Council held an open debate with Residents who attended the June Parish Council Meeting and this followed the Council’s previous decision to ask Tewkesbury Borough Council (TBC) to begin the work necessary to make the two Football Pitches, which had always been planned, ready for use.

As a result of the discussion with those Residents present last Month, the Parish Council passed a Motion at last nights Meeting to rescind or stop the earlier decision, whilst they carry out a full Consultation across the Parish; a Plan which was also agreed by Members at this Month’s Meeting.

When I attended last Month, I was asked to follow up with Borough Officers so that the Parish Council could be fully clear on matters, before the questions for a Consultation could be decided and then written in a way which considers all of the options open to the Parish and to Residents.

The Field and MUGA (Multi-Use Games Area) are currently under the ownership of TBC, but could be adopted by the Parish. I now understand that the Field can only be used for the intended purpose of two full-sized Football Pitches and that at the current time, whilst the Parish is being and will be consulted on use, this decision ultimately rests with TBC Officers, who I also understand to have registered a need for Football Pitches in the area beyond Walton Cardiff.

Clearly, the Parish Council does not yet know how the whole Community feels about putting the Field into use for Football and they are without doubt doing the right thing by engaging Residents through a Consultation and asking everyone what they would like to happen.

However, at last night’s Meeting, I also advised the Council that it is my view that the best way for local people to influence the future of the Field most effectively will be for Wheatpieces Parish Council to adopt it from TBC. This way, the choices that need to be made now and in the future will be made as locally as they can be, and in the way that in normal circumstances you would expect them to be.

The Consultation which Wheatpieces Parish Council plans to carry out over the Summer will give all Residents the opportunity to have their say on a real issues affecting people in their own locality. I hope as many Residents as possible will be able to spare the time to take part and support the Parish Council to make its decision.

 

How much more development in Ashchurch before the traffic problems are taken seriously?

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Traffic on the A46 at Ashchurch near Junction 9 of the M5, July 2014

With the Joint Core Strategy’s (JCS) final Public Consultation Phase only having began earlier this week, it really seems quite incredible that a Developer has already began moves towards building over 500 homes and a School on the Northern side of Ashchurch Camp.

Earmarked as part of the JCS Strategic Allocation which includes the Camp, comments suggesting that the Developer concerned may have jumped the gun are already well in circulation. However, it could be asked if this Plan gives a better illustration of the approach which nearly all commercial developers are employing, and one which certainly doesn’t fit with phrases they use to describe their plans in their publicity brochures, such as ‘homes which are much needed by the community’. This does after all come hot on the heels of two other developments in the immediate vicinity which will themselves supply around 300 new homes in the Ashchurch Rural Parish – and which without the JCS being formally ‘rubber stamped’ are regrettably no less likely to go ahead.

So even without the 2000 or more homes earmarked for the Ashchurch Camp at some point between now and 2030, just this Parish alone stands to absorb the better part of a thousand homes with not even the merest hint of comparable job creation in the area of a kind which would necessitate even a fraction of this level of development in the immediate area any time soon.

Sadly, this can only lead people living around the Ashchurch with Walton Cardiff Ward to conclude that these homes – if built – will be occupied by commuters who will most likely have 2 cars per household, thereby adding around perhaps 1500 cars to either the A46, the B4079, the roads around Northway or in fact all of them each morning, evening and basically any other time.

Many Residents are already feeling dumbstruck by the quick-fire succession of opportunist Developments along the A46. With an even bigger one that nobody had expected to hear sight nor sound of until the fate of the Camp was definitely known, now on the cards, it is the realities which surround the traffic problems on the A46 which are causing universal concern.

At Monday evening’s Meeting of Ashchurch Rural Parish Council’s Planning Committee, the Developer now carrying out consultation on building 45 homes South of Ashchurch Village was more than happy that the Highways Agency had expressed no concern with regard to the impact their plans would have on the A46, despite the experiences that many of us have almost daily.

With the Representatives present stating to the Council that they had been advised their Plans would have no excessive impact on the capacity of the road network – basically an indication that Highways Officials believe the roads can take more traffic without any major change – it is perhaps little wonder that Developers are apparently falling over themselves to get their Projects built before they find themselves having to contribute to what will at some point become a very expensive process of extensive restructuring the existing Roads or building a new by-pass of some kind – if that indeed remains possible by that time.

My views and approach to the JCS are well known by Residents and I take no pleasure from seeing the chaos which this flawed Strategy is causing to Communities right across Tewkesbury Borough, even before it actually comes into being.

I, like a number of other Tewkesbury Borough Councillors made clear at a variety of points in the process that the best solution for Residents was a Strategy which focused on the Borough – not least of all because of the delays which would inevitably be caused by working with two other Authorities which themselves had much more to gain by drawing out the process for as long as it takes for them to get the best solution to their own Development problems. That unnecessarily delayed process which is being used as a significant window of opportunity by Developers continues, and it seems to be all at the cost of Residents in Tewkesbury Borough and the Ashchurch with Walton Cardiff Ward in particular.

We can only hope that when these Proposals reach the Borough Planning Committee, they are rejected on the basis of what has already been promised by this Policy, and in the case of the Development North of the Camp, held back until such time as the Community will not be expected to experience perhaps years of inconvenience and enhanced levels of danger because the infrastructure doesn’t exist that will lead to Residents experiencing otherwise.

 

 

Starveall Lane issue now resolved as new Trackway given green light…

Starveall 7I am able to confirm that Permission was granted by Tewkesbury Borough Council earlier today for the new Track or Roadway to provide access to the planned Chicken Farm at Starveall.

Furthermore, I am very pleased to confirm that the Approval has been given on the basis that we had all been hoping and working for, with Conditions in place which will see Goods Traffic to and from Starveall Farm travelling along only the most Southern part of Seven Bends and directly to and from the A435 – thereby avoiding Pamington.

Reaching this point has taken effort on the part of many and I would again like to thank Ashchurch Rural Parish Council for allowing me to speak at length to Residents and the Council at their March Meeting. This in turn has led to the dialog between Mr Hern and Mr Hill which has enabled this option to come to being materially; a solution which I believe will prove to be the best for all in the circumstances.

My thanks also go to TBC Planning Officers, who I feel have made every effort necessary to assist and give full consideration to the questions and concerns which have been raised not only by me, but also by Residents as this has progressed.

I understand that work is likely to begin on the Track or Roadway very quickly. I have also been advised that Mr Hern will be directing construction traffic in the same way as traffic will ultimately travel to Starveall Farm.

To see the Decision Notice issued today, please click below:

1400307FUL notice

Starveall Lane – Work to protect Gas Main to begin shortly

Starveall Gas Line

With Starveall Lane having been a great concern to many over recent months, the Application by FC Jones and Co. to build a new and dedicated track or roadway to the Starveall Chicken Farm Development is under consideration.

As hoped by all, the Application does – I understand – incorporate all the steps necessary to keep Goods or HGV Traffic travelling to or from the Farm out of Pamington on the B4079 and therefore accessing the Farm via the most Southern end of Seven Bends directly out to and from the A435.

However, irrespective of the plans which will hopefully soon remove all chance of Staveall Lane being used for Chicken Farm Traffic, it became clear when exploratory borehole work was done, that the Gas Main which crosses the Lane does not have the level of protection necessary for any heavy traffic and that as such, it may not be impossible that even heavy agricultural traffic in use by any of the Farmers using Starveall Lane could inadvertently damage the pipe – with consequences that we could only really sit and imagine.

With this in mind, Contractors working on behalf of FC Jones & Co. are likely to begin and/or carry out the work necessary to protect the pipeline at the point it crosses Starveall Lane during early June.

As some of you will already be aware, this work would have been necessary before the Lane could have been developed and it would be easy to draw the conclusion that this Development work is now going ahead.

I have been assured that it is not and I am hopeful that Planning will be given for the new track/roadway in the coming weeks – at which point the issues concerning the use of Starveall Lane for any traffic travelling to Starveall Farm – other than agricultural vehicles in the strictest sense – will be dealt with finally and formally through the Planning Process and the award of Planning for the new access.

I continue to monitor developments with the Planners and also Mr Hern of FC Jones & Co.

If you do have any concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me direct.

Starveall Chicken Farm: Progress on referred access & related traffic route

photo 2Monday evening’s Meeting heralded a big change in approach for everyone regarding the Chicken Farm at Starveall and I would like to thanks everyone for the support that they have given with this.

We all left the Meeting of Ashchurch Rural Parish Council with the commitment that a Meeting between the relevant parties concerning the land needed to pursue the favoured option for access to and from the Chicken Farm being pushed to and from the A435 would take place.

I am pleased to say that I have today facilitated that Meeting and a deal has been agreed in principle between the two parties.

I now understand that FC Jones & Co will be submitting their Planning Application for the new access as discussed tomorrow (Thursday 3rd April).

This is fantastic news for everyone, not least of all those around the table today, and I’m sure we will all look forward with great hope that the new plans come to fruition quickly and without any unforeseen problems getting in the way.

Starveall Chicken Farm & Pamington Village: A solution to the access issues is now genuinely possible

As many of you will by now be aware, I attended the Meeting of Ashchurch Rural Parish Council this evening and took the opportunity provided by the Council for me to give my Borough Councillor’s Report to provide the following announcement and information concerning the Chicken Farm at Starveall and the use of Starveall Lane:

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Madam Chair, if I could beg your indulgence, the news and information that I would like to share with both the Council and those Residents present may take me a few minutes more to cover than I would normally need for normal Borough business.

I do however feel that given the very specific circumstances and nature of the matter, this is perhaps the best place and time to bring this to everyone’s attention and feel sure that in a just a few minutes time you will agree with and understand my reasons for doing so.

To all of you listening, I would respectfully ask that you let me cover all the points I have ready to give you tonight before asking questions or making comments.

I will attempt to cover all eventualities that I am aware of within what I am about to say. I will also publish the full version of this on my Blog later this evening and make a copy available to the Parish Clerk for inclusion in the Minutes of this evenings Meeting.

Madam Chair, Councillors, Ladies & Gentlemen; over recent weeks and for a good time before, it would be fair to say that there has been an incredible amount of frustration, disbelief and dare I say it, bad feeling amongst many concerning both the Plans for a Chicken Farm at Starveall, and the change in use and anticipated reconstruction of Starveall Lane.

Before I go any further with what I have to say, I must with some regret make very clear right now that whatever happens as a result of this Meeting and the content discussed herein, there is currently no Legal device or approach that any one of us can now employ that would guarantee that the construction of the Chicken Unit at Starveall itself will not go ahead.

Indeed, many of the people present have learned through the process of this specific Application that the Planning system is arguably very detached from the realities of the issues which affect local people and the localities in which they live. We would probably all agree that our experiences to date well and truly give the lie to the concept of Localism in its strictest sense.

The fact is that the Planning system is arbitrary at best and the injustices of this one-size-fits-all approach to development are amplified beyond any reasonable doubt by the indifference demonstrated by political groups and their Members within Local Authorities who now make decisions based upon what they perceive to be the inevitability of a situation, rather than giving a voice to issues which in just one situation like this one in Pamington might bring about positive changes for the many more planning applications which will affect communities across the Country to come.

It’s wrong, but it’s real and I now have to ask for you all to accept that with Planning Granted, the Chicken Farm itself will most definitely be built, and as things currently stand, Starveall Lane will be developed and all poultry related traffic will come down Pamington Lane from the A46 and then use a heavily reconstructed and covered-over Lane that has until now provided pleasure for far too many people to mention, over a period which extends way beyond the lifetimes of any person in this room.

So with this in mind, you will now most likely be wondering what cheery news I as your Borough Councillor could possibly bring to this table that would make my request for you all to come this evening in any way necessary.

I can only begin by saying that in Planning terms, rarely does the opportunity for a Community such as this to get a ‘second bite of the cherry’ after the gavel of planning-permission-granted has fallen.

Whilst the Chicken Farm itself must now be considered a fait accompli in real terms, I can now tell you all that this is not the case as far as the use of Starveall Lane is concerned.

I must in fact tell you that there is now a very real second and alternative option that I am about to table to you this evening, which has the potential to take all of the poultry related traffic well away from the Village and thereby change the whole dynamic of what has become a very dark situation that we as a community have until today faced for some weeks without any hope of change.

Some people will be historically aware that the possibility of building an access route away from the Village was originally a consideration of FC Jones & Co and the Partner taking responsibility for this Development specifically, Mr Kinsey Hern.

However at that time – which we are talking about in terms of years, rather than days or months – and I will add, somewhat understandably, there was perhaps no will on the part of anyone opposed to the plans to take any action which might in someway suggest acquiescence or indeed support for the construction of the Chicken Farm – which as I am at pains again to say is now an eventuality that we cannot in any way influence.

It was therefore perhaps always assumed thereafter, that access would depend on the use of Starveall Lane, which I now believe it fair to say has become a much bigger issue in Pamington than the Farm itself and especially so after it became clear that whilst any potential breach of the terms of the Planning could instantly be seized upon, there was in reality absolutely no way that any of us can prevent the changes coming to the Lane, unless Mr Hern should himself consider doing so, which today Ladies and Gentleman I am very pleased to be able to tell you that he and his Partners are willing to do.

I have delayed requesting the opportunity to discuss this possibility with you all until I had reached a stage through a series of discussions and meetings, where I have found myself confident beyond the balance of probability that what is now being tabled represents the very best solution for Pamington, when everything is put completely in context – something that I will now aim to do for all of you.

I will cover the points of the proposed alternative. I will then discuss the issues that this may raise. I will then consider the ways that these further issues may well be addressed and will add right now that this will actually be in ways which are certainly not located behind closed doors.

The Proposal:

1.) To seek permission to build a completely new track or roadway running East from the Chicken Farm site. Immediately beneath the Southern property boundary of Pamington Court Farm and exiting or joining the B4079 on the second of the Severn Bends as you travel North from the A435.
2.) To seek an amendment of Condition 10 of the existing Planning Permission concerning Hours of Operation from the existing 7am to 9pm for deliveries and collections excluding Sundays and Bank Holidays so that there can be:

  • Access for deliveries between 7am and 9pm Monday to Friday, 8am to 1pm Saturdays and under exceptional circumstances, that these be allowed to take place on Saturday afternoons, Sundays or indeed Bank Holidays if for any reason the feed supply chain should have broken down – for instance there is literally a break down at the feed mill which interferes with what I understand to be quite a precisely coordinated delivery and supply operation.
  • Access for collections only be given flexibility to allow for activity outside these times to include during the night. This would I understand equate to no more than 20 nights out of 365 other than in the most exceptional of circumstances.
Copyright FC Jones & Co. Diagram reproduced for information purposes only and should only be considered as a guide and not as an authoritative source. Information is subject to change.

Copyright FC Jones & Co. Diagram reproduced for information purposes only and should only be considered as a guide and not as an authoritative source. Information is subject to change.

The issues:

  • Building this track or roadway without the involvement of any other land purchase – however small, will I understand require a left-handed exit from the proposed trackway or roadway to the B4079.
  • This specific eventuality will I understand require all poultry related traffic to exit and potentially enter the site via the Eastern edge of Pamington, travelling to and possibly from Aston Cross.
  • This would inevitably lead to the poultry related traffic travelling along the Eastern fringes of Pamington Village on at least the Northern journey which essentially moves a critical aspect of the problem from one end of the Village to the other – albeit with more appropriate road access and the added dimension that lorries would be moving slower in consideration of animal welfare issues – but with the requirement and therefore acceptance of greater flexibility of the times when HGV’s would be accessing the Chicken Farm.

It is safe to say that Residents at one end of the Village will therefore be breathing a great sigh of relief at the prospect of what the proposal on the table brings. However, its coming to fruition without any adjustment would inevitably lead to as much concern – if not more – for residents at the other.

Addressing the issues:

The reality of and chronology of the events which have led us to this point are difficult to describe as they include many different perspectives and have clearly caused varying levels of distress to many Residents, which as your Borough Councillor have concerned me greatly throughout.

Indeed I regret that I was only given the opportunity to interject fully in the period immediately before the Application first went to the Borough’s Planning Committee and at a point where there was really little more that I could do but advise on what was most likely to happen given the information I had available to me at the time.

Nonetheless, I have taken every opportunity, as I might add has Councillor Gordon Shurmer who also became involved at a similar time, to explore every possibility and approach which has remained, even after Permission was granted. This itself has latterly led me into dialogue with Mr Hern and the position I find myself in here today.

Fundamentally, the proposal on the table is a better option just as it stands right now for the Village, given everything that I know and understand to date.

For this reason I would ask that you all understand that I will have to be supportive of it in the sense that if it can be achieved – it will be a far better solution and situation for the Village as a whole, rather than the conclusion which will otherwise be faced by the people in this Village who I represent.

However, I am not overlooking the very real impact that the proposal will have on Residents at the Eastern end of the Village and I have to say that somewhat thankfully, neither is Mr Hern, who both accepts, would like and is prepared to undertake the work necessary to build an entrance and exit to the proposed trackway or roadway which I understand would then require all HGV traffic to avoid the Village completely and route it to the A435, thereby removing the poultry related vehicles and the subsequent threat of noise from Pamington completely.

Image courtesy of FC Jones & Co. For information and guidance purposes only.

Image courtesy of FC Jones & Co. For information and guidance purposes only.

This however will require bridges to be built where today and for some of us present there will be very little will to do so.

To make it work, there will need to be a level of direct engagement and dialogue which rises above the personal feelings of animosity and grievance that I know and understand to exist, and recognises that there is a solution which through collaborative working and a spirit of getting the very best from this situation for everyone in the Village as it stands – can actually be achieved.

In very basic terms, this much better solution is dependent really upon just one thing.

Were it to be the case that more land were available for purchase – which is basically a relatively small triangular area at the West side of the proposed entrance and exit to the track or roadway, I have been given a commitment that subject again to the obvious approvals, FC Jones & Son would not only be willing to change the proposals for a left-hand exit from the site, they would also be happy to develop the entrance so that it is geared for HGV access and egress to the A435, and to as such take all steps necessary to make this happen.

So before I go any further, I would like to at this point make clear that I believe that if this can be achieved and gain the necessary approval, this solution should be seen as an even bigger positive step beyond the proposal already on the table, which itself should really be viewed in context as a gift to the Village when all things are considered.

Taking the proposals that one step further is akin to a quantum leap from the situation that on arrival at this Meeting, many of you will still have been expecting that the Village was guaranteed to face for the future and we would all perhaps be well served in attempting to find benefit from an appreciation of that.

For just that reason alone, I will be happy to facilitate any discussions necessary to achieve this aim on the understanding that the good will which is now clearly evident will be reciprocated on all sides and that there is a genuine desire on the part of all involved to get a solution which is genuinely the very best that we can achieve in the circumstances for everyone in Pamington.

The trade off:

The reality of this situation is that you, the Villagers want Heavy Goods Traffic kept as far away from the Village as possible and certainly off Starveall Lane, which it is safe to say that everyone wishes to be maintained and kept in it’s current state indefinitely.

On the other hand, Mr Hern appreciates this and has by his own admission stated to me that he had never anticipated that the issues surrounding Starveall Lane would create the level of animosity that it has, and which he certainly acknowledges.

On one part, Mr Hern is very keen to address this situation in the hope of moving things positively forward with you all. I do believe he is genuine in his wish to do so and to take the opportunity to address the issues over Starveall Lane whilst he is also seeking to address some of his own concerns which relate to the restriction of flexibility for what is effectively a 24/7, 365 day a year business, which may even seem less intense in terms of HGV access journeys through the area with the amendment for Hours of Operation that he would in parallel be seeking.

Beyond the stage we are here at today, Mr Hern is furthermore prepared to go the full distance – subject to the necessary support and permission being given or granted – and give us all a solution which resolves issues which otherwise and subject to the choices of people in this room, could still remain completely unresolvable.

Even the proposal as it stands is not a cheap option for FC Jones & Co financially and when all aspects of constructing a completely new trackway or roadway are considered, the financial cost will I understand be around double that which it will be to resurface Starveall Lane and place passing areas in Pamington Lane – which I must stress will remain the course of action if either alternative should for any reason prove not to be viable.

Any environmental consideration such as loss of existing hedging will be more than offset by a planned planting scheme which would cover the entire length of the new trackway or roadway and I understand this goes way beyond the expectation of what would be required in these circumstances.

However, probably one of the biggest wins as a result of seeing this proposal through is that the Applicant has made the commitment following the receipt of advice given by Tewkesbury Borough Planning Officers that in receipt of and as part of the process of Planning Permission being granted to build the track or roadway in either format, FC Jones & Co will enter into what I understand to be a commitment that would be facilitated through what is known as a Unilateral Undertaking under the Planning Act to rescind all rights of access for poultry related traffic on and along Starveall Lane.

I hope you will all agree that this is not an offer to be taken in any way lightly.

The current situation:

As we meet here tonight, I can now tell you that considerable effort has been going on behind the scenes and especially so over the past two to three weeks.

This has involved not only Mr Hern and his Advisors who I can now tell you have made considerable inroads towards these Proposals in terms of ecological surveys, land purchase and traffic surveys.

Approaches have also been made to the various Agencies with required involvement such as Gloucestershire Highways and although they would of course be consulted formally as part of the Application process which will be necessary, I understand that in principle there are unlikely to be objections to either form of the Proposal based on what is known to me at this moment in time.

The efforts to date have also involved considerable input and advice from Borough Officers who have helped me with my work on this in what have been far from day-to-day circumstances. My thanks goes to all of them for taking on board the comments and concerns that I have raised in respect of the previous Application process and the subsequent approach taken to dealing with all issues, which regrettably may not be fully apparent to all of you at this stage.

The proposal – as it stands with access travelling via the East of Pamington – is basically ready to go.

It has however been held up by Mr Hern at my request, so that I could bring this before you all today in the hope that we can together hopefully find the necessary will and means to facilitate a position where the Applicant can pursue the very best option for everyone concerned,  with access to and from the A435.

Without change and therefore your support, it is currently planned for this Proposal to be submitted this Wednesday as a full Planning Application to Tewkesbury Borough Council. On this basis you will therefore appreciate how quickly we will need to work together with Mr Hern to take the additional steps necessary and for a genuine commitment to be made to doing so in order for the process to be held up that bit longer whilst any further accommodations are dealt with and put in place for the benefit of all concerned.

Conclusion:

I have little option but to say that Pamington has what is genuinely and in effect the opportunity to get the very best possible out of a bad deal.

I know that you don’t want the Chicken Farm at Starveall, but that ship has well and truly sailed.

What we have on the table here represents what in these circumstances is the silver bullet that I know many of you and not least of all The Hill Family and Pamington Residents Association have been looking for over a period of many painful weeks and months.

I have taken the time to look at and consider all of this and even gone as far as to approach Mr Hern concerning remedies for the damage on Starveall Lane which has caused such recent levels of concern.

Even though this specific matter itself would normally be an issue for Gloucestershire Highways, given our understanding of some of those involved and the way the process works, it may take many weeks to obtain a result which could otherwise be delivered much sooner and potentially in a much more agreeable way.

I am confident that with your support, a new approach is now possible and imminently achievable which will as good as sort this one issue out in perhaps just the few days to come, whilst potentially giving everyone the sleep filled nights that I am sure you are now after as part of a much bigger and much happier solution for all.

I must conclude by stressing that nothing I have tabled here today is in any way guaranteed.

It is subject to a great many things, not least of all the support of you all in principle and throughout the necessary Legal processes which must be cleared in response to the proposals which will be made.

It will inevitably require from some of you a willingness to engage in dialogue which nobody will believe will in the first instance to be easy, but if done fairly and considerately, will benefit each and every one of the people here and within the wider community which is involved.

Without support of any kind, there remains a very good chance that Starveall Lane will soon be in use as a quasi-industrial roadway.

With just a little will and support, we might see Starveall Lane saved and traffic moved to the East of the Village.

However with all the support given that we all can possibly provide, there is a genuine chance that Starveall Lane will remain just the same, and what is more, that Pamington will never have to witness the poultry related traffic travelling to or from the Chicken Farm whilst it is built or for the period of its operation thereafter.

I can only end by asking you all most sincerely to see this opportunity for what it really is, and consider how I am sure you were all feeling about this before I began speaking.

Thank you all.

 

Update:

From the response at the Meeting there is clearly support to move forward and after initial conversations with both Mr Hill and Mr Hern, the first Meeting to discuss next stages is likely to take place in the next couple of days.

Thank you for your support.

 

 

Pamington: Chicken Farm & Starveall Lane – News Update

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Following ongoing efforts and discussions concerning the Chicken Farm and the related issues concerning the use of Starveall Lane, Pamington, I will be making an announcement and providing an update during my Borough Councillor’s slot at the Meeting of Ashchurch Rural Parish Council this coming Monday.

The Meeting of the Parish Council is open to the Public and is being held at Sherdons, Fiddington and will begin at 7.00pm. It is quite usual for the Chair of the Council to allow people who have attended for specific items of business to leave immediately afterwards and with my Agenda item usually being fairly early in the order, those attending to listen should not have to wait too long.

I look forward to seeing Residents on Monday.

Regards & best wishes,

Adam

E. councillor.tugwell@tewkesbury.gov.uk

 

Pamington, The Chicken Farm and damage to Starveall Lane

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Local Residents meet a Photographer from the Gloucestershire Echo at one of the damaged points on Starveall Lane, 9am Friday 21st March 2014

It’s been a long week In Pamington. With little more than a month passed since the highly controversial decision of Tewkesbury Borough Council’s Planning Committee to grant Planning Approval for a Chicken Farm at Starveall (9 votes to 8), nobody – not even the Council itself – had been expecting exploratory or ‘test’ bore holing to begin in the area of the Site.

With so much of the concern of Residents being focused upon the restructuring and ‘commercial use’ of Starveall Lane, which travels nearly a mile from the nearest road, everyone in the Village had assumed that no work would take place on the Site, before the Lane itself had been developed.

They were therefore shocked to find an articulated lorry reversing along the whole length of the Lane before this had happened, and absolutely horrified when the long-predicted damage to the surface immediately appeared.

Receiving e-mails from people in Pamington over last weekend, there was little I could do to seek clarity on what was actually underway and whether it broke the terms of the Planning Permission as many people already thought.

It actually took until Wednesday and a meeting with the Borough Solicitor to gain full clarity on the position and to say I felt as frustrated as everyone in Pamington would be an understatement indeed.

Amazing as it will seem to those reading, as the testing has taken place outside the official development Site, in Legal terms it is considered to be unrelated to the Development. The fact that were it not for the Development going ahead, there would have been no need for the testing to be taking place gives no grounds in current Planning Law for arguing that the Terms of the Planning Permission have been in any way breached.

The very painful pill to swallow is that the arbitrary nature of the way that the Planning Decision was made and observed to be made by many residents has also left local people woefully exposed to what happens next. Planning Legislation in the times of ‘Localism’ actually gives very little thought for the issues which relate most closely to locality. The system is flawed and there is simply no justice when people are having this kind of experience and find themselves at the mercy of the one-size-fits-all and quixotic mentality of London based policy making.

Whilst this is the reality of this specific situation, the approach adopted not just by Tewkesbury Borough, but also by the majority of Local Authorities seems at best defeatist. At worst, it appears completely contrary to the purpose for which Council’s were created to exist and against the will and the best interests of the very people who elect them to take those responsibilities on their behalf.

The real depth of this story is that people everywhere are being failed because those with the responsibility to deliver something better on their behalf are not stepping up to the mark to do it, simply because they see that rules prevent them from doing so.

The rules aren’t working for the very people they are supposedly there to serve and that will stay the same until organisations that will be noticed by Central Government when they do act, actually start to do so.

Local Authorities can do this, but their political relationships with the Government simply mean that they won’t. When it boils down to it, it is political affiliations, groups, parties and all efforts being focused on keeping them in power which are making every day and real life situations like the one which has unfolded in Pamington so very hard for normal people living their lives to bear.

Moving forward, accepting that the Chicken Farm will go ahead is now something that everyone in Pamington has to face.

However, I am continuing to follow up with the Planning Department very closely and hope that interventions from Organisations such as those with responsibility for the Gas Pipeline which Starveall Lane crosses will at the very least bring some positive influence upon the approach to the way that the development takes shape from here.

My thanks goes to Pamington Residents Association for their continuing efforts to keep everyone regularly informed.

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