How to Object (part 1)

GWERNAFFIELD SAYS NO! 

How to object to the Coppy Farm Housing Estate (1)

You need to write your objection in your own words, if you can make it personal to you in some way that helps, and you can object about as many things as you like or just one that matters most to you. The issues you raise must involve planning matters.  These are some of the valid objections you could make to this development:

1. The proposed estate is against Flintshire Council’s adopted UDP and proposed LDP – The Council has already announced its preferred strategy for the LDP.  Coppy Farm site has been assessed and “does not comply with the Council’s Preferred Strategy due to the position of the settlement in the settlement hierarchy”, i.e. a Tier 4 Defined Village.

2. Gwernaffield is not a sustainable settlement – it does not have sufficient facilities or services to ensure that the basic daily needs of its residents can be met. The village DOES NOT HAVE a doctors surgery, pharmacy, dentist, chiropodist, supermarket, shop, cafe, take away, post office, bank, cash point, building society, petrol station, train station, gym, sports centre or swimming pool.  Local infrastructure is already stretched with insufficient capacity  e.g. the local primary school and health services.

3. Inappropriate in scale and nature – dwellings in the village would grow from 358 to 438 – a 22% increase.  The population could grow from just over 800 to 1200 – a 50% increase. The proposed estate, with high density housing, would be overbearing in nature, out of scale with the surroundings and would change the open aspect character of the village.  The Council’s assessment in terms of the amount of new development that could be sensibly and sustainably accommodated was less than 10%.  According to the applicant we have already achieved 4.1% of this.

4. Housing Mix – the development contains 3 – 2 bed, 9 – 3 bed and 68 – 4/5 bed dwellings.  The applicant says the development would include 2 affordable dwellings.  There is no doubt that this development is not intended for housing need in the village or surrounding area.

5. Siting of the proposed development – The site is located adjacent to, but mainly outside of, the village settlement boundary and would mean a loss of green fields. The applicant says the site cannot be seen from the road.  This is clearly not true as 12 of the houses will back on to Cilcain Road and 9 of these will be 3 storeys high.  This will have a negative visual impact.

6. Loss of Agricultural Land – The applicant has submitted a report that classifies the land as 54% sub grade 3b and 33% sub grade 3a.  Planning Policy Wales states that “land of grades 1, 2 and 3a is the best and most versatile and should be conserved as a resource for the future”.  If it doesn’t need to be developed, then it shouldn’t be.

7. Adverse effect on residential amenity – more noise, more traffic, more parked cars, more light pollution, more pollution, overlooking houses, loss of privacy, loss of light  and negative visual impact.  The loss of existing views from neighbouring properties would adversely affect the residential amenity of neighbouring owners.

8. Traffic: There are parking and garage spaces for over 240 additional cars on the proposed estate.The proposed single access road is located on a 60mph stretch of main road leading into/out of the village.  Access into and out of the estate by such a large number of vehicles on a daily basis, plus delivery vehicles, will significantly increase the risk of road accidents at this junction, will increase the risk to walkers and cyclists and will almost certainly bring the traffic flow to a bottleneck/crisis point at the busier times of day.  Other traffic issues include:

(a) when there are weddings, funerals and services at the church, Cilcain Road in effect becomes a single lane.  

(b) Ysgol Y Waun primary school – problems at the school entrance when parents drop off/collect children in cars twice a day 

(c) HGV’s including those travelling to and from Cefn Mawr quarry makes the road dangerous.  This will increase with deliveries of oil, gas, etc to the housing estate.

(d) The crossroads at Cilcain Road/Cadole Road/Church Lane is a problem due to parked cars when Cadole Road is also in effect a single lane.  

(e) The mini roundabout at Dreflan/A541 Denbigh Road is inadequate.

(f) The sharp left hand turn at the bottom of Gwernaffield Road into Dreflan is also in effect a single lane due to parked cars. 

9. Movement The Welsh Government states that sites which are unlikely to be well served for walking, cycling and public transport should not be allocated for development, but reducing car usage is a priority.  It states that streets should be safe, comfortable and enjoyable to walk and cycle.  

Walking – The footpath from Gwernaffield to Mold has recently been improved, although there remain incomplete sections which necessitate stepping out into the road. Mold bus station is 2.3 miles from Gwernaffield and the secondary school 2.7 miles.  This takes on average 48  – 56 minutes to walk.  This does not take account of the steep hill climb (100 metres high) back up to the village.  There is a 60mph speed limit along a significant stretch of this road, with many HGV’s, including those travelling to and from the Cefn Mawr Quarry in Cadole.  This does not make for safe, comfortable and enjoyable walking.

Cycling – There is no dedicated cycle path from Gwernaffield to Mold.  The issues facing cyclists are the same as for walkers, but the risks are greater.

Public transport –  The current bus service is limited and does not operate on Sundays or Bank Holidays.  It does not support those people wishing to use public transport as their preferred method of travelling to work, or anywhere else.  More recently, the Council has carried out a review of bus services and is proposing to support the core bus network only.  Gwernaffield is not on the core bus network. For Gwernaffield, they propose a bus service that is less frequent than a standard bus service (2 hourly) and would require passengers to adapt their travel needs to suit.

Despite the casual suggestion that Mold is within easy walking and cycling distance from Mold centre, we suggest that most people will simply jump into the car for ease.  Only the very fittest will contemplate the 4.6 mile return journey to and from Mold with a 100 metre high climb back up hill to the village.  It would certainly not be contemplated with the weekly shop.

The potential increase of 240 cars to the village (not including deliveries such as oil and gas, visitors, etc) will increase the risk to walkers and cyclists and will almost certainly bring the traffic flow through the crossroads (at Cilcain Road/Cadole Road/Church Lane) and at Ysgol Y Waun to a bottleneck/crisis point at the busier times of day.

10. Employment – There are very few employment opportunities in the village and most residents will need to commute outside of the village for work, more than likely by car.