With apologies for missing the deadline last Friday, I have the following comments to make on the draft neighbourhood plan, and hope they can still be taken into account
"The landscape and environment will be enhanced, with the planting of trees and provision of wild areas
at the Avon Mills Site, around the Dyson Limited Factory and the new housing developments."
This text doesn’t reflect the real value of
the wildlife rich green space in and around Malmesbury, which is vital to the
quality of people’s lives. Access to wildlife rich open space is known to
improve local communities' health and well-being, and the text should be altered
to reflect the economic, social and environmental importance of the landscape
setting of the town and its biodiversity. The task is to maintain and enhance
landscape and biodiversity, for the benefit of wildlife and people. In addition,
it should be noted that nature conservation is not simply about planting
trees…..and the phrase “the provision of wild areas” is rather
meaningless…there are no truly wild areas left in the UK.
Though we have many very important semi-natural habitats they all require management e.g. through
cutting or grazing grassland. A better phrase would be to conserve and enhance
all semi-natural habitats including rivers and ponds, species-rich grassland
and ancient woodland.
4. Environmental Fund
"That the developer provides funding for an
environmental fund, to be used to combat any issues caused by the development on
the local environment."
Whilst this is very welcome, I suggest that
this fund should not be used for flood risk measures arising from new
development, as that should be addressed through conditions on any planning
consent. The phrase " Contribute to sustainable development within the town or
local villages" is extremely vague and should be
"This fund will .... also be used to protect local flora, fauna and river valleys" I suggest adding the words "and
enhance" to this sentence.
This should state that all new development
should be energy and water efficient, as we will increasingly experience
climatic extremes including floods and drought. Photovoltaic panels, permeable
surfaces and sustainable drainage schemes should be strongly encouraged; SUDS
schemes should be mandatory to help reduce flooding problems. In addition, all
new development should have positive features such as green roofs (if suitable),
swift boxes and features such as overhanging eaves to encourage martins as
Malmesbury’s hirundine population is such an important feature of the town in
summer. Any large developments such as new industrial units should have bat and
owl boxes, or provision for swallows.
All new green space should be designed
to enhance its nature conservation value, to benefit people and wildlife.
The plan contains nothing about the
villages and nothing about the impact of the A429 on the villages that it passes
through. There is already an exceptionally heavy traffic load on this road, with
over 11,000 vehicles a day, too many heavy lorries, and too many vehicles
exceeding the speed limit. In Corston there is not even a safe crossing point
for pedestrians. I am very disappointed this issue was not addressed in the
plan, and suggest this matter needs consideration and inclusion to avoid further
impact on the residents of the villages the road passes
In the Environmental Statement the
following wording picks up this issue "This represents a significant increase in
the employment land at the town, likely to result in significant increases in
traffic movements on the local road network. When considered in combination with
the traffic increases associated with the additional housing and the proposed
supermarket, these increases are considered more likely to generate significant
additional movements on the local road
I hope these comments can be taken into
account when finalising the draft neighbourhood plan, which is in general a very
Malmesbury Neighbourhood Steering Group
What others are saying about our Draft Neighbourhood Plan Over 500 residents have already looked at the draft plan. These are the comments that they have made about it.
Our consultation runs from the 5th of March 2013 to April 26th 2013. These are the published comments received up to 08/03/13.
All comments below were submitted to this online feedback portal. We hold the identity and addresses for each submission and have decided not to publish them unless specifically requested by the person who submitted them.