I have today sent the following email in response to the planning application that Redditch Borough Council is submitting so the council can build 19 affordable dwellings to house people in need across Redditch. These will provide 48 bedrooms to accommodate 86 people. Three of the units will be Dormer-style bungalows, which will allow elderly and disabled citizens to downsize and in doing so they will free up 3/4 bedroom houses, which is by far and away the most demanded type of house the Council needs to provide.
My email is as follows:
I would like to respond as one of the consultees to this application in my capacity as local ward councillor. In doing so I would like to make clear that I recuse myself from sitting on any planning meetings in relation to this application.
I support the development of additional affordable homes to meet a need for housing, especially bungalows in Church Hill. This will enable elderly and disabled residents to downsize and move to a more appropriate dwelling, which will in turn free up much-needed 3 and 4 bedroom homes for Redditch families who desperately need them, many of whom live in Church Hill.
However, I would like to draw attention to concerns raised by nearby local residents, in particular:
* The visibility for emerging and entering traffic into the new proposed estate is not great owing to the current design and layout of Edgeworth Close. Work will need to be done to cut down vegetation and improve visibility wherever possible.
* I would like to ensure that concerns around overbearing and overlooking are addressed by angling properties appropriately to ensure privacy for existing and new residents.
* I would like the applicant to consider options around the removal of the hedgerow to see if alternative options for screening can be put in place.
* I would like it put on record that residents are very concerned about the additional traffic coming in to Edgeworth Close and construction traffic during the construction phase. I would like the applicant to ensure that whoever is contracted to build the properties is a member of the Considerate Constructors’ Scheme. The builders should work with local residents to agree strategies and they should communicate regularly with residents and local councillors on topics that are like to cause disruption or discomfort.
* I would like it put on record that parking remains an issue in Edgeworth Close with not enough spaces to accommodate all residents. Consideration should be given by the applicant to the nature of residents who will enter the new estate to park their cars as they ‘overspill’ from Edgeworth Close. Likewise, with only 2 spaces per house any visitors to the new estate are likely to put additional pressures on parking elsewhere in Edgeworth Close.
Cllr Mike Rouse
Church Hill Ward
Redditch Borough Council
The development plans are available on the council’s planning portal, but I have also provided a screenshot of the layout here.
The drawing above shows the layout of the development. There’s a few things to note from this layout:
- I cannot see how anyone would “lose access” to their garden as has been claimed by one resident.
- The angles of the properties do not, in my humble opinion, mean they will be overlooking any existing properties. Plots 17, 18, and 19 might do if they were not the bungalows.
The style of the houses is modern and will provide a comfortable home for families who need a roof over their head. Here’s an example from the architects.
It should be entirely possible for the council to address the concerns of residents, which I share, in regards to the access issues.
If any residents would like to contact me about this issue they may email firstname.lastname@example.org or they are also welcome to arrange a meeting.
I have also requested regular updates from council officers on this project, which I will pass on to residents.