The following letter from John Pateman-Gee, the Senior Development Management Planning Officer for the Grove Farm project, has just been been received.

Dear Everyone,

I have met with the agent for the Grove Farm this week. There were a few details to discuss, but the key points were around the impact of the development on the countryside, ditch with hedge/trees and Heritage asset to the south. It was concluded that the development going beyond the existing ditch and hedge/tree line was unacceptable encroachment and adversely affected the setting of the Moat and Hall significantly beyond the public benefit of the scheme. There was a question of viability being realistic as well.

Accordingly the scheme is being revised and includes the reduction of dwellings from 54 to 44. Hopefully this will be the final revision. I will have revised drawings in a week and then these will be the subject of re-consultation. Given the upcoming CIL I am likely to have a goal for 29th July committee and so consultation may run alongside my committee preparations.

The ten dwellings being removed from the scheme are some of local needs housing. While this is a loss of local need units, the scheme remains above normal policy expectation of up to 35% at 38.6% affordable units (17 units).

Equally the reduction of the size of the development will reduce the available monies for planning obligations, including monies for community facilities previously considered. However, the sought contributions will remain significantly higher than the CIL provision for the Parish and its community facilities. Accordingly I remain keen to achieve the development prior to the implementation of CIL on this basis. I have not got the figures at the moment as I need the revised plan first to recount bedroom numbers, but I will provide these figures to everyone once I have them.

I will note that the reduction of the size of the scheme will reduce traffic to Queen Street and this might be seen as a positive benefit to some parties who have expressed interest.

If there are any further questions or I can provide further assistance, please feel free to contact/call me.


John Pateman-Gee