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Parish News Archive - 2017

Beckington Parish Council response to Planning Application 2017/0818/FUL

Application Number: 2017/0818/FUL

Proposal: Mixed use development including 5 employment starter units; erection of car dealership; a co-working...

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Resolved at the Parish Council meeting in May 2017

Application Number: 2017/0818/FUL

Proposal: Mixed use development including 5 employment starter units; erection of car dealership; a co-working hub and associated works

Location: Land north of Bath Road, Beckington

Applicant: Doric Developments

Application Type: Full Application

Beckington Parish Council recommends REFUSAL of permission for all of the reasons previously stated on 23rd May 2017 (see below) and for the additional reasons listed 1-3 in relation to the amended proposal.

There is little substantive change in the amended proposal, except for the replacement of the proposed health screening clinic by a 'co-working hub'. Beckington has a thriving rural economy and high levels of existing employment, with a bookable hall and an additional bookable meeting room at the Memorial Hall, plus further such facilities available close by at:

a. The Cheese & Grain Frome hub: 3 meeting rooms and hot desks, at very competitive 'not for profit' rates

b. The Welshmill hub, Frome: co-working desks; fixed desks; meeting rooms; rehearsal space; workshop space; exhibition space; talk/performance space; conference facilities

c. The Old Church School workspace, Frome 1500 m2: co-working; permanent desks; workpods; volP phones; Skype booths; meeting rooms; video conferencing

d. Frome Town Hall: hot desks and meeting rooms are available for hire.

In Beckington itself 'hot desking' is already available at Clifford Farm, Bath Road, Beckington, the 3 cafes in the village and The Foresters public house, which have Wifi available, and are all used accordingly by both local users and those travelling through the area, who stop for food and refreshment while still working.

The roadside land available for a car dealership at Commerce Park remains available (i.e. at the end of November 2017).

Small and start-up businesses are also catered for at Commerce Park, despite the comments made in this application to the contrary. A new mixed development of workshop and office space has been approved at Commerce Park and will be available as of September 2018, according to the managing agents, Myddelton & Major.

Beckington Parish Council supports Frome Town Council's comment (2nd June 2017) that these 113 jobs should be created in an appropriate commercial environment at Commerce Park.

Kind regards

Cllr Shannon Brooke

Portfolio Holder for Planning & Development

Beckington Parish Council

Application Number: 2017/0818/FUL

Proposal: Mixed use development including employment starter units; an employment unit; a new car dealership; a health screening clinic and associated works

Location: Land north of Bath Road, Beckington

Applicant: Doric Developments

Application Type: Full Application

Beckington Parish Council recommend REFUSAL of permission for the following reasons:

As well as the large industrial site at Standerwick, on the eastern edge of our Parish (a three minute drive, 1.5 miles from the centre of Beckington), and the newly created large industrial site on the northern edge of our Parish, at Parkgate Lane (0.5 miles and a one minute drive from this application site), there are also 11 acres still unsold and numerous units for rent/lease at Commerce Park, which is very close to the south of our Parish (just over 2 miles by road from the centre of Beckington). Please see the attached brochure.

Therefore Beckington is currently well serviced by 3 very large industrial business sites - 2 mainly agricultural, building and vehicle focused sites, while Commerce Park is a traditional business estate. They are all in close proximity, i.e. our parish's 'back yard', yet do not directly impact the historic/conservation/residential character of Beckington village and clearly have plentiful capacity for further businesses to be locally based and trade/operate from newly built premises. 4.60 of the Local Plan Part I states "Commerce Park at Frome, Morlands at Glastonbury and Cathedral Park at Wells represent new high quality serviced land available to accommodate new and growing businesses".

The availability of suitable alternative sites is a material planning consideration in relation to this application given that the site proposed is outside of development limits and there is no existing business on the proposed site.

In respect of National Planning Policy Framework para. 160 there has been no need identified for such an economic development as this between the Local Planning Authority and the local business community, as represented by the Parish Council in the Local Plan. The existing and future supply of land at Commerce Park will not only more than meet the needs of this proposed development, but also is sufficient to meet any future economic development needs for industrial growth in the immediate area, as outlined in National Planning Policy Framework para. 161.

The applicant states in 1.3 of the planning and design statement that because of successful business ventures in large towns and villages, e.g. Trowbridge, Devizes and Melksham, as well as large villages e.g. Southwick and Atworth, that such a scheme would also suit the small, rural, historic, conservation village of Beckington. There is no logic, or merit, to this assumption.

While Beckington is fully supportive in principle of 100 more jobs being created within the Mendip area and is not in any way wishing to be seen as NIMBY's, i.e. we would actively welcome 100 jobs in our 'back yard' at Commerce Park, we do reject the proposal to site a potentially 4th local industrial development directly on our 'front door step' ... i.e. the main entrance to the village, next to Beckington's well utilised recreation ground, new residential housing area and a very busy junction both onto the A36 and in and out of the service station. The highways network at Commerce Park is specifically designed to cater for industrial and business usage with no conflict, or negative impact, on a local residential populous, whereas this potential site would directly negatively impact the traffic flows in and out of Beckington village.

In 2.4 of the planning and design statement the applicant claims that there is "no dedicated employment provision" apart from the school and doctors' surgery in Beckington. This statement is untrue and there is no merit, or accuracy, in this assumption. Beckington provides over 540 jobs within the village (that is 462 full-time and 79 part-time) in addition to those employed at the school, doctors' surgery and all those employed adjacent to the village within our local farming community. See attached spread sheet showing a detailed employment breakdown within Beckington. The proposal does not comply with Mendip District Local Plan Part I, Core Policy 4(4), as the ‘needs of the rural economy' in Beckington are all ready being very well met.

Illegal fly-tipping and illegal encampment are commonplace in our local area. In May 2017 Commerce Park has already suffered two illegal encampments, also an attempt was made to camp in Beckington, but failed due to civil action taken by residents. Repeated/regular illegal encampment occurs on the Marston Industrial Estate in Frome, the Westbury Business Park and the Frome Market site at Standerwick. This proposal in Beckington facilitates another space for illegal encampment to take place. NB the government directive issued in August 2013, from the Secretary of State for Communities, stated that all authorities must take action to prevent illegal encampment from occurring. Beckington Parish Council consider that this development does not meet this directive, as it potentially provides an additional area upon which illegal encampment of large numbers of caravans could take place.

The application should be measured against the Local Plan Parts I and II, which do not identify such a need for employment creation within Beckington.

Furthermore, the application currently fails to meet the basic requirements of drainage/flood/ecology and environmental information necessary for approval and, although these areas could be addressed by the applicant, they have not been fully addressed to date. At a public meeting held on 16th May 2017, over 100 residents attended, unanimously in objection to the proposal and included below are concerns from the audience, in addition to those made above:

Beckington Astronomical Society, affiliated members of the International Dark-Sky Association, have expressed concern specifically regarding light pollution.

Shawford Farm advise that they historically have suffered flooding issues in workshops and also Clifford Farm, have experienced flooding water to the door of their residence, which has increased significantly since the Redrow development. This proposed development will therefore result in an existing flooding problem worsening and affecting the residential property concerned, workshops and associated businesses.

As Rode Parish Council have pointed out and listed, following their detailed objection, the application itself is flawed as the applicant has failed to complete the forms accurately. Assumptions are made and statements given with no detail for substantiation purposes.

Without Prejudice

Conditions and Section 106 Agreements

However, in spite of the comments above, if regrettably planning permission was to be granted by Mendip District Council, then Beckington Parish Council would politely request that:

it should be for B1 usage only.

the entrance/exit should be designed in such a way that all traffic leaving the site has to turn left towards the A36 roundabout and cannot physically turn right towards the village.

the design of the buildings be reviewed to be more in keeping with the rural location and historic context of Beckington i.e. akin to the modern office provision at the Cheese & Grain, Frome - shown below.

conditions are applied to make provision for maintenance in perpetuity of the hedging and ditch by a management company..

conditions are applied to ensure a distinct and permanent all year barrier of screening between the village recreation ground and this commercial development.

conditions are applied to minimise environmental concerns regarding smell, noise and light pollution, including in relation to security systems e.g. silent security alarms with no light.

conditions are applied preventing car cleaning chemicals and other hazardous substances and industrial products being washed with surface water into the ditch and River Frome.

conditions are applied in respect of flammable substances stored on the site.

conditions are applied preventing change of use.

conditions are applied with regard the improvement of the management of surface and foul water.

provision be made of a 'general' S.106 financial contribution, to improve the health/social/amenity facilities in the village, including:

(i) funds to improve the recreation equipment on the field and playground by the village memorial hall - replacement of equipment for younger children and provision of an 'outdoor adult gym' for teens/adults/senior citizens;

(ii) funds to provide a safe cycle route to Frome;

(iii) funds to provide two bus shelters close to the proposed site on Bath Road.

Parish News Archive - 2017

Beckington Parish Council response to Planning Application 2017/0818/FUL

Application Number: 2017/0818/FUL

Proposal: Mixed use development including 5 employment starter units; erection of car dealership; a co-working...

VACANCY FOR A COUNCILLOR

BECKINGTON PARISH COUNCIL

VACANCY FOR A COUNCILLOR

Due to the resignation of Councillor Shannon Brooke there is a vacancy for a Parish Councillor.

A...

Public meeting regarding latest planning applications

Thanks to all those that attended the Public planning meeting. To make a comment about any of the planning applications we discussed please...

News Archive