Parent Petition - Stop inappropriate development near Swainswick School

Parent Petition - Stop inappropriate development near Swainswick School

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Charlie Williams started this petition to Kevin Guy (B&NES Council)

Are you aware that the Manor Farm Buildings development proposal has been resubmitted to BANES under reference 

This is concerning for the whole school community! Those who know the school and the narrow access route to the village will be aware of the challenging issues that the school has overcome with regards to the daily commute to and from the school gate.  

Happy, thriving and oversubscribed, the school encourages parents to cycle and walk to school where possible. Through parent, village and Local Authority consultations great progress has been made to improve the safety for the children who cycle and walk to school whilst reducing the congestion within the village. 

In addition, to the strong links between the school and Swainswick Explorers, where children walk between daily, many pupil pedestrian activities are led throughout the village. 

It is clear to see, that the proposed building development and increased congestion would no doubt have a worrying safety impact on the children within this small village.

In essence, this revised planning application is no different from the previous application, which was withdrawn. 

Specific problems with the application:

  • Given that there are no footways along Tadwick Lane, Innox Lane or any other roads in the vicinity of the application site this results in pedestrians having to walk in the carriageway. The proximity of the primary school and Swainswick Explorers means that many of the pedestrians will be children.
  • The limited visibility for vehicles exiting the site and on street parking that occurs exacerbates the already poor highway safety conditions, especially for vulnerable users that are already frequently present.
  • The existing access arrangements to the site and the approach roads serving the site are very substandard and unsuitable to accommodate any additional development traffic attracted by the proposed development.
  • There is insufficient car parking proposed and as a result parking will overspill onto surrounding roads.
    This application seeks to have B1 business use for buildings H (Sam’s Kitchen), and permitted development rights as B1 usage for buildings B & C. This would be in addition to continued unapproved business use of building D. So, in total, 4 businesses operating on site with all the consequent traffic, noise and disruption. And probably more of the buildings will be developed in future, if this application is successful.
    Building H (Sam’s Kitchen) currently has agricultural use status, not B8 storage use, as is stated in the application. So the request to move from B8 use to B1 use is invalid.
  • Sam’s Kitchen operates as a business in Building H without the necessary planning permissions.
  • Building D does not have the necessary planning permissions. This should be retroactively fixed by the landowner.
  • There are no permitted development rights to change the use of a mixed use site B8 and agricultural to B1 use.
  • The traffic impact of the application are addressed in Highgate Transportation’s report. It's extremely concerning that the site already presents a significant risk particularly given the church and school activities, so any uplift in traffic volume will increase the risk to users of both and most particularly parents and children.

Despite its problems, this proposal has now gone to the BANES Planning Committee rather than being refused outright. We, the undersigned community members, are asking BANES to refuse this inappropriate and unlawful application.


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At 100 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!