Landhouse Development, Bruton. Make the promised shared-use path a condition of planning permission.
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During the consultation phase it was extensively publicised (through exhibition, local newspapers and a website) that the new Landhouse development would be connected to the town by a path suitable for pedestrians and cyclists. The image above shows the path as it appeared in the consultation material. However, the path is not in the planning application. We believe that a path as outlined in the consultation documents should be made a condition of the development if planning permission is granted.
The new housing development will comprise of 68 homes (with more than 170 parking spaces) which will create significant additional journeys as people drive to and from work, the schools, the park and other town centre facilities. There is only one road from Landhouse into the Town Centre which is extremely narrow with dangerously narrow pavements. Bruton Town Centre is already prone to congestion, grid lock and has serious parking issues. Many people from the Cuckoo Hill area of town currently drive into town centre as they feel the streets such as Quaperlake Street and Coombe Street are too dangerous for pedestrians, pushchairs and young children. Being hit by wing mirrors is, apparently, a regular occurrence. Congestion has a financial implication as it can limit business viability and growth. Additionally, if people have no choice but to use the car they are more likely to drive to other towns with easier parking or out-of-town shopping centres to visit cafés and shops. This is detrimental to both the town centre and the environment.
With the exception of a very small children’s playground, there are no community facilities (for example shops, sports or youth clubs) on the north side of town. The nearest community facility is approximately 1km from the Landhouse development. Whilst the planning application states that the new development is “less than 10 minutes walk from the town centre”, this is unlikely to be the case for all but extremely fit young adults; the town centre is approximately 1.2km from Landhouse. The planning application allocates money to the Jubilee Park facilities, which are well over a mile away, therefore encouraging residents to use their cars. The reinstated path would give people a recreation area as well as the option to cycle or scoot safely, almost to the town centre and primary school.
A shared-use path would also have the benefit that it would make the town, and surrounding countryside, more accessible to those that use wheelchairs or mobility scooters. With an ageing population this mode of travel is likely to become more common in the future.
The absence of a suitable pedestrian/cycle path also restricts growth of the town along sustainable lines. For example, it is possible that a sports hall or swimming pool in Bruton may be required in the future. If the Landhouse development is to go ahead as outlined in the planning application then there is little scope for linking future developments in this area with a usable cycle/pedestrian path.
The shared-use path was on all the consultation material and there does not seem to be any valid reason why it should not be built.
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