Support the appeal against current Churchill development plans in Calne town centre - 2021

Support the appeal against current Churchill development plans in Calne town centre - 2021

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Calne Our Place started this petition to Calne Town Council and

UPDATE

On Tuesday, 9 February 2021, at 10am (one year on from their last hearing) Churchill Retirement Living Ltd. have a virtual hearing for both of their applications to develop 'independent living' apartments in central Calne. 

Either one could be approved by the Inspector.

The developers will be hoping the opposition has lost interest or been worn down.

SHOW THEM IT HASN’T!

Click calne.gov.uk/news/churchill for details of how to register and join the virtual hearing.

N.B. Anyone wishing to join the hearing needs to register. This can take a few days so anyone interested has to register beforehand.

The Inspector will not want to hear anything which has already been said and they will have seen and read all the paperwork already submitted.

A BIT OF BACKGROUND

(A condensed version of the following information can be seen here on facebook, in an infographic created by Calne Town Council.)

There have been two postponed hearing dates. The hearing  on the 9th Feb is the first time the matter has been considered by the Planning Inspector.

The two previous planning applications were rejected at two hearings in 2019 and 2020 at North Wiltshire Planning Meetings.

Churchill Retirement Living Ltd. have had two applications going through the system since 2018 on land to the rear of 8-13 High Street, in the centre of Calne:

Planning Applications 19/03435/FUL and 18/09556/FUL

Proposal: 39 Apartments for older people (sixty years of age and/or partner over fifty-five years of age), Guest Apartment, Communal Facilities, Access, Car Parking, Landscaping and 4 Retail Units.

As expected, Churchill have appealed the latest decision and a further Hearing will be held as a virtual event on Tuesday 9th February at 10am chaired by a Planning Inspector.

Even if you have already made an objection to either of these applications, it’s important to object again. When companies like Churchill Retirement Living Ltd. make an appeal, all previous objections are, unbelievably, laid aside and Churchill relies on this fact not being generally known. 

For the this important virtual hearing, to be conducted using Microsoft Teams, you must register your interest (to participate or be a guest) by email asap to nsi.has@planninginspectorate.gov.uk 

For more details, click here

WHY OBJECT?

THIS LATEST CHURCHILL APPLICATION GOES AGAINST THE AGREED CALNE COMMUNITY NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN, DOES NOT COMPLY WITH SOME WILTSHIRE CORE POLICIES and SEVERAL REQUIREMENTS OF THE NATIONAL PLANNING POLICY FRAMEWORK July 2018.

Specific details of why this development SHOULD NOT proceed can be found in the following documentation:

DOES NOT COMPLY WITH WILTSHIRE COUNCIL CORE STRATEGY 2015  CP8, Strategy for Calne.

Pages 87 - 91:

5.39 The strategy for Calne is to ensure that housing growth is carefully balanced with job creation and town centre improvement.

5.40 The strategy for Calne will help to maintain the economic base in the town with mixed growth of employment alongside housing.

5.41 Neighbourhood Plan requirements should be met by any future developers, addressing (among other things) town centre traffic congestion, lack of culture and entertainment facilities and air quality problems.

DOES NOT SATISFY WILTSHIRE COUNCIL CORE POLICIES:

Policy 38 Retail and Leisure p.227. Fails to enhance the vitality and vibrancy of Calne Town Centre

Policy 39 Tourism Development p.230. Fails to address Tourism and will do nothing to encourage and facilitate tourism

Policy 57 High Quality Design p.283. Height, mass and bulk will dominate the town centre

Policy 58 Conservation of Historic Environment p.287. Zion Chapel will be overpowered by close proximity of this massive building, which will adversely affect the nearby Conservation District and Heritage Quarter 

Policies 60 Sustainable Transport & 61 Transport and Development, p.294-295. Inadequate car parking, poor servicing access and dangerous footpath

DOES NOT COMPLY WITH POLICIES IN CALNE NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN 2016-2026:

Policy WS1  Employment. Calne Town Centre p.51. No new worthwhile enterprising jobs are created in a retirement home.

Policy WS2.1 Calne Town Centre. paragraphs 120-122 p.52 Parking provision is inadequate. Traffic congestion will increase.

Policy WS2.2 Calne Town Centre Masterplan. paras 123-125, p.53. It is a residential infill scheme and cannot be classified as a regeneration of our town centre.

Policy BE1 Integration and Landscaping, page 61. Poor integration with existing cherished buildings and views. Access routes and pavements are limited and potentially dangerous.

Policy BE2 Local Distinctiveness and Aesthetics, page 63. The scale, mass, height, roof, building materials and design of this four floor development do not reinforce local distinctiveness.

Policy BE3 Parking Provision, page 64. Only 17 car parking spaces for 39 apartments plus visitors and customers of the retail units is totally inadequate and does not comply with WC Car Parking Strategy described in the Wiltshire Local Transport Plan.

Policy BE4 Heritage Assets, P.66. The site is a Conservation Area and part of the Heritage Quarter which this building will destroy.

Policy H2 Affordable Housing, p.34. This development home for affluent OAP’s clearly fails to satisfy all WC Affordable Housing Plans. Churchill appear to admit this and have offered £375k to Wiltshire Council in an attempt to offset this….and gain approval.

DOES NOT COMPLY WITH THE FOLLOWING REQUIREMENTS OF THE NATIONAL PLANNING POLICY FRAMEWORK July 2018.

SECTION 6 - Building a strong competitive economy
SECTION 7 - Ensuring vitality of town centres
SECTION 12 - Achieving well designed places
SECTION 16 - Conserving and enhancing the historic environment

Based on these requirements the Churchill Plans do not deliver:
• vitality and vibrancy of the town centre
• healthy, inclusive and safe shared places promoting social interaction and social enterprise 
• community facilities like meeting places, sports venues, open space, cultural buildings, public houses and places of worship

CALNE COMMUNITY SURVEYS:

Two surveys conducted by Calne Our Place in collaboration with Calne Town Council  - both surveys resulting in 84-87% opposition to the Churchill plans

1st Survey - Online Survey Hero + 5000 leaflets. 473 responses. Over 87% of respondents were against the Churchill proposals as reported for the following Key Objectives:

• Provide an exciting and vibrant centre which supports an active community
• Supporting the growth of retail operations in the town centre
• Supporting social and cultural activities
• Improving the public realm
• Improving connectivity including pedestrians, cycles, public transport & vehicular links
• Encourage new young retail businesses via start-uo/seed units and pop-up shops
• Provide a quality night-life experience

2nd Survey - online Survey Hero re May 29 2019 application. Results reported for 3 questions:

Do you agree that the scale of the proposed development is out of keeping with the local area - and would result in harm to the setting of the Grade II Listed Building Zion Chapel, and the character and appearance of the Calne Conservation Area?

84% Agree

This proposal is likely to generate an increase in pedestrians and the use of wheelchairs/mobility aids on highways in the area.  The pavement immediately outside is already narrow and inadequate for pedestrians. Do you agree that the proposals, do not make adequate provision for pedestrians to access local facilities, with consequent additional hazards to all users of the highway?

85% Agree

Do you agree that the proposal does not address the community aspirations for the site and therefore is contrary to the Calne Community Neighbourhood Plan and Town Centre Masterplan?

86% Agree

And...

change.org petition - January 2021 to date 440 have signed the petition opposing Churchill plans

CONCLUSION

The Calne Community do not want this Churchill Retirement Home built on this site. Now is the time to make your voice heard... before it's too late!

In summary, there are 3 ways you can have your say:

  1. Sign the petition. (Although as the petition was submitted at the previous hearing, additional numbers may not be accepted.) 
  2. Make your comments to Wiltshire Council Planning Department.
  3. Email the online Hearing administrator ( via Calne Town Council ) to attend the Virtual Hearing on February 9th. (Remember, it can take a few days to register.) 
     


Calne Our Place (COP) is an independent voluntary group working to make Calne and the community area a better place for residents, businesses & visitors.

0 have signed. Let’s get to 500!
At 500 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!