Thank you for allowing me to make this representation on behalf of residents in Lytchett Drive & Sandford Way, Broadstone. There are several reasons why the proposed sites in Lytchett Drive and Sandford Way should be withdrawn from the current list of development sites, but I will focus on just three.
- The Council is bound by the 1978 legal Agreement to maintain the sites as public open space and play area. I draw your attention to the original conditions under which planning consent for the development was given and agreed by both the developer and Poole Council. In that agreement it clearly states: “the developer will layout and landscape two acres of the …land as amenity open space ……and within 5 years transfer the green land to the Council on payment by the Council of 5 pence”. In return the council agreed to maintain the land as amenity open space and not erect any buildings, houses or flats. The Council deemed it essential to have this public open space/play area in 1978 because of the density and volume of housing being built. That need still exists today. To quote Council’s Open Space Strategy Broadstone has less than the Borough’s stated minimum standard of amenity & informal play space. Any decision to allow housing on these sites will be in breach of the legally binding agreement and to the detriment of the well-being of several hundred families.
- Secondly, to dispose of this land for housing, would be contrary to the Council’s corporate priorities relating to health and well-being of local communities and protecting the environment and open spaces. It would also mean the council would be failing to meet its obligation under the core strategy (NE30) – “to respect the urban greenspace/green space network and provide for its protection and where appropriate contribute to its expansion”. In addition it would be failing to meet the council’s own Green Space Standards and open Space Strategy. The latter states such land should be within 300 metres or 5 minutes walking distance, which if the existing space is lost, would no longer be the case. Because it is the only safe amenity and informal play area within that distance it is very heavily used by the residents, but especially the 200 children. There are regular informal football matches (they have their own portable goal posts); cricket and other ball games take place; the community have picnics and street parties, and it is this space which contributed over the years to the development of a strong sense of community. All this demonstrates the play area in particular is fulfilling Aims 1, 2 and 3 of the Open Space Strategy along with PO20, PO24, PO25, PO26, and PO 27. To dispose of this space will consequently have a major impact upon this community with the increased potential for i) accidents as a result of children playing in the road and ii) higher levels of anti-social behaviour.
- The 2011 Localism Act permits the creation of Neighbourhood Forums, specifically to produce Neighbourhood Plans. Neighbourhood Forums are statutory organisations that must be consulted and Neighbourhood Plans are legal planning documents which take precedence over local plans. Broadstone Neighbourhood’s Plan, which is approaching completion identifies, in response to a Ward wide consultation, all Broadstone’s informal and formal green and public open spaces. Lytchett Drive public open spaces and play area are included. Under the Localism Act such spaces gain a level of protection commensurate with Green Belt Status. The Plan does support an increase in housing density in the central area of Broadstone which is within 300 metres of the Park & Recreation Ground.
- There has been no formal consultation with residents and the only consultation with ward councillors has been disregarded. There is no reference to their views in the officer’s report to Cabinet.
I therefore request that the Lytchett Drive sites, both of which are designated as public open spaces and subject to legal agreement, are withdrawn from the list of proposed housing sites.