Ridgeons Proposed Development Public Exhibition - Saturday 21st May
1000 - 1500 St Phillips Church
9-12-15 THE RIDGEONS SITE DRAFT PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT BRIEF SUPPLEMENATRY PLANNING DOCUMENT is now in the public arena and being discussed by the council.
If you follow the link and go to page 7
This week has seen a flurry of activity on the development brief for the Ridgeon's Site and Romsey Labour have been prominent in this activity. In particular Ridgeon's have heeded our call for a development brief and last night we started the process by which that brief will be developed.
Overall we argued that Romsey should benefit from this development: for the site to become part of the community with access for 'all' residents of Romsey and as a means to kickstart the Chisholm Trail and a new look Cromwell Road
In no particular order we argued that: 240 + homes are too many; that we want the space to be integrated in the community and not shut off from local people; a linear park to run along the back as part of the Chisholm Trail with benches and community space and perhaps even a cafe; for a bridge to be built over the railway allowing cycle and foot access to Petersfield; access for cycles and foot to Cavendish Road; for the homes to be a mix of affordable housing and houses for sale and that any medium rise buildings to be to the rear of the site away from the conservation area; that the character of the homes to be in keeping with the local area; for car parking to be within the site and hidden under the open spaces; for Cromwell Road to be closed off from Mill Road and then the road to be re-ordered to include green space that recognises that lorries and through traffic will be a thing of the past.
Further details will be provided as they become available but be assured your Romsey Team of Zoe, Dave and Anna will work to make sure this site provides benefits for the community.
Dates for the diary
Cambridge Labour are closely following events in regards to Ridgeons' planned development and are pleased that Ridgeons have heeded Romsey Labour's call for a development brief.
Ridgeon's have appointed a planning team and have come up with the following three stages of consultation.
This first stage is very much about fact finding and exploring issues and options. It is for consultation to then inform any draft proposals which will be worked up in the Spring.
• Stage1 – Themes & fact finding (mid-late March)
• Stage 2 - Draft design principles and framework plan (early June)
• Stage 3 – Public consultation on draft SPD (early Sept)
Note that after Stage 3 the final version of the document (taking into account formal comment) cannot be adopted by the City Council until such time as the Local Plan has been adopted as the development brief effectively "hangs off" the Local Plan.
Stage 1 will be undertaken by PTE Architects (with support from Carter Jonas and GL Hearn) on behalf of Ridgeons, and with input from officers from the City Council. Phase 1 will have three streams of activity:
• Public exhibition and feedback on a handful of key themes through an interactive ‘post-it-note’ approach – Sat 21 March (time TBC between 10am and 4pm) at Ross Street Community Centre
• Residents/ community groups workshop on the same key themes – 23 March (7pm until 9pm, Wed 25 Mar) at Ross Street Community Centre (provisionally booked)
• Online consultation in relation to the same key themes and to include an online feedback mechanism
Stage 2 will follow the same three-streams format as stage 1 but further details on approach will follow.
Stage 3 will be a six week consultation undertaken by Cambridge City Council.
GL Hearn are Ridgeon's communication consultants and are leading on the consultation, with input from council officers. Consultation notices will be going out shortly and I will be updating local residents via EMRAG initially and GL Hearn are putting together consultation information as we speak. GL Hearn are experienced working in Cambridge and fully aware of concerns raised by residents through the draft Local Plan process, including concerns over site density, traffic, design and other matters. The development brief needs to fully address these concerns and engage residents in a meaningful and constructive way.
UPDATE December 2014
Romsey Labour Councillors Zoe and Dave support Anna Smith's view that theRE should be a development brief for the Ridgeons site.
As part of our ongoing protest against the way the previous administration handled the planning issue at Ridgeons, Dave took advantage of the opportunity for members of the public to speak at the council meeting on Thursdays. Dave started by challenging the proposal to overdevelop the site by allowing 245 'units' of accommodation on the Ridgeons site. Dave also asked if the Ridgeons development would open up onto Cavendish Road and the LibDems did nothing to re-assure Dave or the residents that this would not happen.
Instead they tried to salvage a position whereby they are at odds with their residents by a last minute inclusion of a clause requiring site promoters to produce a development brief and demonstrate integration with the existing area was. This is too little too late and the same goes for the suggestion about testing of vehicle access. We should have started from a position where these restrictions were considered in the plan. By accepting 75 dwellings per hectare on the site the council have left residents to appeal to the inspector.
That is not what should happen - a council should represent their residents not suggest an open ended plan and then leave us to fight at the inspector and final planning stage. The LibDem fudge with an amendment that meant nothing - playing politics with a problems that could have be dealt before the plans went to the inspector. The council's approach puts the residents on the back foot - when the plans get to the inspector we should not be fighting uphill against a LibDem recommendation! Far better that the council accepted a reduction in the amount of dwellings allowed and sorted out a preferred access and left it to the developer to challenge rather than the other way around
Democracy and Localism are meaningless when councils take this approach to their constituents - so to is the concept that you elect a councillor to represent you!
It's not as if it were a few people moaning there were over 500 people who signed the petition and over 80 made formal individual objections to the plan.
Labour Councillor Zoe Moghadas also spoke against the overdevelopment.
The plan was passed and now we have to plan how we can challenge it at the inspector level. The overdevelopment and access to the site at Ridgeons is something that Romsey Labour have given a real profile to. We will continue to act against the lack of democracy in allowing this into the draft plan so far we have delivered leaflets, collected signatures, got an undertaking from the Labour Party, spoken at Council and East Area.