A PLANNING APPLICATION to build 28 new homes on Wychcroft, Magdalen Lane, with facilities for 59 on-site parking spaces, did not receive a single vote of support from Hedon Town Councillors last night. Councillors voted overwhelmingly to recommend to East Riding Council planners that permission for the development be refused.
Peter Read, Managing Director of Birstall May Ltd, the real estate company behind the planning application, made a passionate case why the scheme should go ahead. “The development will be one to be proud of”, he told councillors, “it’s not about how many houses we can squeeze onto a piece of land, instead its about quality, first-class, 3-bedroomed homes that people will be proud to live in, with outside garden stores for each.”
“The land known as Wychcroft is currently privately owned and is gated off with no public rights of way.”
“The application,” Mr Read said, “took into account fully the need for adequate flood protection and water drainage, and was sympathetic towards the council’s aims to preserve the ancient monument associated with the site, and would involve the creation of wildlife pond areas that would protect mammals and amphibians.”
However, Margaret Murray, speaking on behalf of those opposing the scheme, said that the scheme would be built on low-lying land and increase flood risk to Wychcroft and surrounding areas: “The area was hit by the big flood of 2007 and we can’t rule out a repetition of such weather events in the future.” She argued that “the drainage proposals are unlikely to be sufficient to cope with a normal deluge, let alone a big flood.” Mrs Murray also referred to the existing problems with parking, speeding and the volume of traffic in the area, indicating that the development would make that situation worse.
Speaking as Chair of Hedon’s Planning Committee, Councillor John Dennis explained the contextual background to the local plan currently being processed by East Riding Council; in the Plan Hedon Town Council had won support for the notion that none of the open green spaces should be built upon until the threat of flooding had been alleviated. He would not be voting on the proposal placed before the Town Council, but would be reserving his right to speak as an East Riding Councillor on the Planning Committee that will deal with the application.
Councillor Tom Goldspink said that Wychcroft was one of the important open areas that naturally soaked up rainwater and was adjacent to the town’s Conservation Area. Councillor Gordon Thurston said, that in his opinion, some of the documentation in the planning application was open to “misinterpretation” and he was particularly concerned, that while the development itself might be flood protected, flooding in the surrounding areas could result.
Councillor Sarah Rommell said this developer might be the most sympathetic ever to the town’s concerns, other developers in the future might seek to ride roughshod over those concerns.
Councillor Mike Bryan said that he believed the town had enough problems already with flooding risk and traffic. The development would only exacerbate those problems. He also made it clear that the final decision on this would not be made by Hedon Town Council, but would be made by the East Riding Council possibly at a meeting in December.
The planning application and associated documents can be viewed online at the East Riding Council’s Planning Portal website. The Hedon Blog will publish the details of the East Riding Planning Committee as soon as it becomes available. A speaker in favour of the application, and one against it, can speak at the meeting.
Visit: Planning Public Access and enter 13/03180/STPLF in the search box and click on Associated Documents.