title="Hinton Charterhouse Parish Council in Somerset"

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Pipehouse proposed development

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posted by Hinton Charterhouse Parish Council on 13 February, 2014 at 8:27PM

HCPC representatives have just returned from a small exhibition of a development proposal for the Rentokil site at Pipehouse. The proposals are yet to go for planning but it was clear there were some strong opinions in the room. If you have an opinion on the proposals please share it here.

posted by Derwent Campbell on 17 February, 2014 at 11:31AM

As a Pipehouse resident I have a direct interest in the proposed development of course. In general terms I think that adding 10 properties/households to the existing hamlet is excessive and will change its character permanently. The present orientation appears badly thought through. The increase in car traffic will be very significant and I couldn't see any provision for visitor parking (though stand to be corrected). I agree that development is needed on this site. However placing families who might be expected to need access to Freshford school and other village amenities about as far from the centre as it is possible to be, does not seem to me to be logical, and, the density of the development, particularly close to the lane, is extremely unsympathetic and high.

posted by Geoff on 17 February, 2014 at 12:07PM

Shame that the 30+ range of apple trees in the orchard (rare these days) will go under an access road. Those apples that fall on the footpath are various and delicious.

Quite apart from the fact that the scale of the development would entirely change the appearance of Pipehouse Lane - which is too narrow for more traffic anyway.

posted by Alan and Julie Seward on 18 February, 2014 at 8:01PM

As residents of Pipehouse we are concerned that the unique character of this ancient lane is preserved for all. The proposed development at this site will almost double the number of households and in turn the amount of traffic using the lane. The plans do not appear to have allowed for sufficient parking for residents and their visitors, particularly those in the affordable residences. The high density of new housing and the quality of the design is extremely unsympathetic to the character of the lane and on this basis we strongly object to these plans.

posted by Sue Davis on 19 February, 2014 at 6:19PM

Good news, the apple trees are safe so far because Long Acre orchard is privately owned and not part of the former Rentokil site.

As a resident of Pipehouse I am concerned that the number of housing units is too large, leading to too much added traffic on the ancient lane, both for ease of access and pedestrian safety. Other concerns are the lack of provision for visitors' parking and the removal of the entrance area where refuse vehicles, oil tankers and delivery vehicles previously turned. There is no space in the lane for additional parking or for turning large vehicles.

posted by David Edmonds and Sue Lucas on 24 February, 2014 at 2:10PM

We are residents in Pipehouse and having seen the proposals for the redevelopemnet of the old Rentokil Site we feel that the density of 9 to 10 properties is far too many for the small Hamlet of Pipehouse to sustain. It would almost double the number of houses in the Hamlet. There are no amenities in Pipehouse itself the nearest being in Freshford Village over half a mile away.

There would be a substantial increase in the number of vehicles which would further compromise access from the A36 as there are no passing places in the Lane.

The proposal appears to take away the turning facility which large vehicles eg refuse collection, deliveries etc have for accessing and servicing the rest of Pipehouse.

There would appear to be insufficient parking on the proposed site for the number of dwellings suggested and there is no space in the Lane for parking additional cars.

The proposal for the site layout and the houses are, in our opinion, of inadequate design having poor site layout and aspect, and unsympathetic design to the established houses.

We would be concerned that the lighting levels of the Hamlet would be increased and would require confirmation that no additional street lighting would be introduced and if access lighting in the site had to be made that only low level bollard lighting would be permitted.

The scheme presently proposed is unacceptable in terms of size, design, access, and orientation, and needs redesigning.


posted by Ann & Linton Ross on 26 February, 2014 at 11:55PM

1 - We have not been shown detail of the house types although from the drawings presented we feel that the design quality of the layout and houses fails to take advantage of the opportunities that the site offers and merits.

2 - We feel that the scope of development (10 units) is disproportionate to the size of the existing hamlet (18 units) and that a total of 4 properties would be realistic in order to retain the historic character of the hamlet.

3 - We are concerned about the traffic generation from 10 houses which we believe will be greater overall than that from the current B8 use and certainly form the minimal traffic generated in recent years by the site.

4 - The existing single width lane access from the A36 must be viewed as sacrosanct and neither the construction nor operation of any development should be allowed to or be reason for it to change.

5 - The reduced size of the junction onto the lane from the site reduces visibility and turning for delivery and utility vehicles, therefore we will require confirmation that large vehicles can turn into and leave the site safely.

6 - There appears to be inadequate provision for residents and visitor parking.

7 - Points 5 and 6 will both result in congestion in the lane.

8 - We are concerned that street lighting will cause unwelcome light pollution in the hamlet.

9 - We do not agree that the farm buildings and yard south of the lane nor the barn at Piepards Farm to the north represent appropriate design precedents whereas we believe that the plot and house configuration of the lane do. The overall design approach fails to provide a scheme of adequate design quality, sustainability and a positive contribution to the Green Belt and Cotswolds AONB.

Linton and Ann Ross

posted by Peter Davis on 27 February, 2014 at 11:54PM

As a near neighbour to the proposed new development, I would like to make the following comments on the proposal:

The density of building in the proposed development and its layout fail to recognise and improve upon the character and quality of the area and the way it functions. A quality development should not mean that the outlook from most of the houses is into car parking areas. The 'industrial' barns associated with the farm to the south should be regarded separately from the otherwise ribbon-type residential development of the hamlet, and therefore should not be considered to provide a precedent for an equivalent residential development to the north. If the special and ancient character of the hamlet is to be retained, the number of new dwelling units should not be disproportionate to the number of existing dwellings in the hamlet. The proposed 10 new units compared with the 18 existing units is certainly disproportionate. Great care should be exercised to preserve the ancient Pipehouse lane in its current winding, single-track form, since the special, tranquil and ancient nature of the Pipehouse hamlet depends upon it. It is also of concern that anything other than a minimum amount of low-level bollard lighting in the new development) will change the tranquil nature of the hamlet through light pollution (i.e. the development should not include high level street lighting and powerful security lighting).

The number of proposed new dwellings in the development leads to other issues:

1. The size of the site and the density of building does not allow sufficient space for parking either for residents or for their visitors. There is no available space for overflow parking anywhere in the rest of the Pipehouse hamlet.

2. The width of the access road within the proposed development appears too narrow to allow passage of a refuse vehicle, a large delivery vehicle or a fire engine given that residents and visitors will need to use parts of the access road for overflow car parking;

3. To increase space in the development, land has been requisitioned from the current wide opening to the Pipehouse Nursery site. Such a wide opening is necessary to allow visibility for safe vehicle egress from the site, and to provide acceptable turning radii for refuse vehicles, large delivery vehicles and fire engines (for the rest of the hamlet as well as for the proposed development).

4. The proposed number of units within the development will result in too high a number of vehicle movements for the winding, single track Pipehouse lane both in terms of pedestrian safety and the frequency for vehicles requiring to reverse when a conflict of vehicle movements occurs.

Furthermore, no consideration appears to have been given in the design to the management of surface water run-off from the site and through the site from the fields above the site during periods of heavy precipitation.

posted by Chris Clemence, Chairman HCPC on 2 March, 2014 at 4:31PM

Thank you everybody for your comments. The plans were discussed briefly at our last meeting and will remain on the agenda until such time as the planning process is concluded. These comments will most certainly be taken into account.

I have also emailed the Chairman of Freshford Parish Council bring this forum to his attention.


posted by Chris Clemence on 5 May, 2014 at 9:09PM

The plans have now been submitted for approval and the Parish Council has received their copy. It is likely that, as the next PC meeting is the Annual Meeting and there will not be time, a separate Extraordinary meeting will be held to discuss the plans.

A date will be posted as soon as we have one.

The plans can be found in the planning section of this web site.

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