OBJECTION LETTERS


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Objection Letters - who do we need to contact, and when?

Write to the SMDC to register your opposition to any of proposals that concern you before the 12th June 2016.

 Letters will not be considered by the SMDC outside of the consultation period!

Objections to housing proposals should be sent to:

Freepost RRLJ-XCTC-JBZK,
Head of Regeneration Services,
Staffordshire Moorlands District Council,
Moorlands House,
Stockwell Street,
Leek,
ST13 6HQ


or emailed to:
forward.plans@staffsmoorlands.gov.uk


To assist residents in the production of a suitable objection letter to the Gypsy and Traveller site consultation, we have posted various examples of suitable objection points that you are free to use, this is a 'pick-your-own' list (see below) rather than a "standard letter" as a more personalised objection will carry a lot more weight. Not all objections are relevant to all sites, so as and when the sites are made public we'll amend these points accordingly.

 


- EXAMPLE (Traveller site opposition letter) -

Dear Sir,

I would like to notify you of my objection to the proposed traveller site(s) at [location(s): xxxxxxxx], as described in your planning proposal [title: xxxxxxxxxx] dated [xxxxxx].

 

My primary reasons for objection are that this proposal is in direct contravention of various components of the following policies, government guidelines and previous statements made by the SMDC on this matter.

In particular I shall be referring to the following documents:

DCLG (2008) Designing Gypsy and Traveller Sites: Good Practice Guide   

DCLG (2012) Planning and policy for traveller sites   

SMDC (2014) Core Strategy Development Plan Document (pages 120-121)    

SMDC (2011) Gypsy and Traveller Site Options and Issues Appraisal

Letter from SMDC to Frank Hopley. dated 23 February 2015, ref: DL/JF

 

 

DCLG (2008) Designing Gypsy and Traveller Sites: Good Practice Guide   

This document contains the following statements which indicate that the SMDC proposal for a traveller site at [xxxxxxxx] is in breach of the 2008 good practice guidelines, in particular:

 

Relationship to surrounding land use

3.8 Consideration must be given to the relationship of sites to the surrounding community. For this purpose  it is important to ensure that proposals to develop a site link in with other broader strategies in place for improving community cohesion and be regarded as a key issue within them.

Response:  The established community has made it overwhelmingly clear (by ***** petition votes and attendance at public meetings) that they do not want community cohesion forced upon then. 

The SMDC has not been active in promoting any broader strategies to improve community cohesion.

3.9 The site must be sustainable, offering scope to manage an integrated coexistence with the local community.  This will include consideration of noise  and possible disturbance to Gypsy and  Travellers living on the site, and possible noise and disturbance to the wider community, in particular from movement of Gypsy and Traveller vehicles.

 Response: The proposal for land to the west of 75 Uttoxeter Road and 491 Uttoxeter Road do not take noise into consideration, these are both residential areas, located within the existing settled community.  Commercial vehicles would be entering and leaving the proposed site at all hours, including night time, as is common practise and can be witnessed at other traveller sites within the Staffordshire area.

 

4.1 Sites should be developed in accordance with existing planning policies and designations, with particular regard made to: 

Response: The proposed site at [xxxxxx] is green belt land, therefore the proposal is NOT in accordance with existing planning policies.

Ref: DCLG Planning and Policy for traveller sites 2012, page 1, item 4, bullet point 4: “that plan-making and decision-taking should protect Green Belt from inappropriate development”,

Ref: DCLG Planning and Policy for traveller sites 2012, page 5, item 14: “Inappropriate development is harmful to the Green Belt and should not be approved, except in very special circumstances. Traveller sites (temporary or permanent) in the Green Belt are inappropriate development.”  There have been several previous declined planning applications (quote ref numbers)

 

Convenience for residents

Safety for residents

Response: Traffic and proximity to railway line [detail comment on this point is dependent on location proposed]

Visual and acoustic privacy – both for people living on the site and those living nearby

Response: See comment relating to point 4.14 below. In addition the settled community have heavily invested in property in these particular locations to ensure an enhanced degree of privacy due to the semi-rural location, a site at [xxxxxx] would destroy this privacy.

Aesthetic compatibility with the local environment 

Response: A traveller site at location [xxxxxx] would in no way be in keeping with the local environment, [75 and 459 Uttoxeter Road] are both quiet residential areas comprising of a mix of late Victorian properties and mid 1930’s semi-detached properties.

Scope for social integration with the local community.

Response: NO evidence provided that substantiates the theory that the G&T community want social integration, in fact the opposite is the case (quote from Planning Policy doc ?????), in that the G&T community prefer an enclosed settlement on the edge of a rural setting.

 

4.14  As with housing for the settled community, site layout and design should ensure a degree of privacy for individual households.

Response: any traveller accommodation at 75 Uttoxeter road would be overlooked by residents on either side, and from the elevated property directly opposite. Similar at 459 Uttoxeter + limited statement for Quabbs Ln?

4.17 Account needs to be taken of a more recent tendency for members of the Gypsy and Traveller communities to favour the use of a mobile home in place of the traditional caravan, and some mobile homes could be up to around 25 metres in length. 

Response: Vehicles of this size would require a suitably large turning space to allow entry and exit from the site,  high traffic volumes on [xxxxxx] Road, often travelling in excess of the speed limit, combined with the regular movement of large slow vehicles at this location [xxxxxx] would introduce a substantial safety risk to road users.

4.29 To increase potential access points for emergency vehicles, more than one access route into the site is recommended. Where possible, site roads should be designed to allow two vehicles to pass each other (minimum 5.5m).

Response: The existing track at Calverhay Farm (75 Uttoxeter Road) provides access to Network Rail engineers on a regular basis to the Caverswall sidings and cattle crossing (Stoke – Derby railway line). It is also a public footpath. The utilisation of this access route for traveller vehicles is not feasible and could result in obstruction of Network Rail vehicles.

4.36 To avoid disputes and provide defensible space, it is important to provide clear delineation of public communal areas eg play areas and private space, with boundaries that indicate clearly where individual pitches begin and end. It is recommended that communal areas without a clear usage are avoided in the design as they may attract vandalism, fly tipping or unauthorised caravans.

Response: This government ‘statement of fact’ re-enforces the fear that a degree of unlawful activity can be associated with some traveller sites, this does nothing to ensure community cohesion as it outlines particular behaviour traits that the established community are very much concerned about.

5.32 The site should be designed so that post can be delivered separately for each pitch. Experience has shown that postal deliveries to pitches can be disrupted by complaints about harassment by dangerous dogs so the provision of an individual box at the entry to a pitch would be advisable.

Response: This government ‘statement of fact’ based on past experiences with traveller sites highlights further problems that the established community are concerned about, the prospect of dangerous dogs roaming the proposed site at [xxxxxx] is of grave concern, especially to the immediate neighbouring families with young children.

Page 52 Evidence provided to Select Committee “Gypsy and Traveller families often wish to have small compact and well-managed sites located in areas where they have historically resided and have a network of local family support.

Response There is no evidence to suggest that there has been any gypsy family has historically resided at , or near the proposed site at [xxxxx]. There is no evidence that local family support existing in the vicinity of these sites.

 Page 52: Caution should be used when seeking locations for sites to ensure that they are based on need in a particular area.

+ 10.20 It will be important to demonstrate the need for new site provision in any consultation with the settled community, and the steps that the council or private developer will take to address concerns and deal with problems should they arise.

Response: Where is the evidence that there is need for a site at this particular location [xxxxx]. This information has not been provided. 

10.18 As for other kinds of development, it is important that members of the local community, whether Gypsies and Travellers or settled residents, are able to feed in views on plans for new sites.

Response When will the detailed site plans be made available? If not available at the start of the consultation period then this is surely a serious breech of government planning guidelines.

10.19 .............Councils and other developers need to plan for the possibility of such opposition at an early stage in the development and provide accurate information to help overturn negative stereotypes and allay concerns.

Response: The government document ‘Designing Gypsy sites..’ provides information that is allegedly based on fact, negative stereotyping is of little concern if the true negative aspects are openly publicised in official documentation and policy (see points 5.36 and 5.32 from the above document).