Saturday, 30 June 2018

Orton Wistow Residents Strongly Oppose Access Road Proposal

Councillor Julie Howell (centre) with Orton Wistow residents
Councillor Julie Howell (centre) with Orton Wistow residents


Following a huge public outcry, the developer and the city council have confirmed that the application has been withdrawn and a fresh application that will not include plans for an access road between Lynchwood and Wistow Way will be submitted. 

Read more on the Peterborough Telegraph website.

What going on?

A few weeks ago I began to receive phone calls and emails from residents of Orton Wistow. They were all very concerned by some information they had received about an outline planning proposal for changes to Lynchwood Business Park, that would include the creation of an access road linking a car park within Lynchwood to Wistow Way. The exit point on Wistow Way would be directly opposite Napier Place Sheltered Housing and just along the road from Orton Wistow Primary School.

Concerned, I had a look at the plans and very quickly began to understand why the residents who had got in touch with me were so worried.

To begin with, only residents of Svenskaby got in touch. This was because they had received through their doors a notification from the council to let them know about the proposal and inviting them to comment as part of a formal consultation. However, Wistow is a close community, and pretty soon alarm had spread from one street to the next.

Quite apart from being a city councillor, I have twenty years of experience as a policy officer and campaigns manager. My immediate reaction to the situation was to address the concern and confusion by making sure that all Wistow residents had access to the facts.

I let the Peterborough Telegraph know that the proposal was causing great worry to residents, spoke live on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire's Breakfast Show.

A very public meeting

On Tuesday 19th June, I called a public meeting so that residents who had concerns about the proposal could hear from one another and I could hear from them. To my astonishment, 650 residents attended the meeting, which was hosted by Orton Wistow Primary School (thank you to head teacher Simon Eardley for that).

Public meeting
650 residents attended the public meeting to express how they feel about the proposed access road

650 is an incredible turnout by any standard. The vast majority of those who attended are not in favour of the access road. Many expressed concerns about road safety, noise, destruction of tree belt, pollution and irreparable damage to the unique character of Orton Wistow.

Where can I view the plans?

You can view the proposal on the city council's planning portal at Search for planning application 18/00923/OUT. When you have found the application, click on 'Documents' and then on 'See Associated Documents' to view the details of the proposal.

The screen looks something like this
(documents are being added all the time)

How can I comment on the proposal?

The city council is currently running a public consultation and your comments are very welcome. Just visit the online planning portal and once you have the details of the application on screen click on the 'Comments' tab to leave your feedback.

The consultation remains open until 10 July 2018.

If you know someone who wants to comment but who doesn't have access to the internet, they can send their comment by post to the case officer Mrs J MacLennan at Peterborough City Council, Town Hall, Bridge Street, Peterborough PE1 1HF quoting application reference 18/00923/OUT.

What should I write in my comments?

What you write is up to you. However, the following tips may help.
  • Important: start by writing whether you support or object to the proposal
  • Use your own words, don't copy someone else's comments
  • Write about the impact the proposed access road would have on you and your family
  • Ask everyone in your household to write in separately

Things you might like to write about

Character: Orton Wistow is a quiet, safe residential area. The introduction of business park traffic onto Wistow Way is inappropriate, out of character and potentially dangerous.

Access: Emergency vehicles may not be able to get through gridlocked traffic.
Napier Place Sheltered Housing regularly requires emergency vehicle traffic.
Moving the bus stops discourages residents from Napier Place from using public transport.
Some Napier Place residents will not be able to walk the extra distance if the bus stops are moved.
The proposal to move the school's four parking bays will exacerbated the traffic problems at the start and end of the school day.
The access road will act as a 'rat run' between Wistow Way and Lynchwood Business Park.

Health: Emissions from queuing traffic on Wistow Way are harmful.
There will be additional harmful emissions due to the additional traffic on Wistow Way.
Road noise will be increased.

Safety: Pedestrians (including children and older people) will be forced to cross at the busy Napier Place junction to reach the bus stop and parking bays.
Additional traffic will travel around the whole of Wistow Way as more vehicles will access the other end of Wistow Way to get to the access road.
Risk from blind overtaking parked vehicles on the bend if parking bays are moved there.

Traffic: Additional traffic could block Wistow Way while traffic queues on Oundle Road could block that too.
Traffic exiting from Wistow Way will have to give way to traffic at Lynchwood.
There will be delays at the blind corner due to cars parked in the (moved) parking bays and the (moved) bus stop.

Appearance: Loss of trees will open up views of a large car park and five-storey office buildings.
The tree belt serves as a 'buffer' between the residential estate and the business park. Part of the tree belt will be destroyed to create the access road.

And if you'd like to get a bit more technical... Policies affected by the development

National Planning Policy Framework - Section 4 - Promoting Sustainable Transport

All developments that generate significant amounts of movement should be supported by a Transport Statement or Transport Assessment. Plans and decisions should take account of whether:
  • the opportunities for sustainable transport modes have been taken up depending on the nature and location of the site, to reduce the need for major transport infrastructure;
  • safe and suitable access to the site can be achieved for all people;
  • improvements can be undertaken within the transport network that cost effectively limit the significant impacts of the development. Development should only be prevented or refused on transport grounds where the residual cumulative impacts of development are severe.
Peterborough Planning Policies DPD (2012) - PP12 - The Transport Implications of Development

Permission will only be granted if appropriate provision has been made for safe access by all user groups and there would not be any unacceptable impact on the transportation network including highway safety

Peterborough Local Plan 2016 to 2036 (Submission) - LP13 - Transport

a) New development should ensure that appropriate provision is made for the transport needs that it will create including reducing the need to travel by car, prioritisation of bus use, improved walking and cycling routes and facilities. 
b) The Transport Implications of Development - Permission will only be granted where appropriate provision has been made for safe access of all user groups and subject to appropriate mitigation.
c) Parking Standards - permission will only be granted if appropriate parking provision for all modes of transport is made in accordance with standards.

The Transport Implications of Development
Planning permission for development that has transport implications will only be granted if:
a) appropriate provision has been made for safe, convenient and sustainable access to, from and within the site by all user groups, taking account of the priorities set out in the LTP; and
b) following appropriate mitigation the development would not result in a residual cumulative severe impact on any element of the transportation network including highway safety.

Thank you

I would like to thank the many hundreds of Orton Wistow residents and people who travel to Orton Wistow regularly (e.g. parents whose children attend Orton Wistow Primary School) for attending the public meeting, responding to the consultation and making others aware of it; the 12 residents who distributed leaflets for me; Simon Eardly, Head Teacher, Orton Wistow Primary School for use of meeting rooms; Luke Moore for invaluable research; members of Peterborough Green Party. More names will be added here!

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