Mr Richard Hodson
Planning Manager
Persimmon Homes West Midlands
Venture Court
West Midlands
WV10 6TB

Dear Mr Hodson,

Preliminary Proposed Masterplan for Land off Cricket Lane, Lichfield

Further to our discussion at the recent exhibition of the outline preliminary proposals indicative masterplan site layout our comments are as follows:

Now the layout is more clearly shown on a plan base, the scale of the business/commercial area appears large compared with the residential area. In view of the employment land 'overprovision' situation as recognised by the Planning Inspector [*] at Eastern Avenue, we question whether the proposed proportions are now appropriate particularly in view of the sensitive location here.
[*] Appeal Ref: APP/K3415/A/14/2216143

Additionally, and for the same reason, all commercial buildings should be restricted in scale and height. To assist this, the site development should be restricted to B1 office use (along the lines of the Lichfield South site on Birmingham Road). The current proposal for B2 (industry) and B8 (warehousing) is completely inappropriate, since this 'gateway' location should be of high quality. Should industrial or warehousing uses be provided then the site layout should ensure that the relationship with residential properties is such that hours of working, noise, dust, odours, vehicle deliveries or movements and artificial lighting is not intrusive or a nuisance.

The accessible open space corridor between the employment allocation and residential allocation should be sufficiently wide to ensure effective separation of these allocations and encourage usage by the public. The current width appears insufficient and also significantly less than indicated on the layout plan in the SDA Concept Statement. Within the commercial allocation there should also be a landscaping belt to screen the development and enhance the physical separation from the residential properties. Similar issues of separation and screening apply to the single residential property fronting onto London Road which is to be surrounded by the commercial site. Additionally, the landscape screening on the London Road frontage, particularly north of the proposed access, is completely inadequate and needs to be enhanced.

In relation to traffic movements from the business area, all HGVs should be prevented from turning right from the site towards the City Centre by condition and / or appropriate agreement, both during construction and operation.

Fully detailed road layout proposals for both London Road / Cricket Lane junction and Tamworth Road / Cricket Lane junction, if it is to remain, need to be considered at the same time as the development proposals.

A much firmer statement / commitment needs to be made on the provision of safe and direct footpath and cycleway connections beyond the site to all relevant destinations. Of concern here is the current notion that there is adequate space for the provision of a cycle lane that is safe to use within the existing carriageway of St John Street and London Road.

The area of accessible open space alongside the A38 and including the sports pitches should be of a sufficient width to ensure that traffic noise is not unacceptable in the residential properties and their gardens. In this respect the adoption of a corridor of sufficient width using a noise assessment is needed. This was the procedure carried out on the Boley Park Development in relation to the A38. Legally binding obligations are needed ensuring that the landscaped areas, as well as all open space, play areas and allotments, will remain and be maintained as such.

We note that the number of dwelling proposed in the current layout at 500 exceeds the allocation of 450 in the Local Plan. Increasing the width of accessible open space corridor between the employment allocation and residential allocation may result in a reduction of the numbers to be built. If it is necessary to increase the width of open space area on the boundary with A38 this may also impact upon the number of dwellings.

If you discuss any of these matters, we are very happy to do so.

Yours sincerely,

John Thompson
Lichfield Civic Society,
19th May, 2016