In response to a request from the East Anglian Daily Times to comment on the signing of the Section 106 Agreement for this planning application our chairman submitted this in response:

Caveat

The parish council has not been a party to the negotiations leading up to this agreement, it is not a party to it and did not receive a copy until 11th April. Any comments must therefore be regarded as provisional.

Response

The parish council acknowledges that it was consulted with other groups in the early stages of the development and is pleased to note that many of the issues raised have been addressed. For example, pedestrian crossings in the existing retail park. We also welcome and share the stated ambitions of the developers, district and county councils to create “a high quality scheme which respects the site’s setting, with extensive green and open spaces” and which “will be an exemplar development of its kind”

An ongoing concern is the traffic mitigation measures, we would like to see adequate baseline monitoring of traffic flows, noise, light and pollution levels to ensure that detriment does not take place and to this end measures should be flexible to ensure a satisfactory outcome. We also look forward to the establishment of an effective “Travel Plan Steering Group” to represent stakeholders in delivering the benefits of a sustainable transport strategy. In this area and in others where standards are specified we will assume these are the minimum acceptable standards and hope they will be improved upon in the implementation. We welcome the plans for footpath and cycle/bridleway improvements.

The matter of healthcare facilities has not been finalised and we continue to press for a solution that will benefit the new and existing users of the doctors’ surgeries which entails maintaining an extended facility at its current location.

We are disappointed that affordable housing is set at 25% and not the target 33% of total provision, we look to the district council to guarantee that there is not further dilution of this requirement, and that the housing mix reflects the needs of the district.

A wide range of other facilities is promised which we welcome, including the school, the opportunity for its expansion, the shared community uses, the library and changing facilities. We hope that these will complement those already available in the parish and help to integrate the old and new communities.

Effective mitigation of the effect of the development on the Deben estuary is essential if the project is to go ahead. We are pleased to note £300,000 is to be contributed to the “recreational avoidance mitigation strategy” but are concerned that there is no more detail given and hope that earlier assurances will be honoured, in for example the appointment of wardens to protect the area.

The success of the development will also depend on the quality of the management company(s) established to manage the open spaces and facilities. Examples abound of badly managed over charging and unrepresentative organisations taking on this role. We hope the developers will learn from examples of good practice in this area.

Finally, we are surprised the proposed name is “Brightwell Lakes”, when the bulk of the development is in Martlesham.

Mike Irwin

Chairman