Housing Application – Coblands

An application for housing on the Coblands site was submitted several years ago and went nowhere other than for some consultees to submit some comments, particularly around drainage. After the Traveller site was granted permission in February, I received notification that the existing housing application had been withdrawn.

Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago and a new application has been submitted and subsequently validated. The application is PLAN/2021/0248 and is for the demolition of the four houses and the building of 128 residential units. All houses are two storeys, with four small apartment blocks that are three storeys.

The image below gives a good impression of what is being proposed.

The site will deliver 64 affordable units, with 20 of those being for sale, and the remaining 44 for rent. This is precisely 50% which is better than the amount suggested in the WBC Core Strategy.

The remaining 64 units will be sold at the market price, and effectively these will support the affordable units, as well as make contributions to the road network that needs some work by the crossroads.

I think the design and access statement is worth reading as it gives a good overview of what is being proposed and can be accessed through the planning portal using PLAN/2021/0248 as the search string.

There will be play areas, each house will have a garden and there will be space for residents of the flats to access.

Parking wise, there are more parking spaces than there are units with 197 spaces planned. Will this be enough? Probably not, but then again, the more parking provided, the more cars it seems to attract. Each unit will have a space, with some of the larger houses having more than one space.

The units will be highly sustainable and will probably be far more efficient than most of the housing stock in the village.

Is it perfect? Not quite. Is it a good use of the site? Absolutely and I am very much in support of it as it achieves things people have spoken to me about over the past few years; namely the prevention of the Traveller site expanding across the entire site, the building of a lot of affordable homes (the majority of which are one and two bedroomed), and improvements to the crossroads.

The crossroads are not part of the application as that is in train elsewhere through the Joint Committee process. The other area being worked on is the concept of the ‘local first’ priority order which is also not part of the planning application. These two issues I will continue to pursue.

Overall I’m glad this has finally made it to planning and I hope it goes through so we can finally get the whole site stable.