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Place Farm, Rowhedge Road, Old Heath
This objection should also be read in conjunction with suggested Policies SG3 and SG4. In addition, reference is made to this site within other representations concerning Policy SS14 and EC3.
Place Farm has been identified within the Council's previous adopted local plans for employment purposes as an extension of the Whitehall Industrial Estate. In principle the inclusion of the land within policy SG4 is strongly supported. The land extends to 6.4 hectares of rough grazing land and former sand & gravel workings as shown on the attached plan. My clients have owned the site since 1969. Due to various issues within the family, the land has not been available to come forward for development. However, that situation has very recently been resolved. It is therefore intended to shortly submit a planning application proposing development of the site.
Unfortunately issues have arisen in relation to the ability to access the site, due to ransom covenants placed on the adjoining land. These restrictions have placed a financial burden upon the effective development of the site for employment purposes having regard to the only suitable means of access for commercial vehicles being via Whitehall Road. This does not mean that the site is unsuitable for development, rather that the viability of the scheme is not necessarily conducive to achieving an appropriate use of the land. It is therefore suggested that part of the land towards Rowhedge Road be considered for residential purposes. This area, as shown on the attached plan extending to approximately 2 hectares, can be accessed from Rowhedge Road. The existing drive serving the farm can be upgraded to serve a development of approximately 40 dwellings. A development of this scale and nature would sit comfortably with the immediate residential surroundings, located in a wholly sustainable location and have little if any impact upon the wider area. Most importantly, it would provide the financial impetus to enable the development, including overage payments, to be implemented on the remainder of the land. The scheme would thereby ensure the development of 4.4 hectares for employment purposes, with an agreement that the residential development only commences following the construction of the extension of Whitehall Road. It is also suggested that the northern part of the 4.4 hectares adjoining the sewage treatment works could be designated for 'bad neighbour' type uses, as such provision is considerably lacking within the Borough.