Is the scale of the Acre Lane development too large for the location?
I am not against any development on the site of my old school in Acre Lane, and I agree, and see the need for a program of house building in our area and indeed across the North West. In fact, there is a dictate from central Government imposing a house building figure on us that must be complied with. However, I do question the size of the proposal within the confines of this densely built up area and wonder how much regard has been paid to the strain this will have on our local infrastructure and to the detriment of the local community.
There are many issues to consider, some of which will affect a few residents a great deal and some that will affect us all and as Ward Councillors we have lodged a four page letter outlining our concerns regarding the proposed development. As a Governor of Mendell Primary I have also written and lodged a separate objection on behalf of the school regarding child safety.
This development will add more traffic to an already busy network of roads and junctions, add hundreds more residents onto already loaded GP and Dentist lists, leave parents scrambling for the few remaining places at our schools and introduce many more new families into the area as the house prices will be beyond the reach of a large majority of current Eastham and Bromborough residents.
We desperately need one bedroom bungalows to enable older residents to downsize and free up family houses, another desperately needed area of housing in this ward. We need affordable and social houses to allow the younger generation to move away from the parental home alleviating the problem of a house having four and five cars parked in a street that was never intended for this type and amount of traffic.
To highlight this lets take Meadowside road, opposite Mendell School, as an example.
The proposal to open Meadowside Road as an access point so the developer can create an exclusive cul de sacs of twenty two, four and five bedroom executive houses is of great concern. The impact this will have on the residents of Meadowside Road, as there is already four access points onto this usually quiet road, will be enormous. If you visit this road in school drop off times you can see that it simply cannot be expected to cope with additional traffic from the families of the new homes proposed. The access to Allport Lane is genuinely dangerous at times, due to school parking on either side reducing the width of the road to one car only.
I also question the figures quoted by the proposed developers that twenty two four/five bed family houses will only produce an extra nine car journeys a day through this road.
I cannot see why, other than to create exclusivity, that access cannot be made to and from the main site. It is interesting to note that the only four/five bed houses on the site will be here, adding strength to my assumptions.
There should be some consideration of the impact to the lives of residents on surrounding streets where they propose to change the whole nature of a current closed ended street. It is putting profit before safety, and I believe, irresponsible to add to the congestion at this junction opposite a primary school.
The above picture is taken from Morris Homes literature and interestingly does not show the junction or the school. Below is one I have taken from Google maps.
I presented a petition at full council to the Mayor this month, on behalf of and signed by, all the local residents requesting this to be addressed and will post the results when they arrive.
The traffic plan talks of post building objectives to persuade people into bike to work schemes, car pool share schemes and the like and suggests that will reduce traffic. Once this is built none of that will happen or be taken up and I would suggest the planning committee know that to be the case. All these houses will undoubtedly be sold to families who will have jobs in disparate places be it Liverpool, Wirral, Cheshire or wherever, most will have large mortgages to pay and use cars to commute to their places of work.
Two hundred and twenty two houses is a huge amount to build on this site, and I have grave concerns as to how the infrastructure of Bromborough and Eastham will possibly cope with this amount of new families. The money being raised by the council from this sale is not being earmarked to be spent on this local area and as Bromborough is a small village not a town, adding 600-800 additional persons to its services (at an average of 3-4 people per house) will make local services stretched further to breaking point and local junctions will be significantly further congested. It is already extremely difficult to get any form of emergency appointment at the local doctors NHS surgery or at a local dentist in the village for example, and parking to attend shops is already difficult and congested.
There are questions such as where will the new children in these homes all go to school?
I suggest the proposed total number of houses should be reduced significantly by the planners to a more sensible level that the local area can cope with to take account of the social and environmental impact. WYG made clear at the residents meeting, in Bromborough Library, that the developer will not have to pay anything to support the Health requirements for doctors places etc (as Wirral do not impose the CIL (Community Infrastructure Levy)) so how is that demand proposed to be met?
A further concern caused by the large number of houses being proposed for the site is that WYG have stated that the proposed development period for the site will be five to six years. As the site is bordered on all sides save the former school site by residential homes that is very significant period of disruption and noise and environmental pollution to expect council tax paying residents to endure.
We will have a constant stream of building merchant deliveries, vans and flatbed trucks etc entering and exiting the site from the A41 via Bridle and Allport road, and given the volume created by the forty odd houses built on Harrisons Yard going past my front window on a daily basis, I am expecting considerably more. A five/six year ongoing building site is simply not an acceptable environmental proposal and will produce significant dust and noise contamination for the existing residents and cause continued environmental damage.
I have also asked for a report on the effect on house prices this will have in the area, as I believe any resident wishing to sell their house within this period will find they may need to accept a considerably reduced valuation.