Update and lastest news – Phase 1 – Light Hill.
Update – 14th June 2016
Mr Will Gooding, the Site Manager representing the Halsbury Homes Phase 1 development at Light Hill attended the Parish Council Meeting on 14th June and gave an update on the site progress:
The groundwork signs on the A256 bypass are still in place and approval is still pending from KCC before any work can start on the construction of the new access road.
No houses on the development may be occupied until the A256 access point is completed.
One of the reasons that the construction has commenced from the Archers Court Road side of the development is so that the spine road through the development is ready and able to ‘meet up’ with the A256 access point, rather than delaying the spine road construction. This will hopefully shorten the time period that construction traffic has to use Archers Court Road.
Arrangements for sewage has not yet been signed off by Southern Water Services. Again, no occupation of the new properties is allowed until these arrangements are signed off. However, Southern Water cannot stop the connection of the houses on the new development to the mains.
The new school site is allocated and programmed for completion 2017 / 2020.
Although two Public Rights of Way have been closed there is hope that at least a partial opening of the route, albeit diverted, is imminent. Access to these Rights of Way has been restricted because although they do not necessarily fall within the construction plan, they are affected by various service connections which are required.
The site compound will become active, probably the 2nd week in July, receiving deliveries of crush material and deliveries of bricks etc will commence next month. However, any deliveries will for the future abide by the time and speed restrictions along Archers Court Road.
Wherever possible a local workforce will be employed.
The archaeological explorations were completed, with no significant findings.
The Parish Council Chairman thanked Will for taking the time to attend the meeting and said that the Council looked forward to working with him during the course of the development.
Update June 2016 – Work begins on Phase 1 (sub-phase 1a)
Work has begun on the first 94 houses of the Phase 1 application for 1,400 houses. The work has also begun on constructing the new roundabout junction from the A256 bypass, which will be the access for the site once completed.
Despite strong objections from the Parish Council, Construction Traffic will be coming through the Village along Archer’s Court Road for an initial period, until October, to allow the developer to start building houses before this junction has been completed. This is contrary to the promises made to us by the DDC planners and the Developers and to the conditions in the Whitfield SPD planning policy document which categorically stated that all Construction Traffic access would be from the A256 bypass and house building would begin once the access was complete.
SPD table 5.3 – Construction Access and Routes, clearly states:
Access point: A256 new site access junction with a Prerequisite Infrastructure Requirement of the Provision of new A256 junction prior to start of construction of site. It goes on to say that Access via the new A256 junction will help mitigate construction traffic impact on existing residents and upon the local road network with access routeing constrained to principal highway routes.
SPD paragraph 6.16 states:
“The Concept Masterplan has been designed with a view to minimising potential disruption to the existing community during the construction period. In many areas green infrastructure provides an intervening public space and traffic access arrangements are largely based upon the creation of new access points from the surrounding road network and minimising usage of existing roads within Whitfield. Construction traffic will be expected to use the proposed new accesses and avoid passing through the existing settlement.”
Core Strategy Policy CP 11 (iv).
” An access and transport strategy is developed that maximises the potential for walking, cycling and use of public transport, especially to the town centre and the White Cliffs Business Park area, includes link/distributor roads to connect the site to the surrounding network, identifies access points to the site and between the site and the existing settlement, safeguards land for a park and ride facility and identifies construction access arrangements that do not disrupt existing residents;”
The developer has appointed a Site Manager as the point of contact for any complaints or enquiries about their construction activities and construction traffic along Whitfield’s roads.
The Contact is Mr Will Gooding – Phone No 07483 980 784
The contractors have many safeguards in place to mitigate any problems and the drivers of the vehicles are all professional and experienced drivers so there should not be any major problems.
Warning signage for the site access has been greatly improved with bigger signs situated at a greater distance from the hazard.
Yellow timeplate signs have been put up to enforce the yellow lines.
30mph speed restriction signs to extend the existing limit to beyond the site entrance are in operation.
Whitfield’s PCSO, Jacqui Brook, is carrying out speed checks on Archer’s Court Road to deter the increasing speed of local traffic on Archer’s Court Road that has been noted
Mr Gooding is very approachable and is keen to hear of any problems so that they can be addressed without delay. He is in regular contact with the Parish Council and will be updating us with progress and news of any new activities on the site.
Other recent updates include:
The contractors have some traffic lights up along Archers Court road to get the temporary access into the site. These traffic lights will be in place only during the day over the next few weeks to make it less disruptive. The application for them is to use as required so that can be removed and fitted when required so they will go up and down.
The Council have been instructed to cut the grass verge which has been done along Archers Court road.
Public Right of way update. The Contractor has approached a fencing contractor to carry out some boundary fencing works to open part of the field for the dog walkers, further updates on the progress will follow once this is clarified this is an option.
Update November 2015 – Archaeological work to begin on Phase 1
The Parish Council received an update from Christopher Simkins, Director of Planning and Strategy from RPS Planning & Development, to let us know that it is likely that machinery will arrive on site to undertake archaeological work in the week beginning 23rd November. This does not mean the development is starting but is part of the work needed to discharge planning conditions. Because it involves digging trenches (which are then filled in again) people often understandably think, however, it’s to do with digging foundations which it is not. If it turns out to be significantly later than 23rd November, Chris will let us know.
Update October 2015 – Planning application approved
Phase 1a has been underway for some time at the Northern end of the Village and after waiting some time for news on the rest of the development we have recently recieved the outline plans for Phase1 – the area to the East of Whitfield within Archer’s Court Road, The A2 and the Whitfield By-pass.
This area will eventually have up to 1,400 new homes built on it, this first application will be for the access from the By-pass and the initial100 homes.
The plans and artist impression of the finished development can be seen on this link to the document kindly sent to us by Phillip Jeans, the lead developer.
Link to Outline Plans
Update September 2015 – Parish Response to Planning Application
The application details can be found on the DDC website Planning Application No. 15/00878 – Reserved matters application pursuant to outline permission DOV/10/01010, relating to the appearance, layout and landscaping of 94no. dwellings together with garages and parking including all highway related details, sub phase 1A, Phase 1, (Light Hill) Whitfield Urban Expansion.
Whitfield Parish Council response to the application was that we had no objection relating to the appearance, layout and landscaping of this sub phase of the development and considered that the overall layout and design of the sub-phase and the design, choice and variety of dwellings to be built are of a high standard.
The Parish Council did comment that there are a number of other matters that the Parish Council consider will have to be addressed prior to construction beginning, which were listed in the response, and that it should also be noted that whilst Whitfield Parish Council recognises that the Urban Expansion of Whitfield will progress and the time for objecting to the plan itself has passed, the Council still have major concerns about the extent of the overall development plans for Whitfield and the lack of provision for social and community infrastructure and services.
Link to full response from Whitfield Parish Council