We are sorry to report that after letters by members of the Committee and several residents also the speech given by our Chairman at the Planning Control Committee Meeting on the 8th March, 2007, development on the Bristol Street Motors site was given the go-ahead.
There is a serious concern in Chester Green regarding the lack of family housing in the area and the consequence that couples and young families are reluctantly being forced to look outside of the area to find suitably sized family accommodation. The majority of the Victorian housing stock in Chester Green is two bedroom terraced, with only a small proportion of larger three bedroom houses.
The recent developments in Chester Green in Drage Street, in Caesar Street, the development in progress at the junction of City Road and Mansfield Road and the proposed development on the Coach and Horses car park are all one and two bedroom apartments. None of these developments have addressed the serious lack of family housing in Chester Green i.e. three bedroom houses.
In fact these recent developments being popular with investors in the buy to rent market are significantly changing the balance of the community towards short term renting and away from long term family ownership. This is resulting in an adverse effect on the “village community” in Chester Green, an area which is particularly suited to young families with its open spaces and access to parks and recreational areas.
Paragraph 10 of PPG3 Planning Guidance requires Local Authorities to
encourage development of mixed and balanced communities by avoiding the creation of large areas of housing of similar characteristics, thereby offering a choice of housing and lifestyle. The density of this proposed development at 145 dwellings per hectare is four times the minimum level of 35 dwellings per hectare that the Local Plan requires as an efficient use of land.
It is regrettable that our Councillor Finbar Richards did not raise any objections to this development and voted in favour, only one Councillor on the Planning Control Committee voted against this development, Lucy Care, unfortunately she was not from our Ward. Chester Green will, therefore, be inundated with another 116 apartments and only 9 houses on this site.