As I am sure you will know by now, the planning application for a Care Village of 159 apartments plus numerous ancillary buildings at Sladnor Park has now been lodged with Torbay Council. (If the developer's usual modus operandi is followed, Phases 2 / 3 of the development with even more building will follow.) You can find the information on the Torquay Council website and the Planning Application Number is P/2018/1053, or just type Sladnor Park into the search box in the planning section. If you experience any problems please let me know.
Each of us will have our personal views as to the desirability of this scheme. I would urge EVERY SINGLE HOUSEHOLD who objects to this development to write to / email Torbay Council to register your comments. We only have very short window until 12 December to register comments. Whilst they 'may' accept comments after that date, there is no guarantee, so please don't delay. If the planning application is passed by Torbay Council, we have no opportunity to appeal. If however we were to win, the planner has the right to appeal.
In objecting to this scheme it is very important that you object on planning grounds. Whilst there is a lot of emotion surrounding any issue such as this, any comments other than on planning grounds will sadly not carry any weight with the decision makers at the planning department etc. Simply saying that the site is unsuitable, we want to protect wildlife, or that 'we don't want the development' will not count. A small team at the MRA have put together an extensive list of relevant objections (attached) which will carry weight with the planners, so please use at least one of these in your submission.
There are far too many dubious claims from the developer to list here, but for instance with the average house price in Torbay being £225,000, I cannot see how they can justify their claim that this is for local people when the top apartments, we are told, are due to sell for circa £1.2 million plus £8,000pa maintenance charge. This surely must mean that 300 elderly folks, from probably the Home Counties, move into the Bay, putting tremendous additional pressure on our Care & Hospital / GP networks. GP & hospital appointments are hard enough to come by now from these overstretched resources.
The concerns regarding flooding are very serious and having looked at the plans there appears to be very little consideration regarding protecting Maidencombe. For instance, their drainage engineer assured me earlier this year that any surface run-off water would 'simply go into the Maidencombe mains drainage system'. He was stunned to discover we do not have such a thing! Again, please don't think flooding will only cause problems for the lower part of the village, it will affect everyone. Again, please let me know if I can give you further information or I can help in any way, e.g. how it may impact you.
You may be reading this and thinking that a development at Sladnor Park will not impact you. Once the precedent is set the other planning applications which are in the wings, including a housing estate on the conservation area between the junction of Rockhouse Lane & Brim Hill and Steep Hill (behind Courthouse & Maidencombe Farm), will likely get permission, as will plans for housing on the field at the top of Steep Hill & Brim Hill. I would ask you to remember why you chose to live in Maidencombe rather than the small town it could effectively become. We can certainly say goodbye to our lovely dark skies and the tranquillity of the combe. The inevitable rise in the water table could affect the foundations of some properties and even cause our bio-discs / cess pits to cease to function.
We have asked our 3 Ward Councillors to support us in opposing the development of Sladnor Park. It would be helpful if you could copy them in when you submit objections to Torbay Council.
Anne Brooks - email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ray Hill - email: email@example.com
Neil Bent - email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Other news includes the fact that the Neighbourhood Plan (which the committee members of the MRA worked very hard to bring to completion) was finally approved by Torbay Council. This plan will, once adopted, give greater protection to the areas that we treasure, as well as giving the informed views of residents on where development can take place, schools built, roads, business development etc etc. This plan will go out to referendum at the same time as local council elections in May 2019. If you would like to read the Neighbourhood Plan, please go to :-https://www.torbay.gov.uk/council/policies/planning-policies/neighbourhood-plans/
So what else has the MRA been doing in Maidencombe?
Our MRA Members Discount Card is proving very popular and members are enjoying money off a wide range of local businesses. If you haven't got your card yet, please let me know and start saving! Future diary dates include Carols at the pub on 21 December at 7.30pm, the annual Christmas morning swim at the beach (around 10.30 - time to be confirmed), and Burns night on 26 January (veggie haggis available!) See the village notice board for updates on events.
Finally, may I wish you and those you love a very Happy and Peaceful Christmas and all you wish for in 2019.
Very best wishes,
Maidencombe Residents' Association