Residents anger at plans to build apartment block next to Grantham Canal

© Plan A Architects

West Bridgford and Lady Bay residents are angered by plans submitted to Rushcliffe Borough Council to demolish a bungalow and build an apartment block with parking immediately next to the Grantham Canal. 

The application was submitted by Stagfield Ltd of Nottingham who state on their website  that:

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‘Stagfield Group is a property development company, devoted to providing high-quality housing that is both sustainable and affordable. Our experienced team are dedicated to providing ​an exceptional service to our tenants, homeowners, investors and communities.’

The application is to demolish a bungalow that sits just a few metres from the canal towpath, and build a new 10-apartment block with a car park.

Tim Baker, local spokesman for The Green Party told The Wire: “We need more housing and  it needs to be as eco-friendly as possible while taking into consideration the concerns of close neighbours and protecting wildlife.”

A resident who lives nearby and is part of a voluntary group effort to keep the canal clean said:

‘The hedgerow next to the bungalow has already been removed by the developers way before anyone knew about the proposed development and against advice from the preliminary ecological report the developers have submitted.’

Adding: ‘There has been substantial and strong opposition to this proposed and unnecessary development among many residents and those who enjoy the canal as a leisure space, which has included objections from the Nottingham Local Wildlife, the Environmental Agency, The Canal and River Trust and the Grantham Canal Society.

‘A few weeks ago, many local residents volunteered their time on Sunday 19th November, to work with the Canal and Rivers Trust, to clear a stretch of the Grantham Canal that runs along the side of Lady Bay in West Bridgford, to mainatin the heritage and the environment for nesting wildlife, of which there are many.

‘Whilst undertaking this work, it came to light that a large development consisting of 10 flats was proposed to be built directly next to the canal, directly threatening the environment and abundant wildlife of this historic canal. The developers have already removed a well established tree and hedgerow without permission as far as we are aware.

‘This was news to everybody, as up until this point nobody had been informed about this by the Council.
‘There are many members of the local community concerned about the impact of this development, there is already a perfectly habitable bungalow on site which is more in keeping with the needs of the community. Apparently the developers are presenting this as social housing? It’s on a grand scale for social housing, which brings into question if it is affordable housing? as is the government remit on social housing.’
Residents have also met with Kenneth Clarke to raise objections – Rushcliffe Borough Council may still accept objection letters.

 

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© Plan A Architects

Reference: 17/02658/FUL

Application Validated: Fri 17 Nov 2017

Address

21 Kendal Court West Bridgford Nottinghamshire NG2 5HE

Proposal: Demolition of bungalow and erection of 10 apartments with associated parking.

A boundary has been marked off

The Environment Agency objects to the plans until a plan to minimise flood risk is submitted by developers saying,

‘The FRA submitted with this application does not comply with the requirements set out in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and the Planning Practice Guidance (PPG).  The submitted FRA does not, therefore, provide a suitable basis for assessment to be made of the flood risks arising from the proposed development.
In particular, the submitted FRA fails to:
1. Set appropriate finished floor levels
2. Address residual risk’

In this image taken last year, see the bungalow on the top left, this is where the boundary markers in the previous picture are now, viewed from a point facing the opposite direction.
This image was taken at almost the same point as the above picture

The application has 101 public comments, 96 of them are in objection, here is a selection;

  • ‘As Lady Bay residents living adjacent to the Grantham Canal on Ropsley Crescent we feel that the proposed development is inappropriate for the site. It appears too large for the plot and will adversely affect the amenity value of the canal towpath. We also feel that the likely increase in traffic which will be using the Radcliffe Road/Kendal Court junction would be a hazard at peak times.
    As a member of the Friends of Grantham Canal and a supporter of the Canals & Rivers Trust I am concerned about the risk to the integrity of the canal channel caused by the ground works for such a large construction project together with the adverse effect on local flora and fauna from the removal of the shelter belt created by the verge and fence/hedging bounding the current property.
    We hope you will reject the proposed plan.’
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  • ‘I would be very disappointed were the proposed development to be granted planning approval. The canal area has been a haven whilst I was on maternity leave, a place of solitude and peace to walk with my baby away from the pollution of the roads and the bustle of the towpath.As my son has grown older we have enjoyed the opportunity to watch a variety of wildlife, which I fear would be threatened by a building so imposing on the habitat. The presence of a wall immediately adjacent to the towpath would spoil the illusion of being in countryside en route to complete errands in town.The canal is a wonderful niche of biodiversity and the concerns highlighted by the Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust only further my worry that the proposed development would be detrimental to the animals and plants which we so enjoy visiting.

    I am particularly disappointed that removal of the hedgerow has been allowed prior to the planning decision being made, surely the point of the process is to prevent irretrievable steps being carried out prior to all the arguments being examined?’

 

  • ‘I strongly object to this development. The proposed development is out of keeping with the area. At two storeys high, it will block the light for surrounding properties and there will be the need for increased parking which is completely unrealistic.The proximity of the appartments will be too close to the canal and spoil the enjoyment of the many people who enjoy walking alongside it, not to mention the effect on the wildlife.I am not sure why hedges have been cut and part of the area cleared when this application has not been successful yet? And, hope this is not yet another ‘Sharphills wood’ scenario, where despite so many objections, the development will go ahead regardless.’

 

  • ‘I object in the strongest terms against this planning application for the following reasons:
    – Impact on the environment. This development will have a detrimental effect on the diverse wildlife that dwell in and around the canal. The long-term effect of this is difficult to gauge, but the short-term impact could be catastrophic whilst the building works are in progress. I understand that kingfishers are one of the native species in residence and as an ‘amber status’ bird with less than 300 breeding pairs in the entire UK, this should be a major consideration.
    – Overlooking and loss of privacy. This development will overlook not only my property when completed, but numerous other existing property in the vicinity.
    – effect on the character of the neighbourhood. Replacing a single-storey dwelling with 2 two-storey buildings is not in keeping with the current character of the neighbourhood. This smacks of ‘garden grabbing’ and is very much against the change of approach outlined by the government in 2010 in the National Planning Policy Framework. The aim of this development is not to provide affordable housing in the area; this is purely about someone wanting to make a considerable profit with no consideration of the existing residents.
    – Noise and disturbance. Notwithstanding the impact to the wildlife, this will cause considerable impact to the human residents of the locality whilst this building project is in progress.
    – Highway safety. The additional 19 residencies this will create will cause additional vehicles to enter the carriageway on Radcliffe Road, at a point where there is a sharp bend. This will cause an increased risk of accidents for the new vehicles and for the existing road users.
    I would also like to raise my concerns regarding the removal of the hedgerow that has already taken place at this address, I assume in preparation for the development commencing. As stated on Rushcliffe Borough Council’s website ‘Hedgerows represent some of the most important wildlife habitats in lowland Britain’. Regardless of whether any offence has occurred in removing this hedge, I believe this action is a very good indication of the mindset of the developer and their complete lack of consideration for the environment.’

Read more at the link to the plans at the beginning of the article.

 

2 Comments

  1. The comment in favour is not from anyone directly affected by this application as he does not live to close to the area concerned unlike myself who will be less than 30yards away IWonder what he might have to gain or are his views from someone who has

  2. This is a complete witch hunt, the big signs at many access points to the canal are quite ridiculous as well- i think one is about a mile from the development! and being next to Radcliffe road instigate ‘anti development responses’ from people that live no where near it! – i would be interested to see a heat map of the actual objectors addresses.
    As for the hedge- this could be replanted so is no great loss.
    Finally the canal is MAN MADE! has everyone not forgotten this? and if it is not dredged soon then all the fish in this section like the 2 sections further down will also be ‘dead’ and devoid of all fish.
    A campaign to get the canal workable as a fully navigable waterway once again would be a much better use of every ones time and effort instead of campaigns like this that have divided opinion and caused anger and accusations on all sides of the debate.

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