Monday, 6 March 2017

Oakmere Homes consultation on land beside Long Meadow Lane

An update on the situation from David Peters, Chair of Natland Parish Council

Two representatives of Oakmere Homes invited themselves (at my suggestion) to the ‘public participation’ item at last Monday’s (27 February) parish council meeting. No other members of the public attended. The subject wasn’t on the publicised Agenda because Oakmere Homes hadn’t contacted the Parish Council at the time of its publication.

During an informal discussion parish councillors made several comments, including the point that the flyer postal delivery on 18 February should have covered the whole village, rather than just Long Meadow Lane, Wandales Lane and Abbey Drive, because the impact of the development, particularly the extra traffic on Oxenholme Lane and Helm Lane, would be felt by the whole village.

Oakmere Homes declined to concede that point, but followed up with an email to the Clerk from Kate Bellwood, Oakmere Homes’ planning consultant, clarifying the situation and including the following statements:

“Oakmere Homes are carrying out community consultation on the potential development of the site, details attached. The consultation is seeking local views and opinion on two key elements of the proposal - the housing development and the public open space.  The attached document contains information on the site and the proposal.  The scheme is still in its infancy and we would welcome any feedback you may have to help form a development that meets local needs and/or to help us understand local concerns.”

“I can also confirm that there is no ‘end date’ for the community consultation, as we will leave comments open for as long as possible to allow people to comment in their own time. I can also confirm that the flyer sent out is not an ‘invitation only’ response, but that we welcome comments from anyone with an interest in the development whether or not they have received a flyer personally. Oakmere are advertising the consultation on their own website and I see that there is also reference to the consultation on your own website.”

“Further to that meeting and this consultation process, I would like to offer to attend a future Parish Council Meeting, with Mark Wilkinson of Oakmere Homes, should the community feel they would like to ask questions directly about the potential development. However in the interim should there be any other questions, please contact Oakmere Homes or myself and we shall endeavour to answer your questions.”

The Parish Council’s response to this consultation will be considered at its next meeting on 27 March. In the meantime, Natland Parish Council urges concerned residents to respond to this pre-application consultation by visiting Oakmere Homes’ website here. The flyer is also available by clicking here, and my ‘advice and information’ document about the consultation by clicking here.