After the previous planning application was refused and as was the later appeal for the Sewardstone Road site in July 2015, a new reduced scale application has been submitted for this site. Please find a copy of our objection letter for this fresh application below.
Re: Application No EPF/2088/18 Former Haulage Yard Hawes Lane Waltham Abbey Essex
Dear Mr Rogers
Waltham Abbey Residents Association is writing on behalf of local residents to record their objections to the proposed development at the former transport yard at Hawes Lane off Sewardstone Road, Waltham Abbey, Essex.
W.A.R.A objections to the proposed development are set out below in no particular order:
Loss of Employment
The proposed development was formally a farm and the barns on site were originally used for storage and transport of produce generated by the farm. Through tough economic times the barns were converted into small industrial units. These small units provide an economic work base for small start up firms to thrive. The loss of the these facilities will be a blow to the local economy as there are few cost effective units available within the district for these small local firms to commence trading and survive here in Waltham Abbey. Closure of the units will undoubtedly lead to the loss of many jobs when these shut down.
The farmland originally sited here was in the green belt and boundaries onto The Lea Valley Park.
Farmyard building were converted into workshops for the transport operations then turned into factory units with no planning approval to do so, just grandfather rights for being used for so long.
This area is still considered to be green belt, so should it not be returned to this status and not housing development?
The Gunpowder Park is adjacent to this proposed development and is a protected site, the development will cause disturbance to the wildlife residing in the park and especially at night. The existing small industrial units on site, close relatively early so do not pose any night time disruption. However, should development proceed, the larger population residing on site and the night time activity and light pollution will be considered a nuisance to the wildlife. Will you please ensure this is examined prior to granting approval?
The entrance to this site off of Sewardstone Road is now and always has been a site for major traffic incidents, going back decades with both Lorries’ and cars rolling over after approaching the sharp bend followed by rise of the hill at too fast a speed. Because of these issues in the past, there were plans to straighten the road and land was purchased to rectify this hazard, this land was fenced off ready for the construction to straighten out this bend and the next bend following it, but to date this has never been implemented; only a new footpath has been constructed on the land.
Local residents have voiced their concern to Wara over this traffic issue, more than any other relating to the development and consider the junction to be a major traffic black spot. There is a 30mph limit on this stretch of road that everyone seems to ignore.
The main reason they object to this development, is that the junction egressing the site onto Sewardstone Road will add to the problem, there is an acute right hand bend and an upward gradient as you pass the entrance to the proposed development, heading from Chingford toward Waltham Abbey. This is where most of the accidents occur and as previously stated, traffic travelling too fast has difficulty negotiating the two obstacles combined, extra traffic exiting the site will exacerbate the problem. If joining the road from Mott Street you are unable to view the road from the left as the junction as is at an angle and hedges restrict your view further. You take your life in your hands when turning right as you cannot see traffic coming from the left until you get further out into the road.
Please note that when the previous application in 2014 was submitted, there was a car stuck in the bushes after missing the bend and careering off the road and was there several days. On 17th August 2018 another incident occurred and the fire brigade was called out release the occupants of a car in a car collision. Similarly an accident occurred in 2016 involving three cars and the fire brigade was called to that too.
On 19thSeptember 2018 yet another accident occurred near the Plough Public house according to Essex police, this involved three cars and resulted in minor injuries. The accident closed the road fo several hours whilst the passengers were released by the fire brigade and despatched to hospital.
Sewardstone Road is a very busy B road that is used as an alternative to the A10, A1010 or the North South Route travelling into London. It has busy rush hour periods as you would expect and the road is always congested with traffic at these times. I suspect that highways will want to address this junction by adding a mini roundabout or some such traffic calming obstacle to allow the traffic to emerge from the estate, but residents would prefer to see the road straightened rather than these emergency measures if development is to proceed.
There have been many too many incidents happening at this particular section of Sewardstone Road with several fatalities and we at Wara do not consider it appropriate to add to the hazard at this particular section of highway.
I refer you to our also to accompanying document submitted in objection to the inspector on appeal against the application submitted in 2014. We feel that little has changed since that application just a reduction in home numbers in the new proposals and the cessation of the Bus Service during the week. All additional transport issues remain as do the accident circumstances
Horses on Road
The Barnfield Stables equestrian centre close by and that means horses travel along Sewardstone Road to access Mott Street where they head toward Epping Forest and their gallops within the forest. When these horses are on Sewardstone Road they bring the traffic to a standstill and residents are concerned that an estimated additional 150 cars entering and leaving the proposed site regularly will bring further chaos to an already dangerous situation. If development is to take place what measures are to be taken to mitigate these numerous traffic problems highlighted?
Residents complain that local bus services are poor and expensive with only the 505 passing along Sewardstone Road. This service an 2 hourly service and was reported in the 2014 proposals.
The 505 has now ceased operations and there is now just a 2 hourly service operating on a Saturday only.
The Sewardstone road from Waltham Abbey outside the Plough Pub is on a downward gradient toward the junction with Mott Street. Mott Street is also on a downward gradient and both flow toward the junction opposite the entrance to the proposed development. After heavy rainfall as experienced recently the junction is prone to flooding, if development is to take place, what measures are to be implemented to reduce the flood risk this section of the road which is already a traffic hazard. Onsite suds measure will no doubt satisfy rainfall on site but on the exit and road improvements no doubt required, flooding needs to be addressed if approval should be granted.
Our Younger generation
What do developers propose to do for the younger generation living on this development site?
We estimate that 40 houses will accommodate approx 80-100 young people and I do not see anything in the plan to keep them occupied, interested or amused. As previously stated the site is not served by buses so what are the children going to do for entertainment. Will they hang around the estate causing a nuisance to residents or be ferried around by their parents to various venues around the town causing more traffic issues? This is not a consideration seen in the proposals.
Wara members living in the new Gilwell estate further along Sewardstone Road already complain that buses do operate a service that will get children to school; this will be the same situation for the new proposed development and consequently will mean parents having to transport children to and from school by car, so once again adding to the traffic problems already highlighted.
In conclusion: Residents consider the proposed change of use from Agriculture/Light industrial/ Green Belt to Housing to be totally unacceptable and believe we have provided obvious and overwhelming reasons why permission should be refused. The inspector on the appeal for the previous application in 2014 decided that the development did not justify its removal from Green Belt and I see nothing in this outline proposal that changes that fact.
I would like to include and refer you to our accompanying document. This is a copy of our letter submitted in objection to the inspector for the appeal against the application submitted in 2014.
This document highlights accident as a main contributory factor our objection to that particular application. We feel that little has changed since that proposal just a reduction in home numbers in the new proposals and the complete cessation of the only Bus Service during the week.
All site access and transport issues remain as do the serious accident circumstances.
I have not included the appendices relating to the accidents mentioned in this document, I hope you will take them as read.