Thursday, 31 January 2008

Too Dense to feel like Wendover

Princess Mary’s Hospital Development - Planning Reference 07/03446/ADP
Too Dense to feel like Wendover

As this brown site has been derelict for many years I welcome the initiative to develop it. However, the high density approved in the outline planning has resulted in a detailed plan that includes unwelcome precedents that brings us nearer to a status of an Aylesbury Suburb:

* Houses with no gardens or no parking;
* Awkward building relationships – corner houses in funny angles to their neighbours and interesting garden boundaries.
* Three and four story apartment buildings that for some reason are considered ‘in keeping’ with the rest of the atmosphere of Wendover.

Moreover, insufficient growth space has been allowed for the MS centre. And the pathetic number of parking places allocated to the MS centre will ensure a conflict with the neighbouring residents.
An important aspect is the provision of sustainable routs to schools and the High street. The cycling routs within the development are planned to be in some parts between parking cars and the road. This is an invitation for an accident: a car pulling in or out, a driver opening the door, cars parking partially on the cycling lane. Furthermore, pedestrians and cyclists will find the new roundabouts proposed awkward to negotiate. Tring road is a very busy road and crossing it alongside the roundabouts involves several meeting points with the traffic.

The proposed planes amuse me when they claim that the bus will go through the “Centre of Wendover” (i.e. the clock tower): that will not provide a solution to people visiting the Manor Waste and retuning with bags of shopping from the high street, let alone linking to the train station.

Another entertaining paragraph details how the parking requirement predictions are based on the ratio of cars to households in 2001 for Wendover. This pivotal ratio includes council housing, farms and many pensioners. Therefore it will not be long before the insufficient green on the plans will be converted to parking by the new residents.

In Short, it just does not work. The outline-planning permission specifies a maximum not a target for the density. These planes should be rejected with an instruction to the planners to give more weight to the quality of life of the new residents and their neighbours.

There are a few aspects that are not the direct responsibility of the developers that need addressing:
There are no plans to add new bus routes to link the development either to Wendover train station or to Tring train station.
More parking should be created for the visitors to Wendover High Street.
The outline permission stipulates that the Clocktower junction should be improved to cope with the extra traffic. This should be done in keep with the tranquil character of Wendover. We hope the Horse and Jockey fiasco is not an indication of what we might experience.
A cycling path should link the development to the Schools (Halton School and John Colet), Wendover town centre, and the train station.
The Health facilities and resources in Wendover should be augmented. We can not find any trace of the promised provision for a health sub-centre on the development site.
The train capacity should be enlarged either by adding carriages or more trains.

No comments:

Post a Comment