We went along to a pre-meeting with the development partnership which was interesting but they shared very little information. We hope to learn more on July 19th (3-8pm, Mill Rd Library, remember). My personal quick notes on what we seem to know so far…
- Underground parking is apparently now considered viable after further study.
- The plans have gone up to 230 homes from 167 in the SPD (planning outline) apparently largely due to the underground parking. (addendum: by my calculation, this raises density from 62 homes per hectare to 85 homes per hectare – which is similar to the very high density in the rest of Petersfield and not crazy for a town centre in isolation, but given the lack of green space and shortage of many types of facilities in the area, it needs watching).
- The road access is as wanted locally – via Mill Road, because the narrow back streets can’t take any increase – but it sounds like parking and road access isn’t going to be discouraged as much as we might like to limit the use of Mill Road; they’re saying that with a good junction design (design in progress), Mill Road can take it. It’s hard to agree that Mill Road can take any increase, of course.
- We heard nothing on community facilities, CWRC or other community provision (school, nursery, doctors, etc.) which are all under stress in the area. This is a huge red line for us – every major development in the area sends S.106 funding elsewhere in the city and we have shortages of everything. This can’t happen here.
- Apparently the county council isn’t making any moves to increase school provision locally yet. It’s down to them.
- The partnership have approached Hooper St garage lease holders – not clear if they’re asking to buy back leases or relocate them.
- It’s a 50-50 partnership and appears to be closely tied to www.hill.co.uk but we don’t know the terms. The website is https://www.millroad-development.co.uk/
- They’re aiming for a planning application in October
- They emphasize it’s family, not student, housing.
- The council’s 40% affordable aim is to be met but we don’t know how hard that commitment is legally (it’s routinely decreased during development on other sites, of course). From councillors, we hear the reality is intended to be more like 50% social housing. We haven’t heard more about cooperatives or other schemes (It matters to neighbours because cooperatives are the only scheme yet mentioned which can reliably limit car use). Nothing yet on other angles, like whether we can ensure more of he site goes to owner-occupiers, with the benefits to building community which would result.
- The website shows no plans but the only sketch appears to show a reduction in “usable” green space in favour of trees (although moving some to the top, opening up the end of Ainsworth St, would be lovely).
Here’s the community facilities document we shared with the CIP: