To receive a presentation from the architects and developers regarding proposals for the restoration and development of Tidcombe Hall.
The Committee received a presentation from a group of representatives in connection with the proposed restoration and development of Tidcombe Hall, Tiverton.
These representatives included the following:
· Sam Davenport AWP
· Dominic Clifton, Clifton Emery
· Rob Ward, AWP
· Niki Lathwell, Seaxburh Partners
The presentation included the following key factors:
· Aerial photographs showing where the site was in relation to the canal, the town centre and the Eastern Urban Extension. Photographs were also shown of the south and rear elevation of Tidcombe Hall in its current state of disrepair.
· The proposed layout of the development was shown illustrating a high quality mix of house styles and sizes together with parkland, play areas, wildflower meadows, circular walks and proposed additional parking for the wider community.
· There had been a discussion with the Head of Tidcombe Primary School in the hope that the developers could work collaboratively with them to provide educational facilities to the school in relation to the natural environment and the canal.
· It was explained that two large attenuation ponds would deal with surface water run off and act as silt traps. A sustainable drainage system would feed into the existing culvert which carries water run-off these fields under the canal.The area proposed for development was in flood risk zone one, meaning a 1:100 year likelihood of happening.
· A number of improvements were proposed to improve pedestrian access along Tidcombe Lane
· All the necessary ecology, arboricultural and historic surveys had been carried out.
· Traffic surveys had been undertaken to assess the current speed and volume of traffic along Tidcombe Lane. A number of improvement works would be undertaken especially in relation to the approach to and exit off the Tidcombe Bridge, although it was confirmed there were no proposed changes to the bridge itself.
· A series of landing areas with dropped curbs were proposed as well as curtesy crossing points. It was explained that the school Head was passionate about encouraging children and their families to walk and cycle more and drive less.
· In terms of the next steps it was explained that there would be a final pre-application meeting with the planning authority next month after which a date would be set for a full public consultation, with all local residents being written to. Following this a planning application would be submitted for determination.
Discussion took place regarding:
· A proposed jetty / slip way alongside the canal to the north which would allow people the opportunity to access the water, children to take part in pond dipping and potential mooring areas. It was envisaged that such a proposal would enhance the visitor experience and encourage people to stay longer in the local area.
· The question was asked as to who would be responsible for the long term maintenance of the ponds, for example in 20 or 30 years time? The reply was given that the flood risk assessment (as part of the planning application) would set out the minimul requirements incumbent upon the developer. The advantage of the large pond scheme proposed was that it would be easier to maintain. However, further concern was expressed that the canal was in a vulnerable position with regard to flood water and that if the ponds contained a large volume of water and were adjacent to the canal this presented a significant risk. However, it was confirmed that for the majority of the time the ponds would be empty and would be below ground level.
· Concern was expressed about the additional traffic that would ensue as a result of the proposed development and this having to travel down an already narrow lane. Drivers generally tried to find the shortest route from a. to b. and realistically drivers would not use Canal Hill instead.
· The residents in Warnicombe Lane would be written to about the proposed development and forth coming public consultation as would all immediate neighbours to the development site.
· Consideration had been given to installing a footbridge but there were technical issues which were insurmountable at the current time.
· It was generally recognised that the proposed development, if it came to fruition, could have a significant impact upon the canal.
The Chairman thanked the representatives for attending the meeting and for providing such an informative presentation. He asked that if members of the committee had any further comments or questions they could contact the developers direct or attend the consultation events.