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Planning watch - 14 proposed apartments near Rose Villa - From a resident of over 20 years

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Thank you for letting somebody who has been a neighbour to this area for over 20 years, voice my concerns.

As you have been made aware since the initial landslips of 2000 this has been a long-running headache for us.

This application replicates that made in 2005 (05/1542/OUT), which was withdrawn, and 2006 (06/00571/OUT) which was refused, both of which followed the initial attempt at redeveloping the land in 2000. 

In 2000 the attempted redevelopment caused a large landslip that affected properties to the east and west of this land and work was halted.

Stabilisation to temporarily remedy this landslip was attempted and some evidence can be seen on the hillside above the area in question.

I am objecting primarily due to fears of further land movement caused by the proposed development and am most concerned that the head of planning's report chooses to highlight the site investigation report conclusion, that the site can be developed and that careful design and construction should enhance the overall stability of the slope, without mentioning some of the more worrying issues the reports have also raised.

For example, The site investigation report also points out that the
Site inspection, May 2014, was a desk-based report that claimed there is no evidence of slope instability although it was not realistically possible to climb the slope to look closely at the walls.

It then went onto state that the problem is that the slope failure will have left a plane of weakness within the slope which may be re-activated during any new works at the site resulting in mass movement of the soil down slope.

The slope stability report states that significant tension cracks were noted further up the slope (up to 60m up the slope)... much of the slope that has failed is not within the current boundary of ownership by the client...

REC Ltd consider that the current slope cannot be left without some form of stabilising works irrespective of whether the proposed development is economically viable or not. This is because it is feared that large millstone grit boulders (up to 1.5m in size) might become unstable and subsequently cascade down the slope and into adjacent properties or Heptonstall Road. This is likely to occur if surface erosion over time contributes to localised slips perhaps at times of heavy rainfall. Cyclical frost action is also likely to contribute to such instability.

Based upon the results of the slope stability analyses the existing slope provides an inadequate minimum factor of safety.

Further up the slope it is considered that slides could occur... and that any construction work at the top of the slope could cause vibration or reduce any resisting forces currently preventing further movement... this also applies to proposed ground investigation works required on the site.

To anyone who was present when the initial landslips occurred and whose property is overlooked by those sizeable boulders that are not on the developers land I am keen to impress on you my wish that you put the well-being of local residents and potentially all users of Heptonstall Road before those of a development that may well cause them harm.

And finally I don't believe that the highways section reports pays any attention to the already overcrowded nature of the parking on the stretch of Heptonstall Road that is proposed for development. The road is already effectively narrowed by the amount of parked cars and this development will surely only serve to worsen the situation.
Thank you for your time.

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