Release Date: 08 October 2012
The Head of Planning at Stroud District Council issued a Temporary Stop Notice (8 October) on the developers at the Littlecombe development which straddles the boundary of Cam and Dursley parishes. The Local Planning Authority is extremely concerned that the developers have started work on the next phase of the site without dealing all the pre-commencement conditions. Whilst the developer has submitted significant amounts of information, a number of key conditions are yet to be agreed, most notably those concerning the location of contaminants on the site, their relationship with ground water, and works around the River Cam.
Philip Skill, Head of Planning said "I am extremely disappointed with St Modwen as they appear to have significantly jumped the gun on this phase. The issuing of a temporary stop notice is our usual response to such circumstances and is proportionate."
Cllr Denis Andrewartha, Executive Member for Planning said "Whilst the landowner may well be the Council, our partners must understand that they have to abide by the same rules as all other developers; community safety always comes first in my book."
The Council is also aware that the Environment Agency is in contact with the developer over works adjacent to the River Cam and that the County Public Rights of Way Section (PROW) is discussing the premature closure of a footpath in the vicinity.
Notes for editors
A Temporary Stop Notice (TSN) lasts for 28 days and provides a breathing space prior to an enforcement case. It is rare to issue a TSN as in most cases the two to three weeks necessary delay in issuing enforcement notices (gathering evidence and gaining councillor approval to proceed) does not prejudice the site. In this case, the issue of contamination is such that we would not want materials moved on the site without understanding what contaminants are being moved.
It should be noted that there is little, if any, additional risk to the community from what has been done so far. The Council has been working with the Environment Agency to limit the risk of pollutants entering the River Cam in the future by removing the majority of contaminates, and then limiting transfer to the river by run-off.
The Council has previously prosecuted St Modwens for the felling of protected trees at the bottom of Long Street as part of the same development. In that instance the Courts found them guilty and imposed a four figure fine.