NEWENT TOWN COUNCIL
Health Centre Car Park Letter Campaign
Opposition to County Council plans. Newent Town Council, on behalf of the people of Newent, though welcoming proposals for a new day care centre for adults with learning difficulties in Newent, vigorously opposes its location on Newent Health Centre car park, because it will mean the loss of 30 valuable car parking spaces.
What action can I take? The Town Council invites every man, woman and young person over the age of 17 years, who lives or works in the Newent area, and/or is registered with the Health Centre, to send an individual letter of objection.
HOW TO WRITE YOUR LETTER OF OBJECTION
Address your letter to: Principal Planning Officer, Gloucestershire County Council,
Shire Hall, Gloucester GL1 2TH to arrive by Thursday 25th February
How to begin your letter of objection
(a) You should begin your letter like this:
‘APPLICATION NO 05/0005/FDREG3/CAPS
‘I object to the County Council’s plans to build a day care centre on the land at Newent Library because....’.
(b) Then choose the main planning objection points listed below and select them, order them, adapt them, emphasise them or omit them according to what you as an individual person genuinely feel applies to you, and put the points into your own words as far as you can.
Planning points for the Health Centre car park
1. ‘This is not simply a piece of ‘rough ground’ as described in the application. It is the District Council car park next to the Health Centre and contains 30 car parking spaces..’
2. ‘There is a current lack of parking spaces in Newent. Losing any of the Health Centre car parking spaces will make the problem worse.....’
3.. If you own a business in Newent, you can say ‘I run a business/own a shop in Newent, and my business depends on visitors to the town being able to park easily. This proposal will have an adverse effect on trade and tourism in Newent as a whole and on my business/shop .....’
4. The Health Centre serves 10,000 people, in town, and in the community around it. If you live outside Newent, and can only get to the Health Centre by car, you must say: ‘The Council has not taken into consideration that this is a rural community. I am one of the many people living outside the centre of town. I have to come into Newent by car...’
5. ‘If the Health Centre car park goes, there is a health and safety issue. Families like ours will have to park further away, in neighbouring streets. Using the main car park, means our family will have to walk much further and cross the busy main road to get to the health centre, even when feeling unwell...’
6. ‘I have to visit the doctors a lot because I have a long-term illness/have a new baby/etc’
7. ‘The proposed day centre is for the benefit of only seven people at present, and possibly 15 at most, but the building of it will inconvenience people like me, and most of the population of Newent because....’
8. ‘I do not object in principle to having a day centre for adults with learning difficulties in Newent, but this is not an ideal site. The only reason the County Council wants to put the day care centre on this particular site, however unsuitable, is because it is the only site they own in the centre of Newent’.
9.‘I do object to the proposed doorway link with the children’s library because (1) it will turn it into a corridor/walkway for the adult users and their carers, and (2) deprive Newent children of several metres of book shelving, with subsequent loss of amenity.’
10. ‘The proposed building is small and cramped, with only two domestic-sized activity rooms, not to make it homely for users, but because, as they admit, the building has had to be squeezed in to avoid the large 600mm sewer that crosses the site from East to West.’
11. ‘The Council is blindly following government instructions and trying to prove that this is an ideal site, but it is not. The small one-storey building proposed is an institutional looking building designed to match the library and set on a nasty little site at the back of the library, at the back of the Health Centre and at the back of the Police Station car park. The only rooms with ‘good natural lighting’ are the manager’s office and the admin office!’
12.‘There is no room for a proper garden for users to work on as suggested by the White Paper, which is why the Council has had to book an allotment. The so-called garden with shed is nothing but a tiny dark patio garden on the sunless side of the building, and I object on environmental grounds to the loss of the fifteen trees which are to be felled on this site.’
13.‘The Council is insisting on this particular site (a) in spite of its being so small and unsuitable for the purpose and crossed by a major sewer (b) in spite of the noise, inconvenience, and disruption it will cause to people working in and visiting the health centre and library while it is being built (c) in spite of the negative effect the loss of the car park will have on businesses and shops, and the town’s tourist industry (d) in spite of representations made to the County Council by the Town Council (f) in spite of all the people like me who came to the November mass meeting to make their opinion known....’
Failure to consider alternative sites for day care centre
14. I object to the Council’s argument that the proposed building offers potential for use by community groups would be equally true of any other site, and should therefore be ignored.
15. I object to the Council not properly considering other options, dismissing the land at Sheppard House for the sole reason that it is not ‘at the heart of the town.’ But it is not right out of town like the Cinderford facility, and several users already live in Newent town centre at Kathleen House and walk to Sheppard House to use its existing facilities.
16. If a taxpayer, you can say: ‘I object to paying for this very expensive option for so few people. Instead of putting a new building on this unsuitable site, why has the Council not considered buying a good-sized house or bungalow with garden near the town centre, a house that can be adapted for these few people without causing so much disruption to the whole town and people like me? Council employees have a duty to look at all the options and to choose the best, most economic option. Why has this not been done in this case?
17. Any other personal points that you would like to make about this issue.......................