FRESHFORD PARISH COUNCIL
COUNCIL'S CASE FOR THE REJECTION OF APPLICATION NO. 05/02563/FUL SURREY AND COUNTIES ( SUTTON) LIMITED
I have numbered paragraphs within sections for ease of discussion]
General Overview and Introduction
Definitions and references employed
Status of Freshford
Buildings and openness of the Green
11. Hydrological Considerations
containing photographic evidence in relation to flood conditions.
THE GENERAL OVERVIEW AND INTRODUCTION.
1.1 We maintain that the planning
arguments against this application are of such weight that it should not be
considered reasonable for a recommendation to
approve to be made.
1.2 We submit that weightings should be
given to those points which reflect a desire to meet those guidelines and plans
which aim to preserve or enhance on a sustainable basis the outstanding
character of Freshford . As this application is being considered soon after the
publication of both PPS7 and PPS1 we feel that a decision on the interpretation
of these guidelines, amongst other matters raised in this document, could affect
future considerations in other similar situations regionally and nationally. In
this document we shall expose these points in the appropriate section.
1.3 The creation of a new solely
residential settlement of the type proposed in this parish can only result in
urbanisation of the countryside, an increase in car usage on the very poor local
road system, and a further unbalancing of the community. We do not consider any
of these results to be desirable in any terms. The only benefit arising from
this application which is accepted by this Council would be the improvement in
the landscape, but emphatically not at the cost of the arguments against the
scheme which are set out in this document.
1.4 The question of inappropriate
development versus the application of very special circumstances is relevant. We
maintain that very special circumstances in Green Belt or any other terms do not
apply as there are two approved alternative uses to residential, B2, as
historically the case, and the sui generis use of the approved Freshford Mill
Association application. We approach this new application therefore with
arguments against, inter alia, the approval of inappropriate and unnecessary
development in the Green Belt.
1.5 There is no need in this Parish, nor
as far as can be ascertained in neighbouring ones , proven or assumable, for the
expensive residences proposed. This market price positioning is evidenced by the
design and the base costs applying to what is proposed for the site.
1.6 The scheme would attract an
approximate 10/15% increase in parish population all in A and B income sectors ,
sectors which are over represented already in this parish. Furthermore the build
design would appeal to second home owners who contribute little to the life of
communities such as Freshford. Where then the move towards a more balanced
1.7 We maintain that it is necessary in
the interests of rural communities that "Local need" be defined to cover a
geographical sector of the Unitary Authority's responsibilities and not be used
in blanket terms for the whole geographical area for which it is responsible. A
number of major matters of principle based on definition arise from this
application and are stated elsewhere in this document. In a telephone discussion
in 2004, Bath and N.E. Somerset Planning Strategy advised this Council that no
definition for "Local need" existed in the local authority and that its
interpretation therefore could be highly flexible in geographical terms.
1.8 We note that the applicants' agents
have made reference to other applications in relation to this site in their
evidence. We have done the same only where previous experience is directly
relevant to this application. This is the fifth application for this site in
five years. Two were withdrawn before officer recommendation and two rejected by
committee and are under suspended appeal - all including change of use proposals
to residential. We submit that this process has gone beyond the usual
consideration of an application as discrete and to be decided on its own merits
without reference to preceding applications or other relevant experience. The
whole question of repeat applications is of course raised by this fifth
registered application in five years by the same developers.
1.9 Also the
question of relevant definition of various expressions in PPG's, PPS7 and the
Local Plans arises. Where there is doubt in this Council on such interpretations
, either absolute or in degree, we have made this clear in the text, as already
exampled above by the question of "Local " in "Local need".
DEFINITIONS AND REFERENCES EMPLOYED
2.1. "Substantial" : after enquiry it
appears that no standard planning definition of the word "Substantial" exists in
the Local Authority. We therefore use the Concise Oxford dictionary definition :
"Of considerable amount". (Ref. Policy ET9 Bath and N.E. Somerset Local Plan
reflecting PPG2 para 3.7c). This is particularly relevant in respect of
2.2 Bath and North East Somerset
Local Plan : we quote from the latest draft of this plan and do not repeat
(Except where emphasis of consistent planning is quoted) the Wandyke Local Plan
references where the two plans are of accord in respect of Freshford Mill and
the planning circumstances relating to the Mill.
"New dwellings** this is discussed at length in the section "New Housing'
2.4 "Local" in "Local need" see
section "The General Argument and Introduction".
2.5. We do not refer elsewhere in this
document to the response by residents of this parish to the exposure of the
application and supporting documentation. This was conducted over two late
afternoons and evenings at a central location after an invitation drop to all
households. The response overwhelmingly gave this Council a parish mandate to
object to the application. Of the 40 responses three had no objection, two were
ambivalent and 35 objected. These responses to a great extent accorded with
planning guidelines; particularly but not exclusively in respect of access
considerations. All responses were recorded and are available from the Parish
STATUS OF FRESHFORD MILL
The site -
3.1. Is within the Green Belt
3.2. Is within the Cotswold A.O.N.B.
3.3. Has B2 usage status and
3.4. Has approved usage for a nature
sanctuary, limited workshops and a rural recreation area.
3.5. Is not classified as a Major
mainly in the Frome Valley flood plain.
The site -
4.1. Was used for B2 purposes actively
until 1990 , with reducing activity between 1985 and 1990. Subsequently to date
15 years of no B2 or related usage activity.
4.2. Has been
subject to five applications over five years from the same developer in which
change of use to residential has been included. Two withdrawn, two refused and
appealed, and then the current one which is the subject of this paper. The first
four were for mixed use with a substantial residential element, this one
5.1 PPS7 :
"Local planning authorities should be particularly supportive of the reuse of
buildings that are adjacent or closely related to country towns and villages,
for economic or community uses , or to provide housing in accordance with the
policies of PPG3 and subject to the policies in Para. 7 of this PPS in relation
to retention of local services."
5.2 The site is not adjacent to or closely
related to the settlement of Freshford Village, nor to Sharpstone, which has no
services. The Wansdyke Local Plan Inspector's report stated that the site is not
within or adjacent to the existing settlements of Freshford and Sharpstone. It
is across a river, separated from the other settlements by fields, is on a
different contour to the village and the services in the centre of Freshford.
Furthermore, the railway station and the other limited village services are not
safely and easily reached by pedestrians from the site due to the lack of
pavements along the lanes and for major lengths on the twisting and narrow road
through the village. There is no significant lighting outside the village to
illuminate the main road and none at all on the Crabtree and Rosemary lanes
direct route to and from the site. It is furthermore cut off completely from
Freshford and Sharpstone (and dangerously so) in high flood conditions (See Page
5.3 In transport terms the application
does not accord with PPG 13 para 14 - we would be interested to be advised of
the search sequence which results in the Local Authority choosing this remote
site , which scarcely meets the requirements stated in this guideline. Approval
of this application would amount to such a choice even if the site is being
regarded as a windfall.
5.4 PPG3 paras 30 and 31 also apply and
work against the selection of this site for housing and this relates to PPS7 as
5.5 The Wansdyke Local Plan Schedule of
Changes approved 21st September 2000, stated under Settlements 7.5.27 7.21
"Freshford and Hinton Charterhouse are moderately sized villages with some local
facilities and services." "bus services are very restricted and the local
highway network is very poor" : "the high quality character combined with
highway constraints limit housing opportunities to infilling only." These
constraints, whilst probably seen in the light of the Housing Development
Boundary, apply as much to the Freshford Mill site as to the village
conurbation, in fact more so in respect of the provision of alternatives to car
6.1 As there has been no residential use,
the site is not presently and has not been historically served by buses, which ,
if they were in future to serve the site would need to have a turning circle
available to enable them to return along the narrow lanes. Given the price which
shall have to be paid for the high grade residences proposed, a bus service is
most unlikely to substitute to a significant extent for the car for social,
shopping or any other purposes. This application therefore does not meet the
6.2 guidelines of PPG 13 Transport
(Housing) para 14. which, whilst the site has not been allocated for housing
purposes, states a clear principle that selection should -
6.3 "Start with the re-use of previously
developed land and buildings within urban areas, then urban extensions, and
finally new development around nodes of good public transport corridors, Local
planning authorities in assessing the suitability of sites for housing
development should , amongst other things, consider their location and
accessibility to jobs, shops and services by modes other than the car, and the
potential for improving such accessibility."
6.4 The question of whether the expression
"Housing" in these circumstances relates to re-use of industrial buildings for
dwelling purposes is debated in Section "New Housing" in this document. In this
case, as in others, the PPG is relating to the synergetic effects of new housing
by placing a new population on a particular site, and such synergetic effects
obviously apply also to re-use for dwellings of buildings used previously for
other purposes. No amount of sophistry in any quarter could effectively lead to
misinterpretation of the wording and intent of this guideline. Freshford Mill
does not meet the guideline's requirements in terms of nodes of good public
transport corridors, or accessibility to jobs, shops and services by modes other
than the car.
para.47 states that local authorities should " Seek to ensure that all housing
developments are accessible by a range of non car modes. This applies to
development both within and outside existing urban areas" What non car modes
apply to this site ? - none, we suggest in relation to the main needs of
The mitigation proposals supporting this application do not make any significant
contribution to traffic management. Bullet points 1 , 2 and particularly 6 of
PPG 13 para. 66 refer. Where are the " Well designed traffic management measures
which will contribute to reducing (From present levels and we suggest those that
have applied for the last 15 years) community severance, noise, local air
pollution and traffic accidents" and how can the proposals relate to "producing
better and safer local road conditions in rural areas and reducing the impact of
traffic on sensitive locations, while facilitating the access that is important
to maintaining a vibrant rural economy" ? A resumption of B2 use on the scale of
the previous operations in the 1980's has now , with flood problems and others
relating to location, become remote in the extreme, a view expressed by the
developers in previous applications. The other approved use for the site has
none of the drawbacks which PPG 13 is trying to minimise.
PPS7 para 20
8.1 "The replacement of non residential
buildings with residential development in the countryside should be treated as
new housing development in accordance with the policies in PPG3".
8.2 We maintain that "substantial
reconstruction" of the buildings on the Freshford Mill site amounts to
"replacement" of the existing industrial with residential buildings and that
this paragraph applies to such buildings. Due to the paucity of existing plans
submitted however it is difficult to establish exactly which buildings might be
subject to substantial reconstruction or replacement but our visual knowledge of
some of the site's buildings in their present poor condition indicate that a
substantial reconstruction will have to take place of those to make them fit for
8.3 In the case of buildings A1,A2, H and
C it is evident that these fall into the category of re-use rather than
replacement, and their conversion to residential presents us with no specific
problem in relation to PPS7, (This is without prejudice to other arguments
presented in this document in respect of new dwellings) although we have a Green
Belt openness reservation re building H ; please see section on "New Building
and the Openness of the Green Belt" para 5 . Buildings B and D however appear to
need a considerable amount of reconstruction , amounting to substantial or major
by any reasonable interpretation of these expressions. There is a major question
mark over buildings H2, H3, K, F, and G, which cannot be assessed by us due to
the lack of existing details in this application. We cannot see how any party
can decide on this matter of replacement or substantial or major reconstruction
of individual buildings without much more detailed existing plans than have been
made available for consideration. We suggest that independent full structural
surveys are necessary to establish what needs to be done, and there will most
probably be problems that have yet to be established which relate directly to
the degree of demolition and rebuild necessary.
8.4 We accept that where substantial
reconstruction is not involved that para. 17 of PPS7 on re-use might apply, but
would point out that the application proposals do not meet "Specific local
economic and social needs and opportunities". We maintain that this location
does not meet the sustainability considerations of PPS7 l(v).
should be given to re-use of previously developed ("Brownfield") sites in
preference to development of Greenfield sites , EXCEPT in cases where these
sites perform so (sic) poorly in terms of sustainability considerations (For
example . in their remoteness from settlements and services in comparison with
greenfietd sites". A key consideration in our appraisal is that this site
performs very poorly in terms of the infrastructure and therefore in terms of
8.6 Where specific local economic and
social needs and opportunities are concerned the dwellings proposed do not
contain an affordable housing element and the costs of
8.7 development of this difficult site
will place any residential properties arising from this development in the high
price segment of the housing market. This parish has no such needs, on the
contrary we need a trend towards a balanced inclusive society which only
affordable homes would help.
8.8 Another area of dubious clarity is
that of the meaning of "New Dwellings". Here policy HG10 of the Bath and N.E.
Somerset Local Plan applies and we believe that this is a true representation of
what is intended by PPG3. HG10 states
8.9 "Outside the scope of policies HG4,
HG5 and HG6 new dwellings will not be permitted unless they are essential for
agricultural or forestry workers".
8.10 We maintain that HG10 is clear in
that it does not permit new dwellings (Other than affordable and for these
workers) outside the HDB in Freshford , an HG.6. village. The Wansdyke Local
Plan policy HO. 10 follows the same principles. We have been unable to find any
definition or interpretation that excludes re-use or replacement dwellings on
footings where residential use has not previously existed from being new
dwellings in the sense of HO. 10 and HG.10 as instanced above. Nowhere can we
find a lead which would indicate that "New Dwellings" have to be those which are
built from scratch on land not previously "Footprinted" by any buildings in any
usage category. In plain English "New" is applied to "Dwellings" and qualifies
that word , it does not qualify categories of buildings. The opposite of new is
old. The whole term applies to the occupation by people for residential purposes
A new dwelling therefore need not be a residence created on a previously
undeveloped site or outside the footprint of existing buildings. Whether re-use,
replacement or new build, the synergetic effects on infrastructure and social
balance of newly introduced residential population are the same, and we maintain
that PPG3 should therefore relate to whatever category of construction or
reconstruction which may apply.
8.11 Freshford also is a village where
B.7.21 of the Bath and N.E. Somerset Local Plan applies in terms of the
Authority's aims to limit the amount of development in rural areas which lack
the necessary infrastructure. This applies in this case particularly in terms of
access , public transport and retail shopping facilities and, in flood
conditions, the most rapid access to emergency services.
8.12 The application under scrutiny does
not make any attempt to meet the parish need for affordable homes. The exclusion
of this consideration from the Appeals Inquiry into two previous applications
which has been delayed to permit this application to be submitted is a matter
sub judice and we propose should not be taken into account in consideration of
this application - particularly as the exclusion is clearly in breach of
government intentions re affordable dwellings and that there is no present or
projected local need in Freshford or adjoining Parishes, other than for
8.13 PPG 3 makes a clear distinction between "Rural Housing - village expansion
and infill" , and "New Settlements". Para. 70 states three considerations which
would apply to village expansion - which should all be met. The first two of
these are not in this instance. These are -
will only be suitable locations for accommodating significant (Ten to fifteen
percent increase in parish population in this instance) additional housing where
It can be demonstrated that additional housing will support local services such,
as schools or shops, which could become unviable without some modest growth.
(This 5s not demonstrable for, or applicable in forseeable circumstances to,
Additional houses are needed to meet local needs, such as affordable housing,
which will help secure a mixed and balanced community. (Patently this
application does not meet this requirement as irijhis instance local need refers
to needs in the locality of the parish).
The proposals might be considered as above
amounting to village (Settlement) expansion , though not on an adjacent basis as
they are separated from both Sharpstone and Freshford by a river and fields (In
a flood plain).
8.14 Alternatively, they might be
considered as a New Settlement, in which case they do not meet three of the
criteria in the six considerations. These are -
They are large enough to support a range of local services , including schools,
shops and employment. (Certainly not).
They exploit and improve existing or proposed public transport by locating
around a major node along a good quality public transport corridor. (The site in
no way complies with this).
of public transport b encouraged through the design and layout of the new
settlement. (No such design has been submitted).
"Settlement" is surely important in interpretation - it implies residential use
with a reasonably large number of residences -this has not been a twentieth
century or currently a permitted use for the Freshford Mill site. There are
three existing settlements in Freshford Parish, i.e. Park Corner, Sharpstone and
Freshford Village. It is not unreasonable to suggest therefore that Freshford
Mill would be a fourth.
8.15 Para. 49 is also not met as the
proposals are not for a development which combines a mix of land uses, although
this paragraph does appear to apply to urban circumstances. However, the
application can in no way be considered as meeting the requirement of creating a
mixed and inclusive community - para. 10 of PPG3 states: Local Planning
Authorities should encourage the development of mixed and balanced communities:
they should ensure that new housing developments help secure a better social mix
by avoiding the creation of large areas of housing of similar characteristics.
8.16 Para 11 says that local
authorities should -
Secure an appropriate mix of dwelling
size, type and affordability in both new developments and conversions to meet
the changing composition of households in their area in the light of the likely
The very high base costs of the conversion
of this site to residential are well documented. Property pricing will have to
reflect this and an understandable desire by the applicants to at least minimise
losses arising from developing the site. There is no way that the properties
being proposed will meet needs of social diversity in this notably high property
price area. In fact they would work against this desirable diversity. The local
authority, in our view most inadvisably, went so far as to agree with the
developers, without reference to this Parish Council or the community, to
eliminate by a Statement of Common Ground affordable housing from the Inquiry
into previous applications for this site (mixed use including residential) .
This is still sub judice as the Appeal has been suspended and the question of
affordable homes and the balanced community is again an issue. Now that the site
has been subjected to a residential only application, it seems to be contrary
both to government policy on affordable homes and the need for diversity in this
community. There is , as stated in para.6 of page 1 of this document, even a
strong indication from the design (No gardens and inevitably a management
support system to rectify the effect of at least the flood debris on the site )
that the properties might appeal to second home owners even more than fulltime
We submit that
the application proposes a development which is in breach of PPG 3 .
9. NEW BUILDING AND THE
OPENNESS OF THE GREEN BELT.
9.1 The creation of the bat house and the
sewage treatement building are new. New building is expressly stated to be
inappropriate in PPG2 3.4 and none of the five inset exclusions permitted can be
interpreted as applicable. Essential facilities as in inset two of PPG2 3.4
already exist for the protection of wildlife, ( specifically evidenced by the
horseshoe bats which have taken up residence naturally in some of the existing
buildings on the site for a considerable number of years) and would continue
without reduction in facility were the buildings to be maintained , and possibly
improved in the interests of their wildlife populations. There is therefore no
need for new build but merely for maintenance and repair to adequate levels of
protection. The question of whether the current or any other future owners have
been, are, or are not willing to maintain these buildings to a level suitable
for continued habitation by the bats is not, or should not be, we suggest, a
planning consideration where "essential facilities" are concerned.
9.2 The exclusion of the question of the
protection of the bats at the Inquiry into two previous applications by a
Statement of Common Ground should not be permitted to affect consideration of
this application as this could still be challenged as the Inquiry has not been
Furthermore, we maintain that very special circumstances cannot be applied here
to overcome the inappropriateness of the new bathouse because usage as a nature
sanctuary with full bat protection within the existing buildings, and therefore
maintaining the openness of the Green Belt, has been permitted by the approval
of Planning Application ref. 03/00408/FUL submitted by The Freshford Mill
Association. Inappropriateness therefore cannot be "clearly outweighed" by this
consideration (ref. PPG2 3.2) and the building of the Bathouse would be contrary
to PPG2 and the Local plan as inappropriate development with no case for very
9.4 Attempts to justify the reduction of
the effect of proposed demolitions on the site (which obviously contribute to
the openness of the Green Belt) by proposing that the site should be treated as
a whole, and the clearly inappropriate new build therefore traded off against
the demolitions, militate against maximising openness. This might only be
argued, dubiously, if there were not the approved alternative (other than the
historical B2) which does not adversely affect openness and not containing any
proposals to trade off new build against overall site openness. It would be a
fallacious argument which would allow the two inappropriate new buildings to
reduce the desirable openness effect of demolitions on the same site. Such a
precedent would open the doors to major breaches of the Green Belt guidelines
and nowhere in PPG2, or as far as we can ascertain in any element of the
Development Plan, is it suggested that such an argument should be considered.
Building H appears to have a roof raised above existing levels , although no
existing plans for this building have been submitted to us and we believe
therefore that they have not been sighted by the planning officer. Should the
level have been proposed to be raised, then we maintain that this affects the
openness of the Green Belt and is therefore also contrary to PPG2 and to the
Bath and N.E. Somerset draft Local Plan.
10.1 Access is very poor - as stated in
the Wansdyke Local Plan Schedule of Changes of 21st. September 2000 :-
"Bus services are very restricted and the
local highway network is very poor."
"The high quality character combined with
highway constraints limit housing opportunites to infilling only."
This was written in respect of the
settlement of Freshford , but obviously applies also to the proposed new
settlement in terms of Highway constraints.
10.2 The vehicular access routes through
Westwood (Wilts.) and Freshford Village are poor, and already at peak periods
have to provide a route for traffic which has grown substantially in the last
ten years. Commuting from the recently considerably enlarged Wiltshire towns in
near proximity, and school runs, creates such a condition in Freshford that
Highways have recently imposed a 20 mph limit in the main settlement The
increase in parish population (Approx. 10/15%) using cars, plus services, would
add substantially to this problem.
10.3 Rosemary Lane is a case in itself.
Narrow and tortuous, with no passing places and a very steep incline between the
site proposed entrance and the junction with Abbey Lane , this is the most
direct route from the site to the A36, Bath, Bristol and the towns to the West
and North . A check in May 2005 by this Council revealed an average observed
confrontation between vehicles of six per day between the junction with
Sharpstonc Lane and the water trough halfway up the Rosemary Lane incline.
Vehicles have to reverse for considerable distances round blind corners, up or
down the steep incline and frequently try to avoid such manoeuvres by using the
few private drives which let onto the lane. The lack of mitigating proposals in
the application in respect of this lane is a major reason for concern. Even a
simple proposal to angle the entrance to the site on a NW/SE axis has not been
put forward in mitigation - this would inhibit and possibly eliminate the
substantial increase in problems on Rosemary Lane which would result from this
proposal as it stands, but of course divert such traffic to the Crabtree Lane
route - itself unsatisfactory.
10.4 Access to
both the settlements of Sharpstonc and Freshford is completely denied to the
Mill site during the heavy and potentially dangerous flood conditions which
occur on this stretch of the River Frome. The argument that in these conditions
Mill Lane leading up to Staples Hill provides an alternative ignores the fact
that this lane is essentially an extension of Rosemary, with similar problems -
very narrow, steep and with blind bends and leading only in the direction of
Westwood. This alternative is highly unsatisfactory on service grounds alone.
Photos of flood conditions on Rosemary Lane and the Westwood road are appended.
10.5 Pedestrian access to the main village is along unpavemcntcd and unlit lanes
, and in the floodplain. There are dangerous bends in the vicinity of the Inn.
The PROW's serving the site from the village centre either lead onto the
Westwood road near the Inn , and therefore do not circumvent the problems near
the Inn, or up the very steep footpath from the north end of the mill bridge to
Freshford Village Green (The Tyning). This route is dangerous in wet conditions.
not been effectively addressed in this application.
11.1 The Frome river occasionally becomes
very dangerous in spate conditions in the immediate vicinity of the Mill site,
and on the North Western section of the site in particular. This Council , and
local residents generally , are aware of this by observation - an observation
factor which should be given very heavy weight in considering the proposed
presence of any form of residential accommodation on the site. This observation
is based on experience, and the concerns we express here are exacerbated by
flood levels due to the probability of increasing precipitation in both quantity
and frequency in the future.
11.2 This Council have been very concerned
at the approach taken on previous considerations of the flood risk to proposed
future residents caused by creating residences in close proximity to such a
dangerous section of the Frome. We wish to register this as a major concern.
11.3 Risk assessment has in our opinion
has not been adequately addressed in respect of the above. Technically the
provision of first floor accommodation on some , and only some, of the buildings
may reduce risk to residents and visitors, and the 600 mm. raising of the level
of the built areas for the other proposed conversions or replacements may (The
evidence provided with the plans is inadequate to assess on a lay basis and
probably professionally) be sufficient to avoid internal flooding of buildings,
and we are aware of the storage replacement considerations - but these are not
enough to justify residences being allowed in this flood plain area. Anyone who
has observed the ravine effect of the mill bend of the Frome in spate
circumstances will readily accept that there is danger to children in particular
or anyone else who ventures in such conditions along the boundary between the
site and the normal confines of the river.
We have no hesitation in proposing that a
full flood risk assessment (PPG 25) is absolutely necessary, and then considered
in the light of local understanding of the dangers.
11.4 If technical sophistry is allowed to
overcome common sense in relation to risk in this instance, it will be noted by
this Council as a move against the safety of the individuals who may be
unfortunate enough in future to inhabit this site in flood conditions. We
maintain that safety , not to mention inconvenience, risks are too high for
change of use to residential, as proposed, to be permitted within the flood
plain on this particular site.
11.5 The fact
that pedestrian and vehicular access is severely and adversely affected by flood
conditions is a fact well recorded. Access to Freshford village and up Rosemary
Lane is totally removed in these conditions and the only route is along Crabtree
Lane (This also floods but less severely) and by Mill Lane which is extremely
narrow, long and steep with difficult turn access from Staples Hill. Approach
from the A36 via Mill Lane is only then possible by major time consuming
diversion through Westwood . We include photographic evidence to give some
indication of the access problem.