Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Does Gilberdyke Need More Housing?

Gilberdyke as a Market Village


My following comments and full document is in response to the East Riding of Yorkshire Council's proposal to allocate significant more housing development to Gilberdyke as part of the proposed Local Development Framework (LDF) - This document has now been adopted by Gilberdyke Parish Council as 'their' response to the proposal.

“In theory the basic principles laid out in the ERYC Local Development Framework (LDF) are a logical step forward, and I can fully support future housing and industrial developments being located in sustainable areas, but not exclusively so. I feel help should also be given to communities struggling to remain sustainable through falling school rolls, and uneconomic village shops and post offices. History will not look back favourably on the ERYC if communities are allowed to die, simply because planning decisions having been made prevented limited development, when using the guidance offered by the ‘Sustainability Matrix’”

“In the case of Gilberdyke, there have been many development-planning decisions in the past that have left the community with many problems, some of which, especially heavy traffic movements, are shared with our neighbours in Newport. I have every faith the ERYC will take on board the comments and views of Gilberdyke people as part of this consultation process, and infrastructural investment will be forthcoming before any further housing or industry is permitted.”

“Should Gilberdyke continue to be developed against the wishes of the community then I can see an exodus of Gilberdyke people, breaking the already fragile community spirit that has struggled to remain over the years, as more and more people have moved into the village. This community spirit has had a positive effect on maintaining a low rate of crime and very few social problems. This is something to be valued as part of village life.”
Paul Robinson Nov 2006



GILBERDYKE AS A MARKET VILLAGE

The village of Gilberdyke has been identified as a priority 1 market village by the East Riding of Yorkshire Council’s Local Development Framework – smaller settlements development plan document (preferred options). There are plans to construct at least 250 dwellings each year in the Western Area with 13% of these shared between Gilberdyke, Newport and Rawcliffe.

The plan indicates that future development is to be focused in villages such as Gilberdyke where it is perceived that existing housing, jobs and services are located in close proximity. This may well be a good theory but in practice there is a question mark over whether Gilberdyke’s already overstretched village services and infrastructure can actually cope with the present level of development, let alone any increase.

History

The village of Gilberdyke has expanded rapidly over the past 35 years, with many houses built and jobs created on the industrial estate located at the south side of the village. The industrial estate was originally a ‘pole yard’ where trees were converted into telegraph poles. The yard was served by the railway, and had dedicated rail sidings so that the impact of traffic through the village was minimal. The pole yard and railway sidings were closed many years ago, before the industrial estate was re-developed and expanded to its present size. The desire for employment opportunities in the community appears to have been the rationale behind the planner’s decisions in allowing an industrial estate to develop at the far side of a village, without an adequate means of access. Unfortunately, the legacy of this is a situation, where the traffic travelling through the village has become intolerable for a great many residents. Overall this is the issue that most concerns residents throughout the whole community.

Housing in Gilberdyke

During the time of the industrial estate growth, housing development increased and the community changed, with many people moving into the village from towns and cities in search of low cost housing and employment. The village also became a commuter village with many people working in Hull. The employment opportunities within the community have remained relatively static for the past few years, as the businesses on the industrial estate have ceased to grow.

This has not stopped housing development, which has been rapid over the past 5 years, so rapid that the village services and infrastructure are unable to cope with any further development. This is widely accepted by the Community, Gilberdyke Parish Council, Gilberdyke School, the Health Centre, and Memorial Hall - but NOT the East Riding of Yorkshire Council (ERYC). There is much evidence to indicate that there is not the consent of the community for more housing, after the present phase of low cost housing is complete. People moved to Gilberdyke having chosen to live in a village, not to live in a town, but through decisions taken by developers, landowners and planners, they find themselves living in nothing less than a town.



Gilberdyke Industrial Estate

The industrial estate is the largest employer in the village with many members of the community being employed. There is also a large proportion of the workforces who is are not from the community and travel from other villages and towns, most travelling by car.

All raw materials used by the companies on the industrial estate, and all products manufactured there have to travel through the village by road. It should be noted that the industrial estate is approximately 1 mile along the non classified village roads from the B1230 resulting in many large lorries traversing these narrow, traffic lined roads at all hours of the day and night.

It is also worth noting the operation of the Warburton’s depot, which is a distribution centre for bread, although no bread, is actually made on site. Large articulated lorries bring the bread through the village to the depot in the early hours of each morning, when the bread is then transferred to a fleet of smaller lorries. These articulated lorries then return empty through the village back to the bakeries. Most of the drivers of the smaller lorries and the depot staff then drive through the village to the depot. The smaller lorries having been loaded, then leave the depot in the early hours of the morning, and drive through the village to deliver bread to various outlets returning empty back through the village a few hours later. The drivers then drive back through the village in their cars as they return home. The jobs are of course valuable, but the price of excessive traffic movements is a very high price to pay for the residents of Gilberdyke.

Traffic movements through the village to and from the industrial estate are the greatest concern for residents, and many feel let down by the planning process. However, the Parish Council and residents send many planning objections to the ERYC, and all seem to go unheeded. The quality of life for many Gilberdyke residents is certainly deteriorating, yet their taxes increase.

There is no doubt, that at school times, there is an accident waiting to happen as lorries and buses have been seen mounting the pavement, in order to pass parent’s parked parents cars and all at a time when school is arriving or leaving, and children are present on the pavements.

Much of the traffic from the industrial estate also passes through our neighbouring village of Newport on route to the M62, burdening this community with similar problems associated with heavy traffic movements. We understand that many Newport residents are unhappy about this.

Retail Outlets

If one takes into account the retail outlets in Gilberdyke there is one small supermarket, with very limited parking for both customers and suppliers. Adjacent to the supermarket is a newsagent, pharmacy and fruit shop. These outlets serve a population of 3028. When one looks at settlements of a similar or smaller size a great many have more retail outlets and facilities. What is clear is that the lack of retail outlets results in many residents shopping outside the community with a great many travelling by car. This is a significant issue within the village now, and this does not take into account the occupation of the 64 houses that are presently being built.

On Clementhorpe Road there are the issues of lack of parking space at the butchers, fish and chip shop, and post office, which also contributes to problems with traffic flow through the village.

Gilberdyke School

Gilberdyke Primary School is very fortunate when compared to other schools in the area, in the fact that it has a rising role, which means school funding is less of an issue. However, the school has a finite amount of space and buildings and therefore capacity, so it is now approaching the level where the school is actually full. It is predicted that the school will reach and exceed capacity during the next year, when some extra 48 low cost houses, and 16 mid-cost houses, which are presently being constructed in the village, are completed.

The Governing body of Gilberdyke School has not been consulted on housing development. This is clearly a weakness in the system. It is not clear how the ERYC has planned for the increased numbers who will want to attend the school.

This is an issue that the Parish Council would like addressing before these new houses are sold and occupied.

Gilberdyke Health Centre

Gilberdyke Health Centre serves not only the village of Gilberdyke but also many neighbouring communities within its catchment area including Newport, Eastrington and North Cave. As with the school, the Health Centre has a finite capacity and is rapidly approaching the situation, where the catchment area may well have to be reduced and the number of patients restricted. This would probably not directly affect the village of Gilberdyke, but the impact would certainly be felt for those who live in the communities outside any reduced catchment area.

Parking outside the Health Centre has been a contentious issue for many years. There is limited parking at the centre itself, and many motorists park on Thornton Dam Lane and Scalby Lane. The Health Centre is situated near to a busy bend in the road, so that this is a major contributor to the through traffic issue, one of the biggest problems faced by the residents, and again the Parish Council would like it to be addressed before those houses planned or under construction are completed.

Flooding and drainage

Another significant problem facing the residents of Gilberdyke is flooding and drainage. Historically the village was surrounded by land that was difficult to drain, with many of the grass fields having ‘dips and mounds’ where the livestock stood on the mounds during and after rainfall. Subsequently much of this land was built upon, and to compound this, the dykes draining this land have been filled in or piped incorrectly by the builders or by the original householders, which has left a legacy of flooding during and after times of rainfall in a number of areas within the village. Foul water drainage has also been an issue over the years, with many drains and sewers struggling to cope. This has been improved through the construction of the new sewage works but there is a question hanging over the capacity of this facility to accommodate significant further housing developments. These factors must be considered when making any future decisions on industrial or housing developments in Gilberdyke.

Doubts and issues raised by the document

The village of Gilberdyke is determined by the ERYC as a sustainable settlement and quite rightly so. Although the criteria can be somewhat confusing as clearly a ‘one size fits all’ approach cannot be applied to all communities. Why for example is Gilberdyke credited with having a Health Centre and none of those villages within a 5-mile radius having the same facility, even when this is clearly shared? One can look at Newport, which has properties closer to the Gilberdyke Health Centre than some of those in the Parish of Gilberdyke. It would be perhaps better to consider the distances from the Health Centre, rather than whether its location falls within one village or another. The Health Centre acknowledges that it is unable to take on large numbers of new patients. The Centre itself is built on a bend with inadequate parking which is already posing a danger to pedestrians and motorists alike, when patients park on this bend when visiting their GP.

There is also a question of the 36% of those employed and living in Gilberdyke who work in the parish. There is also a high ratio of jobs available, to the number of employed residents – in this case 112 jobs per 100 people employed, therefore meaning there are 12% more jobs available in Gilberdyke, than people working. The Parish Council is curious as to the accuracy of these figures and how up to date is the information on which they are based.

The accuracy of the maps in the document is also flawed giving a false impression, as the housing developments totalling approximately 149 houses constructed during the last 4 years are not included.

There is also confusion with the distances to the nearest JSP settlement where Gilberdyke is 5.5miles from Howden whilst Newport is 9.4miles from Elloughton/Brough - but Newport is less than 2 miles from Gilberdyke so why the big difference in the figures.

If one looks at the LDF Transport Development Plan it would appear that the village of Gilberdyke is ignored completely, the does not this fit with the Smaller Settlements Development Plan, which identifies Gilberdyke at the ‘top of the list’ for priority 1market village development. These two documents are clearly not compatible in the respect of Gilberdyke.

Conclusions

There is a suggestion that some of the information provided in the document is flawed, and very little evidence of ‘on the ground research’ or consultation with the community.

There is very little consent from within the community of Gilberdyke for any further industrial development on the industrial estate to the south of the village, the opposite being the case.

Further housing development is also a very contentious issue with again very little support for any more developments. Numerous surveys show a limited degree of support for limited ‘low cost’ housing development, but very little support for any other type of housing.

I therefore request that the village and community of Gilberdyke be removed from the list of Market Villages, and that no further significant industrial or housing developments be imposed upon us, until such a time that the wrongs of the past are corrected and there is significant investment in village infrastructure. This is to include a link road from the industrial estate, car parking solutions at the Health Centre and shops, and the potential overcrowding issues at Gilberdyke School are addressed.

In the meantime it is requested that there is no housing development outside the existing development limits, until such a time that the above has been achieved. It is also requested that Gilberdyke be re-categorised as a ‘Rural Village’ for the purposes of the LDF.

1 comment:

Les Waddingham said...

This is an interesting article. Although I have not read the plans Gilberdyke can’t be taken in isolation from the surrounding villages and hamlets. The Road network which must a real pain for the actual resident of the village, is also an immense bottleneck for people who live in Blacktoft, Yokefleet & Laxton as this is by far the most suitable access to these villages from the Hull direction and in the case of the former two from any direction.

For us that live in the outlying hamlets, Gilberdyke provides our children with Education – Our citizens with health services, local shopping and Post Office facilities. In the absence of community provisions like village halls and adult education Gilberdyke / Newport tends to be our village also. Many of the residents of smaller villages also depend on the industrial metropolis down the road to provide employment or at least the rail and bus links to other centres of employment.

The further expansion of Gilberdyke should not be stalled but must be managed properly to take into account the entire area and the expansions impact upon that area. Education, health and social facilities should be of sufficient capacity to accommodate their entire catchment area. There need to be major investment in the road network to enable access to the industrial sites by circumnavigating the main village area. I agree with Paul, sooner or later a serious accident will result from the traffic levels in the village interior. Should the council wait for this to be the driver for improvement?

The other thing in the article which stood out was Paul’s comment on the “new” sewage plant. ("This has been improved through the construction of the new sewage works but there is a question hanging over the capacity of this facility to accommodate significant further housing developments.") This has been another partially planned scheme, as anyone who lives within a couple of miles will testify, it stinks! This situation will only get worse when any expansion of Gilberdyke take place and the throughput of the plant increase at a corresponding level.