These are the comments PDCS submitted to RDC after viewing the draft Local Development Framework.  Once passed, the LDF will be the principal local policy guiding and controlling planning and development in Ryedale until 2027.  We have only commented on aspects affecting Pickering, because life is just too short to read, digest and respond to hefty tomes such as these without being paid handsomely to do so!

Mike Potter 8 March 2012

While we agree with much of the policy, Pickering & District Civic Society (P&DCS) cannot approve the draft LDF without a map of potential development sites being available for reference.  These potential sites are central to the whole process of deciding a strategy for the next 15 years.

Page 48 of the LDF states that approximately 750 new houses are planned in Pickering for the duration of this LDF.  It is quite inappropriate to use such undefined terminology for policy.  Any figure should be expressed as a maximum, or at the very least, with a stated maximum allowable percentage over this figure.  An increase of say 10% could have severe implications for overburdened infrastructure (roads, schools, drainage, power etc).  The same comments apply to developments levels in all towns.
Can we have confidence that the figure of 750 has been reached after careful consideration of sufficient infrastructure provision or that such infrastructure would have to be provided commensurate with development levels?  Any future development in the SW sector of the town will be severely restricted as a consequence of the Vivis Lane/Lidl debacle, with already poor and overburdened access.

P71 of the LDF does not state what level of increase is planned in employment provision for the town.  It is essential to the future prosperity of the town that it is not encouraged to become a tourist, retirement and commuter only facility, particularly in terms of carbon footprint.  Future viability of the town needs commercial and employment provision.  Any policy would be well advised to provide for a buffer zone between business and residential sites to avoid inevitable future conflict.

P77  5.19 states there is ‘reasonable’ cafe and restaurant provision in the town.  The dictionary definition is not excessive or
extreme.  This statement is so inaccurate as to be both laughable and deliberately misleading.  The number of cafes and other food outlets has increased dramatically in recent years, to the point where it is causing a severe imbalance in the commercial sector.  This is of particular concern outside peak tourist periods.

Ref 5.22. We believe there is a need for strict definition of what is described as ‘edge of town’ and therefore areas for development opportunity defined within the remit of the LDF.  This needs to be incorporated within the unavailable plan of development areas.  Recent development such as the showfield site and Steam & Moorland represent a degree of ribbon development, which needs to be strictly controlled to avoid infill development and blurring of the town boundary (P36 Principles refers).

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