AVF has submitted an objection to the proposed development of Alphin House:
The Alphington Village Forum objects to this application on the grounds of the dangerous access to the site, which is a narrow lane with inconsistent pavements, used twice a day in term time by a considerable number of school children and their parents. The lane is the quickest route for many children attending the pre-school, primary and secondary schools, as well as for local residents and their dogs, and any increased traffic will make it extremely dangerous for all concerned, but especially for small children.
The plans for Alphin House seem to be contradictory to its Transport Assessment and to The Manual for Streets quoted in this application, which state
that priority should be given to pedestrians and cyclists and that an environment should be created where pedestrians can walk, have conversations with each other etc without feeling intimidated by traffic (2.25). In the introduction of its summary, it states:
‘Streets should not be designed just to accommodate the movement of motor vehicles – a prime consideration is that they meet the needs of pedestrians and cyclists.’
As 19 two-bedroom and 2 one-bedroom new homes for over 55s will probably attract many couples who are still working and require two cars, as well as their visitors, so there could be at least 40 extra cars going in and out every day, and quite possibly in the rush hours when Mill Lane and Mandrake Road are full of schoolchildren. The access out into Church Road will also be a nightmare as this road is frequently grid-locked in the rush hours and when there has been an accident or breakdown on the M5, A38 or A30.
In the second section, the Manual states:
‘The key recommendation of the Manual is that increased consideration should be given to the ‘place’ function of streets. This function is essentially what distinguishes a street from a road, where the main purpose is to facilitate movement. Streets have five principal functions in all. In addition to those of place and movement, streets need to allow for access, they often need to provide room for parking, and they must accommodate drainage, utilities and street lighting.’
The Forum therefore recommends that this building be converted into homes for over 70s as they are not quite as likely to have two cars to each house and who often feel isolated and lonely in their original homes, or to revert it to a residential or nursing home, which was ideal before and is still much needed. (This objection was prepared by Juliet Meadowcroft and appears in the list of objections on the ECC web site)