November 2018 Public Consultation – Feedback

Public Consultation – November 2018

Public consultation to consider ideas for Huncoat Garden Village took place in November 2018. At this time we presented basic information about the proposals – the infrastructure that could be needed, possible locations for a new local centre, together with three growth options for consideration. Around 270 people attended the exhibitions, the website received 550 hits during the consultation period and we received formal feedback on the proposals from nearly 140 local residents and groups.

The feedback given by local residents has been very useful in helping us further develop the proposals for Huncoat Garden Village. Some of the themes and issues highlighted during the public consultation included:

  • The many positive attributes of Huncoat, for example the sense of community, peace and quiet, good transport links, the presence of green space and surrounding countryside, low crime rates, and local built heritage.
  • Drawbacks to life in Huncoat today were described as traffic (covering speed, volume, type of traffic (HGVs) and congestion), lack of community facilities, shops and services, the presence of industry in the immediate area, and a lack of safe places to walk / footpath links.
  • People were concerned that the additional number of households would generate a significant increase in cars, worsening congestion and existing traffic flows around the village. There was also a concern that the additional population would put pressure on local facilities such as Huncoat Primary School.
  • Potential impacts on the natural environment were highlighted, with the Huncoat Colliery site in particular given as an example of an area considered important for wildlife that would be affected by the proposals.
  • The proportion of new employment provision shown across all three options was considered to be excessive and unnecessary; people felt that new employment land needs to be carefully located to avoid further increasing HGV flows through Huncoat village.
  • There were concerns over development on green space (particularly the allotments) located in the heart of the village as well as the extent of development proposed on green belt land. A wider concern related to the loss of the rural feel of the area as a result of overdevelopment.

Three growth options were presented for Huncoat Garden Village and people were asked to describe what they considered to be positive and negative about each of them. The majority of feedback forms showed a general pattern of response, from Option 1 being considered acceptable / the ‘least bad’, through to Option 3 being considered as unacceptable / overdevelopment. Discussions with local people at the exhibitions highlighted a concern that no new road links (other than to access specific local housing areas) appeared to be proposed as part of Option 1, potentially worsening concerns over existing congestion / traffic issues. Although there was general objection to Option 3 in terms of the scale of development proposed, the transport infrastructure to service new development was considered more favourably.  

In relation to the land uses presented in the three options:

  • Public open space and maintaining / creating links with the open countryside were considered to be of highest importance, followed by the provision of local shops and services. Provision of new employment opportunities and formal sport / leisure provision were considered to be the least important.
  • Just over a third of respondents (36%) felt that a new local centre for Huncoat should be located centrally to the existing village, with a further 24% of respondents considering the location at the junction of Station Road / Altham Lane to be appropriate. Services / amenities potentially provided in a new local centre included a local food shop (64%), chemist (58%) and GP surgery / dentist (57%).
  • Nearly a third of respondents (30%) referred to the need for improved maintenance of existing open space provision within Huncoat and general improvements that could be made to connectivity for walking and cycling in the area.