What is Stop SGC?
Stop SGC is communtiy-led organisation.
We’ve come together to stop LVA destroying this important area with unnecessary development. The fields of Little Keyford are full of wildlife with many important veteran trees and ancient hedgerows that must be preserved. Once lost they will be gone forever. SGC will be built at the expense of the local community and it would alter the character and nature of the area forever.
What is the status of SGC? (as of the week commencing July 26th 2021)
LVA have released their ‘final masterplan’ in the form of a press release. It is unclear whether or not this has been submitted to Mendip District Council yet but it has not been validated as it does not appear on the planning website yet.
Is there a petition I can sign?
We don’t have a Stop SGC petition as we have been told that regardless of how many signatures we get, a petition would only be counted as one objection. Instead we are waiting until the application goes live on Mendip District Council’s website at which point we will release guidance on how to officially object.
How can you be so sure that the build won’t happen the way they say it will?
Because we know that there is nothing holding LVA to keeping the promises they’ve made. Firstly, they are not the housebuilders, they are middle men with money. Their job is simply to secure planning permission, and once this is done they will hand the site over to someone else to build the houses. More than likely this will be multiple different developers each being responsible for a small area of land meaning whatever legal requirements there may be imposed for a build of this magnitude will not apply i.e. they will not have to build a school or provide employment opportunities.
Secondly, the plan that LVA has presented is just not feasible. There are a lot of reasons for this and you are encouraged to look into the research here. The plan is designed to look good on paper (cartoon birds, houses coloured in green to look more appealing, parking spaces disguised as gardens) but the substance is just not there to support it.
Finally, while it’s possible that Mendip District Council could impose an S106 order on SGC – a piece of legislation legally obligating them to carry out the plans as they have been presented – but this is not the magic bullet you might think it is. LVA already know that they will have to meet certain requirements re; sewage, infrastructure, education etc. in order to secure consent, but they will negotiate the minimum that they can and even this will not empty the roads of traffic or prevent flood plains from flooding.
The proposal promises 408 social homes, but you said there would be none. Why did you lie?
We didn’t. LVA changed their sale’s pitch. The original consultation released in February 2021 did not say there would be any social housing. It is only since the new proposal that the 408 number has appeared. This might seem like a compelling argument to push the development through but as we have pointed out before, when the land is parcelled off in small parts there will be no obligation to follow through.
What is a Garden Community?
Garden communities were a programme put out by Homes England in 2019 to create large new scale developments that would become “well-planned, sustainable” places to live. The scheme was suspended at the end of last year, but the toolkit is still available to view here.
When LVA say they will build SGC to ‘Garden Community Principles’ this doesn’t really mean anything at all. Since the Garden Community is defunct and there is subsequently nothing holding them to these standards.