Day 5 of the Chepstow Public Inquiry in which the second and third schemes by Telford Homes are being considered (3398/08 and 2393/09 respectively) was perhaps the longest day of the Inquiry so far. The hope for the day was to get through the final witness and to wrap up various loose ends such as Section 106 and agreeded conditions.

Unfortunately the speed (or rather lack there of) of the Redbridge solicitor once again drew out the day and prevented all this from occuring. By 19.00, having been in the “witness box” since 10am, Telford’s third witness (Dr Miele), was finally released.

Dr Miele’s evidence was as an expert witness regarding all matters associated with Conservation Areas. The main thrust of his evidence was to demonstrate that whilst schemes 2 and 3 took very different approaches to the Chepstow site; scheme 2 taking a contrasting approach, whilst scheme 3 took an “in keeping” approach, both were equally valid.

Redbridge were the first to cross examine Dr Miele and first impressions were good given that Dr Miele soon confirmed that in his opinion, not only had the Wanstead Grove Conservation Area been correctly designated (ie had been designated using the correct procedure), but that in his opinion he also believed the designated was in fact warranted.

The remainder of Dr Miele’s cross examination by Redbridge seemed to gain little (if anything) to the benefit of Redbridge’s position, in fact it mainly seemed to permit Dr Miele and opportunity to simply re-state Telford’s case in greater detail.

After Redbridge’s primary cross examination it came to cross examination by the third parties, ie the Counties Residents’ Association and the Wanstead Society. The latter were not present but were permitted the opportunity to ask questions in written form, details of which can be found in the various documents below.

As the CRA are supporting scheme 3 (matching Nutter Lane blocks) our questions centred on Scheme 2. We sought to demonstrate that as the houses were a legacy from Scheme 1 (from 2007) that the Inspector should re-evaluate their suitability given the intervening CA designation. We also sought to demonstrate that the Scheme 2 houses were difficult to position in their plots given their offset shape and that the skew nature of the Nutter Lane blocks were inferior to the Scheme 3 parallel arrangement.

We questioned on the suitability of drawing on the Shrubberies design for use in the Scheme 2 Nutter Lane blocks, whether the “in keeping” approach of scheme 3 were better, the size of the local resident “turn out” at the Scheme 2 Regulatory meeting in June 2009 and some minor points regarding the history of the old Wanstead Grove. However, it seems doubtful whether anything here succeeded.

Dr Miele was then re-examined by Telford’s solicitor on a few issues and finally the Inspector sought clarification on a few issues herself. This was followed by a more general dicussion on how Day 6 on the 28th June will run. The Inspector invited the CRA to make a closing submission, for which we have no right to do, but given the level of our involvement during the proceedings she would permit.

Given the slowness of day 5 she recognised that day 6 would be needed for all the remaining “in session” activities and the site visit will have to be held on a 7th day later that week. Again here the CRA were invited to submit a suggested list of specific views we would like the Inspector to see during her tour.

Below are links to the various documents we have been able to obtain copies for:-

Documentation from Telford Homes

 

Documentation from Redbridge Council

 

CRA Documentation

 

Other Documentation

 Inspectorate Decision Paperwork

NB The above links will be updated over each day’s proceedings and duplicated across each days report.