The proposed development site is a brownfield site which was formerly used as a quarry and covers an area of approximately 5.7 hectares (14.3 acres).
The site is located to the north of the A1446 and west of our current Roman Gate development off Theedway.
Outline planning permission for 165 homes on our proposed site was granted by Central Bedfordshire Council in 2011 and we are now working up a reserved matters application. This deals with detailed matters which have not already been agreed at outline stage, including property design, layout and landscaping.
Our plans for this site have been designed to form an extension of Roman Gate.
Before we start designing a new scheme, we complete an assessment of the site and the surrounding area as they are at the moment. We record those features we will need to take into account in our design. All of the relevant considerations, whether they fix the way our scheme will have to be designed or give us a real opportunity to make the most of a particular feature, are shown here.
The key characteristics of the development site and its surroundings which we are considering as part of our proposals.
Things to think about
- Landscape buffer to soften views of development from neighbouring land.
- New footpath to be constructed, providing access to Grovebury Road and the bus route.
- Consideration given to noise from adjacent industrial estates.
- Infiltration basin and pumping station located in the Public Open Space along the northern boundary of the site.
- Main access route to the south of the site via our existing Roman Gate development, with a secondary access point along the north-western boundary for pedestrians, cyclists and emergency vehicles.
- Layout designed to minimise the impact of the overhead power lines crossing the site.
The proposed scheme will be directly accessed at the south of the site via our existing Roman Gate development, with a secondary access point along the north-western boundary for pedestrians, cyclists and emergency vehicles.
Any potential impact of the development proposals on the local area has been carefully considered throughout the design process and through discussions with Central Bedfordshire Council.
The masterplan accommodates sufficient parking for residents of the site, and complies with Central Bedfordshire Council’s car parking standards for new residential developments. Many of the houses will have private driveways with garages, while the apartments will have allocated parking. There will also be on-street visitor spaces to help ensure that all parking is contained within the development.
The site is in a sustainable location with good connections into the existing footway network, providing accessibility to the nearby local services/facilities, bus and rail services.
The impact on the wider highway network will be assessed as part of this planning application.
The green corridor along the north-west boundary of the site is included principally to accommodate the need for surface water retention to keep runoff levels within required limits. A foul water pumping station is also included within this space.
The proposed retention feature is a swale with an infiltration trench below it, located towards the bottom of the drainage system where it would be most effective and efficient.
A Flood risk assessment will be submitted for review to the council as part of our obligations under the outline approval.
As part of our reserved matters application, we will be carrying out a noise survey within the site to see if any noise attenuation measures are required to our perimeter dwellings. Pending the outcome of the survey, appropriate glazing and mitigation will be proposed to be approval by the council.
Landscape and ecology
The principle landscape framework for the proposed development is established by the existing hedgerows running along Grovebury Road, Theedway and the industrial boundary to the north-west, as well as the corridor under the overhead power lines.
The overall extent of development has been taken into consideration to ensure there is sufficient space around the edges to both screen the industrial development on the three sides of the site and retain and enhance the limited amount of existing vegetation to create a positive environment.
The boundaries would be treated as multi-functional landscape assets with historic, visual, amenity and biodiversity value with some forming part of the drainage system. Space has been provided either side of the boundary hedgerows to maintain their ecological and historical value and help minimise the visual impact of adjacent sites.
The existing hedgerows will be reinforced with new planting and the boundary to the north-east will be provided with new planting. Plant material will include traditional hedgerow plants and hedgerow trees such as oak and ash running along the boundaries with informal groups at intervals.
In addition to reinforcing the existing hedgerows, a number of different types of planting are proposed:
- Structure and screen planting, located mainly near the boundaries and the base of the pylons.
- Productive planting including orchard and allotments within the garden corridor.
- Clusters of trees combined with grass and some shrub planting for the gateway entrance and the four principal green open spaces.
- Street trees to help improve the microclimate, reinforce the hierarchy of routes and provide visual interest and amenity within the street spaces.
Given the site’s former use as a quarry, we anticipate the amount of wildlife will be limited however we will complete the necessary ecological surveys as part of our reserved matters application.