The image to the right (click to enlarge) shows key elements of our proposed development, which include:
- Up to 150 dwellings as a first phase occupying 4.25ha of the site, with the remaining 100 dwellings occupying 2.68 ha of the site and being delivered as phase 2 upon completion of the Winnersh Relief Road, which is anticipated to open in 2021.
- Vehicle access from Maidensfield
- Landscaping and public amenity space
- Provision of 40% affordable housing
- A mixture of 2, 3, 4 and 5 bedroom houses and a proportion of 1 and 2 bedroom apartments
- Maximum building height of 2.5 storeys
- Design and materials to reflect architecture in surrounding area
Taylor Wimpey has appointed a multi-disciplinary team to undertake a comprehensive assessment of the development site to ensure the creation of an integrated sustainable urban extension that is accommodated in an environmentally sensitive way.
The following information provides a summary of the issues we have taken into account:
Location and Accessibility
The site is located on the edge of the Winnersh urban area, and there is a good range of local facilities and services (schools, shops etcetera) within comfortable walking distance of the site. There is also a network of cycle routes serving the local area.
Winnersh railway station is within a 10-minute walk, and there are frequent buses nearby in Robin Hood Lane and the Reading Road. The map to the right shows the site and surrounding local services (click to enlarge).
Using the council’s traffic generation parameters, the new homes are expected to generate some 133 two-way vehicle movements during the morning and evening peak hours, equating to a little more than two vehicles every minute.
This is a relatively modest increase in traffic but we are aware of local congestion issues, particularly the operation of the Winnersh Crossroads.
Once completed (anticipated in 2021) the Winnersh Relief road will reduce existing congestion through Winnersh and on the wider road network. It is also designed to provide additional capacity, in turn helping the borough meets its objectives for housing growth, such as land east of Maidensfield.
The traffic impact of the scheme will be assessed in detail as part of a detailed transport assessment that will be required (and scrutinised in detail) by the council.
It is proposed to extend Maidensfield eastwards to provide access to the new homes. It will be important that this access arrangement is safe, and that the extra traffic from the new homes can be satisfactorily accommodated.
The geometry of the road complies with the council’s onerous highway design guidance (as well as more recent national guidance set out in the Manual for Streets), and is capable of serving the proposed development of 250 dwellings in addition to the circa 60 existing dwellings on Maidensfield.
The planning application will include a careful assessment of the impact of the scheme on Maidensfield, which will include consideration of existing on-street parking and the use of the street by users other than car drivers. This assessment will be scrutinised by the council.
The new homes will be provided with parking in accordance with the council’s recent parking standards. These standards are based on local survey data and make allowance for homes of different sizes and the accessibility and characteristics of the local area.
The precise number of spaces will depend on the size and type of dwellings and the proportions of allocated and unallocated spaces.
In addition, separate visitor parking will also be provided within the site.
As such, the application of the council’s standards will ensure that there is ample car parking and there will not be an overspill on to local streets.
The site and its immediate environs are not the subject of any statutory or non-statutory designations recognised for their nature conservation interests.
An ecological appraisal carried out on the site concludes that the site comprises species-poor, semi-improved grassland and arable land that is not considered to be of significant botanical value.
Detailed surveys have been undertaken to assess the importance of the site and boundary habitats for bats, reptiles and great crested newts.
Boundary habitats comprising hedgerows, semi- mature/mature trees, habitat along the Emm Brook corridor (including a small area of ancient woodland) and rough grassland field margins are considered to be of value to local wildlife, with foraging and commuting bats, breeding birds and reptiles (slow-worm) being found to use these features.
The proposed development masterplan seeks to protect and retain these features and also provides good scope for ecological mitigation and enhancement within the landscaped buffer area to be provided along the Emm Brook at the eastern site margin, and along the southern boundary of the site
Trees are predominantly located at the boundaries of the site and include a mix of species such as oak, ash and field maple.
An assessment of the trees on the site has been carried out, and this considers that the site can be developed whilst retaining all important trees. These will be incorporated within the proposed site layout to contribute to its green infrastructure and the support of biodiversity. New tree planting is proposed to enhance this resource and promote other biodiversity benefits.
The site is not the subject of any statutory or non-statutory designations for landscape character or quality, and is considered by the Wokingham District Landscape Assessment to be of low landscape value.
The site is however located within an area which seeks to preserve the settlement separation between Wokingham and Winnersh, as identified by the Council in its Core Strategy. In this respect the M4 corridor provides a robust physical and visual boundary to the outward expansion of either settlement.
Owing to the visual containment of the site, and a proposed Masterplan that incorporates a significant landscaped buffer along the edge of the settlement, the proposed development would not result in any perceptible loss of separation and instead results in a qualitative improvement by providing an appropriate setting for the new settlement edge.
The majority of the site lies in an area of low flood risk (zone 1), with the flood zone associated with the Emm Brook confined to the north-eastern boundary of the site, as shown on the Environment Agency’s flood zone mapping.
The proposed masterplan for the site ensures that all new residential development is to be located within flood zone 1 and therefore is not at risk of flooding.
The proposed development will incorporate Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) to reduce the rate of surface water run-off from the proposed development to that of the undeveloped site, and hence would not increase the risk of flooding elsewhere.
A number of swale features and balancing ponds have been incorporated into the development Masterplan. These naturally landscaped features will be designed to enhance the biodiversity and landscape character of the site, as well as control storm water run-off and improve water quality.
Foul drainage will discharge to the existing Thames Water network in Maidensfield.
Noise and Air Quality
The masterplan incorporates a significant offset distance from the M4 carriageway to safeguard future residents from transportation noise and the impact of emissions from road traffic.
A desk-based archaeological assessment confirms that there are no designated built heritage assets or designated archaeological assets and therefore the site is considered to have a low potential for archaeological remains.
Site investigative work has identified an area in the central and south eastern part of the site where granular soils of the River Terrace Deposits stratum may be present. However, due to the lateral and vertical variability of the deposits, extraction is not considered to be commercially viable in this location.