Our development is designed to work within the constraints and opportunities of the site and is a scheme that respects the area’s surroundings.
Our proposals have also been shaped by extensive public consultation with local residents, business and community groups.
Key elements of our development are as follows:
- 79 new homes
- A mix of one and two-bedroom apartments, two-bedroom coach houses and three and four-bedroom houses
- A proportion of affordable housing
- New areas of public open space designed around the watercourses which run across and alongside the site
- A staff car park for Millbrook Combined School
- Eight light industrial units
Our proposed development layout for the Verco site
Car parking and ensuring enough car parking is provided for future residents of the scheme was a key issue raised at the March 2014 exhibition. In addition, concern was raised about existing parking issues locally.
As a result, we will be providing the maximum level of car parking we can in accordance with the Council’s Local Plan. The Council seeks different levels of parking provision based on how accessible a site is. The proposed application site is within Accessibility Zone 3 (an urban area with poor public transport accessibility) and as such, we are making the following levels of car parking provision:
• 1 bedroom residential units – 1 space assigned to each dwelling, plus 3 visitor spaces per 10 apartments
• 2 or 3 bedroom residential units – 1 space plus 1 visitor’s space
• 4 or 5 bedroom residential units – 2 spaces plus 2 visitors’ spaces
We are providing 179 spaces for the new residents and these will be located within the grounds of each residential unit or very close to the home they serve. Where parking is provided for flatted blocks, we seek to locate it where it enjoys natural surveillance from the residential units it serves, whilst as far as possible being located so it does not dominate the layout of the new proposed development. Cycle parking will be provided in accordance with the Local Plan. We are also providing a 20-space car park for the school and 26 spaces within the employment land.
At the March 2014 exhibition, we asked about what type of houses should be provided on the site. The top four house types sought were as follows:
• Family homes (sought by 85% of respondents)
• Starter homes (sought by 70% of respondents)
• Affordable homes (sought by 47.5% of respondents)
• Smaller homes (sought by 42.5% of respondents)
In response we have looked at the house types we propose for the site and overall we are providing the mix of house types sought. Family homes will be focused on the Chapel Lane side and the cul-de-sac proposed within the development. Starter homes in the form of apartments will be focused on the northern side of the main route into the site. There is also the potential for some affordable housing units to be managed by a Registered Housing Provider close to Mill End Lane and some smaller family homes south of the main access road through the site.
The site has many residential neighbours. Our proposed residential scheme will fit in well with this existing residential character, whilst providing a permanent and effective boundary to the retained Verco site to the north.
A new housing scheme is being built by Persimmon Homes to the south of the site on the former Ebor works site. This is some 2-metres above the level of the site and will overlook the proposed residential development. This will result in residential neighbours along the entire southern boundary as well as parts of the eastern and northern boundaries.
At the exhibition in March 2014, residents to the north in Mill End Road and to the south in Penmoor Close both expressed concern about the location of new houses on the proposed site.
In response, we have worked up details of the relationship between the new houses and these adjoining houses.
A north/south cross section of the proposed development site.
Impact of four-storey flats
In the central part of the site, adjoining the Verco site and furthest from existing houses, a four-storey apartment block is proposed. This was the subject of comments at the March 2014 exhibition with some residents saying that such a building would be too high.
The northern part of the site adjoins the retained Verco factory. This is a functional industrial building with a noisy use of 8.25 metres high. To screen both the building and assist in screening noise emitted from the factory, the proposed residential building adjoining the factory needs to be of a scale to provide an effective screen from both within the proposed housing site and to existing houses beyond to the south.
Its location within the centre of the site is an opportunity to provide a central focal point for the overall development, with lower level development spreading outwards as the proposed housing gets closer to the existing two storey housing around the site.
The cross section of the site shows how the four-storey block will sit in relation to the Verco factory and the surrounding properties. It will screen the Verco factory building.
Four-storey flats locally overlooking the River Wye and Desborough Recreation Ground, downstream of the site.