The proposed development site is a privately-owned greenfield site which covers an area of approximately 16.38 hectares.
It is located on the north-eastern edge of Hailsham to the east of Battle Road. Harebeating Lane runs alongside the site’s southern boundary. The site also incorporates a vacant property at 152 Battle Road which will be demolished to allow vehicle access to our site.
The site has been allocated for residential development in Wealden District Council’s Core Strategy and also forms part of the East Hailsham Strategic Development Area in the Council’s emerging Strategic Sites Local Plan. These documents establish the principle of development.
The site is the middle site of three that together are allocated for the delivery of 600 homes with areas of environmental mitigation land.
These three sites are separate, and in addition to, residential development by Redrow Homes that has recently been completed to the north of Taylor Wimpey’s site and the Hillreed Homes scheme that is still under construction to the south.
The environmental mitigation land will incorporate informal open space, sustainable drainage features, ecological habitat and ensure that views from the Pevensey Levels are respected.
Planning permission has also been granted for a total of 600 homes to the north of Hailsham on sites to the west and east of Park Road. The cumulative impact of all sites has been considered by Wealden District Council both through the Local Plan process and through the approval of planning applications.
Prior to designing the scheme, we complete an assessment of the site and the surrounding area as they are at the moment.
We recorded those features we will need to take into account in our future detailed design. All of the relevant considerations helped to fix the scheme and have given us a real opportunity to make the most of various features.
Vehicular, cycle and pedestrian access to the development is proposed from the current location of an existing vacant home at 152 Battle Road using a simple priority T-junction access as shown in the plan pictured below. This junction has been designed to accord with prevailing standards and will maintain the continuity of the recently upgraded cycle route. The access has been assessed and found to be suitable in terms of capacity in a robust scenario that accounts for wider development and growth in the area.
We envisaged emergency access will be provided through the proposed access onto Battle Road and also via a dedicated emergency access point from Harebeating Lane.
An existing footpath runs north to south through the site that connects the A271 with Hailsham town centre. This crosses Harebeating Lane and continues southwards to the town centre. There is also a public footpath that links to Hailsham and to the wider countryside to the east. These existing footpaths help ensure connectivity to Hailsham and the wider countryside. The proposals connect to these existing links ensuring strong connectivity to the other areas proposed for housing to the east of Hailsham.
A recently upgraded cycle route, with segregated paths, runs along Battle Road and will be directly accessible through the proposed site access.
The site benefits from close proximity to bus services operating on Battle Road. The emerging Transport Strategy for the local area envisages enhancements to these services, including the introduction of express services to Polegate and Eastbourne. These will come forward to support the wider growth agenda for Hailsham, which includes this site.
We have used the industry standard TRICS database to estimate vehicle movements to and from the proposed development.
A development of around 135 homes is expected to generate around 80 to 90 two-way vehicle trips during the peak hours of 8am to 9am and again between 5pm and 6pm on weekdays. This is equivalent to less than one vehicle per minute in each direction on the highway network in the peak hours.
A Transport Assessment has been prepared to evaluate the impact of the development on the local transport network and will be submitted as part of the outline planning application, along with details of any necessary highway mitigation schemes.
Flood risk and drainage
The proposed development site is located in Flood Zone 1, which means it is at a low risk of flooding from rivers and other watercourses.
Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) are proposed and can include features such as rainwater harvesting, soakaways, filter drains, swales and attenuation basins. These will ensure that surface water run-off from the development will be no greater than current greenfield (undeveloped land) rates and will not increase the risk of flooding on site or elsewhere.
The development is also mindful of the nearby Pevensey Levels and the need to maintain the quality of water that is discharged. This will be achieved through a ‘SuDs Management Train’ approach, in agreement with the Environment Agency. Essentially this constitutes a three stage process to ‘filter’, ‘store’ and ‘treat’ surface water, through the use of measures such as catchpit chambers, trapped gullies, permeable paving and oil interceptors.
An assessment has been undertaken with regards to local air quality including an assessment of odour associated with the Hailsham Waste Water Treatment Works located to the east of the site. However, the site is not within an Air Quality Management Area and the proposed housing lies outside the 300m offset zone to the Treatment Works set by Wealden District Council.
A comprehensive series of ecology surveys has been undertaken on site to assess the habitats and fauna present and establish the presence of a variety of species, including in respect of dormouse, bats, badger, great crested newt and reptiles. No evidence for the presence of dormouse or roosting bats has been recorded to date, although surveys are ongoing, while the presence of the latter three species groups is confirmed. These species will be fully safeguarded as part of the proposals and the layout has been designed so as to accommodate their requirements.
The site is close to the Pevensey Levels which is subject to national and international ecological protection. The environmental mitigation land that forms the eastern part of the site will ensure the Levels are fully protected, provides an opportunity to ensure ecology is protected and provides opportunities for ecological enhancements to be delivered.
Benefits the scheme will deliver
The scheme will deliver 135 homes, including much-needed market housing and a proportion of affordable housing to help meet the needs of the local community. The proposals include open space designed to deliver recreation, landscape and ecological benefits to the future occupants of our scheme and the wider community.
The proposals will deliver economic benefits in terms of job creation during construction and increased commercial spending by future occupants, a proportion of which will be spent in the local area. The future occupants will also provide additional council tax and New Homes Bonus receipts that will be reinvested in the local area.
A detailed assessment of the cultural heritage relevant to the proposals has been completed. The proposals take into account the setting of Harebeating Mill and Longleys Farmhouse that are both Grade II-listed buildings. The archaeological potential of the development is also being considered. The development will ensure that if there are any archaeological remains they are properly assessed and, where appropriate, recorded. The layout and design respects the setting of listed buildings.