The land we are proposing to develop covers a total area of 5.3 hectares (13 acres). It is situated behind existing homes to the north of the A38 at Twigworth and lies between Sandhurst Lane and the driveway to the Nature in Art Museum.
The site is formed from an existing orchard area, an arable field and an overgrown, wooded area which includes a pond. Mature hedgerows and trees bound the site on three sides and adjoin boundaries to the existing dwellings to the south. A public footpath runs beyond the northern boundary.
Tewkesbury Borough Council is currently preparing a new development plan with the neighbouring authorities of Gloucester City and Cheltenham Borough. The new plan, known as the Joint Core Strategy (JCS), is moving towards its final stages of preparation and indicated that a significant amount of new homes and employment land is required in order to meet the housing and job needs of the wider area.
The JCS also identifies the large scale strategic development sites (i.e. 500 plus homes) for the three authorities. Once the Joint Core Strategy is adopted, Tewkesbury Borough Council will begin to finalise a new Borough Plan to identify the smaller development sites required to meet the Borough’s housing and employment needs.
Within this overall development plan growth strategy, Twigworth is identified as a ‘Service Village’ within Tewkesbury Borough, so it can be expected to provide an appropriate level of development growth.
The application site is being put forward as an appropriate scale development site for Twigworth and a suitable site, which is outside of the Green Belt and outside the high flood risk zones. Further details on landscape and flooding matters are provided on the other boards, but please do not hesitate to ask our representatives if you have any further questions on the planning background.
Highways and transport
Baseline transport conditions
The site benefits from:
- Existing footways located along both sides of the A38 Tewkesbury Road.
- Existing Public Rights of Way (PRoW) routes which are located in close proximity to the site, including Twigworth Footpath 2 (located to the west of the site), Twigworth Footpath 3 (located to the immediate north of the site), and Twigworth Footpath 6 (located to the south of the site).
- Bus stops (in both directions) located along the A38, to the immediate south of the site.
The following improvements will be introduced as part of the development proposals:
- A single point of vehicular access, which is proposed directly from Sandhurst Lane, which will include new 2m wide pedestrian footways along both sides.
- A new 2m wide pedestrian footway located along the western side of Sandhurst Lane, between the proposed site access and the A38 Tewkesbury Road.
- New uncontrolled pedestrian crossing facilities across the A38 Tewkesbury Road (at the A38 Tewkesbury Road/Sandhurst Lane junction and to the south of the site).
The proposals will include sufficient car and cycle parking provision in line with Gloucestershire County Council’s (GCC) guidance.
A Transport Assessment (TA) will be prepared for the scheme, the contents of which will be agreed with GCC’s Highway’s Department. The TA will review the following:
- Access via sustainable modes of travel, including walking, cycling and public transport.
- The number of trips (in particular vehicular trips) that could be generated by the development proposals.
- The suitability of the proposed pedestrian and cycle access and parking arrangements.
- The suitability of the proposed vehicular access arrangements, and their ability to accommodate the demands of the scheme.
Residential travel plan
A Framework Residential Travel Plan (RTP) will be prepared for the scheme, which will be submitted alongside the TA. The main objective of the RTP will be to promote the use of sustainable modes of travel and reduce the number of single occupancy vehicle trips to and from the development (where practicable).
Construction traffic impacts and management
Prior to the commencement of any works on the site, a Construction Management Plan (CMP) (or similar document) will be prepared and agreed with GCC. The CMP will include such details as the routes to be used by construction traffic on the local and wider highway network and times in which construction traffic can operate at the site.
Information and advice in relation to flood risk has been provided by Gloucestershire County Council (the Lead Local Flood Authority) and the Environment Agency.
Flood map and flood zones
The Environment Agency use Flood Zones to classify the probability of river and/or sea flooding, with the extent of these ignoring the presence of flood defences. These Flood Zones are shown on the Environment Agency’s Flood Map for Planning, with this overlain on the Masterplan.
The Environment Agency flood map for the local area. Click to expand.
- Flood Zone 1 (Low Probability) are land areas having a less than 1 in 1,000 annual probability of river (fluvial) or sea (tidal) flooding (and shown as ‘clear’ on the Flood Map).
- Flood Zone 2 (Medium Probability) are land areas having between a 1 in 100 and 1 in 1,000 annual probability of river flooding; or land areas having between a 1 in 200 and 1 in 1,000 annual probability of sea flooding (and shown in light blue on the Flood Map).
- Flood Zone 3 (High Probability) are land areas having a 1 in 100 or greater annual probability of river flooding; or land areas having a 1 in 200 or greater annual probability of sea flooding (and shown in dark blue on the Flood Map).
All residential homes would be built in areas designated Flood Zones 1, which is regarded as appropriate by the Environment Agency.
Flood risk assessment
- The Flood Map shows the majority of the site to be located in Flood Zone 1, whereas a small part on the south side of the site is shown to be located in Flood Zone 2.
- There are other flood sources to consider, in addition to the flood risk from fluvial sources. Gloucestershire County Council provided a surface water flooding map over the site, which shows most of the site to be at very low risk of surface water flooding. Groundwater flooding is not believed to be a risk given the impermeable nature of the geology over most of the site.
- The flood risk described above is based on current available data from the Environment Agency and Gloucestershire County Council.
- The surface water drainage strategy for the site will include mitigation measures and sustainable features to manage the run-off rate and volume following the proposed development of the site, in order to prevent an adverse impact on flood risk over the site and to surrounding areas.
- Infiltration of water to ground as a means of release would be limited, both by the nature of the underlying soils and geology and by the level of the groundwater table.
- Attenuation is where a freely available volume is provided for the storage of water, with control features fitted to restrict the release rate from these features.
- Excess from the surface water drainage strategy would be directed to an existing drainage channel, as opposed to a public sewer.
The control measures and the attenuation features within the drainage strategy would manage the rate and volume of this water to acceptable levels.
- The concept for the site’s Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) is to place some of the attenuation volume that is required in open storage (e.g. a detention basin) within the site, with surface water run-off directed towards this by drainage channels including swales as well as more traditional pipes. Opportunities to reduce surface water run-off from impermeable surfaces would also be considered, through the use of landscaping, permeable paving and the local attenuation of waters such as in water butts.
- Some of the attenuation area on the site will be as an open depression in the ground, a detention basin. This part of the attenuation would be designed to fill and retain rainwater during particularly extreme wet periods and then drain through to dry at an attenuated rate and volume.
Benefits of using SuDS
Sustainable drainage systems (SuDS) incorporate features onto a site to mimic natural drainage processes that reduce the effect on the quality and quantity of run-off from developments.
The benefits of Sustainable Drainage Systems
- In addition to the management of surface water drainage, the proposed strategy for the site in Twigworth will also provide a number of additional benefits, as depicted in the image pictured right.
- The use of SuDS in a drainage strategy is therefore a more preferable solution over the more traditional hard engineered solutions that can be used for surface water management.
Foul drainage to Severn Trent Water
- An agreement will be reached for the discharge of foul water from the proposed development of the site to the Severn Trent Water owned infrastructure.
- There is a manhole located to the south/west of the site on the other side of the A38 where a connection from the site would likely be made.
- Surface water drainage from the site would not be discharged to a Severn Trent Water owned sewer – but instead discharged to the system of drainage channels in the area.
The majority of the site is dominated by arable land, considered to be of negligible ecological value. Habitats at the site boundaries, in the form of grassland field margins, hedgerows, trees, tree lines, a small wooded copse and a pond, along with an area of semi-improved grassland and apple trees within the north east and east of the site, are considered to be of elevated ecological value in the site context.
The habitats within the site have the potential to support a range of species and survey work in respect of badgers has been undertaken, whilst survey work in respect of great crested newts and reptiles is currently underway. Definitive evidence for the presence of foraging badgers within the site has been recorded in the form of a single latrine.
Masterplan design and concept
- Built development will be centred within the areas of arable land. Habitats of relatively elevated value in the context of the site and habitats of value to wildlife, in particular, hedgerows, trees, tree lines and the pond, will be largely retained.
- Boundary hedgerows and tree lines will be largely retained, thereby maintaining a network of green infrastructure around the site and ensuring long-term connectivity to offsite habitats.
- An area of grassland and apple trees within the north east will be largely retained within a dedicated wildlife area. Habitat creation, including wildflower grassland, scrub and tree planting will also be provided within the wildlife area to increase habitat diversity.
- Retained and newly created habitats will be subject to complementary and ecologically-focused management, where possible, to increase structural and species diversity.
- The design will take account of the need for a sensitive lighting scheme that will minimise light spill on to retained and newly created habitats.
- Specific roosting and nesting provision for bats, birds and hedgehogs and dedicated amphibian and reptile hibernacula will be provided, in order to significantly increase opportunities for wildlife at the site.
- Appropriate mitigation measures will also be implemented to safeguard protected species during construction works.
The proposals have sought to minimise impacts on wildlife and, subject to the implementation of appropriate avoidance, mitigation and compensation measures, it is considered unlikely that the proposals will result in significant harm to biodiversity. On the contrary, the opportunity exists to provide a number of net gains in biodiversity as part of the proposals.
The ecological masterplan for our proposed development. Click to expand.