The proposed development site is situated to the south of Station Road, Walmer, covers an area of 11.35 hectares and is currently in agricultural use. It is identified for residential development in Dover District Council’s Land Allocations Pre-Submission Local Plan.
Existing residential properties are located in Station Road to the north, Mayers Road to the north-west and John Tapping Close to the north-east, while Clifford Park caravan park borders to the site to the east. Further farmland lies to the south and the railway line runs alongside the site’s western border.
Open space and public footpath
The Station Road site is situated within 5km of a number of ‘Natura 2000’ sites, which are protected under European and national legislation. The closest of these areas lies 1.9km south-east of the site.
For land such as this which is allocated within the Local Plan, there is provision for contributions to be made towards a Dover-wide Sandwich Bay Mitigation Strategy, offsetting any effects from recreational activities by new residents.
As part of this, the proposed development incorporates a large area of public open space to the south of the new housing which will be available for recreational use as well as providing new wildlife habitats. A management plan will be developed for this area to guide its establishment.
There is also an existing footpath which runs from the north-western corner of the site to Coldblow in the south-west. This will be protected as part of our proposals so local people can continue to enjoy access from Station Road to Coldblow as well as the public open space. It is likely that the initial stretch of this footpath will be diverted and incorporated within the entrance design of the site so as to ensure a well-lit, safe and secure path with excellent surveillance.
Our proposed landscaping scheme for the Station Road site
A range of ecological surveys have been carried out on site as part of the preparation of our proposals.
Bat surveys have revealed a low level of bat activity, mainly focused in the wooded habitats at the south-west of the site, while minimal badger evidence has also been identified on the western periphery of the site. A population of common reptiles (slow-worm and some common lizard) has been found within the field margins and the site also has value for farmland birds.
All ecological considerations have been taken into account in the design of our scheme and the green space provided will allow reptiles to be accommodated on site while also offering further opportunities for wildlife habitats.
Neither the site nor the surrounding countryside is covered by any statutory or non-statutory designations for landscape character or quality. The Conservation Area at Deal is approximately 500m from the site and there is no visibility between the two.
The site is well related to the existing urban area with robust boundaries at the north, east and west, with woodland forming part of the southern boundary. Views from surrounding areas are restricted by the undulating landscape and intervening trees. There are partial views from Ripple windmill and nearby public footpaths to the south of the site, but countryside views are typically at a long distance and seen against the backdrop of the existing built-up area of Deal.
Access and highways
A number of potential access options have been explored, and the preferred strategy is for the primary site access to be directly from Station Road.
In addition, a secondary access for pedestrians, cyclists and emergency vehicles only will be provided from Mayers Road, with a new turning area likely to be created in Mayers Road to prevent larger vehicles from having to reverse out of this cul-de-sac, as is often the case currently.
As part of the process of preparing our planning application, we are conducting a thorough assessment of the wider highway network to evaluate the potential impact of the scheme in terms of additional traffic – particularly at the junction of Dover Road and Station Road. Potential highway/junction improvements are also being discussed with Kent Highway Services.
The proposed site access from Station Road
Flood risk and drainage
The site is located in Flood Zone 1 (lowest flood risk) and therefore flooding is not considered a restriction upon development at the site. Our proposed development will make use of Sustainable Drainage System (SuDS) techniques to control the rate of surface water run-off and ensure that run-off rates for the developed site are no higher than current levels.
Services and utilities
Foul drainage for the development will be connected to the existing public foul sewer in Station Road. This public network will be upgraded to accommodate the development as agreed with Southern Water.
All remaining utility services such as gas, water supply, electricity and telecommunications are available within the adjoining residential estates and can be extended and/or upgraded to accommodate the development.
The development site is ideally situated for Walmer rail station, which is located less than 250m from the proposed site access. This provides access to national rail services between London Charing Cross and Ramsgate, serving stations such as Deal, Sandwich, Ashford, Dover and Folkestone with up to two trains per hour.
Access to public transport is further enhanced by bus services accessible from stops on Station Road, providing two buses per hour. A significant majority of the site lies within 400m of these stops. The site benefits from direct access, on foot or by bicycle, to a wide range of local amenities, including leisure and recreation facilities, primary and secondary education, community facilities and Deal town centre.