The Shorncliffe Rationalisation Project phasing programme.
The proposed development site covers a total area of approximately 77 hectares and is largely located to the south of Church Road, with a small section of land (St Martin’s Plain) situated to the west of Church Road and Horn Street.
The site is allocated in the Shepway Local Plan 2013 (Policy SS7) which establishes the principle of redeveloping the site for residential, recreation, education and community uses as part of the MOD’s Shorncliffe Rationalisation Project.
The Shorncliffe Rationalisation Project
The MOD’s Shorncliffe Rationalisation Project is about reducing the existing Shorncliffe site to provide a more secure and sustainable site, recycling the proceeds from the sale of surplus land to deliver improved modern defence facilities on the land which is being retained.
We have been chosen by the MOD to take the project forward, and it is proposed that land will be released for development in four phases over the next 20 years, as shown in the plan pictured right.
Highways and access
It is recognised that the impact of the proposed development on the local highway network is a local concern. The issues raised at the previous exhibition are picked up below.
Traffic impact on Church Road and other local roads
Vehicle access to the main part of the proposed development will be from a number of locations, including existing locations in Pond Hill Road, from Church Road (near the Army Cadet Force hut) in the north, from the existing access on Royal Military Avenue in the east (opposite St Mark’s Close), and from existing locations along North Road and West Road in the south.
There will be additional points of access from Horn Street in to St Martin’s Plain and also from Cheriton Court Road. The main site access from Church Road will involve some road widening so that a right-hand turning lane can be accommodated.
As a result of increased traffic flows associated with the development on the local network, junction improvements will be carried out in order to mitigate against any potential traffic impact associated with the proposals. Further details of these
improvements are provided below.
Improved bus services
A map of existing and proposed bus services in the local area.
The light blue, green and orange dotted lines on the bus service map, pictured right, show potential bus route diversions to services 71, 72 and 73 from Church Road which would initially be in place during Phases 1 and 2 of the development. The diversion of the routes is not expected to reduce the frequency of services and new bus stops will be provided to ensure that all new homes are within 400m of the diverted buses.
Local bus operator Stagecoach is likely to review the bus route as future phases are developed. As a result the primary routes through the site should be designed to accommodate two-way bus flow. The dark blue dotted line shows a potential new service which may be implemented in the future linking the A259 coast road with Folkestone West railway station.
Horn Street Bridge
Improvements to the operation of the Horn Street Bridge through traffic signal control have been tested in the preparation of Shepway District Council’s Core Strategy and it has been found that a bridge widening scheme would not be required to deliver the level of development proposed. These findings are supported by traffic assessments undertaken by Taylor Wimpey.
However, it is proposed that the current situation with queuing at the bridge can be improved by changing the traffic flow so that Church Road receives priority over Horn Street. This will be controlled with a yellow box to deter vehicles from blocking the junction.
These proposed bridge improvements (pictured below) have been approved by Kent County Council (as Highway Authority) and Shepway District Council as part of planning permission for the Shorncliffe development. They will be delivered before the first home is occupied at St Martin's Plain.
Our proposed improvements at Horn Street Bridge.
A relocated pedestrian crossing will also be provided on Church Road along with a new crossing to the north of the entrance to the St Martin’s Plain development.
A widened footpath along the north-eastern side of Horn Street will provide a safe and direct link to St Martin’s Plain and the dedicated pedestrian bridge crossing the railway line. These improvements are pictured below.
Our proposed improvements at the St Martin's Plain access junction.
All roads throughout the development will be pedestrian friendly. The main primary north-south link will have a dedicated shared footpath and cycleway down one side (east) and a standard footpath on the other side (west), which will link in to a
pedestrian/cycle only section through Le Quesne and the school.
South of North Road the primary north-south link will once again have a dedicated footpath and cycleway and link in to the existing bridleway which runs through the Backdoor Training Area.
The east-west routes through the site will form secondary routes with pedestrian footpaths which will link Royal Military Avenue (and adjacent roads) to the Stadium, Pond Hill Road and through to the existing footpath routes within the
Backdoor Training Area.
Highways improvements secured
To be delivered by Taylor Wimpey before development works begin:
- Improvements to Horn Street Bridge (see above)
- Change in priority of Church Road / Horn Street (see above)
- Site access from Church Road (illustrated below)
Our proposed Church Road access junction.
Other highways works to be delivered by Taylor Wimpey:
- Site access to St Martin’s Plain including a new pedestrian/cycle crossing and links along Horn Street (see above)
- Improved site access from Royal Military Avenue at the junction with St Mark’s Close (illustrated below)
- Improved junction arrangement of North Road/Pond Hill Road/West Road
- Additional parking for public use at The Pavilion (at The Stadium) which can be used by parents dropping off and collecting children at Cheriton Primary School
- New and improved site accesses for the development along North Road, West Road, Pond Hill Road and Cheriton Court Close
- New pedestrian and cycle links to and from the site at a number of locations
- Improvement to bus stops and bus routes in the vicinity of the development
Our proposed access arrangements for Royal Military Avenue.
Other highways works to be delivered by Kent County Council with contributions from Taylor Wimpey:
- Junction improvements to Horn Street/Cheriton High Street
- Junction improvements to Cheriton High Street/Cheriton Interchange (Tesco junction)
- Junction improvements to A20 Cheriton High Street/Risborough Lane
Backdoor Training Area
In consultation with Shepway District Council, Kent County Council and English Heritage, a strategy is being developed to enhance access to the Backdoor Training Area (illustrated on the map pictured right) for walking, to enhance its ecological value and to ensure the retention of heritage assets.
The Backdoor Training Area
The Backdoor Training area is rich in important heritage assets.
The Martello Tower is the oldest military structure in this area (shown in plans from 1808). To the east lies the Old Redoubt, a Scheduled Ancient Monument which originated as a defensive earthen fort designed in 1794.
During the First World War a series of trenches were excavated to the west within the Backdoor Training Area for the training of new troops and a defence against German invasion. Four pillboxes constructed during the Second World War are located in the Backdoor Training Area along with further trenches, machine gun, mortar and observation areas established during this period.
The management of the Backdoor Training Area will focus heavily on protecting these heritage assets, improving their setting and providing improved access and interpretation to promote public appreciation and understanding.
The Backdoor Training Area is predominantly rough grassland and scrub in the northern sections (Area B on the plan), more densely vegetated and wetter areas to the centre (Area D) and areas of woodland dominating the southern end (Areas E, F, G).
Rough grassland is utilised by common reptiles, breeding and migratory birds make good use of the extensive scrub habitats and the mosaic of habitats supports a good range of invertebrates. The woodland is not recorded as being of ancient origin, but mature trees provide an established habitat and some interesting ground flora occurs in places.
Future management of these areas will aim to restore woodland quality and ground flora and to maintain a suitable balance between encroaching scrub and more open, tall herb and grassland areas. Low density grazing is proposed within central and northern areas using old breeds of cattle and pony.
Overall a relatively low-key management approach is envisaged but active conservation management will create a number of benefits for wildlife whilst preserving the character of the area and improving access and enjoyment by local residents.
A key component in establishing this new area of publicly accessible open space is to improve the existing footpaths and rights of way.
The main bridleway, known as Sandy Lane (HB2 & HF46), which heads southwest from the corner of the Site towards the seafront and the Royal Military Canal, will be upgraded. This will create a strong connection for pedestrians and cyclists.
Additional improvements will be made to other footpaths (HB3 & HF43) to improve usability. New footpaths are proposed to create more circular walks within the valley and to formalise an existing desire line through the northern area, between Pond Hill Road and Cheriton Court Road.
Heritage and listed buildings
Key issues raised during the November 2013 public consultation in relation to heritage and listed buildings included the following:
- Concerns about the future of listed buildings
- Careful consideration should be given to the preservation of the Old Redoubt
- Development should respect the military heritage of the site
- Proposals should seek to include the retention of the existing water tower
- Full heritage assessment of the site should be carried out
All the listed buildings on site will be retained, which includes the former Sir John Moore Library, the entrance gates to Risborough Barracks, one of the concrete barracks in Burgoyne Barracks, and the racquet courts (original buildings only). We are also proposing to retain the Water Tower which sits at the top of Hospital Hill.
To secure the long-term future of the buildings, planning consent is being sought for a range of uses that could be accommodated in the buildings. Uses include offices, children's nursery and/or other community uses such as a hall.
A full heritage assessment will be carried out and submitted as part of the planning application. All buildings which aren't listed will also be recorded before any demolition takes place.
Open space and play equipment
During the November 2013 public consultation, local people said they wanted to see existing green spaces preserved and also that more trees, plants and open spaces should be provided within our scheme. People also said they'd like to see areas of play incorporated within the proposed development.
The existing areas of public open space are to be retained within the development site. The Stadium is being retained (but reconfigured) with improvements to sports facilities including the retention and improvements to existing 4 full size football pitches and a new changing room pavilion/cadet hut which will provide a greatly enhanced facility compared with the building which is currently on the site.
Le Quesne will be retained for recreational use. It is proposed that a cricket pitch and mini soccer pitches will be provided within the western area. Within the primary school site there will be a further football pitch and toilet facilities which can be used on a shared basis alongside the cricket pitch and mini soccer pitches.
In addition to the formal sports areas, there will be other areas of incidental open space, which will provide areas for informal play and for people to sit outside. Up to 10.5 hectares of open space will be provided across the site in addition to the Backdoor Training Area.
Of the 10.5 hectares of open space being provided, up to 1.4 hectares will be for equipped play areas. Following discussions with Shepway District Council, there will be one focal area of play equipment concentrated near the primary school and a smaller area at The Stadium. In addition to this there will be other areas of natural play.
Ecology and trees
The proposed development will be constructed largely on areas of the Barracks which are already developed, with many of the existing green spaces to be preserved as recreation areas or public open space and the woodland at the south-western corner maintained as a nature conservation area.
A tree survey of the site is currently being undertaken. Trees which are of good value and worthy of retention will be retained where possible and sensitively integrated into the development proposals. The retention of existing mature trees will contribute to the character and quality of the development and provide instant green coverage.
An Ecological Appraisal has been carried out along with a number of detailed surveys of flora and fauna. A detailed assessment of the implications of development on local wildlife will be submitted as part of our planning application. Appropriate measures will be set out to protect existing wildlife (e.g. nesting birds, bats, reptiles) both during construction and into the future. Opportunities will be identified to provide biodiversity enhancements alongside development, both within the development areas and within the wider areas of informal open space.
Surface water drainage from the proposed development will be dealt with via a Sustainable Drainage System. This will incorporate a range of techniques and features such as attenuation basins (natural landscaped hollows capable of storing excess water in the event of exceptionally heavy rainfall) to manage and control surface water and reduce flood risk. The proposals will be designed to ensure that they do not increase the risk of flooding off site.
Site investigations are being undertaken to determine ground conditions and to identify the potential for contaminants. If areas of contamination are encountered, then the development proposals offer the opportunity to address this and where required secure appropriate remediation and mitigation.
A strong spine road running north to south through the development will frame views through to the Downs and the Shepway Horse. The development will also need to respond to the long views over the Seabrook Valley.