Land excluded from the green belt and reserved to meet possible long-term housing development needs in Surrey Heath Borough Council's Local Plan is indicated by the purple shaded area.
The site which we are proposing for our new residential development is reserved within Surrey Heath Borough Council’s Local Plan to meet possible long-term housing development needs and is excluded from the green belt.
National planning policy requires Local Planning Authorities to identify and update annually a supply of specific deliverable sites equivalent to provide five years’ worth of housing against their housing requirements. However, the Council’s most recent assessment confirms that Surrey Heath Borough Council can presently only demonstrate a 2.8-year supply of deliverable housing land.
In such circumstances relevant policies for the supply of housing are not to be considered up to date and a presumption in favour of sustainable development is to apply. The proposed site comprises an appropriate location to meet a pressing need for residential accommodation, in a location excluded from the green belt for possible housing development purposes (as shown on the map pictured right)
Before we start designing a new scheme, we complete an assessment of the site and the surrounding area as they are at the moment. We record those features we will need to take into account in our design. All of the relevant considerations, whether they fix the way our scheme will have to be designed or give us a real opportunity to make the most of a particular feature, are shown below.
The site is within a suitable walking and cycling distance of the local facilities in West End, which include local shops, a post office, a primary school and a medical practice. Buses are available from Guildford Road, some 500m from the proposed site access. The bus stops on Guildford Road are served by a number of frequent and regular bus routes, including to Woking, Lightwater, Guildford and Camberley. Brookwood and Woking stations are approximately 5km and 7.5km from the site respectively.Both stations are accessible by bus and provide rail links to a wide range of destinations including London, Basingstoke, Southampton and Portsmouth.
Access to the development for vehicles is proposed from Beldam Bridge Road using a simple T-junction access as shown on the plan pictured below. The location has been selected in order to minimise the impact on trees along the site frontage and the design has been agreed in principle with Surrey County Council. An additional pedestrian access is proposed further north and closer to the existing residential area.
Our proposed access plan for the residential development.
Car parking provision for the proposed homes will be in line with Surrey County Council’s guidance, as follows:
- 1.5 or more spaces per 1 and 2-bedroom property
- 2 or more spaces per 3, 4 and 5-bedroom property
- Visitor parking to be provided where appropriate
We have used the industry standard TRICS trip generation database to estimate vehicle movements to and from the proposed development. A development of around 85 houses is expected to generate some 50 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 additional vehicle per minute in the peak hours. A Transport Statement is being prepared to evaluate the impact of the development on the local transport network and will be submitted with the outline planning application. The scope of the study is being agreed with Surrey County Council in its role as Local Highway Authority. We are aware that the A322 Guildford Road is very busy at peak times and our work will consider the impact of the development on the A322/Fellow Green/Kerria Way junction in detail.
The proposed development lies in an area of low flood risk, classified as Flood Zone 1, outside the 1-in-1,000-year annual flood event (rivers and sea). Other potential flood risk mechanisms, such as from overland flow, groundwater and sewers, are also of a low risk.
The proposed development will incorporate sustainable drainage measures (SuDS) to ensure that surface water run-off rates from the development are no higher than current greenfield levels. This will also assist in maintaining water quality.
Sustainable drainage measures will include porous paving in some areas to collect, store and control outflows during storm events. This outflow will then be directed via a drainage swale or underground pipes to a new attenuation pond (see below), and then via a further swale to the existing local watercourse.
The attenuation pond will take the form of a wet pond or a grassed hollow located within the open space to the east of the residential site, and will be designed to enhance the biodiversity and landscape character of this area. The pond and swales will improve water quality by trapping or allowing contaminants to settle out and break down naturally before the water reaches the local watercourse.
Foul drainage will discharge to the existing Thames Water public network via a new pumping station at the east of the site and rising main. Some upgrading of the existing network is likely to be required and Taylor Wimpey is currently in consultation with the water company on the detailed requirements.
Trees are present throughout the residential development site. At the boundaries these are predominantly a mix of species that naturally occur in the area, such as oak, ash and birch. Within the site there is a wide and eclectic selection of trees given the site’s former use as a tree nursery.
An assessment of the trees on the site has been carried out. It finds that the significant trees, worthy of retention, are to be found at the boundaries with some beyond being of special importance given their age. Whilst there is a good mix of species within the site many of the trees are compromised due to the close spacing in which they have grown. That spacing was ideal for nursery production but upon abandonment the trees have grown on to become spindly and prone to failure.
The assessment considers that the site can be developed to retain and enhance the amenity of the significant trees. Trees will be retained and incorporated within the proposed site layout for their contribution to green infrastructure and the support of biodiversity.
Existing trees will be complemented with further new tree planting to enhance the setting of the dwellings and to ensure a sustainable tree population for the enjoyment of future generations.
The proposed development site does not lie within or immediately adjacent to any statutory or non-statutory designated wildlife site and no direct impacts to such sites are anticipated as a result of the development proposals. However, the site is located within a 5km radius of the Thames Basin Heaths (TBH) Special Protection Area (SPA) and an area of publicly accessible recreation space – formally known as Suitable Alternative Natural Greenspace (SANG) – is being proposed to mitigate any indirect impacts on this area.
An Ecological Appraisal of the site has been undertaken. Habitats at the site comprise remnants of the former tree nursery site, with formally shaded ground become colonised with grass, tall ruderal and herb species since tree cover has been reduced. Proposed SANG land to the east of the proposed development area comprises denser nursery tree stands interspersed with more open grassland areas.
Detailed survey work for reptiles, great crested newts and bats has been completed to inform an assessment of potential impacts to such species from proposed development of the site. Reptiles and great crested newts were not found to be present and are not considered to represent a constraint to development. Bat activity was dominated by common pipistrelle bats, which have been observed foraging across the site. Bat foraging and commuting opportunities will be retained within the proposed SANG area and the proposed development by retaining boundary trees and hedgerows and incorporating native tree and shrub planting into landscape proposals.
The above plan shows how our proposed development aims to respond to the characteristics of the site and its surroundings.