Trowbridge Development Plan land allocations. Click to enlarge.
The land we are proposing to develop covers a total area of 23.1 acres and is situated to the south-west of Ashton Road, Trowbridge.
It is located across two neighbouring sites which are separated by existing homes in Ashton Road.
To the west of the proposed development sites is The Pastures, a new residential development which is currently under construction by another housebuilder.
Paxton Brook and the Mead Community Primary School are located to the north, while the southern boundary of the sites is marked by Green Lane.
There is a significant requirement for suitable sites to be brought forward for residential development in Trowbridge to help Wiltshire Council meet its targets for housing growth in the area.
Wiltshire Council is in the process of preparing a Site Allocations Development Plan Document to identify appropriate housing locations, and in the initial round of consultations on the draft plan, our site was supported for development by Trowbridge Town Council.
Land allocations in the draft Trowbridge Development Plan are shown in the map pictured right.
Highways and transport
Work is in progress to complete the transport assessment report for this development.
The technical assessment has highlighted the sustainable credentials of the site with pedestrian and cycle networks following Paxcroft Brook to the north and Green Lane to the south, leading towards Trowbridge town centre.
A pedestrian route to the adjacent Abbey development leading on to Leap Gate provides alternative access to local amenities and bus stops as well as the town centre.
New traffic turning and queue counts at the A361 roundabout and at the A350 Stoney Gutter signals have been undertaken. These assessments, together with forecast information from Wiltshire’s Traffic Model for Trowbridge, suggest our development will not be detrimental to the operation of both junctions.
Additionally, week-long automatic traffic counts on Ashton Road have been carried out to confirm existing traffic speeds.
Access and highway safety
Access to our proposed development will be from two locations in Ashton Road, and will take the form of ghost islands.
The access design has been prepared following consultation with the Local Highway Authority and is on safety grounds to reduce the potential for collisions for right turning traffic into the site.
There is an existing accident concentration on Ashton Road at the Green Lane bend which is not influenced by the development, but appears to result from inappropriate speeds or lack of driver concentration.
Subject to local authority agreement, this development proposes to replace the existing chevron signs with better yellow-backed signs to highlight the bend more fully.
The proposed development will meet current Wiltshire Parking Strategy Guidelines, which set out minimum allocated parking numbers for each property based on the number of bedrooms, including visitor parking.
We will also be providing one covered cycle parking space per bedroom, in line with local policy.
Bridleway and public rights of way
The bridleway to the north of the development and within the boundary which leads westwards to the Abbey site will be maintained.
The development will access Green Lane to the south of the site and, subject to consultation, proposes to improve the surface for pedestrians and cyclists, appreciating that the lane is a bridleway and needs to be compliant for horses.
Flood risk and drainage
The proposed development is in Environment Agency designated Flood Zone 1, meaning it is at the lowest risk of river or sea flooding (annual probability of less than 1 in 1,000).
The site is above and clear of any flood extents and currently drains in a broadly north/north-westerly direction towards Paxcroft Brook via surface run-off and a series of piped and open ditch courses running through the land and along Ashton Road, though a limited amount of surface water is also lost through infiltration into the ground.
Storm water run-off from the development will be limited to existing ‘greenfield rates’, meaning the rate of run-off from the site will be no higher than it is currently.
This will be achieved through a system of ditches and surface water storage measures (such as permeable paving, ponds and swales) to compensate for the increase in impermeable surfaces.
Our drainage solution for the site will be drawn up through consultation with the Environment Agency, Wiltshire Council and Wessex Water.
Road traffic movements in Ashton Road and the A361 (approximately 250m north of the site) are the main source of noise affecting the proposed development site.
It is also recognised that the development has the potential to change the existing noise impact on nearby homes backing on to the A361, largely through changes in local road traffic flows.
As part of our proposals we will undertake sound modelling to determine the future sound environment across the site and neighbouring homes, as well as a road traffic noise assessment to understand the effects of changes in road traffic noise resulting from the development.
Should measures be required to mitigate the noise impact of the development, these will be published in the Environmental Statement which will be submitted with our planning application.
Key ecological features of the proposed development site. Click to enlarge.
The site comprises a series of semi-improved grassland fields which are considered to be of low ecological value at a local level. Hedgerows and trees provide habitats of higher ecological value.
Site surveys have been undertaken for bats, badger, dormouse and reptiles, and these have recorded evidence of foraging and commuting bats (including greater and lesser horseshoe species), and a single slow-worm.
Boundary habitats also provide opportunities for nesting birds with trees offering moderate or low potential for roosting bats.
The site is located approximately 60m north of Green Lane Wood Local Nature Reserve and Wiltshire Wildlife Trust Reserve, which support a locally important population of Bechstein’s bats, a nationally rare species.
An increased level of specialist bat survey work has therefore been undertaken to determine the importance of the site for this species.
Our ecological masterplan
Our proposed development has been carefully designed to maintain habitats of value and key flight corridors for Bechstein’s bats and other highly sensitive bat species, retaining long-term connectivity between the site and important off-site habitats such as local woodlands, watercourses and tree roosts.
The measures we are proposing to protect and enhance wildlife habitats and connectivity to neighbouring habitats. Click to enlarge.
Key design principles include:
- Incorporation of a series of ‘dark’ corridors along bat flightlines through the site
- Retention of all hedgerows within the public domain
- Minimisation of hedgerow breaks and use of ‘hop-overs’ to maintain connectivity for bats
- Management of hedgerows to improve structural and species diversity
- New habitat creation, including woodland planting, wildflower grassland and scrub
Our proposals will safeguard and enhance all habitats of value within the site, delivering a strong network of green infrastructure including green corridors and hedgerows to provide continued and long-term opportunities for nesting birds, other bat species and reptiles.
Appropriate measures will also be implemented to safeguard protected species during construction works, while opportunities exist to provide enhancements such as reptile hibernacula and specific roosting and nesting opportunities for bats, hedgehogs, birds and invertebrates.