Proposed Access Arrangements
The design of the site’s proposed access for the northern and southern land parcels has largely been determined by the road bridge application (Planning Application Reference: 19/P/01460) which was approved in January 2021.
As shown on the masterplan, the design of the proposed access to the northern land parcel comprising of 53 residential units takes the form of a give-way priority junction located off the eastern side of Foreman Road. This design can achieve visibility splays in accordance with the 30-mph posted speed limit and as such accords with regional and national best practice guidance. The southern land parcel which comprises of 29 residential units would be served via a give-way priority junction located off the northern side of the access road serving the wide allocated housing site. This in-turn would connect to the approved 5-arm roundabout junction connecting the southern end of the road bridge to Foreman Road.
In line with national and regional policies and best practice guidance, the design of the internal road network comprising both the northern and southern land parcels benefit from having carriageway widths capable of accommodating the simultaneous entry and exit movements of various sized vehicles in a safe and convenient manner. Furthermore, the masterplan incorporates links to local bus stops and shared foot / cycleways along Foreman Road and approved road bridge, thereby providing safe and convenient walking and cycling routes to a broad range of amenities available in Ash.
Proposed Parking Arrangements
The proposed masterplan for the northern and southern land parcels provides an appropriate level of car and cycle parking spaces, in accordance with the maximum standards set out in Surrey County Council’s (SCC’s) ‘Vehicular and Cycle Parking Guidance’ (January 2018) publication.
Proposed Delivery and Servicing Arrangements
The design of the internal road network comprising the northern and southern land parcels incorporates appropriate geometries and includes the provision of adequate turning head facilities, to enable a large refuse truck to enter and exit in forward gear in a safe and convenient manner without overrunning parking spaces or areas of soft landscaping.
Waste refuse and recycling would be collected from dedicated bin stores / temporary holding areas within the maximum carry distances for waste operatives and future households, as prescribed in national best practice guidance. In addition, the masterplan can accommodate a fire tender truck in accordance with best practice guidance.
Persimmon has commissioned an independent specialist archaeological and built heritage assessment to inform the design of the proposals and understand their potential effects on the local historic environment. This assessment was undertaken in accordance with national and local guidance, including that issued by Historic England and the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists.
To understand the archaeological potential of the Site, an assessment incorporating data from the Surrey Historic Environment Record and other sources has been produced. This assessment also discusses the results of a geophysical survey undertaken within the Site. Any archaeological evidence present within the Site is likely to be of local importance only, similar to that previously recorded in the local area. Prior to any construction activity the Site will be subject to an appropriate scheme of archaeological investigation agreed with the Local Planning Authority.
Archaeological evidence within the Site will be subject to appropriate recording and removed or preserved in situ. Subsequent reporting will be deposited with relevant archival services.
The Site is identified as making a low contribution to the significance of the Ash Manor group of listed buildings as an element of their historically functionally associated agricultural character setting. The Ash Manor group is not visible from the Site and the past relationship between them is now legible primarily from documentary sources. The Site is not a notable element in the present experience of the Ash Manor group within its much altered domestic grounds. The Study Site is not currently in active agricultural/pasture use and is subject to planning consent for a road link.
All dwellings will be designed and constructed to exceed the requirements of the current Building Regulations for energy demand and carbon dioxide (CO₂) emissions and in addition will also be provided with roof mounted solar photovoltaic panels, mounted flush with the roof finish, as part of the strategy to reduce CO₂ emissions associated with space heating, water heating and lighting by 20% beyond the requirements of Approved Document L1A 2013 Conservation of Fuel and Power under the current Building Regulations, and in full support of Guildford Borough Council Local Plan 2015-2034 (adopted 25th April 2019) Policy D2: Climate Change, Sustainable Design, Construction and Energy. Compliance with Policy D2 will be in accordance with guidance espoused within the Guildford Borough Council Climate Change, Sustainable Design, Construction and Energy Supplementary Planning Document adopted September 2020.
Sound Advice Acoustics Ltd have been instructed by Persimmon Homes Thames Valley to undertake a background noise and vibration survey to British Standard 8233: 2014 & British Standard 6472 & 7385 to determine the impact of existing noise and vibration sources.
Glazing & Ventilation
Calculations will be carried out to provide a specification for glazing and ventilation to meet the criteria of BS8233: 2014.
WHO Guidelines for Community Noise.
An assessment will be carried out to ascertain the noise levels within gardens and on balconies. Mitigation measures will be recommended if required.
A vibration assessment will be carried out to ascertain the current vibration levels and if required mitigation measures will be recommended.
The existing site comprises a large open field with existing trees primarily focussed around the periphery of the site. The species present are consistent with the site’s rural locality, with native broad-leaf species such as ash, hawthorn, silver birch and goat willow being abundant; but common oak is the most numerous overstorey species. All oak trees on site are also afforded statutory protection in the form of a Tree Preservation Order (ref. 7/2017), made by Guildford Borough Council.
Except for the south-west corner of the site, where the approved roundabout and road bridge footprint is necessary to make the site viable, the existing tree stock has been incorporated into the proposed site layout, ensuring that the constraints posed by the existing trees have informed the layout, rather than the layout dictating which trees may be retained, and this will ensure that any potentially adverse arboricultural impacts are minimised. Consequently, arboricultural impacts are largely confined to aspects of the highway layout itself, which has already been approved with the road bridge applciation. Where possible, semi-natural drainage features to include swales and attenuation ponds will be located adjacent to existing trees, with the bulk of potentially damaging construction activity taking place centrally within the site.
Additionally, there is significant scope for replacement tree planting to be incorporated into publicly accessible areas, and this will progressively minimise the impacts of the highway layout, soften the built form, avoid private tree ownership and potentially adverse management, and in due course, contribute to an enhancement over the existing context once successfully established.
Overview and Objective
The landscape strategy seeks to compliment the new residential development, by integrating it within its surrounding landscape context whilst retaining and enhancing the existing landscape features on the site, demonstrating key ecological and landscape interventions for the development.
Proposed landscape character and development integration
In response to the landscape character and visual setting of the site a cohesive landscape strategy for the development would be developed. The landscape strategy seeks to:
Maintain and reinforce, where appropriate, the hedged / treed character to the site's boundaries in order to provide a sense of containment to the development and minimise visual intrusion onto adjoining properties / landscape
Protect and enhance, where appropriate, the setting and character of the existing hedgerows and trees at the sites boundaries with Forman Road and landscape to the south through additional tree and native shrub / hedgerow planting, enhancing its function as a feature of the site-wide green infrastructure network
Provide a quality public realm scheme made up of street scenes and green open space within the development for the enjoyment of users for informal leisure and recreation and compliment the setting of the built form. This includes a play area to the southernmost corner of the scheme (a Local Area for Play, LAP) and the planting of suitable trees, amenity and wildflower, where appropriate, grass species including wet tolerant grass mixes within the swale, in an informal arrangement along the southern boundary to encourage a variety of uses for the public open spaces and protect and enhance the southern boundary.
Soft landscape palette
The proposals seek to build on the existing landscape fabric through the introduction of enhanced native boundary tree and hedgerow planting, specimen parkland trees within the open spaces, formal street tree planting (consistent with Local Authority design guides as appropriate, e.g. GBC Residential Design Guide SPG, 2004 and adjacent developments). The soft landscaping palette will also include marginal and wetland planting, short and long grassland and ornamental shrub planting.
The species selection would be appropriate to the local growing conditions, intended purpose and level of maintenance using a range of species to provide long, medium and pioneer species. Species selection will favour native species and cultivars wherever practical and be chosen and managed such that they promote local wildlife and biodiversity, in particular habitats for birds, invertebrates, bats, reptiles and amphibians.
A palette of tree, shrub and grassland species would be used to provide a rich and varied planting scheme. Defining species would be used to provide interesting points of focus.
Evergreen shrub planting would provide softening to vertical structures such as walls and fences, with self-clinging climbing shrubs also used to reduce the visual effects of these hard enclosures. Clipped evergreen hedgerows would provide an informal boundary treatment to frontages. Cottage and garden type planting would provide seasonal interest through its colour, texture and scent, whilst also contributing to the rural domestic character of the residential frontages.
Hard landscape palette
A simple palette of hard landscape materials and street furniture would be used to compliment the specific purpose and location within the development, using materials that are durable and compliment the local palette of materials and the proposed townscape character.
Concrete paviours will provide an informal ‘street’ character within selected residential areas and prominent road junctions that slow traffic and create a more friendly pedestrian environment.
Boundary treatments & enclosures
A range of robust boundary treatments would be used to provide secure means of enclosure where necessary, principally to rear gardens using a mixture of close board timber fencing and masonry walls where they affront the public realm. Front gardens will be enclosed by less formal treatment comprised of clipped low hedgerows, where services allow, to provide a softer edge and allow natural surveillance onto the street.
Ecology and Nature Conservation
To inform the emerging proposals for the site, a comprehensive suite of ecological survey and assessment work has been undertaken. The objectives of this work are to ascertain the current ecological baseline of the site, both in terms of the habitats present and the potential opportunities that they provide for faunal species, establish constraints that the proposals will need to respond to, and importantly to identify opportunities for any enhancements which can be delivered to achieve net gains.
There are no statutory or non-statutory designated sites situated within or immediately adjacent to the site, however, it is noted that the site is situated approximately 0.7km south of Thames Basin Heaths Special Protection Area (SPA). As such, in accordance with the strategic approach towards mitigation, suitable financial contributions will be made towards the management and maintenance of an existing strategic Suitable Alternative Natural Greenspace (SANG) within the local area, as well as towards Strategic Access Management and Monitoring (SAMM) measures, to mitigate for any potential effects upon this European designated site arising due to an increase in recreational pressure.
Survey work undertaken to date has confirmed that the vast majority of the site comprises species-poor semi-improved grassland, which is considered to be of limited ecological interest. Habitats of relatively greater value recorded within the context of the site include the boundary hedgerows and treelines.
The existing habitats within the site offer potential opportunities for a range of protected and notable species and faunal groups, including Badgers, bats (roosting, foraging and commuting) and reptiles. Further specific survey work in respect of these groups has been undertaken since September 2020. These surveys have identified that the site is utilised by a limited complement of common and widespread bat species for foraging and commuting purposes, in addition the presence of a low population of Slow Worms. The boundary vegetation also provides opportunities for nesting birds.
Whilst much of the existing grassland habitat will be lost to facilitate the emerging development proposals, the majority of the existing treelines situated on the eastern and southern boundary of the site will be retained. Where losses to existing habitats are required, these will be offset through the provision of extensive areas of new species-rich habitats as part of a site-wide green infrastructure strategy, including areas of native wildflower grassland, new native hedgerow, tree and scrub planting and new wetland habitats as part of the drainage strategy for the site. Moreover, there is scope to provide enhancements to retained habitats, with the adoption of measures such as supplementary planting and the implementation of long-term management focused on maximising the biodiversity value of these habitats and the opportunities that they provide for fauna.
A series of specific measures will also come forward to mitigate for potential adverse effects upon protected species at the site. Potential impacts upon foraging and commuting bats within the local area will be mitigated in the form of a sensitive lighting strategy to retain unlit, dark corridors adjacent to existing boundary features. Moreover, there is scope to improve foraging and commuting opportunities for bats within the site through the provision of new species-rich habitats and hedgerow planting as part of the green infrastructure strategy for the site. A careful and systematic approach will be undertaken to the clearance of any grassland within the site, with consideration for the presence of reptiles. The implementation of suitable long-term management of grassland habitats within the site will ensure that opportunities for reptiles within the site are retained, and moreover enhanced. Specific measures such as the provision of new hibernacula, bat boxes and bird boxes will provide further opportunities to deliver enhancements.
Flood Risk and Drainage
The site does not fall within an area at risk of flooding.
A robust and resilient drainage scheme is being developed to ensure that surface water impacts of the proposed development have been robustly assessed. A package of drainage solutions will be provided to ensure that the proposed development complies with national planning policy and in that regard a sustainable urban drainage solution is being developed.
An assessment of existing foul drainage capacity is being undertaken. A comprehensive Flood Risk Assessment and Drainage Strategy will be submitted with the application.
In summary, the proposed drainage scheme consists of utilising permeable pavement, geocellular storage and open pond SuDS features to capture, treat and attenuate runoff prior to a controlled discharge to the watercourse network at an agreed rate. The underlying Clay strata inhibits the potential of infiltration at the site however the proposals adhere to the most appropriate viable option in line with the Drainage Hierarchy.
The proposed drainage scheme also works in conjunction with the proposed Road Bridge, with the proposed open pond features conveying the runoff from the bridge drainage system to the watercourse in unison with the site drainage system, which has been designed in coordination with the AECOM Drainage Engineers responsible for the road bridge network.