Saturday, October 13, 2012

latest draft planning policy proposed for Coate & Badbury Wick

A draft Swindon Borough Local Plan 2026 is likely to go out for public consultation in December 2012 for an 8 week period. The Local Plan is the bible for developers and the blue-print of how Swindon will be expected to develop from 2011-2026 albeit that Swidon Council has already overestimated how may new houses will be built.

This is the policy relating to the Coate area and please note that there is no proposed protected buffer of land next to the south of Coate Water Site of Special Scientific Interest.

Swindon Borough Local Plan – Pre-Submission Draft Dec 2012


Policy NC2: Commonhead

a. Land at Commonhead as defined on the Proposals Map, is allocated for a mixed-use development.

b. The development at Commonhead shall provide:
·          a total of 890 dwellings at an average density of 30 dwellings per hectare
·          affordable homes in accordance with Policy HA2;
·          15 hectares of employment land within use-class B1 and/or B2
·          a local centre of a maximum of 1000m2 retail floorspace ;
·          a primary school (or 1 form-of-entry) incorporating community facilities;
·          contributions towards the delivery of 1 form of entry secondary school places off-site;
·          temporary accommodation to manage the demographic peak at primary, and contributions as such at secondary schools;
·          Green Infrastructure in accordance with Policy EN1 and which connects to the urban area and wider countryside ;
·          sport, leisure and community facilities in accordance with Policy CM2;
·          high quality public realm;
·          a community wide approach to renewable energy; and
·          5.5 hectares of land safeguarded for future expansion of the Great Western Hospital, incorporating provision for emergency services if required.
c. Development at Commonhead shall provide sustainable transport links that integrate with Swindon including:
·         public transport links to Swindon town centre;
·         walking and cycle links to Swindon’s existing communities, Coate Water Country Park and Great Western Hospital; and
·         access to the site from Marlborough Road.

d. Development at Commonhead shall protect, enhance and integrate with existing environmental assets including:
·         Coate Water Country Park and Day House Copse;
·         views to and from the North Wessex Downs AONB and Coate Water Country Park;
·         protection of the existing historic environment, including the setting of listed buildings and on-site archaeological features
·         habitat connectivity and enhanced biodiversity

e. The area between Coate Water and the new development will be protected from development, and the function of Day House Lane as a green corridor will be safeguarded.

 f. The route for the Wilts & Berks Canal as set out on the Proposals Map will be safeguarded and protected from development.
5.35 The Adopted Swindon Borough Local Plan 2011 contained an allocation for a mixed-use urban extension incorporating a university campus on land at Commonhead. The scale of residential development associated with the development was required to enable the development of the university and employment land. The rationale behind this allocation related to a specific campus model, which can no longer be implemented. The residential element of the allocation (without the presence of a university campus) and the economic and social benefits associated with it was re-assessed through the Small Scale Urban Extensions Study. Consequently Commonhead is now re-allocated for a reduced scale of development.
5.36 In April 2012, following an Appeal in December 2011 outline permission was granted for 890 dwellings at Commonhead with employment land and land safeguarded for future expansion of the Great Western Hospital. It is considered necessary to maintain a policy in the Local Plan to guide reserved matter applications or in the event of a revised outline planning application.
5.37 The Swindon and Marlborough NHS Trust and Great Western Hospital have identified that there is a need for land adjacent to the hospital to be safeguarded to accommodate future growth needs.
5.38 Given its status, there is a requirement to protect the Day House Copse County Wildlife Site. It is important that the setting and role of Coate Water County Park is protected over the long-term and therefore the land between it and the Commonhead allocation is safeguarded from development. This area may also aid the local interpretation of the literacy [sic] associations of the area.
 5.39 Commonhead will be a sustainable community in terms of design, transport, construction, energy and waste management in accordance with other policies in this Local Plan.
 Key Design Principles
To protect Coate Water Country Park and the landscape context of the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
To ensure that the employment offer complements Swindon town centre
 Evidence Base
Swindon Principal Urban Area Study Small Scale Urban Extension Study
 Delivery and links with other key policies and strategies
5.40 Commonhead is a key component of the development strategy for the Borough and is linked to many policies and strategies listed in the evidence base. Effective management of development will be achieved through the application of this policy and through:
Alignment of proposals with other related (but non-planning) strategies identified in the “Evidence Base” above;
Implementation of the Infrastructure Delivery Plan;
A Developer Contributions Supplementary Planning Document;
Development Framework Plan, design codes and masterplan;
Continuing dialogue between the Council, the local community and developers; and
The development management process.

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