Woodhouse Lane site - hybrid planning application
The site is approximately 56 hectares and is located to the south and east of Hedge End. It is bounded by Woodhouse Lane to the south-east, the railway line and Boorley Green to the north-east and residential properties to the west and Botley Village to the south. Part of the site is designated as Bushy Copse/Bottom Copse a Site of Importance for Nature Conservation (SINC) and Ancient Woodland. A Public Right of Way crosses the centre of the site.
To support the early delivery of the secondary school the planning application is hybrid in nature and consists of:
- Outline planning for up to 605 new homes; a local centre of up to 1,000 square metres, noise mitigation and public open spaces including land for sports pitches;
- Detailed planning for a new 7 form entry secondary school (1,050 pupils) with potential to expand to a 9 form entry (1,350 pupils) and associated sports facilities;
- Detailed planning for primary infrastructure, which includes the provision of two new points of access from Woodhouse Lane, onsite access roads, pedestrian and cyclist underpass for Woodhouse Lane, pedestrian and cycle routes, and offsite road and pedestrian improvements to the Winchester Road railway bridge.
Hampshire County Council, in its role as public land owner, and in its capacity as a public service provider is committed to the delivery of the overall project including the associated early phases of infrastructure works. These early works will support the timely delivery of the new secondary school and the provision of serviced land parcels to facilitate the advanced delivery of new housing.
Key design principles include:
- A focal point at the heart of the neighbourhood with the new secondary school and a local centre;
- New homes that respect and reflect the surrounding area, with properties located in clusters with private gardens to the rear and front gardens to provide a buffer to the street;
- Green spaces for leisure, sport and recreation – connected by landscaped corridors - that promote health and wellbeing;
- Encouraging a sense of community with social spaces where people can meet and interact, promoting positive relationships between neighbours; and
- Establishing strong links and connections with the existing community at Hedge End.
Key changes made to the proposals since the public consultation (July 2018) include:
- The number of houses has been reduced from up to 650 to 605.
- A connection point for the foul sewer has been agreed in principle with Southern Water.
- Acoustic bund/ fences to be provided where required along the route of the bypass to help mitigate the noise impact of the by-pass.
- The buffer zone around the SINC has increased to 20m.
- An additional ecological mitigation and enhancement area of 4.6 hectares is proposed within the “middle site”. Calculations have been undertaken to demonstrate that the projects will deliver no net loss of biodiversity.
- A possible location for a new public crossing point within the SINC has been identified, and agreed in principle with the Environment Agency. This location will have minimal ecological impact on the SINC.
- Land has been safeguarded for a new bridge over the railway (that could be subject to a future proposal).
- A pedestrian and cyclist underpass to Woodhouse Lane is proposed to provide a ‘safer routes to school’ for pupils and local residents.
- Improvement works are proposed to the Winchester Road Railway Bridge to provide a footway/ cycle path to link up with the existing route on Winchester Road. The footway on the railway bridge will be widened to between 2.5m and 4.0m, while the footway on the western side of Woodhouse Lane will be widened to 2.5m in width, as far south as the main access to the site.
- The MUGA for the school has been set back from the existing tree line to reduce the impact on the tree canopy and foraging bats.
- A 17m buffer of existing landscape and additional planting to screen existing properties to the north west from the proposed development.
- Parking plots and landscaping to reduce the visibility of parked cars within the development.
Key changes following submission (December 2018):
Woodhouse Lane northern access junction
An improvement to the Botley Bypass roundabout to include a longer segregated left hand lane for traffic coming from the Winchester Street direction on to Woodhouse Lane. To accommodate this change the northbound carriageway of Woodhouse Lane has moved slightly westwards into the development site as it approaches the roundabout and resulted in the new proposed pedestrian underpass being slightly extended.
Winchester Road railway bridge
Following consultation feedback and primary school catchment changes, the following amendments are proposed:
- An improved highway design which includes a new footway/cycleway of 2.4m (instead of the 2.4 to 4m originally proposed)with two-way traffic flows across the length of the bridge. The new design removes the need for traffic signals which is now possible following a review of the primary school catchment for the development. After a review of school forecasts the primary school age children will now be accommodated within the existing Berrywood Primary School rather than cross the railway to access primary schools as previously proposed. This means a smaller footway/cycleway can be provided over the Winchester Road railway bridge.
- A new light-controlled puffin pedestrian crossing on Winchester Road, approx. 85m to the north west of Crows Nest Lane, which has changed to improve visibility for vehicles heading north along Winchester Road now that the signalisation of the bridge is no longer proposed.
- Following the proposed changes to the signalisation of the bridge, the Winchester Street / Woodhouse Lane junction has been reduced in scale to support the change in traffic priority and improve highway safety.