Site LPS 36: North West Knutsford
The development of North West Knutsford over the Local Plan Strategy period will be achieved through:
- Phased provision of around 500 new homes and 7.5 hectares of high quality Class B1 business park development within the following sites:
It is anticipated that separate planning applications will deliver each of the above sites, and with each site having independent access, this is acceptable. Collectively the sites will deliver, as appropriate, the following provisions (2-6) and each planning application will be assessed against the relevant site specific criteria (a-u) as they may apply to that application site.
- Appropriate retail provision to meet local needs;
- contributions towards educational facilities; and
- Provision of open space, and provision of / contributions toward sports and leisure facilities;
- Incorporation of green infrastructure where required, including:
- Allotments; and
- Community orchard or community gardens; and
- Pedestrian and cycle links to new and existing residential areas, shops, schools and health facilities;
- The existing sports grounds situated between Mereheath Lane and Manchester Road to the south of LPS 36(C) are removed from the Green Belt. These are identified as protected open space within LPS 36 as shown on Figure 15.43 and will be retained in their entirely as such, and enhanced if possible. The existing allotment gardens to the east of Mereheath Lane remain in the Green Belt as protected open space.
Site Specific Principles of Development
- Protection and enhancement of the setting of Tatton Park.
- The sites will deliver housing which will contribute to the local character of Knutsford through the use of appropriate density, architecture, style, form and materials and reference to CEC most up to date Design Guidance.
- A mix of housing types, sizes and tenures to comply with Policy SC 4.
- Proposals will be expected to be of a high quality design that respects the setting of nearby designated heritage assets, parkland and the character of the surrounding area. Development adjacent to the Toll House on Northwich Road must be set back from the road by a buffer zone of mature planting to mitigate the visual impact of development on the Toll House.
- Proposals will be expected to include a Landscape Character Assessment to guide the scale and massing of new development.
- Provide a comprehensive landscaping scheme which retains existing mature trees and hedgerows where possible, or provide appropriate mitigation.
- Any replacement and/or new sports provision should be in accordance with an adopted up to date and robust Playing Pitch Strategy and Indoor Sports Strategy and with Policy SC 2 ‘Indoor and Outdoor Sports Facilities'.
- Provision of additional community facilities.
- Contributions to health infrastructure.
- Improve the connectivity and accessibility into and out of the sites to the town centre and wider local area with the provision of, or contribution to, cycle paths and pedestrian linkages.
- Creation of a network of green infrastructure and accommodation of SuDS requirements.
- Provision of high quality landscaping to enhance ecological features.
- Provision of new woodland belts within the sites and to create site boundaries.
- Contribute to road infrastructure in the area including roundabout improvements at the junction of A50/Northwich Road and Canute Place and Improvement to the A50 Corridor. Provision within LPS 36(A) and LPS 36(B) for a principal access road which, in the longer term, would connect Northwich Road to Manchester Road and ensure connectivity within the North West Knutsford sites.
- An archaeological pre-determination evaluation will be required for these sites in addition to a desk based archaeological assessment.
- Any development that would prejudice the future comprehensive development of the adjacent safeguarded land will not be permitted (site references LPS 39 / LPS 40).
- The Local Plan Strategy site is expected to provide affordable housing in line with the policy requirements set out in Policy SC 5 'Affordable Homes'.
- A minimum of a Phase 1 Preliminary Risk Assessment for contaminated land should be carried out to demonstrate that the sites are, or could be made, suitable for use should they be found to be contaminated. Further work, including a site investigation, may be required at a pre-planning stage, depending on the nature of the sites.
- The sites will be developed only where it can be demonstrated that there is no adverse impact on the Midland Meres and Mosses Phase 1 Ramsar, Rostherne Mere Ramsar and Tatton Mere SSSI particularly in relation to changes in water levels and quality and recreational pressures. This should include a Habitats Regulations Assessment of the direct and indirect impacts of the development on the features of special interest. Where impacts cannot be avoided, appropriate mitigation measures will be required to ensure no adverse effects on the integrity of the sites.
- The development of the new business park within Site LPS 36(B) should:
- Be planned in a comprehensive way, with the adjacent housing development site;
- Incorporate a high quality of architecture and materials reflective of the site's importance, being a gateway location to the town;
- Include a high quality landscaped belt to the northern, western and eastern boundaries of the site to soften the transition between the buildings on the site and adjacent open countryside (to be carried out as part of any first phase of development), and incorporate high quality landscaping throughout the site;
- Provide for pedestrian and cyclist links with the adjacent housing development site; and
- Be limited to buildings that are no more than two storeys in height.
- The development of site LPS 36(C) should:
- be planned in a comprehensive way;
- provide for open space and landscaping (and no built development) within the area removed from the Green Belt and identified as ‘protected informal open space’ - this area to comprise informal open space incorporating landscaped belts along both Mereheath Lane and the eastern edge of built development on the site, each landscaped belt to be a minimum of 15 metres wide and complementary to the landscape character of the surrounding area; and
- provide a suitable landscape screen within the area allocated for housing adjacent to its eastern boundary with the ‘protected open space’. The details of this landscape screen should be informed by the required Landscape Character Assessment and provide appropriate mitigation as part of a comprehensive landscape scheme; and
- include the provision of a wide landscaped belt on the Green Belt land to its northern side, with an average width of around 100m to soften the transition between built development and the adjacent open countryside and to respect the setting of Tatton Park, its Registered Historic Park and Garden, and the visitor approach to Tatton; and
- provide for the long-term future management of the informal open space and landscaped belts.
15.432 North West Knutsford is largely made up of agricultural land, which directly adjoins residential areas. Surrounding uses are both residential and commercial and therefore this area presents its self as an ideal opportunity for a high quality, residential-led sustainable development, which will offer a contribution to housing, employment and community requirements for a Key Service Centre.
15.433 The topography of this area is relatively flat and sits adjacent to Rostherne and Tatton landscape designation. There are a number of designated heritage assets and Historic Parklands, which are located within close proximity of the strategic sites and therefore new development will need to be sensitively designed so as to be sympathetic to both the historic built form and surrounding landscape.
15.434 A landscape and visual assessment will be fundamental in justifying the siting and massing of development. The sites should also be masterplanned in order that there is a cohesive link between these strategic sites and safeguarded land.
15.435 Green infrastructure, along with a comprehensive landscaping scheme will be essential to these developments. Open space provision and additional woodland planting particularly along the boundaries of the sites will ensure the development is in keeping with the character of the surrounding landscape and will provide a defensible boundary to prevent encroachment into the Green Belt.
15.436 As with all new development, any ecological constraints should be considered and respected, and where necessary the proposal should provide appropriate mitigation.
15.437 Vehicular and pedestrian permeability as well as cycle linkages between the sites, town centre and wider community facilities should be enhanced or created in order to ensure the integration of the development and its sustainability into the existing community.
15.438 This particular area of Knutsford currently accommodates a number of sports and community facilities, which provide a valuable contribution to the health and well being of the local community. Contributions to the enhancement of existing facilities either on or off site will be expected.
15.439 New development will put increased pressure on existing community facilities and therefore, on or off site contributions to local community facilities should also be secured in order to ensure the sites are sustainable.
15.440 The council will require improvement works to existing highways infrastructure associated with the development of these sites to accommodate the capacity and assist with the free flow of traffic in and out of Knutsford town centre.
15.441 The council will require development of an appropriate scale and design; and will require boundary treatments including retention of valued trees and hedgerows where possible, in order to contain the development, provide habitat for local wildlife and respect the setting of Tatton Park Estate.
15.442 The protection enhancement and some new provision of PROW, sports and leisure facilities will be required in accordance with Policy SC 2 'Indoor and Outdoor Sports Facilities' in line with an appropriate action plan.
15.443 Details of Construction Environment Management Plans, landscaping, green infrastructure and open space proposals should be submitted to the council during any future planning application process on the sites as part of sustainable development proposals and their proximity to European site (consisting of Special Areas of Conservation, Special Protection Areas and / or Ramsar sites).
15.444 The council expects that the following are considered in the context of the ecological value of the sites due to their proximity to a European site (consisting of a Special Area of Conservation, Special Protection Areas and / or Ramsar site):
- Impact on natural hydrological function, pathways, groundwater and surface water
- Impact on recharge to groundwater and consequent impact on sites
- Impact on water resources
- Impact on water chemistry
- Impacts on nutrient status
- Risks from pollution during construction (e.g. spillages or minor pollution incidents and the storage of oils and fuels)
- Risks from misconnections, misuse of garden chemicals
- Impacts from changes to air quality from construction and ‘end use’ traffic emissions resulting in potential for increased nitrogen deposition
- Impacts from dust generated during the construction work
- Impact of increased foot traffic on the sensitive fen meadow vegetation
15.445 The sites have potential for contamination to be present therefore at least a Phase 1 Preliminary Risk Assessment for contaminated land needs to be carried out to ensure that any contamination that is present is subject to appropriate remediation.
15.446 Site LPS 36(B) provides an opportunity to create a new high quality (Class B1) business park development in this important gateway location to the town. To reflect this, and to ensure that its development respects the wider open countryside setting of the town in this area, a high quality of design is critical, including appropriate landscaping to the boundaries of the site. To achieve this objective, the site will also be limited to Class B1 uses.
15.447 Site LPS 36(C) provides an opportunity to create a high quality, distinctive and comprehensively planned new residential neighbourhood with associated community facilities. The eastern-most part of the site is identified as protected informal open space. This enables new built development to be set back from Mereheath Lane and allows for appropriate landscaping, in the interests of protecting the setting of, and approach to, Tatton Park. The informal open space and landscaped belts could accommodate sustainable drainage features and they provide an opportunity to create new ecological habitats to provide net gains in biodiversity for the allocated site as a whole. The opportunity should also be taken to provide managed, public access within the landscaped belt to the north of the site. This landscaped belt can be created in the Green Belt along the northern boundary of the site and will serve to strengthen the new Green Belt boundary.
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