Site LPS 4: Leighton West, Crewe
Development at Leighton West will result in the creation of a new sustainable neighbourhood to support Leighton Hospital and provide a key site for the development of an automotive research, development and supply hub, in partnership with Bentley Motors which is located in very close proximity to the site. The development of Leighton West over the Local Plan Strategy period will be achieved through:
- Contributions to health infrastructure and the provision of land adjacent to Leighton Hospital, for its future expansion, to ensure that the future health care needs of the area can be met;
- The delivery of around 850 new homes (at a variety of densities). The design, density and scale of the development should reflect the fact that the site lies in a transitional location between the higher density urban area and the rural area. The surrounding development is predominantly suburban and the development of the site should reflect this. The development of the site will be masterplan-led, including a design code, which will consider its location, constraints and opportunities;
- The inclusion of key worker housing, for the employees of Leighton Hospital;
- The delivery of a new mixed-use local centre that will serve Leighton Hospital and nearby residents including:
- Provision of retail appropriate to meet local needs;
- Community facilities;
- Public House;
- Children's day nursery;
- A new primary school; and
- Leisure facilities;
- Around 5 ha of additional employment land located at the southern end of the site including a science/energy park which could include advanced/automotive engineering and manufacturing;
- The incorporation of green infrastructure, including:
- Green corridor;
- Open space including formal sports pitches, multi use games area, outdoor gym, equipped children's play space and facilities for teenagers;
- A new bus interchange for the hospital and nearby residential areas;
- On land to the north of Pyms Lane, there is potential for a science/energy park and delivery of a key site for the development of an automotive research, development and supply hub, working in partnership with Bentley Motors. This area also has the potential to include a geothermal plant and district heating hub;
- The widening and/or realignment of Smithy Lane, to provide access to the site and improved access to Leighton Hospital for emergency vehicles and suitable footpath and cycle lanes;
- A package of network improvements to provide improved access to Leighton Hospital and surrounding residential development including emergency vehicles and suitable footpath and cycle lanes; and
- An improved 'emergency portal' for blue light vehicles being able to access the hospital's Accident and Emergency Department from Smithy Lane.
Site Specific Principles of Development
- Leighton West is situated in close proximity to both Leighton Hospital and Bentley Motors, both of which offer key opportunities to implement the aspirations contained in ‘All Change for Crewe: High Growth City’. The site will help to deliver the future expansion of Leighton Hospital, to ensure that it can provide the healthcare needs for the area, as it grows, along with key improvements to highways; the ‘blue light’ portal and public transport serving the hospital. The close proximity of the site to Bentley provides an opportunity for the creation of an automotive hub which will provide new employment opportunities and expand the automotive related investment in Crewe and the wider area.
- Development should incorporate green infrastructure and reflect 'The Green Infrastructure Action Plan for Crewe' (TEP, 2012) including tree planting; the creation of tree lined boulevards with the provision of greenspaces within new developments. This should include the creation of green spaces, including those linking green infrastructure, with safe and secure pedestrian and cycle routes that should be integrated into any development proposals.
- Leighton West includes a potential site for the location of a deep geothermal plant. Following work by leading academics at Keele University, Cheshire East Council is investigating the feasibility of using deep geothermal energy to supply a district heating network in the vicinity, to potentially supply new residential developments, major industrial units, and nearby Leighton Hospital.
- Improved highway and public transport links to Leighton Hospital, Crewe town centre and major employment areas.
- Contributions to key enabling infrastructure, including improvements to the A530 corridor from the Flowers Lane and Smithy Lane junctions with the A530 and the Bradfield Road / North Street corridor.
- Improvements to existing and the provision of new pedestrian and cycle links to connect the site to existing and proposed residential areas, employment areas, shops, schools, health facilities, Crewe town centre and the Connect2 link to Nantwich.
- A green buffer should be provided between Leighton Hospital and the village of Bradfield Green.
- 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'.
- Provision of habitat for great crested newts and other protected and priority species and habitats as required.
- Investigate the potential for contamination issues, especially in relation to land to the south of the site. A minimum of a Phase 1 Preliminary Risk Assessment for contaminated land should be carried out to demonstrate that the site is, or could be made, suitable for use should it 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 site.
- Following the findings of a desk based archaeological assessment, targeted mitigation is likely to be required in areas not subject to a geophysical survey.
- Development should be masterplanned to facilitate highway improvements required to mitigate against the impact of the new development and address existing pinch points, including the Flowers Lane and Smithy Lane junctions with the A530.
- Any development of the Leighton West site will require highway improvements. These improvements will be phased with the development of the site and also delivered through masterplanning of the area covered by both the Leighton West and the Leighton Strategic Sites.
15.73 Traffic studies have been undertaken to look at the effect of the traffic generated by the Leighton West site on the highway network. This has highlighted issues at the junctions of the A530 with Flowers Lane and also with Smithy Lane, both of which are in close proximity of the site and would require improvements to be made, to enable them to handle the additional demand at these locations, as a result of the Leighton West development.
15.74 The work undertaken also shows that improvements will be required at other junctions to facilitate the growth in traffic expected as a result of the Leighton West development and other development in the area. In particular the A530 corridor from the north, past the site and to Alvaston Roundabout north of Nantwich, and also the corridor from the junction of Flowers Lane and Smithy Lane with the A530 along Bradfield Road and North Street towards Crewe Green Roundabout around the north of Crewe through Maw Green.
15.75 The provision of employment land on the site offers the opportunity to establish a science/energy park and a key site for the development of an automotive research, development and supply hub, in close proximity to Bentley Motors. This site offers a single location with good access to infrastructure and linkages to the wider area. In 2013, Bentley Motors announced a £1billion investment in Crewe from 2015. Working in partnership with Bentley Motors and key businesses across the United Kingdom this site provides the opportunity to expand Crewe’s significant automotive heritage and skills base; to provide new employment opportunities and to kickstart wider automotive related investment in Crewe, in line with the aspirations contained in ‘All Change for Crewe: High Growth City’.
15.76 The provision of land adjacent to Leighton Hospital for its future expansion will ensure that the future health care needs of the town are met and will help to deliver the aspirations of ‘All Change for Crewe: High Growth City’.
15.77 Masterplanning of the site should consider further constraints on the site including high voltage power lines which cross the site from the south west to the north which require an easement of 30m to the nearest building.
15.78 The provision of new green infrastructure and the improvement of existing green infrastructure are of paramount importance. This will assist in improving the health and wellbeing of residents and employees, as well as enhancing the environment of the town and reflects the findings of the Green Infrastructure Action Plan for Crewe (TEP, 2012) and will also help deliver the aspirations of ‘All Change for Crewe: High Growth City’.
15.79 It is important that cycle and pedestrian links between the site and surrounding residential and employment areas and to Crewe town centre are provided to improve connectivity with the town centre. Links should also be provided to the Connect 2 scheme.
15.80 Great crested newts are known to be present on site. There will therefore be a requirement to deliver a significant area of habitat creation to compensate for the impacts of any development on this site.
15.81 Access to Leighton Hospital will be a key consideration in the development of this site and its improvement is part of the rationale for it. Provision of land adjacent to Leighton Hospital, for future expansion is of importance, to ensure that the future health care needs of the area can be met.
15.82 A desk-based assessment of archaeology on site has been completed and a geophysical survey for the eastern area. Given the size of the area, targeted mitigation is likely to be required in areas not subject to geophysical survey.
15.83 Land adjacent to this site (known as land north of Parkers Road) has planning permission for up to 400 homes.
15.84 This site includes a potential location for a geothermal plant, as it is situated within an area that has been identified as a geothermal 'hotspot'. This provides the opportunity for the development of a district heating scheme; energy supply to nearby employers and to Leighton Hospital. The potential development of a geothermal plant is a stand alone proposal and would not require housing development to cross-subsidise it.
15.85 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’.
15.86 The site has 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.
15.87 The design and density of the development should reflect the location and character of the area and respond to the contents of the council’s most up to date Design Guidance.
Indicative Site Delivery
- It is expected that the employment land will be delivered in the early to middle part of the plan period (2015-2025).
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