Comments on Application 19/03522 - Summerleaze Gravel Pit
Outline application for 160 new dwellings, altered access, associated parking and landscaping following demolition of existing.
It is appreciated that there will be significant local opposition to this proposed development. However, we believe that this represents a genuine opportunity to deliver some of the new dwellings required within the emerging Borough Local Plan.
Whilst we continue to oppose widespread development of the Green Belt, this site is previously developed Green Belt and represents a legitimate example of a site that will be enhanced and improved by carefully considered development. A similar example exists nearby where Badnells Pit has been decontaminated and made good to deliver the even larger development known as Boulters Meadow.
This proposed site was identified for residential development in 2014. It is semi industrial in nature, and currently offers a visually desolate landscape over much of the area which is dotted with industrial structures and sheds. Although the number of dwellings has been increased from the original opportunity, the proposed outcome is modest in terms of housing density. The maximum height of the dwellings is three storeys, and the variety of architectural styles delivers a satisfactory mix of house types - including 30% affordable housing. There is adequate parking throughout the development, which is well landscaped offering open aspects through existing trees to the shoreline of the gravel pit. There will be a significant area of new public open space.
Of course there are issues with infrastructure - increased traffic, pressure on schools and medical facilities etc. Infrastructure demands will apply wherever building takes place. Whilst the site lies within Flood Zones 2 and 3 - both are protected by the Jubilee River, and the dwellings will be raised to reduce the risk of flooding.
However, there is an irrefutable need for more dwellings and this is a valid site for residential development.