The Development Team is updating the design of the development proposals for the North and South Plots following receipt of feedback from local residents, the community and Newlands Parish Council as part of the Newlands Business Park public consultation exercise. The Development Team has provided responses below to the key concerns and themes raised.
Key Concern 1: The local highway network within Wellington Park cannot accommodate the amount and type of traffic associated with the proposed development, particularly articulated HGVs
The outline planning permission for Wellington Park (ref. 05/00500/OUT) approved the principle of the North and South Plots being used for unrestricted employment use, and associated with this is the use of the local highway network by larger delivery vehicles such as HGVs.
Plans showing the tracking of articulated HGVs utilising the Hambledon Road priority junction, Darnel Road, Tamworth Road and Houghton Avenue were submitted and approved by Winchester City Council as part of the Reserved Matters Approval (ref. 08/00269/REM) and technical highways (S38 & S278) legal agreements with Hampshire County Council. These approved works form part of Wellington Park Phases I-IV and successfully demonstrate the safe use of the routes designated for articulated HGVs as part of the overall planning permission for Wellington Park. Dicentra Developments will accept a restriction on HGV access to the South Plot.
Comments also suggested that HGVs would not be able to utilise the local highway network as parked cars would obstruct free-flow of traffic. The roads are currently unadopted but soon will be by Hampshire County Council (HCC) (as the local highway authority). Once adopted, on-street parking will be selectively restricted by double yellow lines at appropriate ‘pinch points or ‘bends’ in the roads in the highway network at the discretion of HCC.
Key Concern 3: The principle of employment development is unacceptable because the Plots are greenfield land and the character of Wellington Park is residential
The North and South Plots do not comprise greenfield land as they have been levelled as part of the works undertaken by Taylor Wimpey. Indeed, the Plots were allocated for employment development (Use Classes B1(a), B2 & B8) through the approved Design Code as part of the outline planning permission for Wellington Park (ref. 05/00500/OUT). There has been no formal allocation of the Plots for any other use.
Whilst the character of Wellington Park is predominantly residential, the Design Code prescribes design parameters for employment development to ensure a positive and acceptable relationship with the surrounding residential development. The Development Team have carefully considered the guidance within the Design Code to ensure the successful integration of Newlands Business Park with the surrounding land uses and overall character of Wellington Park.
Key Concern 5: The proposed buildings are too high and will overshadow and overlook the neighbouring residential buildings, resulting in the loss of natural light for these properties
The building heights for both the North and South Plot schemes have been guided by the maximum building heights prescribed for employment buildings within the approved Design Code. This specifies a maximum height of 11m (3.5 storeys) for such buildings and the indicative proposals have balanced this criterion against the prevailing heights of residential development with Wellington Park to the east. Indeed, the height of building N1 is 11m and it does not rise above the residential buildings on the other side of Darnel Road nor the Wellington Vale Care Home. The heights of the South Plot buildings are capped at 8m for S1 and S2 and 9m for S3 (at their highest points). This is slightly lower than the heights of the 2-storey residential properties immediately to the east.
The potential for overshadowing of residential properties and alleged reduction of the sunlight / daylight levels currently experienced by habitable rooms or gardens of these properties has been given careful consideration during the design of the indicative North and South Plot schemes. The elevational treatment and roof forms of the buildings will have regard to the impact on the amenity of the closest residential properties.
Overlooking is only possible within the South Plot at first floor level of the proposed buildings. Dicentra Developments is willing to accept restrictions which ensures any windows on the eastern elevations of buildings will comprise obscure glazing in order to prevent overlooking of residential properties to the east.
Key Concern 7: The operations and use of Newlands Business Park will disrupt the lives of local residents
Careful consideration has been given to the employment uses (Classes E, B2 & B8) proposed for the North and South Plot developments as well as their operational parameters, including opening and vehicle delivery hours. A restriction on operating delivery vehicles from 07:00 -23:00 hours is proposed in order to preserve the amenities of local residents.
Concerns have been expressed regarding more specific operations associated with Newlands Business Park such as noise generated from reversing delivery vehicles and the operation of equipment and machinery. The full planning application for the South Plot will specify dedicated areas for plant associated with operations of the buildings and will propose fittings which ensure the quiet use of roller shutter doors.
The noise levels generated by the largest vehicles visiting the North Plot, as well as the most intensive uses of Newlands Business Park will be fully considered through comprehensive Noise Impact Assessments that accompany the planning applications. The developments can include acoustic treatment to the buildings (to be dealt with via a planning condition(s)) if the assessments identify any possible significant harm to the amenities of neighbouring residential properties.
The applications will be accompanied by Air Quality Assessments which will determine the impact associated with the air emissions that will derive from Newlands Business Park.
Key Concern 2: The development will create more traffic and poses a severe risk to highway safety
An increase in traffic is an indirect result of all major employment development. Detailed pre-application discussions were held with HCC regarding this matter and it is agreed in principle that the local roads have been designed and built to accommodate the additional traffic associated with the proposed employment development. Dicentra will be undertaking comprehensive traffic modelling as part of its planning applications to ensure the detailed access arrangements to both the North and South Plots are capable of accommodating the associated traffic flows.
The approved tracking drawings as part of the Reserved Matters Approval (ref. 08/00269/REM) and technical highways (S38 & S278) legal agreements demonstrate HGVs will have good forward visibility along the local roads, and we will be undertaking our own tracking of vehicles entering and exiting the North and South Plots with appropriate visibility splays (subject to a restriction on the size of vehicles that can access the South Plot). The North and South Plot applications will be accompanied by an independent Road Safety Audit for our transport and access arrangements.
The development proposals will incorporate improvements to the Darnel Road footpaths such as tactile paving and dropped kerbs to provide safe pedestrian and cycle crossing across the vehicular access points to both the North and South Plots.
Key Concern 4: The principle of further employment development within Waterlooville is unacceptable
Various comments have been received stating the principle of more employment development in Waterlooville is unacceptable because existing employment units, such as those at Proxima Park, are vacant and should be prioritised for occupation prior to further employment development taking place.
Dicentra Developments would not be proposing Newlands Business Park if there was no demonstrable need for further employment development at the sites and within Waterlooville. The North and South Plots are being designed to complement and differentiate themselves from Proxima Park. Whilst Proxima Park has some vacant units, its Phase I development was only completed in 2020. Warburtons recently signed a lease to occupy 33,000 sq ft of employment space and the remaining units are due to become occupied shortly. Dicentra Developments has been advised of the need for smaller employment units within Waterlooville and therefore, Newlands Business Park will contribute positively in this regard, particularly through the South Plot scheme whose buildings will have the opportunity to be flexibly subdivided into smaller units.
In response to the consultation exercise, building S2 on the South Plot will now be divided into 6 smaller units, whereas previously it was divided into 4 units.
Key Concern 6: The proposed buildings are too close to neighbouring residential properties, resulting in a poor relationship between buildings and restriction of private views currently enjoyed by dwellings
It is important to note that whilst private views cannot be taken into consideration in determining planning applications because their management is not in the public interest, the North and South Plot schemes have been adjusted in terms of their originally planned layouts to further respect their spatial relationship with the closest residential properties to the east.
Building N1 respects the established building lines set by Wellington Vale Care Home (Darnel Road frontage) with existing housing in Wellington Park (fronting Harrow Way and Tamworth Road). The intended design allows this building to incorporate an active frontage along Darnel Road as encouraged by the Design Code (a matter that can be controlled by drawings submitted and ensured by a condition attached to any outline planning permission). The full design details for this will be included as part of any application for Reserved Matters Approval following any grant of outline planning permission for the North Plot.
The South Plot buildings cannot be moved any further west due to restrictions imposed by proximity to the existing overhead power lines running north-south through Newlands Walk. The movement of these buildings further south is prevented by the location of existing utility services underneath the southernmost car park – i.e. existing easement alignment of underground drainage pipes. Nevertheless, the buildings sit comfortably within the South Plot between the Darnel Road footpath to the west and landscape bund to the east.
The poor quality of the landscape bund in terms of planted species perishing is recognised and whilst its management is outside of Dicentra Development’s control, this matter is being raised directly with Taylor Wimpey.
Key Concern 8: The development proposals do not accommodate enough onsite car parking and staff and visitors will park in residential areas
Newlands Business Park staff will be restricted from parking on local roads through controls imposed by the Travel Plans that will accompany the North and South Plot applications.
The amount of car parking shown within the indicative North and South Plot schemes has been informed by the parking standards prescribed by Hampshire County Council. These are maximum standards and the current proposed level of car parking responds positively to the site context and developer ambition to employ locally, thus reducing the need to travel by private car. Sufficient onsite car parking is provided to attract occupants who value such parking for use by staff and visitors. Furthermore, the development will incorporate a sufficient amount of secure onsite cycle parking spaces.
The applications will be supported by Travel Plans which will encourage travel to and from the site by more sustainable modes of transport such as walking, cycling and bus.
Key Concern 9: The North and South Plots are used by ecological assets and the development will harm Newlands Walk
The development of the North and South Plots will not encroach into Newlands Walk. Indeed, a restrictive covenant within the title deeds for both Plots stipulates that no structure shall be erected within 6.1m of the existing overhead pylons that run north-south through Newlands Walk.
Dicentra Developments have undertaken a Preliminary Ecological Appraisal (that was accompanied by a walkover survey) in an attempt to identify any evidence of ecological assets onsite or migrating through the North and South Plots. The Appraisal identified the Plots represent limited opportunity to support ecological species because they have been largely levelled. However, the North Plot includes some areas of grassland which could support a low population of grass snakes and common lizards that will be protected through appropriate measures to relocate them to an area(s) that can suitably support them.
Newlands Business Park will have to deliver net biodiversity gains onsite and the Development Team is exploring how to achieve this through the use of planting native grass, wildflower, tree and plant species, predominantly within the North Plot. Indeed, the layout of the North Plot purposefully seeks to break up the built-up areas of the development with “green fingers” and promote green infrastructure and links between Newlands Walk and Newlands Business Park.