Outline planning application for a residential development comprising up to 750 dwellings (with up to 40% affordable housing provision), public open space comprising green infrastructure, community use, allotments and play areas, pedestrian and cycle links, landscaping and associated supporting infrastructure. Means of access to be determined via Hadden Hill (A4130). Access to NPR3 reserved for later consideration along with all other matters. (as revised by information received 22 January 2021 and updated Parameter Plan and Biodiversity Calculations received 5 May 2021).
The committee considered application P19/S0720/O for an outline planning application for a residential development comprising up to 750 dwellings (with up to 40% affordable housing provision), public open space comprising green infrastructure, community use, allotments and play areas, pedestrian and cycle links, landscaping and associated supporting infrastructure. Means of access to be determined via Hadden Hill (A4130). Access to NPR3 reserved for later consideration along with all other matters. (as revised by information received 22 January 2021 and updated Parameter Plan and Biodiversity Calculations received 5 May 2021).
Consultations, representations, policy and guidance, and the site’s planning history were detailed in the officer’s report, which formed part of the agenda pack for the meeting.
The planning officer explained that vehicle access was to be determined at the outline stage of the application. On the application site, it was explained that the area to the west was land owned by the council, with the area displayed in the middle of the application being the built development. Sites that were coloured green on the officer’s presentation indicated allotments, a community facility, and a play area. In addition, the planning officer confirmed that the masterplan was illustrative, and that drainage would now be on the other side of the road, adjacent to the golf course. It was noted that there had been a significant level of representation made from local residents, and a lot of work had been done regarding the drainage strategy in response to these concerns. At a high level strategy, the levels on the site sloped downwards from east to west, and there was also an existing carrier of water from the site.
The committee were informed that the developers had confirmed they would provide the parkland with the first two-hundred and fifty dwellings, and the terms of the transfers of land ownership would be agreed prior to any commencement of works. Additionally, the town council was interested in taking control of the allotments and community centre. The committee were also told that contributions would be received for offsite leisure facilities that were within Didcot. The planning officer also added that there had been a typo in the report at section 7.6. This was in relation to health and fitness where the figure was listed as ‘£14,6507’ but the correct figure was ‘£146,000’.
The committee were then reminded that as this was an illustrative masterplan being presented, a detailed layout would be presented to the committee at a later date. With specific reference to the southern area of the application, this was described as higher density, with some lower density housing on the edges of the border, and where existing properties were already located. The lower density would also be towards the area of natural beauty and beyond. The design code that would take forward the paraments would also be subject to a public consultation, to allow relevant parties to have an input on the process.
The planning officer concluded that the site was allocated, and with seven-hundred and fifty dwellings, it would provide much needed housing, with a combination of mixed and forty percent affordable housing. Confirmation was also given that public consultations would continue for key elements for the scheme and key infrastructure would be delivered. Subject to the conditions recommended, officers therefore recommended the application for approval.
Rebecca Fenn-Trip, the applicant, spoke in support of the application. Ms Fenn-Tripp was accompanied by Peter Jones (Technical Team), James Yeoman (Agent), and Leigh Abley (Consultant) who were available to respond to any questions from the committee.
The committee asked the speaker whether they would be willing to have a condition added for the preservation of the two oak trees. The agent responded that while they were aware of the interest in the trees, they viewed them as already being protected, but while they would seek to preserve them, one could have to be removed.
David Rouane, the ward councillor, spoke to the application.
In relation to NPR3, Jason Sherwood explained that this was not tied to the Ladygrove East development, but was a project in itself. They were looking to complete the preliminary design towards the back end of the year, with planning permission to be sought in early 2023, and construction with a completion in 2025. The county council officer confirmed that funding was already in place, and the county was both behind the scheme, and intended to deliver it.
The planning officer and OCC officers were asked whether the proposed road for the A4130 a T-Junction would be. The Growth Manager (OCC) responded that there was likely to be a roundabout of some form, but this would require careful consideration for the timing of such a traffic control measure and whether mitigation work was required. The committee asked that in relation to NPR3, when this would be finished so that a complete road would be built around Didcot. The response from officers was that the project had a total completion timeline for the middle of 2026, but the sectioned delivery and finer detail were not available until the contractor had been spoken to.
The committee requested clarification on whether the two proposed ponds would be within the applicant’s land, or if it was within council ownership. The response from the officer was that ponds were in the applicant’s land.
The committee asked how enforceable the condition was which related to a permanent health centre before a thousand dwellings were completed, as the committee highlighted the difficulties that had occurred with the Great Western Park development. The officer responded by explaining that healthcare provision was a complicated matter, and work was currently being done for a new practise at Great Western Park which involved now secured land and relevant S106 triggers.
The committee asked a series of questions relating to traffic calming measures, including whether any would be placed in Abingdon Road and for officer views on the most effective traffic calming measures that could be used. The county council officer responded that they were looking for 20mph speed limits for the discussed road and also noted that humps could also be introduced to contribute to a lower speed limit along the road.
A question was asked by the committee seeking confirmation on whether the Oak Tree Health Centre could cope with taking on extra patients, and subsequently if they could not, would a new GP be opened in Didcot Northeast. The response was that the Clinical Commissioning Group had stated that all local practises were at full capacity, and there was an urgency to get a new healthcare centre opened in Great Western Park as a result. The planning officer confirmed that the council would support a new site, but it would be for the health practises and the CCG to implement any new site.
The committee asked a question regarding the biodiversity net gain on the site. The planning officer responded that the two per cent net gain was a prediction, but due to its marginal figure, it would be monitored for a number of years should permission be granted. A further question was asked on the issue regarding risks of flooding in the site. The planning officer commented that high level drainage work would be undertaken, and the addition of swells and ditches around the site, and with an added watercourse, would all contribute to the minimisation of flood risks.
A motion moved and seconded, to grant outline planning permission was declared carried on being put to the vote.
RESOLVED: to grant planning permission for application P19/S0720/O subject to the following conditions:
A. The completion of a S106 agreement to secure affordable housing and all the infrastructure as outlined in the report, and
B. The following conditions:
1. Commencement – Outline with Reserved Matters
2. Approved plans
3. Land use budget
4. Submission and Content of Reserved Matters
6. Design Code
7. Housing Mix and Delivery Document
8. Tree Protection (Detailed)
9. Hours of operation – construction/demolition sites
10. Construction Management Plan (including traffic routes)
11. Archaeology WSI
12. Implementation of Archaeological Work Programme
13. Contaminated Land – risk assessment
14. Contamination Land – remediation
15. Parameters Plan – Biodiversity (BPP)
16. Construction Environmental Management Plan (CEMP)
17. Biodiversity Enhancement Plan (BEP)
19. Surface Water drainage scheme (each phase)
20. Surface water drainage works (details)
21. Foul Water drainage
22. Surface Water drainage completion
23. Energy Statement
24. Energy Statement Verification
25. BREEAM Excellent – Community Building
26. Hadden Hill Access
27. New pedestrian access Abingdon Road and Hadden Hill
28. Estate accesses, driveways and turning areas
29. Landscape Environment Management Plan (LEMP)
30. Tree pits design
31. Landscaping (including hard surfacing and boundary treatment)
32. Landscape Management Plan
33. Open Spaces and Play Areas
36. Green Travel Plans
37. Electric Vehicle Charging Points
38. Air Quality – Restriction on gas boilers
39. Provision of fast fibre broadband