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Tudgey's nursery

Tudgeys Nursery, Crookham Village

Taylor Wimpey Homes is proposing a development at the site of Tudgeys Nursery in Crookham Village. The proposals will include up to 25 homes (now increased to 27), and a public open space. The area is close to existing housing in Crookham Village and to the Hart River Valley.

Tudgey’s Nursery application approved: The planning application for 27 new homes at Knight Close, on the brownfield site of Tudgeys Nursery in Crookham Village, came before the planning committee on 12 November. There were some concerns from neighbours but with some strengthened conditions, the application went through. FACE-IT maintained a neutral position on this application.

Description of Site

Tudgeys Nursery is an area of ‘brownfield’ land to the rear of Knights Close and Pilcot Road in Crookham Village. It was previously used as a plant nursery and is fenced off with an access off Knight Close but will be visible from the houses on Knight Close and in Pilcot Road if developed. The site is also visible from the south from the public footpath running through Brookmeadow Farm.
The site slopes from the open area next to Knight Close down to the south end which adjoins farmland and has a significant change in level along its western edge. A large area is currently hard standing and greenhouses which used to be a plant nursery but is currently largely unused. Some of the area has been used for keeping pigs. There are existing established mature trees and hedgerows as well as some paddock. Access to the site is currently via an entrance to the Nursery on Knights Close.
This is regarded as a ‘brownfield’ site and there are no areas of interest to science or nature conservation.

Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA) 

The area concerned is not identified in Hart District Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (December 2010) nor does it appear in the SHLAA as updated November 2013.

__________________________________________________ Tudgey's nursery

Site Situation

Houses and gardens on Pilcot Road (top centre)
Knight Close, Crookham Village (to the east of the site)
Open Farmland, off Crondall Road, Crookham Village, south of the site (bottom centre) and west of the site (left)

Site size: 3.4 acres or 1.4 ha

Estimate of potential housing capacity:
20-30

Current Land Uses:
Disused nursery

Summary of opportunities:

• No Scheduled Ancient Monuments, Historic Parks and Gardens, Sites of Special Scientific Interest, National Nature Reserves, Local Nature Reserves, Common Land, or Tree Preservation Orders in the vicinity of the site or close enough to be affected by development at this site;

• Not known whether the site is considered to be suitable, available and achievable.

Summary of Constraints:

• Site is outside the settlement boundary of Crookham Village, but is adjacent to it;

• Site slopes down north-south, and has a steep slope to the west which may require significant works to meet the proposed plans;

• Site is close to a Conservation Area to the east;

• Within 5km of the Special Protection Area;

• No public rights of way cross the site;

No decision yet announced on whether residential development would not be permitted at this location under current policy.

Recommendations for overcoming constraints:
Hart has not yet declared recommendations for the site but FACE IT perceives the following which may be pertinent to development:

• The design of any residential development should not adversely affect the setting or character of the nearby listed buildings or Conservation Area.

• A contribution towards SPA mitigation may be required.

• Any trees covered by TPOs (none that we are aware of) should be retained.

• Consideration may be required to provide public rights of way into the design of the development.

• As the site is outside of the settlement boundary of Crookham Village, Policy would need to be changed for this development to be permitted by way of extending the settlement boundary for Crookham Village.

Assessment of Deliverability / Developability:
* Development on the site may be acceptable subject to amendments given in HDC’s response to the request for pre-application advice.* [February 2014]

Pre-Application Consultation on Tudgeys Nursery

Land Agent Approaches CVPC

In 2012 Vortal Properties, working for the landowner, approached Crookham Village Parish Council about potential development of the site for housing. CVPC suggested that the Crookham Village Association and FACE IT be approached.

CVA and FACE IT, with CVPC representation in an observation capacity, supported an initial confidential meeting with Vortal, which took place in July 2013. In the light of the proposed Hart Local Plan it seemed that the Tudgeys Nursery site might be suitable to take some of the share of housing likely to be allocated to the village. As part of the follow-on actions from this meeting, FACE IT agreed to help shape early proposals to a point where they could be presented to the community. FACE IT prepared

• an initial and unofficial topological survey and environmental statement of the site and its surroundings

• initial views on Vortal proposals for the site

• samples (photographs) of vernacular local housing to guide the architect on the local style of housing and provide pointers to features that were likely to be acceptable and unacceptable.

• CVPC have been consulted on the pre application, and the potential development of the site was discussed in the September, October, November and December 2013 CVPC Council and planning meetings. See http://www.crookhamvillage-pc.org.uk/documents.htm

At the CVPC meeting on 7 October 2013, Cllr. Makepeace-Browne provided an update on a meeting between Vortal, CVA & FACE IT representatives.  CVA and FACE IT had proposed ideas to send to Vortal to show what they believe are suitable designs for the village.  Vortal put these to the architect.  With the minutes of the CVPC the idea of development at the site was therefore made public.

Vortal has subsequently run a competition to choose a developer / builder for the site.  FACE IT, CVA and CVPC commented on the proposed schemes and one was chosen as the most suitable starting point for taking planning forward.  Taylor Wimpey West London have been chosen as the developer.

__________________________________________________ Tudgey's nursery

Pre-Application Advice

 On 30 October 2013 Armstrong Rigg Planning wrote to Hart District Council requesting Pre-Application Advice. This was received on Tue 05 Nov 2013 resulting in Planning Application 13/02351/SITE99 pre-application advice request for 25 dwellings at Land at Knight Close Crookham Village Fleet Hampshire. The case officer at HDC is: K Crutchfield ext 4112.

A pre-application planning meeting was held between Armstrong Rigg Planning and Hart District Council (HDC) with the CVPC Chairman and Cllr. Makepeace-Browne in attendance.  The following issues were raised:

• layout and lack of open space which in order to resolve would mean removing two dwellings to provide more open space;

• keen to have an embedded play area in the development;

• requested more entry level housing – whilst it is only a pre–app these are generally bigger houses;

• more car parking for visitors was also requested.

Some points were raised about the proposed layout including the location of the public open space and affordable housing.  There was also a question of the viability of the proposed access onto the public footpath network.

The proposed layout was modified in response to the comments and amended plans were received by HDC on 19 December 2013.

The amendments to the proposed layout were discussed at CVPC on 06 January 2014. CVPC added the following comments:

• it is believed that the proposal to provide a link to the footpath through Brookmeadow Farm is not viable;

• Members supported the concern of the HDC internal housing officer about the excessive distance from some allocated car parking spaces to the associated dwelling, which would most likely lead to obstruction of the main spine road and pavement by parked cars;

• Members wished to be reassured that the vegetation screen and major trees on the boundary of the site would be retained.

On 20 January 2014 HDC pre-application advice was provided and declared that development on the site may be acceptable subject to amendments given in HDC’s response.

Public Consultation

Taylor Wimpey ran a public consultation. On 31st March they wrote to local residents notifying them of the proposals and inviting to them to a public exhibition which took place at the WI hut in Crookham Village (next to Crookham Street Social Club) on Friday, 11 April 2014 between 3pm and 8pm. The event provided the opportunity to examine the plans for the development and speak to members of the project team.

For information about the current Taylor Wimpey proposals for the site see https://www.taylorwimpey.co.uk/proposed-developments/england/hampshire/fleet/crookham-village.
Taylor Wimpey have made the exhibition boards available Taylor Wimpey Tudgeys Nursery Exhibition Boards for those unable to attend the exhibition.

All feedback had to be returned by Friday 25 April 2014.

Taylor Wimpey have since progressed the application by:

  1. Conducting an affordable housing study
  2. Scheduling and completing outstanding surveys (habitat, trees, topography)
  3. Modifying the design to take the feedback and surveys and studies into account
  4. Preparing a Full Planning application and set planning consultation dates
__________________________________________________ Tudgey's nursery

Planning Application

Taylor Wimpey have put forward a Full Planning Application.

This is available on the Hart planning website The Planning Application for has now been loaded under reference 14/01152/MAJOR ‘Land At Knight Close’ but is referred to locally as Tudgeys Nursery.

The application was received on 19 May and validated on 04 June 2014.

The application shows the proposed revised layout of the site, house types and layouts, materials and other details.  The number of houses proposed was increased to 26 and the layout has been amended to be more sensitive to the landscape contours and the aspects and outlooks of the houses. The proposal includes two areas of public open space.  The means of access to the site will be via two separate site entrances on Knight Close as well as one house directly accessed from Knight Close.

Originally the consultation was to run to 29 June with a target determination date of Wed 30 June 2014.

See http://publicaccess.hart.gov.uk/online-applications/ and search for the reference 14/01152/MAJOR.

Some of the documents on Hart’s site were not available initially and unfortunately the design and Access Statement contains some references to a site in Reading.

The information supplied with the application included a proposed layout (see left) but this has been changed during the consultation on the planning application (see below).

As of 06 October 2014 this application has not yet been determined.  The planning consultation has required a number of changes to the scheme and these are being resubmitted as the final plan we are looking at now.

Changes to Planning Application

The details of the plans for the Development of Tudgeys Nursery in Crookham Village were changed in September 2014 with the revised documents becoming available in October. These have revised the layout and now include 27 units instead of the 26 previously proposed (and the 25 originally proposed).

Armstrong Rigg Planning, on behalf of Taylor Wimpey, submitted revised layouts, housing types and treatments for the proposed development.

Detailed information and assessment of the revised scheme is contained within the submitted suite of documents at:.

According to Armstrong Rigg Planning “Together they demonstrate how the revised proposals comprehensively address the concerns raised in relation to the original scheme, and represents a deliverable housing scheme which responds appropriately to the local character and deals positively with the site constraints.”

A short consultation period is again open with the expectation that this proposal will come to planning committee in November 2014.  Please see the link above where you can comment should you wish to do so.  The revised deadline to respond to the application was 15th October 2014.

This planning application was on the CVPC planning agenda for October 2014.  No objections were raised.

FACE IT Position on Proposed Development at Tudgeys Nursery

FACE IT is engaged in the Hart planning process as a community group and through our contacts with County, District and Parish Councillors.

FACE IT has been neutral on this development so far. It could be seen as a threat to the character of Crookham Village and have dangers of being just the start of encroaching housing, with more impact on the schools, roads and amenities which this area cannot cope with as it stands.

On the other hand we would prefer this kind of small development to being surrounded by huge new estates and a small development including some affordable housing could bring some benefits to the village.

Our comments here are purely for feedback and information to help and do not represent a formal endorsement of the plans or proposal for planning permission. They reflect the engagement of the key local residents’ bodies to ensure a balanced final proposal that meets the needs of the community.

Housing Allocation
Housing allocations will eventually be determined through a revised local plan and this may retain an allocations of housing numbers to ‘rural areas’. FACE IT accepts that Crookham Village will need to take its ‘fair share’ of the required building in the Hart area. If this is to proceed we need to work with Developers to assure the best for the community in a manner appropriate to the village environment.

CVPC has undertaken a Housing Needs Survey to assess the need for market and affordable houses in the Parish and we look forward to the survey being made public. We welcome the inclusion of affordable housing within the proposed housing mix especially if these can be made available to local people. However we believe this should be integrated into the design and not all placed together in order to provide an integrated sense of community.

In consultation amongst our relevant groups and also with the local Councillors and the Hart planning department, we strongly believe that only up to  25 houses should be proposed for the site, given its size and location, in order to fit in with the existing housing density and character in the area and the proposed access route.  The plans have recently been amended to change the  mix of housing to include more smaller properties, bringing the number of units to 27.

Development Character
We believe that any development should sensitive to the character of the village and the site’s immediate surroundings and the adjoining conservation area. We would like the houses to be no more than two storeys high and spaced appropriately to the edge-of-countryside setting.

Whilst we would like the visual character of the village to be upheld, we understand that the buildings in Crookham Village already have diversified characters; we feel that this site could be treated stylistically in more modern, eco-friendly way. If sensitively done this would not detract from the current visual character of as development at this site could be planned to be largely out of view of the main village.

Ecology, Environment and Landscape Impact
Although the site is not of great ecological value, we noted from our initial site inspection, that the areas that we believe are important for wildlife are those around the periphery of the site. We believe that any plans should take into account the topography of the site and this may present some challenges for development.
We wish to retain natural features such as trees to blend the site into the countryside and as a wildlife refuge and corridor. Local residents who adjoin the property have reported several “at risk” species that rely on existing trees on the site including bats and several species of bird.

We think it is vital to provide suitable screening for the site both from the existing neighbouring properties to the north and from the public footpath which runs to the south of the site.

We feel that an area of open space must be retained or created and we would like to see the open space within the site used for best advantage of the community.

We would encourage the provision of a pedestrian route through the site, maximising retention of existing hedgerows, treeline, and natural corridors, with connection to the proposed ‘open space’ within the site, and a possible connection to the adjoining public footpath through Brookmeadow Farm. This would allow the possibility of providing a new circular walking route for the village as these are limited at the moment.

Transport Infrastructure and Traffic Flows
There may be some issues with a single access to the site via the existing Knight Close access road and traffic entry and access at the junction with Pilcot Road may be problematic at peak times. However the site is within walking distance of the village centre with pub and shops, and the bus stops for routes into Fleet.

There are no business or employment opportunities shown at the site. This continues Hart’s dependency on external employment opportunities and contributes to worsening commuting traffic flows.

Provision for Schooling and Healthcare
The impact on 20-25 additional homes on schooling provision will be slight. The site is within walking distance, and presumably within catchment areas, of Dogmersfield Primary School and Calthorpe Park Secondary School.

There is unlikely to be any healthcare provision within the plans. The proposed development would be in the catchment area for the Crondall surgery but this is only a practical journey by car.

Summary
FACE IT supports appropriately scaled, carefully located and sensitively designed development. This is a small infill scheme of 27 homes that usefully reduces our Villages Rural Exclusion quota, integrates into a brown field site, could provide some advantage for the community and is out of sight from the main routes through the village.