Policy SPS10: Oakdown Farm
Policy SPS10: Oakdown Farm
The site is allocated for an exemplar, well-designed and highly sustainable development that supports the council’s climate emergency declaration by meeting or exceeding the plan’s climate change policies and achieving clean growth. It will:
|The site provides an opportunity to deliver floorspace for warehousing and/or industrial uses, to help to meet the borough’s needs in a suitable location for this type of development, being located next close to Junction 7 on the M3, and with good access to the local and strategic road networks. Previous applications on the site have demonstrated that the site is well-suited to meeting the commercial needs of logistics operators and would be attractive to a range of businesses.
|The Economic Needs Assessment (ENA, 2023) identifies a need for 99,000 sqm of warehousing floorspace over the Plan period and 24,000 sqm of industrial floorspace. This will be met on this allocation and the Southern Manydown allocation, with other schemes also coming forward potentially contributing a net gain in floorspace. The policy does not set a limit to the amount of floorspace that could be provided, and any additional floorspace, over and above that required to meet needs could contribute to wider regional and sub-regional needs. However, and importantly, the amount office floorspace must be compatible with the need for development in this location to respond positively to, and take the opportunities provided to, enhance the landscape qualities of the site and the wider area. Other important factors such as impact on heritage assets, the highway network and biodiversity, as set out in the policy, will also determine the suitable level of floorspace.
|The site has the potential to provide for a range of unit sizes, to help meet the full range of economic needs set out in the ENA. Whilst there is an established need for smaller scale logistics, there is also a strong demand for larger strategic scale units (9,000 sqm and above). There may be scope to incorporate industrial floorspace as generally industrial and warehouse uses can operate from similar premises. Opportunities to meet the needs of SME’s should be explored and factored into development proposals for the site where appropriate.
|It will be vital that any future development proposals are supported by a robust and comprehensive site-specific Transport Assessment and supporting Travel Plan, that demonstrates that the proposals will not cause an unacceptable impact on highway safety and that the residual cumulative impacts on the strategic and local road networks would not be severe. Access and transport improvements will be required on the surrounding highway networks, including on the A30 corridor, the design of which will need to demonstrate that these improvements will not prejudice the provision of safe, suitable and convenient access for all users to serve the Southern Manydown site allocation (Policy SPS5.4), including the provision of suitable pedestrian and cycle connections between both sites and other nearby residential developments. Given the rural nature of some of the existing roads and lanes in this area, including those that provide access to the existing villages, the Transport Assessment will also need to demonstrate how the impacts of the development traffic upon these routes will be appropriately mitigated (including during the construction phases of the development).
|The Transport Assessment and the supporting Travel Plan also need to demonstrate the provision of sufficient onsite access, parking, loading/unloading, servicing and turning facilities (including for HGVs and other vehicles likely to access this site) to accommodate the peak parking, servicing and operational requirements of the development, whilst maintaining the safe and unhindered operation of the surrounding highway networks. The proposals also need to demonstrate how measures to prioritise and maximise movement by active travel and public transport use have been incorporated into the development, to minimise the transport impacts arising from the development. Therefore, the proposals will need to demonstrate that safe, suitable and convenient access for pedestrians and cyclists are provided, which are well integrated with the wider pedestrian and cycle networks (both that which currently is existing, and that which will serve other development sites in the locality), including the Public Rights of Way network. The site should also be integrated into the local public transport network.
|Significant consideration will need to be given to the landscape constraints, especially as these vary across the site. This should include consideration of site topography and levels, along with how the site will appear in key views. The design, scale and layout of development will need to respond positively to these constraints and ensure that the landscape impacts can be appropriately mitigated.
|Protecting existing trees and other important landscape features (including protected trees and priority habitats/corridors) will be important, in relation to landscape character, biodiversity and the borough’s green infrastructure network as a whole. The development must respond positively to the tree constraints within and on the boundaries of the site and ensure that trees worthy of protection are retained and sensitively incorporated into the layout. An extensive landscaping scheme will be required in order to successfully mitigate the impact of the proposal on the landscape. A biodiversity site management plan will be required to ensure that the development will provide a minimum 10% biodiversity net gain.
|The buildings will need to achieve a high standard of design and environmental performance. This should include design approaches (including the use of materials) which reduce the sense of scale and bulk of the buildings. The design of the buildings will need to have regard to the location of the site at a key gateway to the town, and how it will impact on the character of neighbouring development and the locality.
|It will be important to ensure that there are no unacceptable adverse impacts on conservation areas or listed buildings arising from impact on the setting of these heritage assets. This assessment needs to have particular regard to the Dummer Conservation Area to the south. A number of archaeological constraints have also been identified. These need to be considered via an assessment of the site by a specialist consultant and the proposal will need to incorporate appropriate mitigation measures.