Policy SPS5.10: Overton Mill, Overton

Open22 Jan, 2024, 10:00am - 4 Mar, 2024, 11:59pm

Policy SPS5.10:  Overton Mill

The site, as shown on the Policies Map, is allocated for a well-designed and sustainable development that will:

  1. Make provision for the delivery of:
  1. Approximately 340 homes including 5% serviced plots for custom and self-build homes;
  2. Small-scale employment (Classes E(g), B2 and B8) and retail (Class E) uses; and
  3. Parking facilities for the railway station;
  1. Be in accordance with the principles of the Concept Plan;
  2. Provide for permanent Gypsy and Traveller pitches, proportionate to the size of the site when considered in relation to the overall need for pitches as set out in the latest version of the Gypsy and Travellers Accommodation Assessment;
  3. Ensure that the development will not have a severe adverse impact on the local highway network nor have an unacceptable impact on highway safety with the inclusion of suitable measures to mitigate the impact; 
  4. Demonstrate how ways to reduce the need to travel, prioritise and maximise the use of active travel and public transport use have been considered to minimise the transport impacts arising from the development;
  5. Demonstrate that safe, suitable and convenient access to local facilities and services can be achieved by active travel or public transport services;
  6. Ensure the development responds positively to, and takes opportunities to, safeguard and enhance the landscape and scenic beauty of the North Wessex Downs National Landscape, recognising the landscape qualities of the site; the built environment of Quidhampton and Overton; and the local distinctiveness of the area. The design and layout of the development on its outward facing edges will enable a suitable transition to the surrounding National Landscape.
  7. Ensure that consideration is given to the siting, density, massing, scale, layout, hard and soft landscaping and character of the development in relation to its landscape context, which should have regard to the following:
  1. The impact on the National Landscape, with particular regard to the landscape character of the National Landscape and views to, from and within the National Landscape, including from Public Rights of Way and viewpoints in the wider countryside of the North Wessex Downs;
  2. The setting of the adjoining Test Valley Valued Landscape; 
  1. Retain existing trees and take opportunities to enhance the structural landscaping of the site.  Additional planting must be provided to reinforce existing tree belts along the northern and eastern boundaries of the built-up area, and will  be in keeping with the landscape character of the area.  Additional planting will also help to minimise the visual impact of the development on the National Landscape, including on views from publicly accessible countryside to the north, east and west of the site; and to reinforce existing groups of trees adjacent to the boundary in the southern part of the site;
  2. Ensure there is no unjustified adverse impact on the significance of heritage assets, or on the ability to appreciate significance, caused by development within the setting of neighbouring heritage assets including Overton Conservation Area and listed buildings such as Quidhampton Farmhouse; 
  3. Protect and enhance key species and habitats, prevent detrimental impacts and, where unavoidable, mitigate the impact on protected species and habitats, and secure the creation and management of linkages that provide high levels of habitat connectivity within the site and to the wider green infrastructure network.  This will include ensuring that the development does not result in harm to the Site of Special Scientific Interest (The River Test) and the adjoining Site of Importance for Nature Conservation (SINC). The development will provide a minimum 10% biodiversity net gain together with a site management plan;
  4. Undertake technical investigation and assessment of all sources of flooding (including surface water and groundwater) to determine flood risk management measures to ensure sustainable development and incorporate provision of on-site sustainable drainage systems (SuDS);
  5. Demonstrate, via a nutrient neutrality mitigation strategy, that nutrient neutrality can be achieved in perpetuity in order to protect the Solent nature conservation sites.  This should be via on-site mitigation measures unless it can be robustly demonstrated that this is not achievable, in which case off-site mitigation would be required;
  6. Ensure that noise impacts arising from the railway and any employment use on the site are successfully mitigated through suitable measures;
  7. Make appropriate use of mineral resources as established via a Mineral Resource Assessment;
  8. Remediate the land of any contamination and ensure the remediation is complete before any part of the development is occupied;

Infrastructure

  1. Make provision for suitable amounts of open/green space in accordance with the council’s Green Space Standards, including the provision of allotments.  This will need to be provided in a manner which is well related to the overall layout and character of the development and how it relates to its surroundings. This provision needs to incorporate effective green infrastructure links (incorporating pedestrian and cycle routes where appropriate) within and through the development (utilising appropriate planting in order to support their biodiversity and landscape function), and which link to the surrounding countryside, habitats and Public Rights of Way network. The delivery of green space and play will need to be provided alongside development parcels in order that there are facilities for residents to use by the time that housing is occupied;
  2. Ensure that safe and convenient access will be provided to the highway network, via Papermill Lane for the residential uses and Station Hill/Station Approach for the small scale employment and retail uses and parking facilities for the station. Emergency only access should be provided from Kingsclere Road (B3051);
  3. Include measures to improve accessibility by active travel to local facilities and services and ensure the ability to service the site by public transport.  Suitable pedestrian and cycle access routes should be provided between Overton train station (Platforms 1 & 2) and the land to the north and south of the railway line;
  4. Make provision on-site for a dedicated network of segregated walking and cycle routes to an adoptable standard that integrate with existing and proposed external routes and to the wider Public Rights of Way network. This includes maintaining the alignment of the Byway which runs north-south through the eastern part of the northern site; 
  5. Provide or contribute towards suitable infrastructure for wastewater (on and off site), foul water and other utilities.
6.130 The allocation, which is located to the north of Overton village, in close proximity to Quidhampton, comprises of two separate parcels of previously developed land, which are dissected by Overton Train Station and the railway line that runs in an east to west direction.  The land to the north of the railway line was the location of the now disused Overton paper mill and associated office buildings.  The land to the south includes a former water treatment facility associated with the operation of the mill.  The site is allocated for approximately 340 homes, which are to be provided via a range of suitable dwelling types and tenures including 40% affordable housing. New small scale employment (Class E(g), B2 and B8),  and retail (Class E) uses, in addition to a parking facility for the station, will be provided within close proximity to Overton Railway Station.  Development will be supported by the timely delivery of supporting infrastructure including open space. Proposals for the site will be design-led and the vision for the development should demonstrate a high quality and comprehensive approach to the layout and appearance of the housing.
6.131 That part of the site that lies to the north of the railway line, and the residential part of the site to the south of the railway line, will be accessed via Papermill Lane.  The employment, retail and parking facilities to the south will be accessed from Station Hill/Approach.  Kingsclere Road (B3051) will be used to access the northern parcel of land by emergency vehicles only.  It will need to be demonstrated that the development related traffic can be satisfactorily accommodated without detriment to the safe operation of Papermill Lane, particularly where the road narrows under the railway bridge. Pedestrian and cycle improvements are needed to link the site to facilities in Overton to the south. Any scheme will therefore include measures to increase active travel through improved links to local services and facilities, as well as the existing pedestrian and cycle networks, and encourage increased public transport use. A site wide Travel Plan will need to be submitted to minimise car use and deliver sustainable transport objectives.  A Public Right of Way runs through the northern parcel of land from north to south. Such connections should be expanded, wherever possible, to maximise opportunities for active travel.
6.132 Development of the site must not have an adverse impact on the landscape qualities of the area including the North Wessex Downs National Landscape, which includes the part of the allocation which lies to the north of the railway line. The allocation provides the opportunity to enhance the rural character of the area, given the previous use of the site, and particular regard must be had to views to, from and within the National Landscape, including from Public Rights of Way and viewpoints in the wider countryside of the North Wessex Downs. Existing tree belts and groups of trees in both the northern and southern parts of the site should be retained and enhanced to limit the visual impact of development.  Development must also not harm the setting of the Test Valley Valued Landscape which adjoins the eastern and southern boundaries of the parcel to the south of the railway line. Proposals must incorporate a landscape lead approach and should be informed by a coordinated and integrated approach to green infrastructure provision with suitable links to adjoining areas.
6.133 The scale of new housing development should be predominantly of no more than 2-storeys  in height with consideration being given to the limited use of buildings of 2.5 or 3-storeys provided that this does not harm the rural setting of the site.  This is to mitigate the impact of the development on the  North Wessex Downs National Landscape to the north, the Test Valley Valued Landscape, Overton Conservation Area and neighbouring listed buildings and the general character of the area.  Higher density of potentially up to 2.5 or 3-storeys may be considered adjacent to the Railway Station within the northern part of land, subject to the findings of a landscape character and visual impact assessment.
6.134 It will be important to ensure that there are no unjustified adverse impacts on the setting of neighbouring heritage assets including Overton Conservation Area and a number of listed buildings including Quidhampton Farmhouse.  The impact on any potentially affected heritage asset in the area will need to be considered including  two scheduled Monuments to the north of the site, and Laverstoke Park Historic Park and Garden to the south-west.  These impacts, and any potential mitigation measures, will need to be considered in a Heritage Statement.
6.135 A Site of Importance for Nature Conservation (SINC) adjoins the western boundary of the northern parcel of land designated for its chalk grassland assemblage.  In addition, the River Test SSSI is located to the south of the site which meanders between Quidhampton and Overton.  The site is located within the SSSI risk zone and contains woodland recorded as deciduous woodland priority habitat to the north and south of the railway line.  This feature will need detailed surveys to assess its value and condition as well as its potential to support protected species, including dormice.  Any proposals should provide connectivity to the wider wooded features of the local landscape. 
6.136 The land to the north of the railway line comprises, and lies adjacent to, the farmed areas of the North Wessex Downs, which support strong populations of European hare and skylark.  Surveys will be required to identify local populations to ensure impacts to these species are mitigated and enhancements are provided.  Surveys will be required to confirm the quality and condition of the grassland assets on the land to the south of the railway line. As the site previously comprised water extraction and storage on site, further surveys will be required to consider how any future use may impact upon the flows and habitats within and surrounding the River Test.  A minimum of 10% biodiversity net gain will be provided on site and this will need to be achieved in a manner which reflects the mitigation hierarchy (avoid, minimise, remediate, compensate).
6.137 Water quality is an important issue given that the site drains to the River Test catchment where it is necessary to ensure that nitrate neutrality is achieved through on-site mitigation measures.  Off-site measures would only be acceptable if it can be robustly demonstrated that on-site measures are not appropriate.  Development will not be consented until it has been demonstrated that acceptable arrangements are in place for ensuring the appropriate disposal of wastewater.
6.138 The land parcels to the north and south are divided by a railway line and any noise pollution affecting new homes and amenity spaces will need to be mitigated. A detailed noise assessment will be required to ensure acceptable noise standards can be met and mitigation measures may be required.
6.139 A Mineral Resource Assessment will need to be submitted as part of the southern land parcel lies within a Mineral Safeguarding Area.  The site also has the potential to be contaminated due to its former use as a paper mill.  Some remedial measures may be required to ensure that any contamination does not pose an unacceptable risk to human health.  Pre-commencement land conditions will be required as part of any planning permission.
6.140 Overton Railway Station is used by rail users from the wider area and, consequently, parking facilities can be oversubscribed at peak times, leading to overspill and indiscriminate parking, including in adjacent roads and within the site itself.  In order for the development to provide safe, convenient and suitable access for all users, the design of the development needs to include parking facilities for railway users. This would benefit from an independent access from Station Hill/Station Approach to segregate these activities from the remainder of the development (including the proposed new residential areas and streets). The development should deliver a sufficient level of railway parking proportionate to the needs of the railway users.

Figure 6.11: SPS5.10:  Overton Mill Concept Plan

Map - Overton Mill Concept Plan

Click to enlarge map

 

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