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Development in and around KDBH is not only an opportunity for the settlement to play a major part in accommodating the Borough and wider area needs, but also to accommodate a scale of development that is capable of supporting infrastructure provision that can help play a part in dealing with existing issues and provide the necessary facilities for future residents. In particular the following areas have been identified and should be taken forward:
Improved Public Transport – A higher population gives greater potential for improved public transport services to be viable, e.g. better frequency of bus services.
Parking Improvements – The provision of appropriate additional off-street parking may be considered in centres. In addition, decked parking at Dorridge railway station could be considered in order to increase capacity and alleviate the impact of commuter parking on surrounding roads.
Highway Improvements – It is likely that highway improvements will be required at various locations in the settlement. This could include speed reduction measures, access improvements around development sites, highway capacity improvements or adjustments to traffic priority arrangements.
Pedestrian and Cycling Connectivity – Enhancements to encourage and promote walking and cycling in the settlement, particularly towards the local centres, schools and public transport will be required.
New Primary School – Based on the sites presently favoured for development, and given the existing pressure on primary school places, a new primary school is proposed on Site 9 – Arden Triangle. This would help to relieve pressure on the existing primary schools and ease traffic potential future traffic congestion in the vicinity of other schools in the settlement. Funding for the school will be expected via section 106 agreements associated with the development of the allocated sites.
Play and Open Space – Provision of play and areas of open space within potential development sites will be required. There is also a need to ensure that best use is made of existing green and blue infrastructure assets within development sites, together with provision for linkages to the surrounding area.
Sport and Recreation – Replacement of any lost recreation / sports provision as a result of development will be required to an equivalent or better standard, including access and use by the wider community where appropriate. A new community sports hub is proposed on land off Hampton Road should redevelopment of the existing Knowle Football take place.
Concept Master Plans – The plans that accompany this consultation for the principal sites include a draft concept masterplan. These seek to identify the key existing features of a site that may need to be retained, and show at a high level where development is envisaged within the wider site. This is to ensure that when development proposals move to the planning application stage, there is certainty about the important elements of the development, e.g. appropriate green infrastructure and other requirements. Whilst this may result in a lower gross to net developable area, this will demonstrate that a quality development can be provided which makes efficient use of land and respects local character.
Green Belt Enhancements – The revised NPPF makes provision for environmental and/or access improvements to be undertaken to land that is to remain in the Green Belt to compensate for land that is taken up for development. This provides an opportunity for additional accessible open space and views would be welcomed from both site promoters and residents as to how this new requirement of the NPPF can be fulfilled
Community Infrastructure Levy – Presently in areas like KDBH which are not covered by a parish or town council, 15% of the levy collected will be spent in the area. The Local Authority will engage with the local community and agree with them how best to spend the funding. However, where there is a 'made' Neighbourhood Plan (i.e. a plan that has been subject to a successful referendum and adopted by the Local Authority) for the area, this will increase to 25% of the levy collected. As the KDBH Neighbourhood Forum is currently at an advanced stage in the preparation of a Neighbourhood Plan for the area, subject to the plan being 'made', a significant source of funding could be available to take forward appropriate projects that the community have identified as priorities. This can include simple relatively low cost actions (e.g. further traffic regulation orders) through to more substantial projects.
Affordable Housing and Smaller Market Homes – Affordable housing will be required on development sites (in accordance with the Local Plan) and smaller market homes for younger people wishing to stay in the area will be sought.
Site 8: Hampton Road – (capacity 300-350)
This allocation comprises two areas of land either side of Hampton Road. The smaller site to the south of Hampton Road includes the current ground of Knowle Football Club and potentially the adjacent Cricket Club. The larger site to the north is agricultural land.
The southern part of the allocation lies beyond the Green Belt boundary, although it is immediately adjacent to the built up area of the settlement and would represent a continuation of the existing development along Hampton Road. Whilst it is recognised that the site lies within a parcel of highly performing Green Belt, it is acknowledged that it comprises a small part of a wider parcel and that built development and/or urbanising influences are present either within the site or in the immediate vicinity adjacent to and opposite the site. The site is relatively well-contained and a defensible Green Belt boundary could be provided.
The site currently accommodates Knowle Football Club and Cricket Club and it is noted that that the Football Club is seeking to relocate in order to secure better facilities. This would represent an opportunity to utilise a site for residential development, in an accessible location, immediately adjacent to the existing settlement, whilst planning positively to facilitate the relocation of a sporting and recreational use that could serve the wider community. The site performs very well in overall accessibility terms and there is good access to all key facilities in Knowle, although, accessibility to public transport is currently low.
The larger part of the allocation to the north of Hampton Road also lies just beyond the Green Belt boundary, although it is immediately adjacent to the built up area of the settlement, with residential development on two sides. The site lies within a parcel of moderately performing Green Belt overall and this part of the proposed allocation would constitute a 'rounding- off' of the settlement in a logical manner by continuing the Green Belt boundary on from the rear of the properties along Wychwood Avenue, down to Hampton Road.
The site is subject to some constraints including Purnells Brook Woodland Local Wildlife Site, (although this runs along the extreme north western edge of the site) as well as a number of significant trees. These will need to be considered in the design of any future scheme. The site performs very well in overall accessibility terms and there is good access to all key facilities in Knowle, however, accessibility to public transport is currently low.
The proposed allocation as a whole is in an area with medium landscape character sensitivity and low visual sensitivity. The landscape value of the area is medium with an overall low landscape capacity to accommodate new development. Development of Site 8 at Hampton Road would be consistent with Option G of the Spatial Strategy for the significant expansion of rural villages.
Site 9: Arden Triangle – (capacity 600)
Situated beyond the existing Green Belt boundary, the site as whole lies immediately adjacent to the settlement in a moderately performing parcel of Green Belt that is well contained by Station Road, Warwick Road and Grove Road. These strong physical features would establish a logical boundary to define the extent of land to be removed from the Green Belt. The areas of the site closest to the settlement perform very well in terms of accessibility to all key services and facilities, as well as public transport and the scale of any proposed development could see public transport improvements and new facilities such as a primary school provided on site.
The site is in an area with medium landscape character sensitivity and low visual sensitivity. The landscape value of the area is medium with an overall low landscape capacity to accommodate new development. The site as a whole includes a number of constraints including a Local Wildlife Site, protected trees and other valued landscape features. These would need careful consideration in the design of any future scheme. Development of the site would be consistent with Option G of the Spatial Strategy for the significant expansion of rural villages.
The site currently accommodates Arden Academy and the Council is aware of the school's aspirations to relocate on the site to provide new school buildings and associated facilities. The Council has made no decision on whether the school will relocate as it will need to be demonstrated that such a scheme is viable and deliverable without impacting on the character and appearance of the area or compromising the appropriate and essential infrastructure that will be required to bring forward residential development on the site. Consequently, 2 concept masterplans have been prepared. The first shows Arden Academy retained in its current position with residential development beyond to the south. The second shows the school relocated to an alternative location on the site, with residential development on the site of the existing Academy and along Station Road.