Update from the developer’s agent…
Further to our previous correspondence relating to the site at Didcot A Power Station, I wanted to advise you that an outline planning application for mixed use development will be submitted by Pegasus Group on behalf of Clowes Developments to both Vale of White Horse and South Oxfordshire District Council’s next week. The proposals are for a mixed use development comprising:
- up to 400 (Class C3) dwellings
- 110,000m2 of Class B2/B8 units
- 25,000m2 of Class B1 units
- 13,000m2 Class A1 units (includes 1,500m2 convenience food store)
- 150 bed Class C1 hotel
- 500m2 of Class A3/A4 pub/restaurant
As you will recall a public consultation event was held in January 2015 and a consultation website was launched. Copies of the masterplan were circulated to clerks for distribution to members in advance of this. The applicant team also attended a meeting of the Didcot A Local Liaison Committee in January prior to the exhibition in order to advise them of the emerging proposals for the site. The above quantum of development that forms the basis of the planning application has not changed since the public consultation in January.
I wanted to set out the main amendments that have been made to the masterplan following the public consultation that took place earlier this year. Since this time the applicant team have had several masterplanning meetings with officers from both Council’s and the Councils’ appointed urban design consultants. Subsequently the masterplan has been further developed by the applicant team whilst maintaining a dialogue with the local planning authorities and their consultants. Further technical work has also been undertaken which has provided more information on the site’s constraints.
I attach a copy of the illustrative masterplan that will be submitted with the application for your information,
and set out below the main changes:
- The residential parcel remains largely the same, however the road network has been amended to make better use of the space and to create a more legible development.
- The residential development parcels are now linked through areas of public open space. The masterplan has been amended to incorporate a large area of natural open space to the east of the housing, and a green corridor to include swales runs to the south of the housing and also more centrally in a north south direction.
- In terms of the access arrangements – the western access now only provides access to the employment parcel at the western part of the site. This was previously shown as joining up with the link road. There is now no through route and this has been clarified on the masterplan. This will ensure that the future delivery of the link road and Science Bridge is not compromised by the development.
- The Council have confirmed their vision for the site as a ‘destination’ one. The masterplan has therefore been amended to demonstrate the Council’s aspiration for active frontages through the site, and the hotel, pub/restaurant, offices and retail unit are now located to front onto the link road. For this reason the larger retail units have also been repositioned.
- The retail units to the north of the link road have been amended to enable a DIY store to be accommodated at this location (subject to market conditions) – this was something frequently raised through the public consultation process.
- The link road has been revised to have dual purposes – as a transport corridor, and as a ‘high street’, with uses more directly fronting this as set out above.
- The masterplan now includes a Central Plaza to further the aspirations for active frontages through the site and to provide linkages between the residential area and other uses.
- The employment units to the east of the site have been replanned. Further technical work has been undertaken in relation to noise which resulted in a B8 employment unit located to the north of this parcel. This better reflects market conditions in the area, and the B8 building will also act as a barrier to from the power station to the north to the more sensitive uses such as offices and residential to the south. Further offices remain fronting the link road to continue the provision of active frontages whilst providing a transition from the residential part of the site to the employment elements.
- The format of B8 units to the north east of the link road has been amended to be more end user friendly.
- The sustainable urban drainage swales are now fully illustrated on the masterplan as the drainage solution has been worked up in more detail.
- The masterplan now shows increased pedestrian and cycle linkages throughout the site which will increase public penetration of the site through the north/south and east/west parcels.
Please do not hesitate to get in touch should you have any queries on the above.
Planner, Pegasus Group