East Hampshire District Local Plan: Joint Core Strategy
9. Whitehill Bordon Strategic Allocation
A Profile of Whitehill Bordon
9.1 Whitehill Bordon is set within a landscape of heathland, woodland rivers, streams and ponds. It lies on the edge of the South Downs National Park and is bounded by areas of environmental designations of European, national and local significance (Special Protection Areas (SPAs), Special Area of Conservation (SACs), Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) and Sites of Importance for Nature Conservation (SINCs).
9.2 The town is very different to the traditional market towns in the surrounding locality such as Alton and Petersfield as, historically, it was formed as an Army camp on a former toll road. The area became a centre of military importance in 1863 when the War Office purchased 1,600 acres of training land. The army has been at Bordon Camp since 1901. The town effectively grew up to service the needs of the military bases.
9.3 Unlike many other Hampshire towns, Whitehill Bordon lacks a historic town centre and instead grew in a piecemeal fashion with small scale Edwardian ribbon development of shops and homes along the route of the A325, Chalet Hill and Liphook Road. Rapid expansion followed in the 1960/1970s when a series of residential estates grew up on both sides of the A325. A new shopping and community centre was created off Forest Road.
9.4 The A325 road runs north to south and bisects the town; additionally the main London to Portsmouth A3 trunk road passes nearby and the Hindhead Tunnel is now open and will improve road access to London.
9.5 Whitehill Bordon is linked by rail-bus to Farnham and Haslemere which provides public transport access to two lines, the Alton service and the Portsmouth service, both of which offer direct services to London in about an hour. Most rail commuters however use Liphook and Liss rail stations.
9.6 In anticipation of the Defence Training Review (DTR)55, a great deal of technical work and public consultation has been carried out over the past six years. This was originally led by the Whitehill Bordon Opportunity Group, a partnership of local authorities, landowners and government agencies who have been working together to make the project a success. Background evidence was provided by GVA Grimley. The Group drew up a Green Town Vision56 and commissioned consultants AECOM to prepare a masterplan working with the local community.
9.7 The regeneration of the MoD and local authority land can make an important contribution to the development of new technologies and practices and put Whitehill Bordon on the map as an example of a modern sustainable 21st century town. Most importantly it provides the chance to work with local people to meet their needs and to put in place the facilities that are lacking today.
9.8 The community-led project is now managed by a Delivery Board, a partnership of the local authorities and landowners, and a cascade of local stakeholders and specialist groups who sit underneath that board and report to it.
9.9 In 2008 AECOM was commissioned to undertake a masterplan to create a framework for development and a strategy that will bring better facilities and a larger and more sustainable community over the next 20 years. Part of the vision relates to encouraging lifestyles that respect the environment while improving the image and competitiveness of the town. A key challenge is to improve the social and economic profile of the town and achieve a greater mix of housing. Work was completed in late 2009. In December 2010 East Hampshire District Council adopted the masterplan as a material consideration.
9.10 Between late 2009 and July 2011 a series of studies have been initiated. All the studies are available on the www.whitehillbordon.com website. These studies form an evidence base which supports the masterplan findings and which will be used to further refine the development framework. In particular a series of improvements have been suggested which will go to consultation in the autumn of 2011.
9.11 In 2009 the town was identified by the Department of Communities and Local Government as a potential location for an Eco-town. Although it is not a freestanding town, nor will it deliver 5,500 dwellings, the Government recognised that there was an opportunity at Whitehill Bordon to reflect the Eco-town concept, much of which was included in the Green Town Vision and the more recent Eco-town Vision57. It provides the chance to completely rethink how transport, employment, retail and other services are provided as well as providing new homes to exemplary standards.
9.12 This identification as an Eco-town brought with it a sustainability and viability assessment which confirmed that an innovative mixed use development was feasible within the town. The designation has brought with it to date over £12M of seed-corn funding which has been and is being expended on early infrastructure and community projects, a detailed masterplan as well as a series of studies which have interrogated the potential of the development.
9.13 Development proposals will have to comply with the relevant District-wide policies in the Core Strategy, and with those specifically for Whitehill Bordon which reflect its Eco-town status. Development proposals may have to meet targets that are significantly higher than for other parts of the District.
Minerals and Waste Plan
9.14 The Pre-Submission draftHampshire Minerals and Waste Plan (prepared by Hampshire County Council, Portsmouth and Southampton City Councils and the New Forest and South Downs National Park Authorities) proposes a minerals safeguarding area (MSA) at Whitehill Bordon in order that proven mineral resources are not needlessly sterilised by non-mineral development. The extent of the MSA will be shown on the adopted Proposals Map. Prior extraction of the soft sand resource will be encouraged as part of the development of the Eco-town, as long as it does not impede the phasing and development of the Eco- town and where the mineral resource would otherwise be sterilised.
Key Challenges and Opportunities for Whitehill Bordon
Sustainable Economic Development
9.15 Economic development has a key role to play in the regeneration of Whitehill Bordon town. The key driver of regeneration is the loss of jobs and spend associated with the military vacating the sites and the need to take this opportunity to build a new sustainable mixed economy.
9.16 With the expansion of the town it will become the largest community within the District. Listed are some of the challenges and opportunities:
There is a need for a mix of businesses so that the town is not so reliant on one sector or company;
Land for industry/business use tends to lose out to housing;
Businesses require supporting infrastructure including an improved education system, high capacity digital services and diverse housing;
There is a low level of skills. School leavers and adult residents are less qualified than their counterparts in the rest of the District. The level of graduates is low. There is limited ICT infrastructure for next generation services and limited social and post 16 educational facilities.
The Town Centre
9.17 A new town centre is regarded as one of the main priorities for the town. The perceived profile of the town needs to be raised to attract quality retailers.
9.18 The MoD’s departure from the town will release land that will provide an opportunity to meet housing needs. The main issues are as follows:
Whitehill Bordon has a young population with a high proportion of children and more elderly residents than average;
There is a community aspiration for the introduction of larger units and ‘executive homes’ to redress the balance and provide greater choice at the top end of the housing range;
About 20% of households rent their homes; this attracts low income earners and has created an imbalance in the social and economic mix in the existing population.
9.19 As an Eco-town, Whitehill Bordon has the chance to lead the way in adapting and mitigating against climate change. There are significant economic and employment advantages to be gained from the emerging low carbon economy. Whitehill Bordon has the opportunity to become a centre of excellence for renewable and low carbon industries. Some of the key issues are set out below:
The environmental performance of many buildings in Whitehill Bordon is poor;
Estimated annual consumption is similar to other settlements of the same size;
There are no major power generation facilities in Whitehill Bordon, but there is some use of small scale renewables, including woodfuel and photovoltaics in domestic properties and schools.
9.20 There is concern that development cannot take place without unacceptable damage to important nature conservation sites. The opposite view is that the attractive local environment, if carefully managed, can be the centrepiece of any future development. The key issues to consider are:
The town is surrounded by land of high ecological quality. Most heathland is of international importance (Special Protection Areas and Special Areas of Conservation); the town also contains sites of national and local importance which could be affected by new development. The need to protect and enhance these areas will influence the scale and type of new development. The SPAs and SACs are vulnerable to impacts associated with housing development; non-residential development would be more acceptable on land adjacent to the SPAs;
The avoidance of impacts and mitigation measures to protect sites of ecological importance are the key to expanding the town in a sustainable manner. Areas of new alternative open space for informal recreation will be required both within and on the edge of the town;
The South Downs National Park lies immediately to the south and about 1 km to the west of the town. It creates the opportunity for the town to be a gateway to the National Park providing services and facilities for visitors coming to enjoy the natural beauty and wildlife of the area. The potential impact of development in the town on the setting of the National Park could affect the future scale and location of development;
A number of archaeological sites of national importance lie within and close to the town, including on MoD, County Council and District Council owned land. Development in the town should avoid impacts to these historic features;
- Air quality issues along the A325 corridor need to be addressed.
A number of green tongues and blue corridors in public ownership bisect the town, including the Wey Valley, Deadwater Valley, Hogmoor Inclosure and Bordon Inclosure; these sites are to be protected and included in the Green Grid;
The Green Grid should consist of a network of greenspaces which link to the wider Green Loop of other well managed high quality spaces;
There is a gap between Whitehill Bordon and Lindford which should be integrated into the Green Grid and Green Loop.
Healthy Living (Community facilities and services)
9.22 The built and natural environments are important components in improving the health and well being of the local community. Well designed development and good town planning can also contribute to promoting and supporting healthier and more active living and reduce health inequalities.
The lack of public playing fields and children’s play space is made worse by flooding problems and a lack of changing rooms and car parking;
Sports facilities are undersupplied within the town with the majority of existing facilities belonging to the MoD. Public access is limited e.g. the MoD swimming pool, Bordon and Oakhanger Sports Club.
At present the MoD military police support the civilian police within the town. There will be a need as the town expands for policing to expand to suit a larger town with a larger town centre and a more vibrant economy;
Many of the areas used as informal open space are important environmental sites;
The current provision of doctors and dentists will not meet the demands of the existing and new population in the long term. There is no emergency dentist practice in the town and access to the nearest hospital for emergency and acute/specialists are in Basingstoke, Guildford and Portsmouth.
The lack of pre-school places, sixth form, further education and higher education provision in the town need to be addressed;
The impact of the withdrawal of the armed forces on already falling school rolls will need to be addressed.
Surface water runoff from new development should match or improve the existing situation on-site;
A new on-site foul water treatment works is likely to be required to serve development options above about 1,500 dwellings;
A detailed water cycle study58 has shown that a number of options are available which enable water neutrality to be achieved;
Additional dwellings will require major off-site electricity reinforcement works;
Major off-site reinforcement of gas services is likely to be required.
Improvements are required in bus-based and non-car alternative transport to improve access to a range of facilities, services and rail stations;
There is concern from local residents about the increase in traffic rat-running through the town and surrounding villages;
The Hindhead Tunnel should improve road access to the town;
The nearest railway stations are at Liphook, Haslemere and Liss to the south-east/south and Alton and Bentley to the north-west, both providing access to London Waterloo. The feasibility of rail links to London via Bentley and to the London to Portsmouth line is being investigated.
Regeneration of the town will be market driven and a strong market for new housing will need to lead the town’s expansion;
New housing near the town centre and within walking distance of shops and leisure facilities will be vital in creating sufficient demand to sustain new commercial development;
A consolidated, conspicuous town centre is needed, offering a strong anchor store and other large units to attract a wider range of retailers;
Being remote from London and lacking public transport options and a rail station, the future market for offices in the town without regeneration is likely to be restricted to existing local occupiers or those who specifically seek to be in the area;
Phasing of housing and commercial and retail floorspace needs to be carefully co-ordinated;
Initial phases of all new development will need to be of high quality and visually attractive in order to set a precedent for future development;
Co-ordinated and pro-active marketing of site availability will be key to raising the profile and attractiveness of the town to the market and the development opportunities it affords.
POLICY CSWB1 STRATEGIC ALLOCATION
Land at Whitehill Bordon is identified as a strategic allocation for future development as shown on the key diagram and on the Proposals Map.
New development will be designed to create a green town that responds to the challenges of climate change, in an innovative and responsive way. It will be an exemplar of a modern sustainable community in terms of places of work, schools, travel planning, promoting and supporting healthier lifestyles, provision of local services and sustainable use of resources.
Proposals for new development must:
lnclude sustainable development principles andsustainable construction methods;
Provide up to 4,000 new homes, employment provision (5,500 new jobs), a new town centre (with around 30,000 sq m of retail floorspace);
Provide supporting social and physical infrastructure , including a range of convenience and comparison shopping, health, community and leisure facilities centred around a new town centre and new neighbourhoods, together with provision for pre-school, primary and secondary education to allow people to work from home, to reduce leakage of expenditure and to reduce levels of out-commuting;
Be carried out in a comprehensive manner in line with the Infrastructure and Delivery Plan (see Appendix 2) that sets out how the rate of development will be linked to the funding and provision of the necessary social and physical infrastructure to ensure that the respective phases of the development do not come forward until the necessary infrastructure has been secured;
Improve transport links from the surrounding settlements to the town, and within the town, providing opportunities to reduce reliance on the private car and encourage other modes;
Maximise the opportunities from being a gateway to the adjoining South Downs National Park;
Take account of the settlement policy boundary which defines the edge of the built up area within which development will be allowed, provided it complies with the principles of development set out in this chapter and with the rest of the policies in the Development Plan;
Take account of the outer boundary (see Map 4) which shows the area within which Eco-town standards will be applied and where Eco-town support funds may be available for retrofitting of existing housing stock and for infrastructure improvements.
Table of Land Uses
|Residential (20-70 dph)||
|Town centre||Total area||13||2068|
|Non-retail (A3-A5, B1, A2)||16030|
|Community facilities and services||Community||4|
Sports and leisure -
built sports facility
|Green Infrastructure||Wildlife corridors||29|
|SANGS||129 and 30 of SANG network|
|Public sector employment||550|
9.27 The Government recognises that there is an exciting opportunity at Whitehill Bordon to create a more sustainable settlement and this was reflected in the decision to make it one of the UK’s first Eco–towns. It has attracted funding and investment and has given the town a new sense of purpose.
9.28 The South East Plan59 contained a specific policy for the town where new development was proposed as a Strategic Development Area. There is still a need to provide strategic polices to set out a framework for development. Policy CSWB1 reflects the aims of the Eco-Town Vision and the principles of the policy in the former South East Plan.
9.29 The South East Plan stated that up to 5,500 dwellings should be delivered as part of a regeneration strategy although this figure should be regarded as indicative. The final figure could not be known until further work, such as a transport study and more work on the Habitats Regulations Assessment (HRA)60, had been completed.
9.30 The HRA work has been completed along with further studies (on transport, economy, energy, water and the town centre). The outcome of the studies show that up to 4,000 homes could be provided without significant impact to the environment, provided that appropriate avoidance and mitigation measures are put in place. The 4,000 dwellings are in addition to those provided through existing completions, existing commitments on large sites and a large and small urban potential (see Appendix 3). The Council has listened to local people and proposes a range of housing that allows a relatively high proportion of larger properties to meet local needs.
9.31 The focus of the new community will be the new town centre which will provide a range of employment opportunities, community, health, retail, and leisure and sports facilities, civic space and housing. Local centres will provide local facilities and help to provide a focus for a network of distinct neighbourhoods.
9.32 The new development will meet all the required pre-school, primary and secondary educational needs on-site. A number of interested organisations are examining the potential of tertiary education in the town including further and higher education and a skills centre. Such facilities would help the town to invest in the development of the skills of residents and the local workforce and act as a driver for businesses and people to live, work and invest in the area. A range of health care facilities will also be provided.
9.33 In order to create an inclusive and coherent community, a range of social infrastructure will be required, including a range of health care facilities, community centres/meeting halls and heritage centre/museum.
9.34 Provision will also be made for young people including a range of youth facilities.
9.35 Once the Core Strategy is adopted, the Council will be able to prepare a Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) to amplify the policies for the town.
9.36 The Core Strategy is accompanied by an Infrastructure and Delivery Plan which sets out the main items of social and physical infrastructure, and identifies who will be expected to deliver it and by when.
9.37 Contributions will be required from the developers to mitigate the impacts of the development including the increases in population. The nature and level of any contributions will be determined through the SPD which will test the viability and approaches to infrastructure in more detail.
9.38 The phasing of the housing development will be coordinated with the rate of infrastructure delivery.
9.39 In order to demonstrate that the scheme is both viable and deliverable, a high level viability assessment61 has been undertaken. This has tested a number of scenarios and has concluded there are not likely to be any ‘showstoppers’ in respect of meeting the level of infrastructure required.
9.40 Should there be a change to the MoD’s plans to leave the town or to the amount of land vacated, the Secretary of State stated that there will not be a requirement to find the same level of development elsewhere in East Hampshire.
9.41 A partnership of the local authorities and landowners has been established, named the Delivery Board, it is supported by five themed specialist groups which sit underneath that board and report to it. The strategy will rely upon working with a (or a number of) delivery partner(s) who will bring development expertise and investment. Almost all of the land is within public ownership. The intention is to set up a special purpose vehicle where development assets can be pooled alongside a community trust which may take on longer term responsibilities for energy management, green space management and public transport. This would be an on-going trust or charitable foundation able to ensure the provision of facilities and infrastructure into the future.
POLICY CSWB2 SUSTAINABLE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
Development Proposals must:
Take into account policies CP2 to CP7 in the Core Strategy which set out the approach to achieving sustainable economic development;
Help to make the town an attractive and vibrant place with a clear economic function that provides an exceptional quality of life;
Submit an economic strategy at the time of a planning application for the new development to show how access to work opportunities will be achieved. The strategy should also set out facilities to support job creation in the town and as a minimum there should be access to one employment opportunity per new dwelling that is easily reached by walking, cycling and/or public transport;
Encourage the development of a high quality skilled local workforce with easy access to a range of good local employment opportunities to reduce out-commuting and to economically link the surrounding villages with Whitehill Bordon.
Land is allocated at four sites for employment use as shown on the Proposals Map. They should provide a minimum of 72,000 square metres of employment floorspace on a total area of 18.4 ha.
The sites are at:
Louisburg Barracks (eastern half)
West of new town centre
Development will also be permitted on a variety of sites and premises within the town. Small/medium sized business premises for high tech, innovative companies will be provided in town centre locations and residential areas. Such uses will also be clustered together in an eco-business park for green technologies. Investment will be encouraged by those businesses which share the vision.
9.42 When the MoD leaves the town, the loss of jobs will have a significant impact on the local economy. However there are opportunities which should be taken to re-brand the town and to create an environment that is conducive to sustainable economic development. There are significant economic and employment advantages to be gained from the emerging low carbon economy. Whitehill Bordon has the opportunity to become a centre for excellence for renewable and low carbon industries.
9.43 Whitehill Bordon is currently the second largest town in East Hampshire but with the Eco-town expansion it will become the largest community within the District. The town has a strategic location and around 2.7 million people live within 1 hour journey time. An expanded town with a wide catchment area will attract new businesses.
9.44 The Whitehill Bordon Eco-town, Economic Development and Employment Strategy62 sets out a framework for the town’s future economic growth. The town can become a focus for investment introducing a new purpose and transforming Whitehill Bordon into an exemplar Eco-town. The aim is to build a local mixed and sustainable economy and also make the Eco-town an exceptional and well regarded location within reach of a sub regional community of around 230,000 people.
9.45 It is expected that there will be around £1.5 billion invested in the town by 2036. The strategy seeks to ensure that the community will get maximum benefit from this investment. The overall requirement is to create a thriving sustainable economy that meets the needs of the whole community – while respecting and protecting its attractive natural environment.
9.46 Core Strategy Policies link the construction of houses to jobs, encourage business support hubs within neighbourhood centres (as well as within the town centre), support improved access and public transport, encourage tourism and visitor facilities (the South Downs National Park abuts the town) and look at ways that local food can be marketed, processed and sold locally.
9.47 About 5,500 jobs will be created as identified in the draft Masterplan requiring the creation/allocation of a total of around 113,000 sqm of floorspace. The 5,500 jobs will provide one job per new home and will replace the jobs lost through the closure of the garrison. A wider range of employment land must be available to provide high quality business space and modern business premises. Business development will be supported by four principal sources of employment land:
- Re-use of former MoD Buildings
- Establishing new eco-business parks
- Town centre employment, including public sector services
- Home working (supported by local skills centre/business support unit).
9.48 The withdrawal of the MoD will occur over a short period of time, whilst major redevelopment will be longer term. Careful programming and phasing of the release of land for employment will be necessary to mitigate the impact of the loss of jobs associated with the MoD and to keep in step with the provision of new housing.
POLICY CSWB3 THE NEW TOWN CENTRE
Land is allocated for a new town centre as shown on the Proposals Map.
The town centre will be in the same category as Petersfield and Alton in terms of its role and function in the retail hierarchy for the District.
It will comprise a major retailer which will be located at its heart together with other large units to attract more quality retailers. There is scope for 30,000 sqm of gross retail floorspace out of which 20,000 sqm will be for comparison and 10,000 sqm for convenience retail.
Proposals for new shops, recreation and leisure, entertainment, cultural facilities, offices and commercial developments, and high density housing (above shops) will be allowed in the town centre provided the proposed development:
sustains and enhances the range and quality of provision, including uses that contribute to the evening economy;
improves the vitality and viability of the town centre;
helps to create a sense of place through high quality layout and design and contributes to a built form that is in synergy with quality open spaces, civic or town squares;
provides landscaping, street furniture, and public art, where appropriate, that is an integral part of the design of the new town centre;
provides footpaths and cycleways that link the town centre with housing and commercial areas in the rest of the town, on both sides of the A325.
9.49 The town has a reasonable provision of convenience shops (e.g. supermarkets, newsagents) but a poor supply of comparison shops (e.g. clothing, household goods) for a town of its size. Residents travel elsewhere to do their comparison shopping and have expressed a desire for a new town centre with additional shops. There are opportunities to make the town a more sustainable community with a wider range of shops and leisure facilities that people want to improve their quality of life.
9.50 The perceived profile of the town needs to be raised to attract quality retailers.
POLICY CSWB4 HOUSING
Land is allocated for up to 4,000 dwellings as shown on the Proposals Map. The target in Whitehill Bordon is for 35 % of all new dwellings to be provided as affordable housing. Residential proposals must include a mix of housing types, with a proportion of family homes (3, 4 and 5 bedrooms) and executive homes that will help to correct the town’s current housing imbalance.
9.51 The early work on the potential development opportunities at Whitehill Bordon examined four options - 2,000, 4,000, 5,500 and 8,000 dwellings. The lowest option was not considered to be viable. It would not bring forward the new shops, jobs, leisure facilities and the new town centre. The highest option (8,000 dwellings) would adversely affect the important nature conservation designations.
9.52 The South East Plan included a housing allocation for Whitehill Bordon of up to 5,500 homes. It stated that the final figure will be determined following further studies.
9.53 The Habitats Regulations Assessment (HRA) included an assessment of the quantity and quality of SANGs (Suitable Alternative Natural Greenspaces) and concluded that the proposed SANGs in the draft Masterplan can accommodate phases 1 and 2 of the proposed development which delivers 4,000 new homes, based on locally-derived assessment criteria and the Thames Basin Heath's standard63 for the provision of SANGs (8 hectares per 1,000 head of population).
9.54 The Transport Assessment (TA)64 concluded that, in traffic terms, there are no overall show-stoppers to the development coming forward, but there are a number of impacts of the development which will need to be mitigated. Further work, following the TA, produced engineering solutions for possible improvements at each of 13 junctions in the town and the wider area, which would be sufficient to mitigate the impact of 4,000 dwellings.
9.55 The Preferred Policies document65 suggested 5,300 dwellings phased over a 20 year period. The Council has listened to local views and has taken into account the conclusions of the further studies and proposes to reduce the figure to up to 4,000 dwellings. There may be occasions when unidentified sites (windfalls) come forward in the town, however, the Council will monitor housing development closely to ensure that it does not reach a limit that starts to undermine the avoidance and mitigation strategy to protect the Special Protection Areas and Special Areas of Conservation.
9.56 Meeting housing needs is fundamental to securing a sustainable future for the town. There is a need to provide sufficient housing to meet the needs of the whole community, including the young and elderly, to improve affordability and widen opportunities.
9.57 In comparison to the District, Whitehill Bordon lacks detached properties reinforcing the perception of Whitehill Bordon as a starter home or more affordable family housing location. New housing provision should meet the needs of the younger population that is currently residing in the area or may be attracted to the area, but also through the provision of detached or executive homes provide for the full range of new households which will be attracted to the area through employment opportunities generated by the creation of new jobs. The provision of larger homes will also help to rebalance the population profile of the town and create a more varied and sustainable community.
9.58 In Whitehill Bordon a substantial scale of new housing is being proposed, therefore, a higher level than 35% affordable housing could adversely alter the balance between market and affordable housing in the town. In addition, 35% meets the policy targets and is a sufficient provision of affordable housing for the Whitehill Bordon settlement.
POLICY CSWB5 DESIGN
In additon to the criteria set out in Policies CP27 and CP28 new development should:
demonstrate an integrated approach to sustainable design to achieve the policy requirements on energy, water, transport, green infrastructure and biodiversity;
take account of the site specific design codes or neighbourhood quality charter and the proposed Town Design Statement;
where opportunities arise, for example in the new town centre, incorporate taller landmark or locally distinctive ex-military buildings into the overall design to create an identity to the town and the overall development area.
POLICY CSWB6 SUSTAINABLE CONSTRUCTION
All new development will contribute to the aim of achieving carbon neutrality for the Eco-town by 2036. The carbon footprint of the whole town will not exceed the carbon footprint of the existing settlement. This will include the provision of localised energy centres and help the Eco-town to decarbonise the energy infrastructure by employing such solutions as biomass and energy from waste systems, decentralised heat and power networks and smart grids
All new development must comply with the District’s Sustainable Construction policy (CP22).
In addition, development proposals must:
Connect to any District heating systems, or have the infrastructure to connect if this is not yet installed. Developments which are not connecting to the district system should provide reasons for this and provide alternative low carbon heating solutions;
Ensure that the orientation of new homes is maximised to make use of solar power at the domestic and neighbourhood level in conjunction with incentives, such as the Feed-in-Tariffs (FITs)66 and Green Deal67.
Proposals for new development or refurbishment, including infrastructure, will be required to outline how sustainability will be delivered during construction and future maintenance. Supporting evidence will need to address:
The reduction of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions, both in manufacture, construction, delivery and in the location and mode of travel of the workforce;
How pollution and waste is to be minimised;
Life Cycle (Whole Life) Costings; and
the effective use of resources. In particular, the reduction of demolition or construction waste to landfill, the re-use of buildings, recycling of materials and reduction in water use.
The use of factory assembly and modern methods of construction will be encouraged, particularly if these methods can be shown to have a positive impact on the local economy by bringing in new skills and manufacturing processes to the Eco-town.
There is a presumption in favour of maintaining existing buildings unless they can show that there is a sustainability benefit for demolishing them. Where it has been agreed that demolition is the most sustainable option, consideration will need to be given to the mode of demolition, the re-use, recycling or disposal of materials.
9.59 Investment in construction and infrastructure is a major contributor to the success of the overall sustainable ambitions for the Eco-town. It is expected that best practice will develop and construction techniques will improve over time. The Council wish to see these best practices and improvements coming forward in the Eco-town as soon as possible.
9.60 Proposals that can demonstrate best practice and set aspirational, innovative and higher levels than those outlined in policy CP22 will be encouraged. There is a wealth of guidance and information available, for example, the Constructing Excellence’s Sustainability Checklist provides ideas about practical measures to make proposals more sustainable.
9.61 An Energy Feasibility Study for Whitehill Bordon (LDA, 2011) examined a number of renewable and low carbon energy opportunities linked to the masterplan. Further work, in consultation with stakeholders, alongside the Feasibility Study examined the potential of creating an energy management company.
9.62 A number of further approaches were explored with stakeholder input. These were:
- District heating
- Biomass and energy from waste
- Solar, and
- Heat pumps.
9.63 The Study found that the case for hydro, wind and solar farms was found to be marginal within the policy zone boundary, either due to land take or energy generation potential. However, opportunities do exist to explore these with ‘allowable solutions’ in conjunction with neighbouring land owners. A passive approach to reducing energy demand by use of energy efficient fabric and building services is preferred. Any sustainable energy provision should consider how existing communities could benefit from individual or communal systems.
|Where else to look?|
Constructing Excellence’s Sustainability Checklist provides ideas about practical measures to make projects more sustainable. Details can be found at:www.ukswedensustainability.org/checklist.jsp
POLICY CSWB7 WASTE
Planning applications should include a sustainable waste and resource plan covering both domestic and non-domestic waste. The plan should consider:
The use of arboricultural arisings and farm waste as biomass fuel;
The use of locally generated waste as part of the energy solution for the town;
Using organic waste for anaerobic digestion.
9.64 This policy should be read in conjunction with Policy CP25 (Pollution) which set out the approach to managing waste across East Hampshire.
POLICY CSWB8 SUSTAINABLE WATER MANAGEMENT
All development will be required to contribute to the overall Eco-town target of achieving water neutrality (no net increase in water or carbon emissions as a result of the Eco-town).
Development must be designed and delivered to limit the impact of new development on water resources, water quality and quantity. Innovative and sustainable water management systems must be used to help to achieve a ‘water neutral’ status.
All buildings will be equipped with water efficiency measures to achieve Level 5/6 of the Code for Sustainable Homes specifically for water.
Development must be phased to take account of the timing of water and/or sewerage infrastructure to support the Eco-town. All necessary infrastructure provision and water quality improvements must be funded and in place in advance of development taking place.
Development proposals for Whitehill Bordon must comply with the district-wide Policy CP23 ‘Flood Risk’. Where appropriate, Sustainable Drainage Systems (SUDS) must be provided which are fully integrated into the network of multi-functional green spaces, help to enhance local biodiversity, provide open space, and offer flood risk and water quality benefits.
9.65 Water is a finite resource and it is imperative that it is safeguarded during development. The Eco-town provides the opportunity to produce and test innovative means of water resource management. A detailed Water Cycle Study has been prepared by Peter Brett Associates LLP (2011) to support the potential development of the proposed Eco-town at Whitehill Bordon.
9.66 The study has identified that there are sufficient water resources in the locality of the Eco-town which can sustain the increased development by utilising an innovative and sustainable water management system to achieve a ‘water neutral’ status.
9.67 There is an ongoing and increasing need to appraise, manage and reduce flood risk. Policy CP23 sets out a distinctive approach in addressing flood risk management in East Hampshire, including Whitehill Bordon.
9.68 The East Hampshire District Council Strategic Flood Risk Assessment (SFRA) 2008 and the Environment Agency’s flood risk maps identify the areas of flood risk around Whitehill Bordon. The maps enable the sequential test to be applied and so steer the broad locations of development away from areas at risk of flooding and so minimise the risk to lives and property.
9.69 For individual sites flood risk assessments will need to be prepared to consider flood risk, surface water run-off and sustainable drainage systems to minimise flood risk. Evidence prepared for the Whitehill Bordon Eco-town including an Outline Water Cycle Study (Halcrow 2009) and the Detailed Water Cycle Study (Peter Brett Associates LLP 2011) have considered flood risk and surface water management issues which would need to be incorporated and considered in any associated flood risk assessments.
9.70 Green Infrastructure Strategy (Halcrow 2011) has also been produced for Whitehill Bordon, in conjunction with the Detailed Water Cycle Study. Information on the suitability, design and appropriateness of different types of SUDS has been considered and will form part of the overall design of the Whitehill Bordon masterplan.
|Where else to look?|
Code for Sustainable Homes www.communities.gov.uk/planningandbuilding/sustainability/codesustainablehomes
POLICY CSWB9 BIODIVERSITY
Development proposals must protect and enhance the biodiversity of Whitehill Bordon and the surrounding environment (see Policies CP19 and CP20). Development at Whitehill Bordon will be guided by its Habitats Regulations Assessment, Green Infrastructure Strategy and Local Biodiversity Action Plan.
All development must show a net gain in biodiversity, secure existing and create new wildlife habitats supported by long term management plans and show that there are no adverse significant effects on the integrity of any European designated site.
The Whitehill Bordon Habitats Regulations Assessment, Green Infrastructure Strategy and Local Biodiversity Action Plan includes approaches for monitoring, conserving and enhancing biodiversity. Planning applications will support and apply these documents on a site-by-site basis.
No part of the Whitehill Bordon development will be permitted within 400 metres of the Wealden Heaths Phase II SPA unless it can be demonstrated that adequate measures have been put in place to avoid or (as a secondary solution) adequately mitigate impacts such that there will be no adverse effect on the ecological integrity of the SPA. Such measures must be agreed with Natural England and the planning authority.
Where mitigation, as required in the Habitats Regulations Assessment, takes the form of provision of a Suitable Alternative Natural Greenspace (SANG), a minimum requirement of 8 hectares of land should be provided per 1,000 new occupants (after discounting to account for current access and capacity within reasonable access of the new dwellings). Provision is made in the masterplan for approximately 129 hectares of SANGs and 30 hectares of SANG network.
Integrated Access Management provision should be offered throughout the local European designated sites and other greenspaces, such as SANGs.
9.71 The Whitehill Bordon Habitats Regulations Assessment (UE Associates 2011) (HRA) follows an interim assessment published in November 2009. The earlier document sought to assess the 2009 version of the draft masterplan. Further iterations of the HRA will be required right through to the decisions on planning applications.
9.72 The Whitehill Bordon HRA has been prepared in accordance with European and national planning legislation. Along with an accompanying Land Management report68 it provides sufficient avoidance and mitigation measures which can be incorporated and adopted into the revision of the draft masterplan to address the adverse effects on the designated sites without undermining the delivery of growth in the town.
9.73 The Eco-town’s high level objectives will go a long way to reducing impacts on the integrity of the local European Designated Sites, such as reduced car use and providing SANGs as alternative places for people to recreate.
POLICY CSWB10 GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE
New and existing greenspaces will be part of a well managed, high quality, green infrastructure network, which is linked to the wider countryside for the benefit of communities and wildlife (see also Policy CP26).
Land is allocated for greenspace as shown on the Proposals Map.
Development will need to maintain, manage and enhance the network of new and existing green infrastructure as set out in the Whitehill Bordon Green Infrastructure Strategy and Habitats Regulations Assessment.
The implementation of green infrastructure must be in advance of development.
9.74 East Hampshire District Council and the South Downs National Park have produced a Green Infrastructure Study which forms part of the background evidence to the Core Strategy69 (see Policy CP26). A more detailed Green Infrastructure Strategy (Halcrow 2011) has been produced for Whitehill Bordon which specifically informs the masterplan.
9.75 The Green Infrastructure Strategy provides an implementation plan to support the revision of the masterplan, expressing the need to install green infrastructure in advance of development, which ultimately responds to the development.
9.76 The ‘Green Loop’ at Whitehill Bordon will be a major element of green infrastructure within the town. This primary network will provide all the necessary connections for people and wildlife to use and enjoy greenspaces both within the town and surrounding countryside. Development will commit to supporting the delivery and management of the ‘Green Loop’. Hogmoor Inclosure, Bordon Inclosure and Standford Grange Farm will also be part of the local Green Grid and wider green
9.77 There should be a range of green infrastructure which can serve a range of functions. The network will comprise of areas such as public parks, gardens, amenity space, sports grounds, playing fields, open spaces, semi natural areas including woods and heaths, green corridors including rivers, cycleways and rights of way, allotments, green streets and green roofs.
9.78 Community allotments or commercial gardens will allow the production of local food. The green spaces will enhance the spatial qualities of the area, will improve biodiversity, meet the needs of the new community and improve public access to the countryside. Some areas will be multi-functional – accessible for play and recreation, walking or cycling safely and support wildlife and flood management.
9.79 Wildlife corridors will make the town more permeable for wildlife. Some areas of importance to biodiversity may need to be more restricted in terms of public access as part of the management regime.
TRANSPORT, ACCESS AND MOVEMENT POLICIES (see also Policy CP29)
POLICY CSWB11 NEW ROADS AND TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT ON THE A325
Development proposals will deliver:
the construction of an Inner Relief Road through the new development area to provide access to the development sites and to enable the redesign of the A325 which will enhance the town centre area;
a scheme of traffic management works on the existing A325 corridor;
a network of interconnecting streets to ensure that the development areas are accessible and to reduce the distance needed to travel within the town to key destinations by walking, cycling and by car.
9.80 The Inner Relief Road will be designed as a ‘Street’ and will incorporate ‘Manual for Streets’70 design principles to ensure that whilst allowing for vehicular movement, the street positively provides for other highway users, providing a safe and attractive street environment.
9.81 Traffic management works will be required on the existing A325 corridor to reduce the speed and dominance of the existing through traffic within the new town centre, and to provide a quality place to enable free-flow of movement by all modes to and within the Town Centre, reducing severance.
9.82 The Transport Assessment71 recommended that streets should be designed to maximise opportunities for walking and cycling and should follow the design principles of ‘Manual for Streets’, including Home-Zone principles and areas of ‘Car-Free’ and ‘Car Reduced’ development where high-quality sustainable transport alternatives are provided. The internal highway layout would need to ensure that the layout of carriageways, footways and crossing facilities support the intended aspirations of the development in terms of connectivity and accessibility.
POLICY CSWB12 PEDESTRIAN AND CYCLE ROUTES
Development proposals will provide:
a) A comprehensive network (Green Grid) of well signed walking and cycling routes separated from the road where possible, in and around the town. Proposals must include safe, convenient and attractive travel options for non-car modes of travel from the home to the town’s facilities, schools, service and employment areas;
b) High quality cycle parking facilities within its neighbourhood centres, the town centre, at employment locations and within each residential area.
9.83 To develop further the emerging Transport Strategy72, a Walking and Cycling Strategy73 is being prepared and will provide further levels of detailed information and strategy as the development progresses through the planning process.
9.84 The delivery of the Green Grid will be phased with development to ensure that opportunities to walk and cycle within Whitehill Bordon are delivered from the first stages of development and that these provide a genuine alternative to the private car. Longer-distance connections from Whitehill Bordon to the surrounding villages will also be provided.
9.85 High-quality and attractive cycle parking facilities will be provided from the first stages of development to ensure that cycling is an attractive form of travel within Whitehill Bordon.
POLICY CSWB13 PUBLIC TRANSPORT
Development proposals will deliver:
a high-quality, frequent, modern and attractive public transport system, comprising a ‘three-tiered’ bus system offering town-wide services, local services and strategic services to key destinations;
high-quality bus infrastructure throughout the development;
measures to safeguard the land necessary to deliver a future rail connection north from Whitehill Bordon to Bentley and a well connected, conveniently located rail station within the town; and
a Transport Hub within the new town centre to provide a focal point for all town travel information and services. Neighbourhoods will include ‘Sub-Hubs’ to act as local information points.
9.86 The three-tiered bus service will be implemented from the early stages of development. High quality bus routes will serve three levels of passenger usage:
- Local level – connecting local villages through Whitehill Bordon (medium distance, stops in village centres)
- Town level – connecting facilities within Whitehill Bordon (short distance, frequent stops within the town)
- Strategic level – connecting through Whitehill Bordon to large towns (longer distance routes, infrequent stops)
9.87 The frequency and capacity of the service will increase as demand within the town grows. The service will provide an attractive alternative to travel by the private car for local and longer distance journeys. It will provide frequent and reliable connections to the rail network. Smart Ticketing will be provided across the town’s transport systems to provide for a seamless transition between mode and hassle-free travel.
9.88 A high-quality bus infrastructure will be provided throughout the development including public transport priority measures and modern and attractive environmentally friendly bus stops and bus shelters which offer excellent travel information systems, including the provision of Real Time Passenger Information, located within 400m of each home.
9.89 Rail Feasibility Studies74 have assessed the socio-economic business case for a direct rail connection to the town, and concluded that only the Heavy Rail route from Whitehill Bordon to Bentley (operating as a ‘through’ service to London Waterloo) offered a sufficiently positive business case to warrant further study. A further study is currently underway to test this rail link in further detail.
9.90 The Transport Hub located within the new town centre will act as a transport interchange and to provide a focal point for all town travel information and services. The development areas will include a series of well located of ‘Sub-Hubs’ to act as local information points close to the town’s population.
POLICY CSWB14 TRAVEL PLANS
Development proposals will ensure the implementation of a Town-wide Travel Plan which provides an innovative and comprehensive balanced package of measures to encourage smarter travel choices to be made and to maximise opportunities for sustainable travel. The Town-wide Travel Plan will be supported by individual Travel Plans for significant travel generators within the town, including major employers, retailers and schools.
9.91 The Town-wide Travel Plan75 will be implemented before the development begins and will provide measures including personalised travel planning, cycle hire schemes, car clubs, information about vehicles with alternative fuels, quality travel information systems, measures to promote home-working and marketing and promotion campaigns.
POLICY CSWB15 LOCAL TRANSPORT NETWORK IMPROVEMENTS
Development proposals must include targeted improvements to the local transport network. The targeted improvements will be phased with development and shall include engineering measures within local villages and on key routes to discourage inappropriate traffic usage.
9.92 Targeted improvements will focus on the management and efficiency of the local network. Proposals must ensure that there are no significant detrimental impacts on the safety, capacity, and operation of the local network. Intelligent signal improvements will bring about better management of the transport network and safety improvements that will reduce the risk of accidents and provide for all modes of travel to safely use the transport network.
POLICY CSWB16 TRAVEL MONITORING
Development at Whitehill Bordon will include the implementation of an ongoing comprehensive Travel Monitoring Strategy from the first phases of development to ensure that the level, nature and impact of travel generated by the town is closely monitored to allow any detrimental transport impacts of the development to be identified, assessed and mitigated.
9.93 For details on the ongoing Travel Monitoring Strategy, see page 37 of the Emerging Transport Strategy, Hampshire County Council, September 2011. The Whitehill Bordon HRA identified that a framework to undertake air quality monitoring would need to be set up with other relevant local authorities. This would include long term monitoring of the main roads that fall within 20m of the Wealden Heaths SPA. If air quality was found not to improve then further measures would need to be devised to protect air quality. This further supports Policy CP25 ‘Pollution’.
POLICY CSWB17 CAR PARKING
Development proposals will provide car parking in accordance with the Car Parking Strategy for Whitehill Bordon. The strategy will balance the need for car parking with the need to promote sustainable transport.
9.94 Car parking management measures will be implemented from the early stages of development to ensure that parking facilities are well managed, and that the detrimental impact of informal car parking is reduced, allowing for the safe and efficient operation of the transport network76.
POLICY CSWB18 LOW CARBON VEHICLES
Development proposals will promote the use of low-carbon vehicles, including electric vehicles and other alternative low-carbon fuel technology, to reduce the carbon emissions resulting from the development. The development will promote and deliver the necessary infrastructure to support electric vehicles and alternative fuel travel.
55 http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/+/mod.uk/defenceinternet/aboutdefence/whatwedo/trainingandexercises/dttcp/ 56 Green Town Vision: Update, East Hampshire District Council, August 2008 57 Eco-town Revised Bid, Whitehill-Bordon Opportunity Eco-town, East Hampshire District Council, September 2008 58 Detailed Water Cycle Study, Peter Brett Associates, July 2011 59 The South East Plan - Regional Spatial Strategy for the South East, Government Office for the South East, May 2009 60 HRA report, Habitats Regulations Assessment for Whitehill Bordon Draft Framework Eco-town masterplan (June 2010), UE Associates, July 2011 61 High Level Viability Assessment, GVA Grimley, August 2011 (tbc) 62 Economic Development and Employment Strategy, Whitehill Bordon Eco-town Team, June 2011 63 Thames Basin Heath’s Standard for provision of SANGs Visitor Access Patterns on the Thames Basin Heaths. A Report to English Nature, Liley D, Jackson D and Underhill-Day J, 2006b 64 Transport Assessment - Key Findings Report, Whitehill Bordon Eco-town Evidence Base, Amey, September 2011 65 East Hampshire Core Strategy Preferred Policies Document, East Hampshire District Council, November 2009 66 Feed-in tariffs: The Feed-in Tariffs (FITs) scheme was introduced on 1 April 201, under powers in the Energy Act 2008, and work with the Renewable Heat Incentives, Department of Energy and Climate Change, March 2011 67 The Green Deal – A summary of Government’s proposals, Department of Energy and Climate Change, 2010 68 Land Management Report, Habitats Regulations Assessment for Whitehill Bordon Draft Framework Eco-town masterplan (June 2010), UE Associates, July 2011 69 Green Infrastructure Study for East Hampshire District Council, UE Associates, August 2011 70 Manual for Streets, Department for Transport, March 2007 - www.communities.gov.uk/publications/planningandbuilding/manualforstreets 71 Transport Assessment, Whitehill Bordon Eco-town Evidence Base, Amey, September 2011 72 Whitehill Bordon Emerging Transport Strategy, Hampshire County Council, September 2011 73 Walking and Cycling Strategy (Page 21) Emerging Transport Strategy, Hampshire County Council, September 2011 74 Whitehill Bordon Rail Study Options Selection Report, Hampshire County Council, Halcrow, February 2011 75 Whitehill Bordon Framework Travel Plan, Hampshire County Council, June 2011 76 Car Parking Strategy (Page 29) Emerging Transport Strategy, Hampshire County Council, September 2011