Published on Sunday, 11th February 2018

 

Draft plans for 130 houses and flats on the Fraser Range site were shown to the public at the start of last week. As expected, the two main existing buildings are retained and converted to housing, while the new units proposed are largely on existing buildings or parking areas.

 

The quality of the design is good and the buildings do not go over four storeys in height. Obviously this is a very sensitive site and ecological issues will be of central importance. While it is intended to leave the eastern end of the site undeveloped, there are unanswered questions about the impact on bird and plant life. Flood defences are also a key issue, with the developer liable for the full cost of protecting the area.

 

On a positive note, the scheme includes an extension to the England Coastal Path, which in conjunction with an extension around the Southern Water site would mean a full path around that part of the coastline.

 

Any additional housing would also put pressure on school places and on the road network. However as this location is brownfield land in planning law, it won’t be possible to refuse permission on those grounds. The most the council will be able to do is secure some funding to try and mitigate the problem.

 

There is no planning application at this stage, although one is likely in the next couple of months. That means we do not yet know whether any social housing will be included; my expectation though is that it will not be. The developers are running a consultation on their website (www.fraserrange.co.uk), where there is more information.

 

Tags: Housing, Planning