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Frequently asked questions

We have addressed your most common questions and issues about the proposals for Elm Grove.

Where is the site?

The site is located on the south-eastern edge of Trowbridge. It is located north of the A363, either side of Drynham Lane, and is bordered to the east by the mainline railway. The northernmost portion of the site includes the parcel of land between Drynham Road and the railway line.

Why is development proposed at this site?

The site is adopted as an allocation for new homes and public open space in Wiltshire Council's Housing Sites Allocation Plan (WHSAP). The allocation has been through an examination process and is supported by the Planning Inspector and was formally adopted by Wiltshire Council in early 2020.

What are the development proposals?

The development responds directly to an allocation in the Wiltshire Housing Site Allocations Plan for 260 new homes and extensive public open recreation space, informal landscaping and ecology corridors. We have also identified to opportunity to deliver an enlarged and enhanced public recreation space incorporating improvements to the poorly drained and underutilised Queen Elizabeth II field at Elm Grove recreation ground to make it suitable for year-round use.

How will the development be accessed?

As required by Wiltshire Council's highways department, the residential development will be accessed from two points; one a mini-roundabout at the eastern end of the existing Wiltshire Drive distributor road, and the other a new priority junction on the A363 as it leads into the White Horse Business Park on additional land acquired from the Business Park by Coulston Estates. The two access junctions to the residential development will be linked by a spine road. In response to public feedback during our consultation, we have specifically designed this road as a tree-lined 20mph route, with infrastructure to control traffic speeds and make it undesirable as a through route and thus discouraging “rat-running”. The spine road has been rerouted in response to feedback from local councillors, residents and the local MP to move it significantly further away from existing residential development. Direct access from the A363 will provide access to the site for construction traffic, minimising the potential for disruption to residents in Wiltshire Drive.

Pedestrian and cycle access through the site will be significantly improved as part of the proposed development. Drynham Lane between Wiltshire Drive and Drynham itself will be downgraded to a Restricted Byway for pedestrian and cycle use with the existing Public Footpath to the White Horse Business Park being upgraded to allow shared use with cyclists. A new pedestrian and cycle link will be created between Wiltshire Drive and the Public Footpath link to the White Horse Business Park. The western section of Drynham Lane towards the A363 Woodmarsh roundabout will also be downgraded to a Restricted Byway to give full priority to pedestrians and cyclists. The overall site will be highly permeable for pedestrians and cyclists.

What level of affordable housing will be delivered at the site?

Affordable housing will be provided at a level in line with local policy, at circa 30%.

What contributions are being made to local services such as schools and doctors' surgeries?

The development will generate significant financial contributions which can be used for local services through Section 106 agreement, Community Infrastructure and the New Homes Bonus.

We will also be providing a new community hub to incorporate changing facilities for the new junior playing fields. This hub will also have the potential to be made available for community hire as a space for meetings and other community events.

What will the houses look like?

This is an outline planning application to establish the principle and parameters of development. Therefore the design of the houses themselves is not established at this stage. Full details of the new housing will be agreed through a subsequent reserved matters planning application in the even that outline planning permission is granted.

Will development here cause flooding?

A detailed assessment has been made of the existing flood risk in this area, and the potential impact of this development. This exercise identified that the main influence on existing flood risk is blocked watercourses or culverts, and the configuration of the culvert that takes Drynham Brook under the railway line. As part of the development it is proposed to remove lengths of culvert and increase the channel capacity on site, and also improve the hydraulic efficiency of the railway culvert. This reduces the risk to existing land and properties alongside the site.

The development will increase the amount of impermeable land. To offset that a surface water drainage system is proposed to slow the speed of runoff from the site and attenuate it in specially designed locations. This will act to reduce the amount of runoff from the existing situation.

The assessment has demonstrated no detrimental flood risk impact downstream of the site.

What response has there been to the proposed site allocation?

The site allocation has been supported by Trowbridge Town Council and North Bradley Parish Council. In the case of North Bradley Parish Council, it is the only allocation to receive their support, as it is the only development that doesn't involve unconstrained sprawl into greenfield land, as it is bounded on all sides by development – an A road to the south, a railway line to the east, and Trowbridge to the north and west.

The revised allocation has now been through a public examination, where it was supported by the Government's Planning Inspector and since been adopted by Wiltshire Council at Full Council in early 2020.

Why is a school no longer proposed as part of the development?

A previous version of the allocation for the site included a requirement to provide a new two-form entry primary school. Wiltshire Council had asked that this be built on part of the existing Elm Grove recreation ground, with new recreation being space being provided. During our consultation with the local community, the need for this school was questioned. Based on this response, Wiltshire Council carried out a review of projected demand for school places, and in consultation with local headteachers determined that existing schools had the capacity for growth and investment and that therefore the new school is not required. The school has therefore been removed from the allocation and from our development proposals. This ensures that the Elm Grove recreation ground is protected in its entirety. We will be enhancing the recreation ground with improved drainage, and it will form part of a much larger area of public open space including new junior playing fields as required by policy.

If planning permission is received, when will the development be started/completed?

It is difficult to say at this stage given the uncertainties of the planning system. If outline planning consent is granted, we would then need to submit a reserved matters application to agree the detail. Only once that was approved could development commence.