New planning application for Wessex Fields link road and junction

Posted on Friday 19th October 2018

Plans for a new link road and junction directly connecting the A338 with the Wessex Fields business park are still being progressed, with a new planning application underway.

The new planning application is in the process of being submitted to the Local Planning Authority and will be subject to the 30 day statutory consultation period. 

The proposed scheme will improve the transport infrastructure in this part of the town by creating a new access from the A338 to the Wessex Fields Business Park.

If approved the scheme has the potential to create around 2,000 new jobs at Wessex Fields business park, safeguard the existing 10,000 jobs in the area, as well as provide a much needed second access to the Royal Bournemouth Hospital site.

With support from Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, the Council submitted a planning application at the end of last year which has been subject to public consultation and demonstrates the independent nature of the relationship between the Council as both the applicant for this scheme and the Local Planning Authority.  During this time the Council in its capacity as the applicant has positively addressed a number of issues and concerns raised by the Local Planning Authority and statutory consultees including Wessex Water, Natural England, Historic England and the Environment Agency.    This process has resulted in the Council in its capacity as the applicant to submit additional information as part of the planning application process. 

Due to the complexity of the original planning application and the number of changes being brought forward, a new planning application will be submitted taking on board all the additional information, and addressing the feedback that has been raised.   

Larry Austin, Service Director for Environment, said; “Since submitting the planning application, significant progress has been made to address the issues and concerns raised by statutory consultees and the local community. We are pleased to report that the holding objection from Wessex Water has now been removed, and there is agreement in principle from Natural England, subject to planning conditions and funding arrangements.

“As the applicant, the Council has listened carefully to the concerns raised and we have amended the plans accordingly.  A new planning application will streamline this feedback and allow a much clearer and accurate picture of what is now being proposed to be submitted.”

The most notable elements from the feedback that form part of the new planning application include: 

Re-alignment of the spine road:  To address concerns about the impact of the proposed road from the A338 to Deansleigh Road on adjacent properties, the alignment will be changed to ensure that noise mitigation can be provided using a reasonable height fence and landscaping proposals.

Cob barn: Historic England submitted a response and the new planning application will include the retention of the Cob Barn

Sustainable Travel: A major element of the scheme is to provide enhanced facilities for pedestrians, cyclists and bus users leading to more sustainable journeys in the area. The plans include new walking and cycling routes connecting Wessex Fields to the Stour Valley Way, as well as new pedestrian/ cycle links between Deansleigh Road and Riverside Avenue. 

Greenbelt: A Nature Reserve is proposed adjacent to the development site which will enable improved public access to the greenbelt.

Trees: All veteran trees will be retained as part of the proposed scheme. Substantial work has been undertaken to ensure that they are protected to ensure their longevity, and they form an integral part of the landscaping proposals.

Flooding: Whilst a section of the scheme will be in the outer extent of the River Stour floodplain, and there is a small loss of capacity for the flood plain, this is off-set by a new landscape design.  These will also form part of the landscaping features and contribute towards making this area a place where people can spend leisure time in a green open space.

Air quality: assessments on the proposed scheme show that there will be eligible impact on air quality.

Street lighting: will be in the development site only and not on the new junction and overbridge. Embankment planting is planned to shield light from vehicle headlights, particularly in relation to nearby housing.

The new planning application will consist of Phase 1 and Phase 2. At the current time, only Phase 1 has secured funding from Dorset LEP through the Local Growth Fund*, with construction due to commence in Spring 2019 subject to planning consent.  Work on Phase 2 will only commence when appropriate funding has been made available.


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