Constraints and opportunities
The concept layout plan set out later has been prepared to respond to a number of factors that make the site and its surrounding context distinctive. These include:
- Proximity and links to local community facilities
The site is well located with high levels of accessibility for pedestrians and cyclists to key local facilities and services - approximately 800m to the facilities on Liddymore Road and adjacent to the Knights Templar School.
- Existing neighbouring development
A number of existing properties border the site on Cherry Tree Way, Admirals Close, Alamein Road and Normandy Avenue. Liddymore Farm lies immediately to the southwest and is accessed from Alamein Road.
- Transport and access
There is potential to create a new access into the site from Doniford Road to the north while the ability to provide new and improved pedestrian and cycling links creates an opportunity to assist in pedestrian and cycle access on the eastern side of Watchet. This would also offer a significant improvement for vehicular traffic currently using the narrow lanes in this area.
The application site includes 5 irregularly shaped and predominantly south facing fields. To the south, the site is at approximately 20m Above Ordnance Datum (AOD) at its lowest, rising to a height of 48m AOD at the highest point.
- Landscape and visual
The landscape and visual sensitivity of the scheme is an important factor in shaping the masterplan. Development should be kept to the lower areas of the site, reducing its visual prominence when viewed from the wider landscape - reflecting the character of the existing settlement and historic urban forms.
The Doniford Stream lies to the southwest, which divides into two subsidiary streams within fields to the south. The majority of the site lies within flood zone 1 (less than 1 in 1,000 years' chance of flooding) with a small area to the south within flood zone 2 (between 1 in 100 years and 1 in 1,000 years' chance of flooding). Attenuation areas are proposed within flood zone 2 and built form is not proposed within this area.
The northern area of the site falls within a local County Wildlife Site. There is also a public right of way that connects Alamein Avenue (to the south) to Liddymore Road (to the northwest). A carefully thought out layout should seek to retain and enhance these existing features.
- Ecology, Trees and Hedgerows
There are a number of trees and hedgerows that line the boundaries to the application area with a number of groups having a Tree Preservation Order that would be protected as part of any scheme. There is a badger sett and large areas of overgrown scrub within the fields to the north, along the ridge. There are also a number of existing hedgerows on the site that provide valuable habitat.
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