Welcome to the consultation webpage for Brandhall Village
Thank you for your interest and response to the recent public consultation on the masterplan options for Brandhall Village which took place from 1 to 28 November 2021.
The Cabinet is due to consider an options analysis report on Brandhall on 20 July 2022 taking into account the results of public consultation, the recommendations of the Birmingham and Black Country Wildlife Trust and the strategic need for a new school and housing. The Council is publishing all the technical appendices relevant to this matter in advance due to the volume of additional information that has been generated over recent months. The Cabinet report will be published on 12 July 2022.
The answers to questions below mostly relate to when the masterplan proposals were presented for a public consultation on the future of the Brandhall site in November 2021. No decisions on the long-term future of the site have been agreed – options are being put to the Cabinet on 20 July 2022 to make a decision.
Brandhall Village - FAQs
What is Brandhall Village?
Our aspiration is that Brandhall Village will provide a large public park with a range of amenities, space for a primary school, new homes including affordable homes, pedestrian and cycle links and new areas for wildlife.
Who is developing the masterplan?
Sandwell Council has appointed AECOM, a multidisciplinary consultancy to develop a masterplan in consultation with the local community and stakeholders. AECOM will then work with Sandwell Council to develop an outline planning application for the site.
By developing a masterplan for Brandhall Village, working closely with the local community, we can set a clear vision for the site and use the masterplan as a tool to ensure that as future development comes forward, it aligns with the agreed development principles.
What process did the council follow to select the Brandhall site for housing in the Draft Black Country Plan?
All sites that met the Sandwell Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA) criteria were included in the draft Black Country Plan.
The National Planning Policy Framework defines the SHLAA as “a technical exercise to determine the quantity and suitability of land potentially available for housing development. It is not a site allocations exercise – the purpose is to provide a robust indication of aggregate housing capacity at local authority level.”
To be included in the SHLAA a site must be assessed against three criteria: suitability, deliverability and availability. The site had already been declared surplus by the council so met the availability test and as a previously undeveloped site with no significant unforeseen viability issues it is considered deliverable. To be considered suitable a site is assessed against relevant planning constraints and their ability to be mitigated against. But this a broad assessment, not the detailed assessment required as part of a planning application process.
In the current Local Plan which dates from 2012, the site is what is referred to as “white land” which is a term used to describe land with no specific allocation. Other than the very small area the site which is designated as a Site of Local Importance for Nature Conservation (or SLINC) and the specific open space allocation of Parsons Park, the only designation applied to the former golf course it that of a wildlife corridor. However, it is not a discrete wildlife corridor. Rather it is part of a larger corridor comprised of the entire length of the M5 motorway in Sandwell along with certain parcels of land adjacent to it.
In carrying out the broad assessment of a site for the purposes of a SHLAA, SLINCs and wildlife corridors are considered to have the potential to be mitigated and as such are not considered sufficient to deem the site unsuitable in broad terms. It is for the planning application process to consider if the such mitigation can actually be achieved.
The site was therefore included in the most recent iteration of the SHLAA having been assessed as described. As the SHLAA process considers the site to be suitable, deliverable and available, the site was included in the Draft Black Country Plan as a Housing allocation.
What process did the council follow to select the Brandhall site for housing development and a school before the site was identified for housing in the Draft Black Country Plan?
Cabinet agreed on 31 January 2018 to explore alternative options for the use of the site in accordance with the emerging local priorities of improvements to green space, education and housing provision.
The Cabinet report of 30 October 2019 then set out the process by which it was decided to identify the Brandhall site for a new park, a replacement school and new housing prior to the site being identified for housing in the Draft Black Country Plan.
The redevelopment of the site provides a unique opportunity to increase the amount of unrestricted open space in the Old Warley ward and to develop the first park in the authority’s history. Currently the former golf course is not categorised as unrestricted open space.
The existing Causeway Green Primary School is in poor physical condition. As a result, there is an identified need for a new school within this area. The school, which is a 420-place primary school, is identified as a priority for replacement due to ongoing condition issues associated with the original building construction and localised flooding.
In addition, Sandwell has a shortfall in housing land supply and the redevelopment of the site for housing would help contribute towards meeting some of the unmet housing need in Sandwell. There is the potential to provide a variety of house types and tenures to meet local needs, including providing 25% affordable housing in line with current policy.
At the meeting of 18 September 2019, the Sandwell Sport and Leisure Built Facilities Strategy Members Steering Group resolved that a recommendation be made to Cabinet to close Brandhall Golf Course and club house and that the consultation with local residents, in respect to options for the land, commence as soon as possible. On 30 October 2019 Cabinet recommended that public consultation be carried out on these three alternative options which includes a new park, replacement school and new housing.
Why are all the masterplan options variations on housing development and not suggesting alternatives?
The Cabinet meeting held in October 2019 recommended that a masterplan be prepared that included the development of a large park and a site for a replacement school for Causeway Green Primary due to the condition of the existing facility. It also recommended an area be identified for housing to meet the borough’s growing need to develop housing in line with government targets and the demand for additional housing in the area.
Why is this site not on the councils Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA)?
The site is included in the 2019/20 iteration of the SHLAA – Site reference 6999 on page 36 of the document. The document is available on the council’s website.
Why can’t the former golf course be turned into a park and managed by a trust, similar to Warley Woods?
We are aware of suggestions that the entire site should become an open space. Currently, the site is not fully accessible to the public, aside from two existing rights of way, and significant investment would be needed to transform the former golf course into a publicly accessible park.
The consultation process has highlighted the need for additional technical work to be undertaken. Council officers will produce an Options Report for the Cabinet to determine the future of the site. There will be additional options included in the report over and above the options that were initially consulted upon and these will also include new options such as a ‘Do Nothing’ option.
Who is the developer for the site?
At this stage, there are no developers on board.
However, we will test our masterplan with the market as it evolves to ensure that it is deliverable.
We are working to develop a masterplan which sets out our aspirational vision for Brandhall Village, which includes not only homes, but a large public park with a range of amenities, space for a primary school, pedestrian and cycle links and new areas for wildlife.
Should the development gain planning permission, the council would consider how best to deliver Brandhall Village.
What are the benefits of Brandhall Village to the local community?
Brandhall Village provides an opportunity to build much-needed homes, a brand-new public park, a school and local facilities. The park and facilities will be available to the existing community as well as residents of Brandhall Village.
How many new homes will be built at Brandhall Village?
As part of the masterplanning process, we're carefully considering the type and mix of homes that could be delivered at Brandhall Village. Once we know the type and mix of homes, and layout of the wider development, we will be able to estimate the number of homes that would be built.
What type of new homes would they be?
We envisage there could be a mix of tenures/ownerships on the site. Planning policy requires a minimum of 25% affordable housing. These could be affordable homes provided by registered providers of social housing, they could be council homes, or a mix of both.
Our aim is that Brandhall Village provides high quality housing that includes affordable homes, to meet the needs of current and future Sandwell residents.
To ensure the needs of local people are met, we are undertaking research on the local residential and wider development market in the early stages of our technical work.
How much and what percentage of the site do you envisage would be retained as green space after new homes and the school are built?
The five options for Cabinet to choose from at the Cabinet meeting on 20 July are:
- No change
- Developing a new public park (35 hectares plus 1.47 hectares retaining Parsons Hill Park)
- Providing land for a new primary school (2.68 hectares) and a new public park (32 hectares plus 1.47 hectares for Parsons Hill Park)
- Providing land for a new primary school (2.68 hectares), a new public park (26 hectares plus 1.47 hectares for Parsons Hill Park) and around 190 new homes (5 hectares)
- Providing land for a new primary school (2.68 hectares), a new public park (21.9 hectares plus 1.47 hectares for Parsons Hill Park) and around 360 new homes (9 hectares)
Has the plan for Brandhall Village been finalised?
No, the Cabinet is due to consider an options analysis report on Brandhall on 20 July 2022 taking into account the results of public consultation, the recommendations of the Birmingham and Black Country Wildlife Trust and the strategic need for a new school and housing.
The site has already been proposed for housing development in the draft Black Country Plan. What is the purpose of this consultation?
Although the site has been proposed for housing development in the draft Black Country Plan, there are still significant opportunities for the local community to influence the proposals. More information on the Black Country Plan can be found here.
Our vision for Brandhall Village incorporates not only new homes, but a large publicly accessible park, and space for a new primary school.
This consultation offers the local community an opportunity to influence key aspects of the masterplan including how the new Village will look, and the kinds of open space and any community facilities provided within it.
How will Policy ENV1 (Nature Conservation) of the Black Country Core Strategy be addressed?
Policy ENV1 acts to safeguard nature conservation by ensuring that SLINCS, important habitats and geological features are protected from developments that could negatively impact on them. The Brandhall Village currently has a small SLINC allocation on part of the site. This area would have to be given special consideration as part of any masterplan proposal.
The Brandhall Urban Village site is also a wildlife corridor and policy ENV1 requires that any development proposal does not impede the movement of wildlife through linear habitats. Therefore, any masterplan proposal would have to demonstrate how wildlife can still move through this linear habitat.
Policy ENV1 does acknowledge that; “Where, exceptionally, the strategic benefits of a development clearly outweigh the importance of a local nature conservation site, species, habitat or geological feature, damage must be minimised. Any remaining impacts, including any reduction in area, must be fully mitigated. Compensation will only be accepted in exceptional circumstances. A mitigation strategy must accompany relevant planning applications”.
Strategic benefits in this instance would include the scale of housing need identified for Sandwell compared to the capacity of all available brownfield sites as well as the need to provide replacement education provision.
It is a requirement of the Local Planning Authority that detailed information is submitted as part of any planning application setting out the current ecological condition of the site including both fauna and flora, and that there is evidence that either the impacts of the scheme can be suitably mitigated or the design for the site avoids harming the areas of most significant ecological and biodiversity value.
How will the sites’ suggested designation as a Core Habitat Zone in the Black Country Plan be taken into account?
This is a recent consideration and is part of the Black Country Plan response to the Environment Act, which requires local authorities to identify areas and networks where improvements can be made to habitats and ecology. There will be a statutory obligation for the creation of Local Nature Recovery Strategies.
The plan was produced in draft form by the local Wildlife Trust in April 2021 and indicates Brandhall as an area where habitat and biodiversity can be strengthened, and improvements delivered. To date, this has not been adopted or finalised, but will be an important consideration should the site be considered for development. There is an opportunity to improve and increase the biodiversity and habitat value of the site (also in line with the requirement for a minimum 10% biodiversity net gain required by the Environment Act), and this would need to be addressed in landscaping and ecological proposals in the masterplan or other elements of the design work.
The retained habitats at the site would be protected and managed to enhance their biodiversity potential. The woodland and watercourses will continue facilitate species dispersal across the site between adjacent residential areas and other parts of the River Tame Wildlife Corridor which extends to the north and south.
In including the site as a proposed allocation for housing in the Black Country Plan how has the council considered flooding and ‘open space’ not surplus against current standards (two gateway constraints)?
The Black Country Plan includes a Strategic Flood Risk Assessment (SFRA) which considered all sites that were proposed to be included in the Draft Plan. This did not identify the site as a site that is incapable of development due to the risk of flooding.
Small areas of the site fall with Flood Zones 2 and 3 with only the latter forming a gateway constraint.
The site is not currently allocated as ‘Open Space’ in the adopted Local Plan (the Sandwell Site Allocations & Delivery DPD). Public access to the site has always been restricted to the public footpaths that cross the site. Therefore, there is no loss of public open space to act as a constraint on development.
How will the proposed development take in to account and address the priority habitats protected by The Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act (2006) (NERC) Section 41 legislation?
Lowland mixed deciduous woodland (semi-natural broadleaved woodland) is the only Section 41 habitat of principal importance at the site.
The masterplan would seek to retain and protect as much lowland mixed deciduous woodland importance as possible. Any removal of woodland would be replaced to ensure that there is no net loss of this habitat at the site.
The site falls within an Area of High Historic Landscape Value (AHHLV) in the draft Black Country Plan; how has this been taken into account in the development of the masterplan?
As set out within the Black Country Historic Landscape Characterisation Study,
AHHLV 55 Brandhall Ridge and Furrow contains several areas of surviving ridge and furrow earthworks. These features may date back to the medieval or early post-medieval periods and could be remnants of the medieval open field system. The landscape had been enclosed, via a process of informal enclosure by 1814, when it is depicted on the 1814 Ordnance Surveyors Drawing. In the early 20th century the area was converted into a golf course. Environment Agency LiDAR shows surviving areas of ridge and furrow earthworks within the golf course.
The area of ridge and furrow is visible on aerial and LiDAR imaging, however due to 20th-century tree planting and long grass associated with the golf course it was not visible during site walkovers.
There is potential for previously unrecorded remains dating to the medieval period within the development site, and therefore further archaeological evaluation would need to be undertaken in order to understand the archaeological potential of the site as the masterplan progresses.
To mitigate physical impacts from future development, the areas of these surviving features could be incorporated within open spaces within the site.
The site has a 99-year deed of covenant for the Black Country Urban Forest Millennium Programme, how has this been taken into account?
The Deed of Covenant, relating to the Millennium Forest/Black Country Urban Forest affects part of the proposed site, and if necessary it will be varied by agreement [with the Millennium Commission] to ensure the scheme accommodates adequate replacement planting.
There is a covenant on the site which prevents it being developed.
The council’s legal team has investigated the title to the site, and that all the covenants that affect the site have been considered, and would need to be taken into account throughout the development planning process.
Given the site is an important wildlife corridor how will the proposed redevelopment protect and enhance biodiversity and what would any mitigations look like?
The retained habitats at the site would be protected and managed to enhance their biodiversity potential. The woodland and watercourses will continue to facilitate species dispersal across the site between adjacent residential areas and other parts of the River Tame Wildlife Corridor which extends to the north and south.
The woodland could be enhanced by selective thinning/coppicing and planting of hazel and hawthorn to enhance structural diversity and to increase their biodiversity value. The retained woodland belts (that are orientated NE-SW and N-S) could be extended to the southern boundary hedgerow to facilitate species dispersal across the site to the other parts of the River Tame Wildlife Corridor.
The culverted sections of watercourse could be removed to form open channels. Any watercourse diversions would have a sinuous alignment, soft banks with shelves stocked with plant species characteristic of the local area and large side pools. Swamp vegetation and silt could also be removed from retained pools to create more open water and increase the biodiversity value.
How will Climate Change be taken in to account in the masterplan and in any final development proposal. How will the loss of natural resources impact on Sandwell’s Carbon Neutral Policies and what mitigation if any will there be?
One of the principles in our vision for Brandhall Village is to reduce the impact on our climate and instil a number of key objectives within the masterplan which would continue to be developed as the masterplan progresses:
- Reduce embodied carbon – consideration of resource efficiency would be key in driving down the embodied carbon emissions at Brandhall Village. As we move to a net zero future, embodied carbon will become more prevalent as a total of a building’s emissions. Designing in circular economy principals such
- as designing for deconstruction or reuse will be vital for the reduction of raw material demands.
- Reduce operational energy demands and CO2 emissions to a minimum – through consideration of form, insulation, air tightness, thermal bridging, glazing, ventilation, heat recovery and utilisation of renewable energy sources as designs move to detailed stages.
- Reduce reliance on fossil fuels – by requiring no new natural gas infrastructure and instead promoting the use of electric heat pumps; and promoting more sustainable forms of transport based on a hierarchy of walking, cycling, public transport and finally private ULEV (e.g. facilitating the switch to electric vehicles).
- Maximise renewable energy generation – through the orientation of buildings and providing sufficient space to incorporate renewable technologies.
- Build in resilience to the projected impact of climate change – through the provision of green spaces, retaining as many trees as possible and through replacement planting for natural shading, utilising natural sustainable drainage systems, utilising native plant species and increasing bio-diversity net gain.
- Encourage sustainable travel – through the provision of attractive cycle paths and footways which provide convenient links to local amenities and wider public transport infrastructure.
How will the impact of the development and the loss of non-renewal tree and soil resources impact on the air quality in Sandwell and what will be the mitigation if any?
An air quality assessment has not yet been undertaken. Should it identify any adverse effects, mitigation measures would need to be identified.
How will the council ensure the loss of the green-space and the provision of new housing will not lead to more flash flooding downstream, particularly as part of the site is in Flood Zone 3?
Any future planning application would be required to provide a full Flood Risk Assessment which would be required to identify and assess all forms of flooding to and from the site and demonstrate how these flood risks would be managed, taking into account the vulnerability of the site and the potential impact of climate change. In addition, an outline surface water and foul drainage strategy would be prepared which aims to ensure that there are no significant increases in flood risk.
Additionally, evidence of suitable mitigation measures for not only the site but to ensure nothing downstream is affected by the proposals would have to be provided. Any development would also need to embed from the start the principals of sustainable drainage design.
How will the masterplan address the loss of non-renewable resources including soil resources, natural habitats and the connectivity of the wider green infrastructure of the region?
The masterplan would look to retain and protect natural habitats at the site, including the semi-natural broadleaved woodland and watercourses. Opportunities would also be sought to strip and temporarily store topsoil from areas of woodland loss and used for establishing new woodland to be planted with native trees and shrubs that are characteristic to the local area.
The retained woodland could be enhanced by selective thinning/coppicing and planting of hazel and hawthorn to enhance its structural diversity and to increase their biodiversity value.
The culverted sections of watercourse could be removed to form open channels. Any watercourse diversions could have a sinuous alignment, soft banks with shelves stocked with plant species characteristic of the local area and large side pools. Swamp vegetation and silt could be removed from retained pools to create more open water and increase the biodiversity value. Connectivity with the wider green infrastructure of the region would be achieved by enhancing the woodland and watercourse habitats to further facilitate species dispersal across the site, adjacent residential areas and other parts of the River Tame Wildlife Corridor to the north and south.
What is Sandwell Council doing to bring empty homes back into use?
The council is currently reviewing our policy and processes for bringing empty homes back into use; we deploy a number of interventions from education and advice to enforcement. We will also consider purchasing empties to become part of our council housing stock. We are currently recruiting a dedicated and specialist Empty Property Officer who will lead on the development of our policy and practice in this area of work to maximise the number of empty homes brought back into use.
Why can't the whole site become a park?
We are aware of suggestions that the entire site should become an open space. Currently, the site is not fully accessible to the public, aside from two existing rights of way. This means local people are not able to make use of this disused golf course as they would other local parks.
We are proposing to create the first new public park in Sandwell's 48-year history, which requires significant investment, and will only be possible through the development of new homes. By bringing forward a mixed use for the site, we can deliver and maintain a park and associated amenities along with much needed affordable homes.
How will wildlife and trees on the site be protected?
We recognise how important the protection of local wildlife and habitats are to residents. As part of our work, we are committed to protecting the wildlife present on the site. Where possible, we will look to mitigate impacts, enhance existing habitats and create new habitats as part of this development.
We're currently undertaking a number of surveys on the site, and in the local area, to understand the wildlife and trees currently on the site so that this information can influence the layout of the masterplan.
The masterplan will show where trees are to be retained and where new trees should be planted. In accordance with planning policy, steps would need to be taken to mitigate the impact on any animals and birds using the site. Where possible, we will aim to enhance the landscape, including trees, as part of Brandhall Village.
How are you accounting for the wildlife on site?
We're currently undertaking a number of surveys on site to understand the wildlife present. These surveys are carried out by specialist ecologists in line with recognised standards and will inform the development of the masterplan and preparation of the Environmental Statement that we produce as part of the planning application.
How can I find the results of the surveys?
The results of surveys will be submitted as part of the planning application. All documents that form the Outline Planning Application will be publicly available once the application has been validated. The Planning Application, including an Environmental Statement, will be reviewed by independent specialists.
Would Parsons Hill Park be retained?
All masterplan options presented in the July 2022 Cabinet report retain Parsons Hill Park.
Why is Sandwell Council considering building on green space?
Brandhall Golf Course is currently classed as restricted because it is not fully accessible to the public. This means local people are not able to use this green space as they would other local parks. Now the golf course is formally closed, this provides an opportunity to consider opening part of the site to local people creating, a fully accessible public park. By doing this, we would be making green space more accessible in the community.
Why is Sandwell Council considering building houses on a greenfield site when there are brownfield sites available? What brownfield sites have been/are being considered for new homes? / How does this fit with West Midlands Combined Authority / Mayor's brownfield first commitment?
The council has a brownfield first policy, meaning that brownfield sites should be considered for development first. All large brownfield sites are already allocated for housing, meaning that housing development would be supported on these sites.
The issue with some of the brownfield sites is that they are not viable for homes because of land contamination. The council is working with the landowners of brownfield sites, where possible, to support them to bring the site forward for housing. The council is also working with partners to bring forward contaminated sites for housing development using grant funding from the West Midlands Combined Authority.
However, should the housing supply from all allocated sites be brought forward, which may not be possible, there would still be a shortfall in terms of the council's current targets for housing need. The development of greenfield sites does therefore need to be considered to meet this housing shortfall.
Has the council considered the flood risk on the site and how this could affect developing it for housing?
We recognise the concerns of the local community with regard to flooding in the local area and on the Brandhall Village site. If the site proceeds further, a Flood Risk Assessment and a Drainage Strategy that sets out any sustainable mitigation to potential flood risk would need to be developed.
Wouldn't a new park just encourage more anti-social behaviour?
We would ensure through the design, management and usage of the park that it provides the opportunity for people to engage in positive activities. We would work with our Anti-Social Behaviour teams to ensure that this has a positive impact on the local community.
How will the scheme impact on the health of local residents given green-space will be lost?
At present the site is not fully accessible to local people, with access restricted to two existing public rights of way. The development of Brandhall Village provides opportunity to create a large new, accessible public park which could create a variety of leisure and recreation opportunities to help improve health and wellbeing.
In addition, the masterplan would look to encourage active travel through the provision of attractive and convenient cycle paths and footways which would provide connections to surrounding communities and local amenities.
How does the proposed align, or otherwise, to the Council’s Green Space Strategy?
Brandhall Golf Course was classed as an ‘Outdoor Sports Facility’; therefore it was not classified as public open space. Access to the site by the general public was restricted although there are public rights of way that cross the site and afforded limited access to walk across the site.
As outlined in Sandwell’s Green Space Strategy, the golf course is excluded from the Unrestricted Green Space calculations for Sandwell. This, as well as the semi-private nature of the site, means that the site was not considered accessible green space in the strategy.
Why does Causeway Green primary school need to be replaced?
The replacement of Causeway Green Primary is a priority for the council. It is the worst condition school in the local area and the building is beyond its economic life. the type and age of the building does not lead itself to refurbishment, which would be very costly and would not fully resolve some of the fundamental building issues around condition, energy efficiency, and ongoing maintenance and would be equally as disruptive to pupils and staff.
Why can’t Causeway Green school be replaced on its current site?
Consideration has been given to replacing the school on its existing site but the limited and poor site access and egress would make the new build extremely difficult to deliver and cause significant disruption to children and their families as the existing school would need to remain in use during construction. Site constraints such as the continued risk of flooding and having to design a solution around the existing school would lead to a costly solution that does not fully meet the education needs of children and teaching staff.
Where is the funding for the new school coming from?
The project would be jointly funded using School Condition funding (a DfE annual funding allocation for maintenance of the council’s maintained school estate (not academies) and from planning obligations should the site be partially developed for housing.
How many pupils would the new school have places for?
The school would remain as a 420 place 2fe (form entry) primary school with a 30 fulltime equivalent place nursery.
When could construction of a new primary school start?
The scheme would take 18 months in total with the aim of starting on site in the spring of 2023 at the latest subject to obtaining planning approval.
When would the new school be ready from?
Subject to the decision of Cabinet and any planning requirements the new school could be ready for the September 2024 academic year.
What would happen to the existing Causeway Green Primary site if it gets replaced?
Should the school be relocated, and the existing school site become surplus, the council will look to develop an option appraisal for the future use of the site. In principle, housing would be considered appropriate as it is within a predominantly residential area, however, the vehicular access to the site would require further consideration.
What and where would extra school places be provided for children who will live at Brandhall Village?
If planning approval for any residential development was granted, and the type of housing confirmed, the council would look at the number of potential school places that new homes might create. Over recent years, the council has expanded a number of local primary and secondary schools in response to a significant birth rate across the borough.
Demand for school places has eased with a fall in the latest birth rates, which will lead to a manageable surplus of places in schools that could accommodate any new demand following occupation of any new homes.
How will the council ensure that everybody has adequate access to local services (GPs etc)?
The council works with its partners, including the National Health Service at its regional level, to assess the potential levels of future demand for community services as a result of any redevelopment and compare it with the levels of existing provision. Any areas of potential shortfall of provision that are identified would then be a priority to be addressed by the partners.
How will the masterplan take in to account the impact of increase in road traffic on surrounding roads that are already busy?
Any new development would need to be supported by a full transport assessment which would identify any additional potential risk to the network in terms of injuries or congestion. Any new design would be required to provide relevant mitigation measures if required to improve safety, reduce congestion and promote sustainable travel choice.
There could be opportunities to provide sustainable routes through the development to connect existing residential developments, walking, cycling, dog walking routes as well as open space recreational areas to help deliver “Big Plans for a Great Place” from the council’s Corporate Plan and encourage active travel.
What junctions in the local area are at capacity and how will more housing impact on these junctions?
There are two major transport projects being developed which will address the capacity issues on the A4123. These are the major upgrade of Birchley Island which is fully funded, and the A4123 Corridor upgrade which forms part of the West Midlands bid for government funding through the City Region Sustainable Transport Fund. The forecast modelling for both these projects includes the potential development of the Brandhall site.
How will the proposed development impact on existing flooding along the A4123 south of the junction with Causeway Green Road which already poses a flood risk, and how is the cumulative impact of other developments in the area taken into account?
Any planning application would be required to provide a full Flood Risk Assessment and provide suitable mitigation measures for not only the site but to ensure nothing downstream is affected by the proposals.
Any development would also need to embed from the start the principles of sustainable drainage design. Sustainable drainage systems (SuDS) would attenuate surface water flows prior to discharging to a watercourse and so prevent increased flood risk. They would also provide water quality treatment for pollutants that may be conveyed to the watercourse, such as dissolved metals and sediments from roads and driveways. They also provide an opportunity for habitat creation and increased biodiversity. Examples of SuDS include wetlands, ponds, swales and bioretention systems.
How will the proposed development impact on air pollution in an area already identified as an Air Quality Management Area?
There would be a need to model and monitor the air quality based upon the preferred option for this site. The masterplan options include the retention of trees where possible and identify mitigation measure to ensure natural features are incorporated into any new development options. The introduction of a well-designed park would allow access for a range of ages and abilities to ensure everybody can benefit from outdoor leisure opportunities.
The masterplan options put forward encourage more active travel with the introduction of walking and cycling routes to provide additional transport choices to and through the area.
How will the proposal address potential increase in accidents on the A4123 due to increased access requirements?
Any new development would need to be supported by a full transport assessment which will identify any additional potential risk to the network in terms of injuries or congestion. Any new design would be required to provide relevant mitigation measures if required to improve safety, reduce congestion and promote sustainable travel choice