Posted: Mon 20th Nov 2023

Castle Green Homes unveils 300-home development plan for Mancot

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Monday, Nov 20th, 2023

A developer has this morning launched a consultation on plans to build a 300-home development on fields between Ash Lane in Mancot and Park Avenue in Hawarden.

Castle Green Homes plans to submit a planning application for a new housing development on a 27.33-acre site located west of Gladstone Way.

The site, currently agricultural land, is designated for residential development in the Flintshire Local Development Plan.

The proposal includes 105 homes classed as affordable housing.

According to Castle Green’s website, the homes will range from one-to-four-bedroom properties, including various types such as flats, terraced, semi-detached, and detached houses, catering to a diverse group of buyers.

The development will feature vehicular and pedestrian access from Gladstone Way and Ash Lane, public open spaces, a play area, structural landscaping, and sustainable drainage systems.

The homes will be energy-efficient, with features like double glazing, insulated flooring, and high-standard roof and wall insulation.

Castle Green states that “in addition to the provision of on-site public open space, Castle Green Homes will agree to a range of financial contributions with the local planning authority as part of the planning application, to provide funding for the improvement of local facilities and infrastructure to mitigate the impact of the development.”

“The dwellings, roads, and associated landscaping will be designed and constructed to a high standard and will be entirely in keeping with the character of the surrounding area and in accordance with relevant policies within the Flintshire Local Development Plan, offering a well-considered and attractive place to live for future residents and make a significant contribution to meeting the identified housing needs of Flintshire.”

A design and access statement published as part of the consultation states that technical reports have been completed, ‘suggesting no significant issues that would prevent granting planning permission. Conditions and obligations are proposed to mitigate the impact of the development.’

It adds that the development of 300 homes will significantly contribute to local housing needs in Flintshire and that the benefits of granting planning permission outweigh any reasons for denial.

It asserts that the development constitutes sustainable development and recommends that permission should be granted ‘without delay.’

The design and access statement notes that the land sits within ‘Flood Zone A, considered at low risk of flooding, according to Natural Resources Wales.’

It adds that the site is not at risk from surface water nor subject to special landscape or nature conservation designations.

The document notes that the site is near heritage assets including the Grade I listed St Deiniol’s Ash Farmhouse, which is an important manor house with historical significance.

In September and October 2023, the Clwyd Powys Archaeological Trust conducted a heritage impact assessment.

The assessment noted that the development would cause some urban encroachment into the rural area around St Deiniol’s Ash Farmhouse, with a ‘low adverse impact’ on the heritage site, mainly affecting views from the north and upstairs windows of the farmhouse.

However, from other directions, the farmhouse’s setting would not be affected.

‘With strategic tree planting to obscure the development from the farmhouse’s northern view, the negative impact was deemed slight.’

The assessment followed national guidelines and concluded that the development meets the national and local policies for historic environment protection.

The development comprises 16 different types of housing units.

These include a variety of flats and 2-story terraced, semi-detached, and detached homes, with sizes ranging from 1 to 4 bedrooms.

The distribution is as follows:

Affordable housing includes: 12 one-bedroom apartments (4%), 44 two-person 2-bed end/mid terrace homes (14.67%), 40 three-person 3-bed end terrace homes (13.33%), and 9 six-person 4-bed semi-detached homes (3%).

Open market housing includes: 33 two-bedroom 2-story end/mid terrace homes (11%), 36 three-bedroom 2-story end terrace homes (12%), 32 three-bedroom 2-story semi-detached homes (10.67%), 49 three-bedroom 2-story detached homes (16.33%), and 45 four-bedroom 2-story detached homes (15%).

The affordable homes will consist of a mix of 1-bedroom apartments and 2-to-4-bedroom houses.

These homes will be distributed in small clusters across the site to ensure a phased delivery and will be indistinguishable in design from market housing to support a cohesive community. The delivery of the affordable housing will be in partnership with Clwyd Alyn and the Council’s Housing Strategy officer.

A report aimed at assessing and mitigating the impact of site works on amphibians, badgers, and hedgehogs outlines ‘Reasonable Avoidance Measures’ to prevent disturbing these species, which include:

Clearing vegetation in suitable temperatures and after ecological checks. Chipping and removing or relocating cut material. Conducting a hand search post-clearance to relocate any found animals. Keeping vegetation at a mown length after cutting. Using existing tracks for vehicles to minimize disruption. Halting work and contacting Ascerta if protected species like Great Crested Newts (GCN) are found. Securing trenches and large pipes at night to prevent animals from becoming trapped. Storing construction material in a way that doesn’t create habitat for hedgehogs. Avoiding vegetation clearance and building demolition during bird nesting season, or ensuring no nesting birds are present.

The report concludes that, with these measures in place, there will be no harm to the protected species.

Coal Authority records show six mine shafts on the site, three of which have been filled.

Documents note that ‘no extensive coal seam workings were found, except in the northern part.’

‘Traditional capping of shafts isn’t viable due to ground conditions like drift and shallow groundwater.’

‘The shafts are shallow, around 30m to the Main Seam. Risks are to be mitigated by full depth grouting of the shafts; if that’s not possible, the upper sections will be proof drilled and grouted, and a piled cap constructed.’

According to the design and access statement, the site will have two vehicular and pedestrian accesses, one from Gladstone Way with a new 3-arm priority junction, and another from Ash Lane, also with a 3-arm priority junction.

Both accesses will have 5.5-meter carriageways, 6-meter entry radii, and 2-meter footpaths on each side.

The internal road layout is designed to ensure safe pedestrian movement and to promote non-car travel, including a new pedestrian/cycleway connecting to a public footpath.

Opposition

Castle Green will face fierce opposition from local residents over the plans to develop the land.

A decade ago, the Gladstone Estate proposed developing this parcel of land, but it faced opposition from the local community, leading to its withdrawal by the Flintshire County Council (FCC) due to ‘non-planning reasons’.

Since then, the land has been accepted as part of the council’s Local Development Plan, a decision which prompted the local community to renew their campaign against it.

A petition launched in 2019 opposing ‘the allocation and development for housing of land between Ash Lane and Park Avenue in Mancot’ gathered 2,500 signatures.

The community has substantial objections due to its impact on local infrastructure and environment.

Key concerns include overcrowded schools, with Sandycroft Primary and Hawarden Village Church School already over-subscribed, and exacerbated traffic and safety issues.

Healthcare facilities, such as GP surgeries and dentists, are limited and struggling to meet current demands.

The proposed development area is also prone to flooding, a significant risk considering severe flooding in Lower Mancot and Sandycroft, as witnessed by the recent storms.

Residents say the development will also result in the loss of green belt land and lead to unsustainable growth for a village with existing facilities and infrastructure. The local transport services, already cut back, would be further strained.

Alyn and Deeside politicians Mark Tami MP and Jack Sargeant MS have both raised concerns over the development of the land.

Mark Tami expressed serious concerns about the risk of flooding and the potential negative impact on the unique characters of Hawarden and Mancot villages.

Jack Sargeant MS pointed out the flooding issues in Mancot and Sandycroft due to overdevelopment.

He argues that building more houses on the hill will worsen the flooding problem and has called for a halt on house-building in the area until proper flood defences are established, emphasising the need for real solutions rather than temporary fixes.

Speaking to Deeside.com last week, Cllr Swash said: “Our local campaign against this proposed development was the biggest campaign of its kind in Flintshire’s history.”

“The proposal coming forward represents a complete trampling over the wishes and views of local residents.”

“It sets an incredibly dangerous precedent for local authorities and private developers to team up to so seriously undermine the will of the local community.”

“Far from helping the housing crisis, this development will only make it worse.”

“It will flood our community with boilerplate homes that will overwhelm our local infrastructure and be unaffordable for the vast majority of people who need to buy a home locally.”

Flintshire County Council voted in favour of adopting its Local Development Plan in January.

It has replaced the Flintshire Unitary Development Plan.

The LDP seeks to guarantee a housing land supply that provides 7,870 dwellings to meet a housing requirement of 6,950 dwellings.

Full deatils can be found here: https://planning.castlegreenhomes.uk/application/gladstone-way-mancot/

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