Toad’s Hole Valley FAQs

 

Following the public consultation in December, St Congar has tried to address a large number of the questions and queries raised through both written and verbal feedback.

 

THE APPLICATION

Why was there no detail shown at the exhibition?

St Congar will be bringing forward an outline application for the site.

An outline application sets out the principles/parameters for the development, such as layout, height, the uses on the site and means of access. An outline application would not include details such as the appearance of the development or the type of materials used.

Before building works can start a reserved matters planning application would need to be submitted and granted by Brighton and Hove City Council. This application would deal with all remaining details about the development.   

Why 825 homes?

The site is allocated in Brighton and Hove Council’s City Plan to deliver a minimum of 700 new homes. The Council’s policy document also states that 50-75 homes must be built per hectare.

The Council also specified in the City Plan how much land should be used for other uses such as open space and space for a secondary school. When that is taken into account the area of land for housing stands at 16.5 hectares meaning the minimum number of homes would be:

16.5 hectares of housing land x 50 dwellings per hectare = 825 homes

Why develop this site, why not focus on the development of brownfield sites in Brighton and Hove?

Toad’s Hole Valley has been identified by the Council as a prime site for a significant development. There is a large need for new homes in Brighton and Hove. The Council is aiming to deliver at least 13,200 new homes between 2010 and 2030, which is roughly 660 new homes each year.  Development at Toad’s Hole Valley will deliver over one year’s housing supply on one site, with supporting infrastructure. Attempting to redevelop smaller brownfield sites would not be able to provide the same level of vital housing for the area.

Why is Court Farm not part of the proposed development?

Court Farm is in different ownership to the rest of the site. This land received planning permission in 2017 for it’s own redevelopment and as such cannot be included as part of St Congar’s proposals.  

TRAFFIC, PARKING AND SUSTAINABLE TRANSPORT

How will more accesses and a lower speed limit help?

At present the configuration of King George VI Avenue is not suitable for the surrounding, predominately residential area. The road encourages fast moving vehicles and is an inappropriate environment for pedestrians. Neighbouring roads cope with similar volumes of traffic and have multiple access and egress points. These residential roads encourage drivers to adapt their driving style to match the area.

The purpose of the proposals to increase the number of access points, as well as lowering the speed limit from 40mph to 30mph, is to change the nature of the road to suit a more residential area, as is the vision of the Council. This will help to create a standard street environment where drivers adhere to the appropriate speeds.

How will the new junctions improve the road?

The new signalised junctions will cater for the majority of traffic from the Toad’s Hole Valley development and will be designed to accommodate both existing and additional traffic. By providing a signal junction towards the south of the site the flow of vehicles will be better managed and improve the egress from Goldstone Crescent. As a result of the new junctions, the current queues along Goldstone Crescent would be removed and the resulting rat running along Woodland Drive reduced.

Why can’t there be access from the roundabout at the top of King George VI?

Access from the roundabout would be required to go through Court Farm, which is in different ownership to the rest of the site. This land received planning permission in 2017 for it’s own redevelopment and as such cannot be included as part of St Congar’s proposals. 

Why can’t there be access from the A27?

Access to Toad’s Hole Valley from the A27 presents a number of significant challenges. The topography of the area means the A27 runs at a high level upon a steep bank on the northern boundary of the site. To include a suitable access road from the A27 to Toad’s Hole Valley would be costly and require a substantial amount of space, which could be better utilised.

Won’t traffic just queue down the hill at peak times?

Capacity studies are being undertaken on the majority of junctions within the area, the new signals have been designed with additional capacity with this in mind. These proposed changes will be subject to checks by the Council in order to meet their requirements.

Will this create more air pollution?

As part of the proposals, methods to remove unnecessary Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV) traffic and encourage the use of the A27 and A293 to access Brighton and Hove will be considered. The reduction in the number of HGVs and the reduction of vehicles sitting idle in traffic will minimise the impact on air pollution.

Are you just looking at this road or the wider network?

The proposals take into account the wider network. As part of the proposals, St Congar were asked to consider the A27 with the A293, Hangleton Road and the A23, together with numerous junctions within the local area, when formulating the plans.

Why will changing King George VI to a single carriageway help congestion?

King George VI Ave is not a dual carriageway, it is a single carriageway with a lane to allow slower vehicles to be passed, especially HGVs, for only two thirds of the road. As the character of the road changes to fit within a residential area, with a lower speed limit and less HGVs, this additional lane is not needed.

How many parking spaces will be provided?

The car parking standards set out by the Council requires there to be 1 space per home, plus 1 additional space per two homes for visitors. St Congar’s proposals intend to provide more parking than is required to ensure every property has adequate spaces, rather than rely on street parking or overspill to surrounding residential streets. For example, a 3-bed property would have 2 spaces instead of the only 1 required by the Council.

The proposals will also encourage greater use of sustainable public transport, although it is important people have a place to park their car even if they choose to rely on other modes of transport.

What route will the number 21 bus take?

The number 21 bus will enter the site from King George VI Drive, across King George VI Ave via a bus only access on the Drive, it would then loop around the site, where it will lay over before returning to King George VI Drive to continue the existing route. The existing bus route beyond Toad’s Hole Valley will remain the same.

Will the bus be more frequent?

St Congar are speaking to the operator about running the service longer and more frequently. As part of the proposals, St Congar will be will be giving a financial contribution to the Council for investment in areas such as public transport.

Will there be a cycle lane down Goldstone Crescent?

Yes, it would utilise the pavement on the southern side of Goldstone Crescent together with part of the verge.

Why is this needed?

All modes of travel need to be considered, not just cars and buses. This link would improve the connection from the South Downs to Brighton & Hove through Toad’s Hole Valley and provide an attractive and viable alternative to driving for local people. The cycle lane will enable residents to cycle to the city centre, reducing the level of traffic and alleviating the level of parking within the city.

THE PROPOSALS

Will there be medical facilities included within the plans?

St Congar is happy to provide health facilities within the proposals and is in conversation with the Council and health providers to explore the provision of medical facilities within Toad’s Hole Valley.

What does “managing” the Site of Nature Conservation Interest (SNCI) mean?

Currently the SNCI is “unmanaged”, meaning it is currently overgrown, inaccessible and misused. St Congar’s proposals include managing the SNCI, meaning the creation of new pedestrian and cycle paths, the restoration of the dew pond, and other methods to increase the diversity of habitats.

When will the homes be built?

It is very difficult to accurately estimate when the homes will be built, due to the large number of factors that can influence the process. A very indicative guide would be:

·       First quarter of 2018 – submission of the outline proposals to Brighton and Hove City Council

·       Third quarter of 2018 – a decision on the outline application

·       First quarter of 2019 – if the outline permission is successful, submission of the reserved matters application

·       Third quarter of 2019 – if the reserved matters application is successful, beginning of construction, to be conducted in 200/300 home ‘blocks’

·       First quarter of 2021 – completion of the first homes

·       2027/28 – completion of all the homes 

 

Will there be a school included as part of the proposals?

After consultation, Brighton and Hove Council believe it will be necessary to include a secondary school within Toad’s Hole Valley, as per the City Plan. Therefore, St Congar will be providing 5 hectares for a secondary school to meet the local requirements of Brighton and Hove.

The development will put too much pressure on local infrastructure – why should it go ahead?

As part of the proposals St Congar will be giving a financial contribution to the Council through the Section 106 Agreement which will allow the Council to continue to invest in local services to cope with the increased amount of people using them. In addition, the proposals include a provision for a space for community use.

How will wildlife move around the development?

The Masterplan has been designed to retain a core wildlife corridor at least 10-15m (33-50ft) wide that wraps around the eastern and northern boundaries of the site, and connects directly into the SNCI. This will allow wildlife to freely move in and out of the site along the A27 embankment, which is the key means of dispersal for species such as Slow-worm, Common Lizard and Hazel Dormice.

Within the developed area, several wide green corridors run both north/south and east/west, all connecting back into the A27 embankment and the SNCI. These will include tree clumps and scrub as well as areas of longer grass, to provide cover for wildlife.

Garden and boundary fences will be designed to allow wildlife such as Hedgehogs to pass through.

How will wildlife be protected during construction?  

Construction areas will be securely fenced off with temporary fencing at all times to prevent larger animals from entering construction areas, and to prevent accidental damage to retained habitats. Excavations will be covered at night. Best practice measures will be followed in order to prevent pollution, as well as excessive dust, noise, vibrations and lighting.

Vegetation clearance will be undertaken in stages and timed to avoid sensitive periods for wildlife, such as nesting and hibernation seasons. All vegetation clearance will be directed and supervised by an experienced ecologist, and site workers will be fully briefed on the wildlife interest of the site and the protection measures that are in place.

Smaller animals, such as Slow-worm and Common Lizard, will be captured over a period of months prior to clearance, and released into suitable habitat on or off site. Special exclusion fencing will be installed to prevent animals from re-entering the construction area.

Construction will also be phased in such a way as to ensure that undisturbed habitat remains available for wildlife at all times, including corridors connected to the SNCI and A27 embankment.

Will there be a greater flood risk?

No, any surface water runoff will be managed by attenuation and controlled discharge directly into the ground (a site investigation has confirmed that the site geology makes the site suitable for this method). A series of basins/ponds, swales, soakaways and areas of permeable paving will be used to control surface water flows, they will also act as a buffer to store water during periods of high rainfall, then discharge rainwater to the ground.