Location: Green Lane, Nazeing, Essex
The proposed development represents an opportunity to provide employment and residential uses on a site which is due to be allocated for employment use and removed from the Green Belt with the adoption of Epping Forest’s emerging Local Plan.
The site is situated on the eastern side of Green Lane in Nazeing. It is currently vacant and contains a mixture of existing residential and former commercial uses on open land. Part of the site has historically been used as a haulage and transport depot, as established by two lawful development certificates approved in 2008 and 2010.
The site is overgrown and makes little to no contribution to the local area. It is very well contained and does not contribute to the area’s visual amenity or landscape character. The site is bounded to the north and west by residential properties along Old Nazeing Road and Green Lane, to the east by a local nature reserve, and by a residential dwelling and commercial units to the south.
Epping Forest Council will soon be adopting its Local Plan, that will shape the District for the coming years until 2033. The Local Plan sets out the strategy to meet the economic and housing growth in the District, identifying potential sites for development and regeneration.
Within the Local Plan the site is to be removed from the Green Belt, and the southern half of the site is allocated for employment use under designation NAZE.E1.
Our proposals seek the the delivery of a new commercial scheme of 32 units and associated parking, along with 5 residential homes. The majority of the employment space is to be located to the south of the site, with the residential homes and some employment space to the north. At this stage we are seeking advice from the Local Planning Authority on an outline application for a mixed-use scheme, with all matters reserved except for access.
The southern part of the site would provide new employment opportunities by introducing high quality floorspace for small and medium sized businesses contributing to the local economy. The principle of employment uses on the southern part of the site fully accords with the NAZE.E1 employment designation within the emerging Local Plan. The proposed commercial space will make a significant contribution towards local economic and employment objectives in place of the current low grade redundant site.
The residential element on the northern part of the site is supportable in the context of the surrounding residential character of the area to the north and west, and is in keeping with the site’s current mix of residential and former commercial use. The new homes will contribute to addressing acute local housing need.
The development proposals will seek to integrate biodiversity improvements through extensive landscaping to ensure there is a net biodiversity gain as a result of the development. Significant soft landscaping and tree planting is proposed, particularly along the boundaries of the site, to create a landscape buffer that will visually enhance the street scene.
Transport and Access
Access to the commercial element of the scheme will be from the existing access on Green Lane, which will be upgraded as part of the proposals. A separate access from Green Lane is proposed for the new housing. These will ensure that the employment and residential portions of the scheme will be served appropriately. The existing access onto Old Nazeing Road will only be used for pedestrians and cycling.
A new pedestrian access along the northern boundary of the site is proposed to provide the existing houses along this section of Old Nazeing Road with rear access to their gardens.
Detailed highways drawings will be provided as part of the planning application to demonstrate that the scheme is acceptable in highways terms.
Sufficient parking will be provided within both the employment and residential elements of the scheme in accordance with Epping Forest’s adopted Parking Standards. The application will be accompanied by a Transport Assessment to demonstrate that it does not result in any unacceptable increase in traffic generation or compromise highway safety
The site is within Flood Zones 2 and 3. However, the Flood Zone 2 land benefits from flood defences, which protects the majority of the southern part of the site where employment uses are proposed. To address these risks the application will accompanied by a Flood Risk Assessment which will address the requirements of the Sequential Test and Exceptions Test. Flood mitigation will form an important element of the scheme’s design to ensure there is no increased risk of flooding elsewhere.
At this stage we are seeking advice on an outline application with all matters reserved apart from access. In due course the detailed design will need to be assessed in terms of design quality, external materials, noise, residential amenity, waste and recycling facilities, surface water drainage arrangements, on site management, and reuse of water, low carbon and renewable energy measures.
The application will also be accompanied by heads of terms outlining proportionate contributions towards primary school expansion, highways and junctions upgrades, local utility upgrades and the improvements of open spaces in the local area.
The existing site represents an inefficient and underutilised use of space. It makes a sub-optimal contribution to the local economy and does not contribute to local and strategic housing need.
The principle of a mixed-use development of the scale and composition proposed is supported by emerging local policy. The proposed commercial units will provide new high quality and efficient employment-generating space, in line with the site allocation (NAZE.E1). The northern part of the development will provide new family-sized residential units addressing local housing need. The scheme will yield a range of local benefits which weigh in support of the development, which include:
- New employment provision on the land designated under NAZE.E1.
- Much needed new housing.
- Pedestrian access to the rear gardens of the housing along Old Nazeing Road.
- Visual enhancements to the street scene along Green Lane.
- Enhancements to biodiversity and ecology habitat across the site.
- Significant new soft landscaping and tree planting throughout the site.
- Significant boost to local jobs and the economy through new employment uses and construction.
- Wider socio-economic and environmental benefits through the delivery of a sustainable new development.