An outline planning application has been submitted for a housing development to be built on the outskirts of Leominster.

The development would be located in the Barons Cross area of the market town, near Morrisons supermarket.

The application is for the erection of 118 dwellings, public open space and associated works with all matters saved for access to be reserved for future approval.

The site to which this application relates is situated within the Leominster ‘Urban Fringe’ approximately 1.3km to the south west of the town centre and south of Barons Cross Road (A44). 

The site is located immediately adjacent existing residential housing to the north and east with open countryside, in the form of ‘Principal Settled Farmlands’, currently to the south.

A crucial point to note for this application however, is the site’s ‘edge of settlement’ characteristic, which is set change as a result of a large proportion of the open countryside land to the south west being proposed for the ‘Leominster Strategic Urban Expansion’ (SUE), set out within Policy LO2 of the Herefordshire Local Plan Core Strategy document. 

The settlement boundary has been extended to include the relevant land parcels required for the SUE which will also encompasses the application site as a result and therefore sandwiches the site between urban development, illustrated by the adjacent plans. The site’s previous land designation of Green Space has been removed within the latest iteration of Leominster Policies Map.

The existing site itself comprises approximately 3.9 hectares (9.6 acres) of greenfield land and occupies an elevated position overlooking the River Arrow and the surrounding hills. 

The existing use is currently agricultural with a pasture, orchard and a hay meadow, bounded by hedgerows and containing some mature trees along the periphery and within the site.

There are no historic planning applications for the site however, the allocated SUE (within both the Local and Neighbourhood Plans) is situated immediately adjacent.

The scheme has been devised by embracing the Building for a Healthy Life (BHL) design guidance. 

BHL is underpinned by the original twelve point criteria set out within BFL but integrates results of the three-year Healthy New Towns Programme led by NHS England and NHS Improvement seeking to ‘Put Health into Place’).

Building for a Healthy Life aims to assist the delivery of neighbourhoods and new places whilst thinking about and applying twelve key considerations.

Furthermore, it is designed to ‘frame’ discussions between Local Author- ities, developers, local communities and other stakeholders. 

BHL aims to assist in creating better places for both people and nature.

BHL uses the traffic light system as a ‘design process structure’ not a scoring system. 

The more green lights the better the development will be, amber lights suggest an element is not entirely resolved and red lights indicate the relevant aspect should be reconsidered.

The criteria is set out below:

Integrated Neighbourhoods

1. Natural connections

2. Walking, cycling and public transport

3. Facilities and services

4. Homes for everyone

5. Making the most of what’s there

6. A memorable character

7. Well defined streets and spaces

8. Easy to find your way around 

9. Healthy Streets

10. Cycle and car parking

11. Green and blue infrastructure

12. Back of pavement, front of home

The overall vision for the site is to create an attrac- tive ‘landscape led’ development, which will integrate seamlessly within the existing mature landscape setting, and reinforce the local character of Leominster.

It is envisaged, given the site’s location, that the pro- posal could positively contribute with the facilitation of the Leominster Strategic Urban Expansion to create a healthy, connected and pleasant new environment with a range of new dwellings fit for modern twenty-first century living.

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