Purpose of this Consultation
Emery Planning will shortly be submitting a planning application for a residential development of 10 new houses at Dyers Court Mill Pond, on behalf of the land owner.
We have been working alongside the award-winning The CAVE architects and other specialist consultants to create a high-quality scheme which satisfies an unmet need for local family housing. It would also secure the long-term future and management of the Mill Pond as an attractive area of open water reflective of its past, for existing and future residents of Bollington.Initial consultation has already taken place with the Town Council and we are now seeking views from the local community. This website sets out the details of the proposed development and provides an opportunity to make comments that will inform the final scheme for submission to the local planning authority.
The Site and Planning Context
The site comprises a mill pond and immediately adjacent land on the eastern edge of Bollington. It is enclosed by a stone wall onto the Ingersley Vale Road, by modern housing to the north and west boundaries and by the River Dean to the south.
The pond formed part of the Higher Mills complex, which was demolished in the 1990s to make way for housing (Dyers Court), with part of the mill pond area being developed as a car park. Following demolition of Higher Mills in the 1990s and redevelopment of the site for housing, the pond has lost its historic connections and function. However, the site retains some amenity value, with a pedestrian walkway providing informal access to the western and southern boundary, where benches face across the water.
Unfortunately, natural processes mean that the pond is silting up. Without significant intervention, experts have confirmed that the accumulation of silt from the River Dean will gradually cause the remaining water to disappear.
The proposed development will provide a means of carrying out the major civil engineering works necessary to ensure the long-term retention, visual enhancement and environmental well-being of the pond, including remedial works in respect of contamination. It will also address a more general need for family-sized accommodation within the town.
It is envisaged that the proposed houses would each contain 3-4 bedrooms and an integral garage (in addition to driveway parking), with terraced areas overlooking the pond. The development would be constructed above the northwest portion of the pond, with the water extending beneath the buildings in an undercroft. Public access would be retained along the western and southern sides of the pond.
Discussions have taken place with the Environment Agency to ensure the scheme is appropriately designed, is not liable to flooding and does not increase the risk of flooding elsewhere.
Architecturally, the design will seek to blend contemporary and traditional features, with clean lines and high-quality materials that reflect those used in the surrounding area. The scale of development would be in keeping with the existing buildings in the locality.
During the construction period and in order to ensure longevity for the pond, it would be cut off from the river Dean and the existing build-up of silt would be addressed. A small inflow and outflow to replenish the water would be then instated, which would be designed to manage and prevent future issues with silt accumulation.
The images below provide an example of the floor plans and cross sections for one of the proposed house types to show the typical arrangement of accommodation that would be on offer.
Benefits of the Development
If the council is to provide the new homes it needs, there is a requirement for a significant number of unidentified housing sites to come forward within Local Service Centres such as Bollington. In addition to the formal allocation identified in Local Plans, this will reduce the need for future development within Green Belt locations. There is also a specific shortage family-sized housing within Bollington, with council studies showing an aging population and a lower than average proportion of family homes in within the village. There are insufficient opportunities for families to purchase suitable properties.
The residential development would help to meet the housing needs of Bollington through the delivery of family-sized housing whilst securing a long-term viable future for the pond, which would be managed as an area of open space to the benefit of the local community.
The Bollington Neighbourhood Plan envisages a thriving ‘Working Town’. However, the contracting working population acts a deterrent to businesses that might otherwise be established in Bollington and council studies indicate a relative shortage of local jobs. By providing properties that are attractive to the most economically active population, the development would assist in facilitating economic opportunities and achieving vision of the Neighbourhood Plan.
The proposed development would facilitate the works necessary to restore and maintain the pond, which is already in poor condition. Flows from the River Dean undermine the biodiversity value of the site and there is evidence of harmful contaminants. Without the proposed intervention, the site is liable to degrade; drying up to become an area of wasteland, with risks to public health.
The do-nothing scenario is not sustainable and will simply lead to a vacant site within the existing urban area of Bollington with no value whatsoever as an area of open space. This would not be a beneficial use of the land and would detract from the setting and appearance of Bollington and the Conservation Area.
The proposed development would enable the pond to be retained and managed in an environmental favourable way, cleaning it up and enhancing its value for wildlife, ecology and local residents.
Have your say
We would like your views on the proposals and request that all responses be returned by the 12th November 2018. If you wish to discuss the project please contact us using the form below to send your feedback and comments, making sure that all of the required fields are completed. If you do not want your name and address included in our report when we submit the planning application, then please let us know within your response.