Frequently Asked Questions - Bertie Place
Flood risk management
How will site flooding concerns be addressed?
Flood risk has been a key consideration in the site design. The flood risk has been investigated and consultations undertaken with the Environment Agency to ensure that the site will be safe, and that development does not impact third party flood risk. The proposed masterplan is such that residential development is prioritised in those areas of the site that are outside of the Environment Agency predicted high risk flood zone, including an allowance for predicted increased flooding due to climate change. In line with Environment Agency guidance, ground re-profiling will be undertaken on a level-for-level basis; to ensure that there is no loss of floodplain storage across the site, thus ensuring the development will not increase off-site fluvial flood risk.
Surface Water run off from the development will be managed within the site through the inclusion of various Sustainable Drainage Systems, such as permeable paving and below ground attenuation tanks. A controlled discharge of surface water from the site is proposed to the adjacent Hinksey Stream watercourse, with peak rates of discharge limited to the equivalent existing rates of runoff from the site in its current greenfield condition, therefore not increasing flood risk to existing development downstream of the site. Strategic research and design development has been carried out to assess and mitigate any potential impact by incorporating relevant flood management systems.
Preliminary discussions with Thames Water have been held during the design process regarding the capacity of the existing public sewer system in the area. Thames Water have indicated that there is sufficient spare capacity within the foul sewer system in Abingdon Road to accept the additional foul sewerage flows from the development, which are therefore proposed to be discharged through an existing connection underneath the pedestrian access on this side of the site. Should further liaison with Thames Water identify an issue with sewer capacity, then Thames Water would construct any necessary sewer network reinforcement works required to accommodate the development, funded by the infrastructure charges payable by all developers when connecting new properties.
Will disturbing the land release contaminants? The works will be carried out by a licensed contractor experienced in working on contaminated land. They will consider and ensure appropriate mitigation is adopted during the construction works to manage and minimise the risks complying with relevant legislations wherever applicable.
Children's Play Area
Why is this being removed and what will it be replaced with?
The new site proposal allows for the old children’s play area to be replaced by a new modern play area and MUGA. There is an intention to hold a workshop session which will allow input from local residents/children into the design of the new children’s play area and if there is any particular existing play equipment the children really like then we can investigate retaining and reinstating it to the new area.
How will ecological issues be addressed?
Surveys for notable habitats and species have been carried out, including those for bats, reptiles, water voles and badgers. The development area has been found to be of limited ecological value, being an intensively maintained amenity, grassland area and hardstanding. The more natural area to the west (known as Site B) has more ecological value and has multiple opportunities for enhancement as a component of the development. These are proposed to improve the area for the enjoyment of new and existing residents and to meet the biodiversity targets of the project.
Within the built area, creation of habitat will be maximised. Landscape enhancements such as tree planting, wild flower bedding and increase wildlife habitat have been proposed.
Arboricultural / Tree loss
Why will the trees be removed?
Some tree removal will be required from around the perimeter of the development site A to avoid clashes with proposed new buildings and garden spaces following completion of the project.
All tree removals required to facilitate proposed works will be limited to low and moderate quality specimens and will be subject to mitigation in the form of replacement planting and trees within both Sites A and B which will be in compliance with OCCs local planning policy.
Will the new homes be run sustainably?
The proposed development is targeting to achieve 40% carbon reduction from the current Building Regulations standard whilst also meeting all the requirements of the updated Building Regulations Part L and Part F, in addition to the new Building Regulations Part O (Overheating) and S (Electric Vehicle Charger to 3 bays). Implementation and use of sustainable features such as PV panels, waste water heat recovery systems and air source pumps are being reviewed.
Car Parking Provision / Transport
General Car Parking concerns
The South Oxford Controlled Parking Zone (CPZ) extension is now live and as the site meets the criteria described below it will need to be a car-free.
Car Parking Standard
Car-free development is defined in this SPD as accommodation for people who are prepared to knowingly, and willingly, relinquish their right to keep a private car in Oxford. Such development is being introduced in various locations around Britain. The City Council is committed to encouraging car-free development, which can bring significant benefits where properly implemented in appropriate locations.
All car-free development must offer convenient access to a range of alternative, flexible and frequent travel modes. Any proposal within the Transport Central Area (TCA) will be acceptable in principle (subject to appropriate conditions or planning obligation). The following criteria will be used for a general assessment of whether a given car-free proposal is acceptable in less central areas:
- The applicant should demonstrate that genuine demand exists for car-free housing in the proposed location.
- The location should be within a CPZ, or otherwiseinclude legally agreed safeguards against keeping aprivate car in Oxford.
- The proposal site should be within 400 m’ walk of a high daytime frequency (every 15 minutes) direct bus route to the City centre, and also have convenient bus access to the nearest District centre.
- Key local services are conveniently and safely accessible by foot within 800 m’ walk.
- Residents have a choice of safe and convenient cycle routes to key local services, a district centre and the City centre.
- Visitors’ access needs, and the needs of disabled occupiers and visitors, have also been considered.
What are controlled parking zones?
A controlled parking zone (CPZ) is an area where parking is only permitted in designated parking bays, and the rest of the kerbside space is restricted by yellow lines. Any illegally parked cars are issued with a parking ticket.
Oxford city is currently the only area of Oxfordshire to have CPZs, where they are mainly used to tackle the problems caused by commuter parking.
Residents, their visitors, and local businesses can park in designated bays when displaying a relevant parking permit for that zone. Some spaces are also available for short-term parkers, and Blue Badge holders can park without restriction.
Alternatively, new residents and visitors can use the Park and Ride facility nearby for occasional parking or pay monthly.
Car clubs are short-term car rental services that allow members access to locally parked cars and pay by the minute, hour or day. Car clubs offer an alternative model to private car ownership for individuals and businesses. Car clubs reduce the need for private parking.
Research undertaken by Co-Mobility UK identifies that car clubs in England and Wales have on average 33 members per vehicle and reduce car ownership by 6.1 vehicles per car club car. Reductions in car ownership are observed for both new and long-term car club members with a 14% reduction in car ownership observed within the first 12 months. Up to three car club allocated parking spaces will be provided within the sites. The number of car club vehicles will depend on negotiations with car club providers.