LCE assisted planning consultants, Enplan in preparing a Vision Document for a proposed mixed use development at Toads Hole Valley (THV) in order to inform the policy framework for the City Plan for Brighton & Hove. It outlines the type and mix of development on the site situated on the urban edge adjacent to the South Downs National Park, how to make the best and most efficient use of the land, the options for accessing the development and how THV could benefit the City and its needs. The site is now included in the draft City Plan.
A number of issues were to be addressed:
- Topography – Overall there is a change in elevation of around 70m. There is an average 1 in 7 gradient across the site east to west and a steep bank, 1 in 4, on the western boundary.
- Landscape and Visual Impact – THV is on the edge of the city and highly visible from within the South Downs National Park, the A27, as well as from the existing urban edge.
- Integration – a steep bank and two roads separate the site from its neighbours.
- Road Network & its Location on the edge of the City – the location of THV requires careful assessment in terms of sustainable accessibility by all modes of transport.
The proposals included:
- A Business Area (with 25,000m² floorspace) sited close to the junction with the A27 where these commercial uses can be most accessible and where the scale and design of such buildings can be used to form a new ‘gateway’ to the City.
- The steeper gradients at the centre of the site are best suited to the smaller built grain of residential uses providing land sufficient for a new Residential Neighbourhood of 700 homes (at an average density of 45 dwellings per hectare).
- At the base of the valley, and most accessible from adjoining communities, a 5 hectare School.
- Next to this, at the heart of the site, has been positioned a Community Hub for potential social, health and retail facilities and ‘overlapping’ for joint use with some of the school’s recreation facilities.
- The steep western bank would become an Ecology Park extended beyond the existing SNCI and developed to provide foot and cycle links between the new neighbourhood and Hangleton, to enhance bio-diversity and to provide a contemporary and dramatic new public space.
- The wholesale realignment of the access road, King George VI Avenue, allowing for the creation of a linear Greenway between the new residential area and Goldstone Valley.