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«E RESPE UTUR CT eF th r fo ST - PLANNING Revised Battle Hospital A eP th Planning Brief G IN eF ECT UTUR E RESP Supplementary Planning Document July ...»

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• Along the northern boundary opposite the medical/industrial buildings development may accommodate buildings of 4/5 storeys in height, dependant upon topography. Streets could respond to the contours of the land and the buildings could step gently up the hill, not uncommon in Reading;

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• Particular emphasis has to be placed on building orientation, considering the neighbouring industrial buildings and also on possible future expansion of the site area to the north and east. Development should respond to the current situation posed by the industrial buildings, yet demonstrate how it would relate to development of the adjacent area, at a later date; and

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6.9 This is a plateau of land, which is relatively flat, occupied by the Victorian hospital buildings in a lawned setting. It is the centre of the site and despite its slightly elevated position; it should be the natural focus of higher-density development and a meeting area for routes within the site.

6.10 The following principles will be appropriate:

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• There will be the opportunity for innovative design in this area, although the overarching materials should reflect the local area being of brick construction and roofs of slate appearance. Historical design reference points in this Character Area should be the present Victorian buildings.

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6.11 This area is adjacent to 2-storey terraced housing to the east and the proposed mosque to the south. It comprises of an open car park on predominately flat land. The previous permission on this part of the site envisaged a small pocket of development accessed from Valentia Road, to link into the existing street pattern and this is also promoted in this Brief.

Up to 25 terraced houses will be encouraged in this Character Area.

6.12 Future development needs to be sensitive to the existing built form and

should include:

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• New development that adjoins the terraced houses to the east should be orientated back to back preventing overlooking of the existing gardens and providing security;

• New development should relate to the existing buildings in terms of eaves height, scale, materials, fenestration and building line, in order to provide a “seamless” link into the development;

• There should be a particular commitment to using reclaimed bricks for the construction of these important “linking” buildings and an attention to detail, for example, specification in the Design Codes of bonding and pointing; and

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6.13 Oxford Road is a linear and relatively level street of mainly 2-storey Victorian/Edwardian buildings. There are a number of existing or potential civic uses including the Gatehouse, a large, Methodist church under construction in the south-west of the site and permission granted for a 3­ storey mosque in the south-east corner. Notably, there is also the New Inn

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public house and a Georgian terrace (Battle Terrace), which will be retained by the NHS Trust. The land behind has an escarpment west of the Gatehouse with some lawned, some overgrown.

6.14 The principal public views into the site are likely to be from Oxford Road.

Therefore it is important that development on this frontage respects the scale and character of the existing streetscape, respects the character of the existing Victorian/Edwardian buildings and protects or where possible enhances the setting of the Listed Buildings. Specific design elements which

are appropriate should include:

• A maximum of 2 1/2 storeys on Oxford Road with modest, single dormers set within the roofspace, if required;

• Use of red-orange brick, possibly with cream brick decoration;

• Slate or imitation slate roofs;

• Brick chimneys;

• Pitched roofs to reflect the existing built form;

• Sash windows with fanned soldier-courses and set-backs for doors and windows; and • Doors to include fanlights above.

6.15 Environmental improvements, related to the development of the site, will be required. This will in part be achieved through removal of advertisement hoardings, tidying up of the land and improvements such as hard/ soft landscaping and street furniture (while ensuring satisfactory access for disabled people) and these will be negotiated as part of a planning application, were planning permission likely to be forthcoming.

6.16 Other development principles will be as follows:

• Of the NHS Trust buildings, the Battle Hospital Gatehouse, the adjoining terrace along Oxford Road and the buildings to the rear of the Gatehouse have been transferred to RBC. It is anticipated that these buildings will be extended and refurbished and the entrance arch and gates renovated.

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6.17 A significant corner building is required on the site of the former Elm Park

Hall. This would need to serve the following functions:

• Provide a mix of uses, to include retail and residential;

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• Be of a good-quality contemporary or sympathetic style to the Oxford Road street-scene, with a particular emphasis on scale, architectural details and appropriate materials; and • Servicing should seek to minimise disruption of the function of either the Oxford Road frontage or the civic space frontage.

Medical Support (Future Development) 6.18 This area is built at low-level with a mixture of utilitarian buildings from single-storey sheds to an incinerator tower and ambulance parking areas.

Virtually all this land is completely within the floodplain.

6.19 This land is currently industrial in nature and in the short term, will continue to be used as support services for the Hospital Trust. However, this land is anticipated to be released for development (from 2008 at the earliest) and the following development principles will be appropriate if the land becomes


• If this additional land is released for development, it should primarily contribute to meeting housing needs in Reading Borough;

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• There may be a possibility of providing a number of live-work units in this area. This would help to provide a transition of land-uses in this part of the site, which is at the joining of a residential and industrial area and would provide flexible employment floorspace.

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7.1 Any tablatures or other markings of historical significance of the present development should be retained and incorporated into the redevelopment of the site. The present wards on the Battle site are named after English painters. Local consultation has indicated a wish that that the eventual

street names should reflect these. The following principles should be noted:

• The built form should incorporate a distinct character and points of emphasis at gateways, corners and junctions;

• The location of principal buildings should be at nodes of travel and at gateways to various character sub-areas; and

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7.2 The site provides an opportunity for an assessment of buildings which are higher than present in the locality including an analysis of the vistas/views, (to be included as part of the developers’ masterplan) which will inform the location of these. Building heights should respond to the topography of the site, the clustering of buildings within the proposed development and the context of the surrounding buildings. Below is a set of criteria by which the height of buildings will be judged. The varying heights of buildings will be

considered on their merits, taking into account such factors as:

• Ability to function as a new landmark/provide a “sense of place”;

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Permeability and Movement 7.3 A clear access and movement strategy should set out the system for vehicular servicing of the development. This should aim to reduce traffic speeds and give priority to cycling, walking and public transport, with design ensuring that car use is reduced.

7.4 The development of this site is likely to increase traffic in the area and should include road junction and other improvements in the vicinity, commensurate with the level of development proposed. A Transport Assessment (TA) will be used to justify the extent of measures proposed. In particular, there will be further pressure on the nearby Cow Lane Bridges, which are already operating beyond capacity. Given the amount of commercial floorspace and housing development likely to come forward, this Brief requires that commensurate contributions are provided towards the cost of these works.

7.5 To minimise impact on traffic levels on Oxford Road and to protect the amenities of local residents, the amount of short-stay and residential parking accessed from Oxford Road will be limited. The principal access for superstore customers, servicing and main residential access will be from Portman Road only.

7.6 The access strategy set out in the masterplan for the site should include the establishment of a clear and legible/recognisable street hierarchy for servicing the development. This should link to the type and number of dwellings serviced and relate to the landscaping masterplan.

7.7 Vehicular Access principles:

• The development of this site will be expected to mitigate the impact of the extra traffic on the surrounding road network;

• The major part of the development area should be accessed from a single vehicular access on Portman Road (see Plan 3). There should be no vehicular through route between Oxford Road and Portman Road;

• The most suitable form of access is likely to be a light-controlled junction on Portman Road, to be funded by the developer, in negotiation with the Highway Authority (RBC). This improved junction will need to account for the need to include a cycle/pedestrian crossing and must not prejudice any future development of the Strategic/Local Access Route along Portman Road;

• Additional traffic attracted along A329 Oxford Road to/from the shortstay parking area should not prejudice the Borough’s transport objectives for bus priority along the Oxford Road primary route and Quality Bus Corridor;

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• Access to any non-residential uses from Portman Road should consider the need to minimise disturbance to the existing and proposed residential areas. Any related petrol filling stations should not cause nuisance to residential properties via noise or fumes;

• There should be limited access to a pocket of residential development from Valentia Road. In order to integrate development into the surrounding street pattern of Valentia Road, vehicular access will be permitted although this should not exceed 25 units;

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• There may opportunities for underground parking and this is likely to be most appropriate where residential densities are highest;

• Parking areas need not necessarily be immediately adjacent to their respective dwellings, although they should be visible from the dwelling, to allow for natural security;

• The retail parking standard applied will need to respond to the fact that the site is in an accessible location, near the City Centre and on a frequent bus route. Therefore, the maximum parking standard shown for retail in PPG13 ‘Transport’ is unlikely to be appropriate;

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• The retail parking standard will be tempered with any particular considerations relevant, for example the percentage of home deliveries via the Internet or the percentage of food/non-food split;

• The Council will expect the retailer(s) to commit to a Green Travel Plan (GTP) and to no parking for employees, although facilities for secure, lockable employee cycle parking and showering/changing rooms will be required.

7.9 Walking and cycling

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• Main pedestrian routes should be suitable for joint use with cyclists, designed to minimise conflict;

• Cycle and pedestrian access should always be well overlooked; and

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7.10 In particular, direct links should be provided between:

• Oxford Road and the existing cyclepath on the North side of Portman Road (with the developer supplying a cycle/pedestrian crossing);

• Cycle/pedestrian movement east to west across the site accessed only from Valentia Road and Sherwood Street;

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Landscape/ Public Realm 7.12 The ODPM/Cabe emphasise the importance of integrating landform, natural features and ecology in developments3. The development of this site should therefore be related to the present landscape character and features and build upon them, to produce a development, which relates to its host environment naturally and not attempt to overlay a design, which is alien.

7.13 The Battle site is currently covered by a temporary Area Tree Preservation Order (TPO). This protects all trees on the site and will stay in place until such time as agreement is reached on the developer’s masterplan and landscape masterplan, such that those trees identified for retention can be separately protected. A detailed landscaping masterplan should accompany the developers’ masterplan. The landscaping masterplan should identify the landscape features on site and produce a strategy for enhancement, which will integrate with the building solutions chosen within the Character Areas and incorporate a study of vistas through the various areas of the

development. This study should range from impact on long-range views:

skylines, gateways, nodes, etc., down to thresholds, boundaries and barriers.

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