Huncoat Garden Village - Masterplan and Delivery Strategy Update
Councillor Loraine Cox, Portfolio Holder Housing and Regeneration, provided an update report on progress with the Huncoat Garden Village (HGV) Masterplan and Delivery Strategy (M&DS) and set out a timetable to conclude the M&DS.
Councillor Dave Parkins raised the following issues on the report:-
- Paragraphs 3.3(v) and 3.4(vi) – the original proposals had referred to a brand new junior school, but this had subsequently changed to increased provision on the same location or on a new site. There were concerns regarding access to the existing site.
- Paragraph 3.4(v) – there were concerns that if the size of the residential development did not reach the ‘tipping point’ for the construction of a distribution road, there would still be a significant increase in traffic, which would then be confined to existing roads which were already congested.
Councillor Parkins also placed on record his thanks to Mark Hoyle, Head of Housing and Regeneration, and Chris Gregory, Housing Zone Project Manager, for keeping members of the Huncoat Forum updated on the project
Councillor Tony Dobson expressed his approval regarding the proposals and looked forward to the formal Masterplan and Delivery Strategy being developed.
The Leader of the Council commented that the detailed trigger points would be considered in due course. However, the overall Masterplan was critical for Huncoat. Otherwise, there was a risk that any development could be piecemeal and would not deliver the improvements envisaged for the village. The Masterplan would provide a co-ordinated vision for the area.
Approval of the report was not a key decision.
Reason for Decision
Cabinet received reports in January 2017 and July 2018 establishing HGV as a major housing growth opportunity for up to 2,000 new homes in the Borough. This was subject to putting in place an M&DS and emerging planning policy (the Local Plan). Cabinet also supported the decision to appoint Arcadis Consultancy (UK) Limited at a cost of £174,443 to support the Council in preparing an M&DS for HGV in partnership with Lancashire County Council and Homes England.
The M&DS is being undertaken under four key stages:
- Stage 1 – Evidence Base and Baseline Report;
- Stage 2 – Option Development and Testing;
- Stage 3 – Draft Framework Masterplan and Delivery Strategy Report;
- Stage 4 – Review and Final Masterplan Framework production.
Stages 1 and 2 have been provisionally concluded and consultation for the draft M&DS (Stage 3) has taken place. The report included further details of the development principles that have been identified for HGV.
The original timetable saw the Masterplan project commence early June 2018 and was scheduled to conclude January 2019. It soon became clear the timetable was over ambitious and was reviewed and rescheduled to conclude late summer 2019. In the spring of 2019 it was necessary to slow progress on the Masterplan for a number of significant reasons especially other key complementary and additional work, which is summarised below:-
- Local Plan Review;
- Highway implications;
- Station and Rail Services;
- Proposed distribution road;
- Junior School provision;
- Following consultation of a residential only HGV, two additional residential only options (in addition to the three mixed housing/employment options) need to be tested and developed for consideration:
Council officers have negotiated a fee of £49,000 plus VAT with Arcadis (existing consultancy team) for the additional work described above. The fee is consistent with rates submitted by Arcadis as part of their original tender submission and, therefore, Council officers are confident the additional cost reflects good value for money.
As a result of the additional work, Council officers have agreed a revised timetable with Arcadis to conclude the M&DS, which is as follows:-
- Revised highway baseline, including identification of the “tipping point” for new distribution road – by 24th January 2020;
- Conclude additional residential only options and finalise revised Stage 2 report – by 6th March 2020;
- Produce and finalise Stage 3 report i.e. final draft M&DS – by 6th May 2020;
- Produce agreed final M&DS report - by 15th June 2020.
Alternative Options considered and Reasons for Rejection
The Masterplan and Delivery Strategy has been subject to option development and analysis as part of the Masterplan process. Three residential and employment options have been considered and as part of the additional work, two further residential options will be considered.
Resolved (1) That Cabinet notes and welcomes the progress being made to put a Masterplan and Delivery Strategy for Huncoat Garden Village in place which is a major opportunity for housing growth in the Borough.
(2) That Cabinet notes and endorses spending a further £49,000 plus VAT on additional consultancy fees with Arcadis Consultancy (UK) Limited from existing budgets for additional Masterplan and Delivery Strategy costs to enable the Masterplan and Delivery Strategy to be concluded.
(3) That Cabinet notes the extended timetable to conclude the Huncoat Garden Village Masterplan and Delivery Strategy as set out in the report.