Bassetsbury Triangle: new homes plans
Helping to ease our housing need by providing more homes that are more affordable to more people
Wycombe District Council is proposing to provide new homes at Bassetsbury Triangle.
This exhibition is an opportunity for you to hear about the proposals and discuss them with council officers and members of the project design team. We are inviting comments at this stage with feedback forms at our events and on our website. There will also be a further opportunity for comments through the formal planning application process.
A multi-disciplinary project team is working on this project, to provide new homes in an attractive landscaped parkland environment. Specialists include chartered planners, architects, tree consultants, ecologists, drainage and traffic consultants.
The site is a triangular plot of land, approximately two hectares (approximately five acres), which is accessed from Bassetsbury Lane to the south.
In Victorian times the site was used as a municipal rubbish dump. Now the site is largely undeveloped except for some former bunkers and the mobile phone mast as well as the remnants of the former allotments on the western side of the site. Trees and bushes line the boundaries of the site and offer significant screening from its surroundings.
Immediately south of the site, Bassetsbury Lane is lined with detached houses. Immediately north of the site is the track bed of the former High Wycombe to Bourne End branch railway line, which has now been adapted for use as a foot and cycle path. The area beyond that, and also to the east of site, is predominantly residential. An area of open space (Funges Meadow) lies to the west of the site and further west it is residential.
The site closed as allotments following a soil survey undertaken in 2013. A number of other contamination reports concluded that the site was no longer safe to grow vegetables. The allotments were permanently closed with the approval of the relevant Secretary of State.
Proposed park homes
The ground conditions at Bassetsbury Triangle mean that it is not feasible to develop the site for conventional housing. The valley bottom strata which underlies the site has little load bearing capacity. Deep piling for conventional houses is not feasible on the site.
We therefore proposes to introduce a 600 millimetre cap of soil and sub-soil and to develop the site for residential park homes. These single storey homes are:
- manufactured off-site
- brought to the site in two halves on the back of a lorry
- wheeled onto a concrete base
- fixed together and connected to utilities
These homes don't need foundations or deep trenches so would not disturb the contaminated sub layer.
The homes will be single-storey, similar to bungalows, with shiplap and rendered walls, two bedrooms, a bathroom, and kitchen-lounge-diner space. Each home will be sited over a 'false' brick or timber skirt and set within a small garden. All homes can be adapted for people with mobility or other difficulties.
As a result of their relatively low cost and single-storey design, these homes are popular with older people seeking to retire and boost their pensions by capitalising on the sale of their larger former dwellings which are in turn freed up for purchase by younger families.
Woodland conservation and amenity
The site is surrounded by a thick belt of mature trees and hedges. The layout of the homes and roads within the site has been carefully designed to avoid these trees and their root protection areas. This means that the screening provided by the existing trees along the site boundaries will be retained, limiting views of the site from the outside.
Lighting would use downward facing bollards, which minimise light pollution.
An additional lodge is proposed to the west of the site within Funges Meadow for use by the Chiltern Rangers service. This will have a separate access from Bassetsbury Lane together with ten dedicated parking spaces.
This provides a new community facility for the Chiltern Rangers to operate.
The site is located close to High Wycombe town centre and also to local facilities.
The layout of the home park features a short pedestrian link from the site and onto the former rail line to the north providing a convenient footpath and cycle route to the London Road. In addition, there is a footpath on the north side of Bassetsbury Lane outside the entrance to the site that provides an alternative pedestrian route to the nearby retail park at Wycombe Marsh.
It is within easy reach of convenience stores, with M&S Simply Food, Tesco Express and Costcutter all within a kilometre walk of the site. Social facilities close to the project site include Wrights Meadow Community Centre (700 metre), High Wycombe Bowling Club (480 metre), Lawn Tennis Club (800 metre), Cricket Club (1000 metre), and Wycombe Rye Lido (800 metre).
Chestnut Avenue bus stop is located on London Road, a 600m walk from the project site. The stop is served by buses on a number of routes including the 32, 35, 37, 39, 74, 336, 740, A40, and X74 all of which operate at least hourly during the day from Monday to Saturday.
Most homes will have a driveway large enough to accommodate two cars, one behind the other. As this is likely to be a community for retired people, most park home owners will have no more than one car per home. The additional space will therefore provide room for visitors. In addition there will be nine unallocated visitor spaces.
In terms of traffic generation, our transport consultants estimate that trip rates from 40 new homes would normally generate about 164 car movements a day (80 in, 84 out). Our engineers consider it would have a negligible impact on the local highway network. Surveys taken at other park home sites suggest that the actual trip rates from home parks are much lower due to a lack of commuting and school runs by older people. It is likely that the actual trip rates for the proposed park homes could be half.