Site Specific Allocations

Adopted January 2011

LOW6 - Neeves Pit, Lowestoft

Allocation: Housing

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Context
2.75 This site is currently used for the storage of materials for the Highway Authority. The site is fairly flat, but with large mounds of earth and rubble that currently make the northern section of the site inaccessible. There is a large pond in the southeast corner. The western boundary of the site is bordered by housing on Higher Drive, and Monckton Avenue abuts the northern part of the eastern boundary. There is an area of allotments on part of the eastern boundary, which forms a buffer between the site and gardens of Monckton Crescent. A line of trees and hedges screen the site from the gardens to the west in most places.

2.76 Vehicular access to Neeves Pit is from Normanston Drive. A footpath runs between the northern boundary of the site and housing on Hadleigh Drive.

Proposed Development
2.77 The site is mainly brownfield land within the physical limits of Lowestoft. It has good access to services and facilities, and is well connected to existing pedestrian, cycle and public transport routes. The accessibility of this site makes it a good location for housing development. The site can accommodate 76 dwellings at a density of 30 per hectare. 35% of the dwellings should be affordable units. This percentage requirement was established through a site specific viability assessment[1] which took into account known abnormal costs and site specific requirements. The requirement for affordable housing will only be reduced in exceptional circumstances where it can be demonstrated that a lower percentage of affordable housing is needed to ensure the site remains financially viable when taking into account unforeseen development costs.

2.78 Cycle access should be provided from Normanston Drive and via Higher Drive to the north of the site.

2.79 The site is located on a former landfill site. The Council therefore commissioned investigative work to assess the site for potential contaminants and landfill gas. The findings of the investigations reveal that there are some raised levels of gases present and that appropriate protective measures must be implemented. The site also lies over a principal aquifer and therefore there is the potential for the contamination of controlled waters. In accordance with Planning Policy Statement 23, further site investigation work will be required to support any future planning application. This work should be accompanied by a risk assessment and a remediation method statement. There is also a possibility of land drainage issues in this location, which should be assessed as part of any application.

2.80 The County Archaeologist considers that there is high potential for archaeological remains to be defined at this location, given its proximity to several Neolithic find spots and the large size of the site. It is recommended that a condition relating to archaeological investigation should be attached to any planning permission.

2.81 Suffolk Wildlife Trust has carried out an ecological survey of the site. They have clarified that a variety of wildlife has taken refuge on the site and should be taken into account when considering development. Biodiversity Action Plan species include birds such as dunnock and song thrush and hedgehogs, common toad and grass snake. Other wildlife noted includes foxes and muntjac deer. The Trust recommend that an area of the site should be retained and managed for wildlife.

2.82 A reptile survey is not considered necessary prior to development. However, care should be taken when removing suitable habitat and further advice sought from an ecologist if reptiles are found. Any removal of vegetation, including scrub and climbers should be undertaken outside the bird nesting season. As bats have been recorded in the vicinity, a bat survey will need to be undertaken to ascertain whether bats are present on the site and identify any appropriate mitigation measures, prior to the submission of a planning application.

2.83 Existing boundary planting should be enhanced to provide screening to adjoining gardens and for the benefit of wildlife. The pond on the southern boundary is to be retained.

Policy LOW6

Land at Neeves Pit, Lowestoft, (2.5ha), is allocated for housing (76 units). The site will be developed in accordance with the following site specific criteria:

A mix of housing of different sizes and tenures should be provided, to include 35% affordable housing with the mix to be based on the findings of the Strategic Housing Market Assessment and agreed with the District Council Housing Officer. The affordable housing requirement will only be reduced in exceptional circumstances to ensure the site remains financially viable when taking into account unforeseen development costs.
Existing trees and hedges around the boundary of the site should be retained and enhanced.
The pond on the southern boundary of the site should be retained.
Part of the site should be retained and managed for wildlife.
A bat survey will be required prior to submission of a planning application.
A financial contribution should be made towards the provision of allotments in Lowestoft.
A condition relating to archaeological investigation should be attached to any planning application.
A Flood Risk Assessment should be prepared as part of the application process to assess and mitigate the risk of flooding from surface water drainage.
A full Site Investigation Report should be completed and submitted with any planning application, along with a risk assessment and remediation method statement to ensure the protection of controlled waters.
Development should incorporate ground gas protection measures where necessary.
Existing footpaths should be retained.
Cycle access should be provided from Normanston Drive to the south and Higher Drive to the north.
• A Transport Assessment will be required.

Implementation
2.84 Delivery of the development will be through a developer and likely to be in a short to medium term timescale.