Titford Road, Oldbury
Countryside Partnerships are pleased to introduce proposals for our exciting new development at Titford Road, Oldbury. The proposed scheme will be 100% affordable, providing 62 much needed affordable homes within a highly sustainable area, ranging from 1–4-bedroom dwellings.
Countryside Partnerships is an award-winning Partnerships business, which specialises in Government supported urban regeneration of public and private sector land delivering private, affordable, and rented sector homes by partnering with local authorities and housing associations.
We have over 35 years’ experience and have delivered more than 45 estate regeneration projects.
Countryside’s placemaking approach, not only builds high quality homes, but also considers the social and digital infrastructure, transport and green spaces needed to nurture vibrant, connected, and healthy communities.
Our approach incorporates design for life principles, notably creating a place, which connects into the existing community. Our commitment to delivering sustainable communities, ensuring a better quality of life for everyone, now and for future generations to come.
Countryside Partnerships merged with the Vistry Group in November 2022 to create one of the country’s leading housebuilders and will continue to provide housing across all tenures to contribute thousands of homes annually to help meet the needs of the nation.
Introduction and Background
Site and surroundings
The site is located within Oldbury, under the jurisdiction of Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council, in the West Midlands. The highly sustainable site lies immediately to the east of the Asda Store – the car park wraps around the site along the northern boundary. Beyond the car park to the north is the M5 motorway, with access/exit at junction 2. Further beyond is a mixture of retail stores, employment, hotel and restaurant uses- on and around Birchley Island. Langley Primary School is located to the east of the site which serves the surrounding predominantly residential area. The rear gardens of dwellings along Titford Road are located immediately adjacent to the southern boundary. A watercourse runs through the site along the north and western boundary of the site. The site has lain disused for many years and is now very overgrown.
The site is situated on undeveloped land which was historically used as allotments.
Planning application DC/03/41246 to change the use of the land to car parking in connection with UK car auction business was approved in 1986, which was clearly not implemented.
A planning application (Ref: DC/03/41246) to create additional car parking for the Asda supermarket was refused in 2004, as being contrary to policies E1 and E2 of the UDP (2004), which sought to safeguard the site for employment use.
Another application (Ref: DC/19/63297) for the erection of 2 units comprising of industrial process (Class B1c), General Industrial (Class B2), Storage or Distribution (Class B8) with ancillary offices, car parking, landscaping, service yard areas, and associated external works was refused in December 2019. The three reasons for refusal related to highway safety, impact on residential amenity for occupiers of adjoining houses from the proposed use, and noise and disturbance from the proposed footpath link.
The Local Plan for Sandwell is made up of the Black County Core Strategy (BCCS) and the Site Allocations and Delivery DPD. The BCCS is out of date and Sandwell is in the process of undertaking a new plan review.
Sandwell recognises that it has an acute need for housing in general across the Borough and accepts that there is currently a shortfall of approximately 30,300 new dwellings between 2021 and 2041, and with an overall supply figure of around 9,492. Even if all the sites allocated for housing within the Plan come forward, there will still be a significant lack of available land for housing.
There is also a particularly critical need for affordable homes to be provided across the district. Work undertaken to inform Plan Review has identified that over the previous 4 years Sandwell had only delivered 49% of its affordable housing. Our proposals would provide 62 affordable homes for local people and will help the council in meeting their housing delivery targets.
Countryside Partnerships intend to submit a full planning application on the site at Titford Road for the erection of approximately 62 new homes. The properties will be provided as affordable homes and managed by a local Registered Housing Provider. A range of 1-4 bedroom homes will be provided in the form of detached, semi-detached and terraced houses with a small proportion of apartments. Every new home will have its own private garden, private parking space and electric charging point. Access to the site will be taken from Titford Road via the existing access point between nos. 131 and 137 where a new wider junction will be created. The development will also provide a new footpath link into the adjacent supermarket to the north of the site.
A copy of the initial layout is shown below but this will change and evolve through the planning process and following results of the instructed surveys being undertaken. We will also take on board comments received and amend the layout accordingly where possible.
A draft layout is shown to the right.
The site forms part of a Wildlife Corridor and is identified on the Council’s policy map as a “Potential Site of Importance” (PSI). This designation does not preclude development, but any new proposal must include appropriate measures to be included to protect the flow of wildlife through the site.
Our Ecology Consultants have carried out a Phase 1 habitat survey, which included a visual bat tree inspection, badger survey and Habitat Suitability survey in May of this year. This confirmed that further surveys will be required to confirm the absence/presence of protected species and required mitigation measures.
Biodiversity net gain (BNG) is a way to contribute to the recovery of nature while developing land. The Government has introduced a nationwide scheme, which places a legal requirement on developers to provide a 10% net gain in biodiversity, to ensure the habitat for wildlife is in a better state than it was before development. Calculations will be provided to demonstrate how this will be achieved
Trees and Landscaping
A full tree survey has been commissioned, the results of which will be fed into the landscaping scheme.
Tree loss will be inevitable, but we will endeavour to retain the highest quality trees with high quality native replacement planting to mitigate for the loss of others.
A Flood Risk Assessment will support the planning application. This document will set out the risks associated with the site from flooding (from all sources) and propose suitable mitigation. It will show that the site will be safe for its lifetime taking account of the vulnerability of its users, without increasing flood risk elsewhere, and, where possible, will reduce flood risk overall.
Even though the watercourse runs through the site along the north western boundary, the Environment Agency Flood Zone map confirms that the site lies within Flood zone 1 and is at low/very low risk of flooding.
The assessment will also discuss whether the layout can incorporate sustainable urban drainage systems (SuDS) which will reduce storm run-off (Systems to reduce peak flows, storm volumes and improve water quality).
A full drainage strategy will also be included within the submission which will take account of climate change.
Highways & Transport
The layout has been devised to respond to the objections raised by the Council to the previous refusal and following advice from the Highways team. The access road is designed as a “regular residential road” with a 5.5m wide carriageway with footways either side (2m and 1.2m wide). This increased width will allow some on street parking for visitors. The internal road has been designed to a speed of 20mph.
The majority of car parking provided for residents will be within the curtilage of the plots to accord with the Council’s car parking standards.
A transport consultant has been instructed to prepare a Transport Statement which will fully assess the likely impacts of the proposal on highway safety and any impact on the surrounding highway network. If any adverse impacts are identified, mitigation measures will also be recommended.
The Statement will also consider the location of the site and proximity to local facilities and services. It will confirm that the site is located within a highly sustainable location within easy walking/cycling distance of Langley Primary school, Asda Supermarket, Lidl Supermarket, 2 public houses, 2 restaurants, Langley Park and play area, and Oldbury theatre. A wide range of retail and food outlets are also located to the north of the site around Birchley Island.
The site is well served by public transport with bus stops being located on either side of the Wolverhampton Road at Titford Pools (approximately 300 metres away). Bus 126 runs between Dudley and Birmingham city centres. The bus stop on Park Road (approximately 200m to the east) serves numbers 12, 12A and 22, which provide regular services to Birmingham, Bearwood, Dudley and Oldbury.
Langley Green Station is situated approximately 1.3km from the site, accessed from Western Road, which provides connections to Birmingham, Stratford-upon-Avon and Stourbridge.
A new footpath link connecting the site to the Asda supermarket to the north will improve the permeability of the site. Pedestrians will be able to walk through the site and this will assist with the integration of the site with its surroundings.
Noise & Air Quality
A noise assessment has been commissioned to support the application. Whilst the site is surrounded by a mixture of residential and commercial uses, the area is dominated by road traffic noise emanating from the M5 motorway.
A baseline survey will be carried out to assess the current ambient noise levels at various locations across the site and reach a recommendation on any noise mitigation required to ensure that the levels of noise within the proposed dwellings and their private amenity space meets World Health Organisation/British Standards guidelines.
Sandwell has declared the whole of the borough an Air Quality Management Area (AQMA), and the site falls within one of seven Key Priority Zones for air quality which incorporates an area between the M5, Birmingham Road and Blakeley Hall Road – which is approximately 1.5km to the north-east of the site.
A full air quality assessment has been instructed as required by the Black Country Air Quality Supplementary Planning Guidance which will include damage cost calculations for determining the level of mitigation required for reducing impacts on air quality.
The assessment will include impact of the development through both the construction and operational phases (construction traffic and traffic resulting from vehicular movements associated with new occupiers).
Mitigation measures recommended by the assessments will be included within the final planning application submission.
We will work with the Council’s Regeneration & Growth Team to prepare and implement a Skills & Employment Plan as we have done on our other successful schemes in the Borough. This will ensure that local people are given opportunities in line with Sandwell’s Employment & Skills Charter and materials are sourced locally where possible.
As part of the Vistry Group, Countryside Partnerships is committed to delivering sustainable homes and their products comply with recent amendments to Building Regulations to require development of new homes to include improved means of ventilation, conservation of fuel and power, to mitigate for overheating and to ensure new homes are provided with electric charging points. All new homes therefore will incorporate solar panels, added roof and floor insulation.
Further work and technological trials and engagement with the Government and Industry, through the Future Homes Hub, the House Builders Federation and the National House Building Corporation are ongoing to help develop proposed specifications to meet the UK net zero target by 2050.