Wessex Fields

Proposed Junction to the A338 Wessex Fields, Bournemouth

 

September 2018 

As part of the Bournemouth International Growth programme the Council has submitted a planning application 7-2017-9177-DH to build a new junction and link road from the A338 to Wessex Fields. 

The planning application is still live and further information will be submitted to the Local Planning Authoriy in the next few weeks, which will be subject to a further 30 day consultation.

If approved the plans will play a key part in unlocking the available employment land at Wessex Fields, whilst making the most of the natural environment around it.

The proposals to build a new link road and junction will enable Wessex Fields to reach its full economic potential by making the area an attractive location for businesses looking to set up and/or relocate to the region. 

Transforming the infrastructure in and around Wessex Fields will:

  • Create around 2,000 new jobs
  • Safeguard the existing 10,000 jobs (including 4,000 at Royal Bournemouth Hospital)
  • Provide a second access to the Royal Bournemouth Hospital site
  • Improve traffic flows at Cooper Dean Roundabout, Chaseside Junction, and parts of Castle Lane East
  • Encourage sustainable travel by improving facilities for pedestrians, cyclists and bus users

There is strong demand for flexible business space in and around Bournemouth but the supply of A Grade office is in short supply. Currently the supply of vacant offices in Bournemouth is under 2% according to Co-Star, a national commercial property database.

Since submitting the planning application in November 2017 the Council in its capacity as the applicant has positively addressed a number of issues and concerns raised by the Local Planning Authority and statutory consultees including Wessex Water, Natural England, Historic England and the Environment Agency. 

The Council has listened carefully to the concerns raised and is continuing to amend the plans accordingly with a view to submitting additional information, which will be subject to a further statutory consultation period.

Key areas that have already been addressed as part of the plans include

Sustainable Travel: A major element of the scheme is to provide enhanced facilities for pedestrians, cyclists and bus users leading to more sustainable journeys in the area. The plans include new walking and cycling routes connecting Wessex Fields to the Stour Valley Way, as well as new pedestrian/ cycle links between Deansleigh Road and Riverside Avenue. 

Greenbelt: A Nature Reserve is proposed adjacent to the development site which will enable improved public access to the greenbelt.
Trees: All veteran trees will be retained as part of the proposed scheme. Substantial work has been undertaken to ensure that they are protected to ensure their longevity, and they form an integral part of the landscaping proposals.

Flooding: Whilst a section of the scheme will be in the outer extent of the River Stour floodplain, and there is a small loss of capacity for the flood plain, this is off-set by the inclusion of a number of attenuation basins.  These will also form part of the landscaping features and contribute towards making this area a place where people can spend leisure time in a green open space.

Cob barn: Historic England submitted a response and the Council as the applicant will address the issue in relation to the justification of the demolition of the Cob Barn which is required for the Phase 2 works.

Air quality: assessments on the proposed scheme show that there will be negligible impact on air quality.

Street lighting: will be in the development site only and not on the new junction and overbridge. Embankment planting is planned to shield light from vehicle headlights, particularly in relation to nearby housing.