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Red Tree welcomes decision on Sherford by Planning Inspectorate

20 July 2007

The delivery of Sherford passed a key milestone today as the Planning Inspectorate endorsed both South Hams District Council’s Sherford Area Action Plan (AAP) and Plymouth City Council’s North Plymstock AAP, and with them the location for the new urban extension to Plymouth.

The Inspectorate’s decision has been welcomed by Red Tree, the developer promoting Sherford. The Planning Inspectorate is the ultimate authority for determining the location of the development - its report is binding on the local authorities.

The new community at Sherford will deliver:

  • A truly sustainable urban extension of up to 5,500 high quality new homes based on the logic of a traditional market town, as well as up to 7,000 new jobs
  • Much-needed affordable housing (up to 50% of the new homes) for the South Hams and Plymouth areas
  • A key component of Plymouth’s regeneration and will provide both a clearly defined and defensible limit of the city’s eastward expansion and also the capacity for further expansion westwards as required by the Devon Structure Plan
  • A substantial and immediate contribution towards the infrastructure of Plymouth City’s Eastern Corridor including the High Quality Public Transport (HQPT) strategy - providing both the opportunity to reduce car trips from the development itself and to remove traffic from the A38 including:
    • Improvements to Deep Lane junction including a new west-bound on slip provided in the first phase of development
    • Provision of a Park & Ride with the initial capacity to handle 1,000 cars in the first phase of development
    • Delivery of the entire 3.5 km of high quality bus routes connecting the A38 with the A379 before the first housing completions
    • Improvements to Stanborough Cross roundabout in the first phase of development
  • An urban form that is based on a town centre which features what will be arguably the first High Street developed in the UK for more than a century. This will include a Town Hall and square, Health Centre and all the shopping, civic and cultural facilities that you would expect to find in a traditional Devon market town
  • Residential areas that all have walkable access to neighbourhood centres, the Main Street and public transport, sports, education, healthcare, youth and recreational facilities
  • A 207 hectare Community Park, equivalent in size to around 300 football pitches
  • A ‘Design Code’ that ensures outstanding and consistent standards of design are provided throughout Sherford
  • High levels of on-site renewable energy generation, including two proposed community wind turbines and, among other technologies, small-scale combined heat and power (CHP)

In his report the inspector stated:

“The overall vision for Sherford is that it should be a mixed use development within a high quality environment that is well designed and locally distinctive. From everything that I have read, heard and seen in relation to the AAP, I have no doubt that it is capable of delivering this vision as an exemplar new community.”

Speaking about the approval of the Sherford AAP, James Koe, partner at Red Tree, commented:

“The Inspectorate’s decision allows all parties to join together to work on the immediate delivery of Sherford without delay. We have developed our proposals by working closely with local communities and stakeholders, and are immensely proud of what collectively we have achieved to date. Our approach has won plaudits for meeting exemplary standards of sustainability and we are committed to the delivery of a special place. It has been recognised that Sherford can be unique and at the same time fit with and support its neighbours as both a South Hams market town and an integral piece of Plymouth and its regeneration.

“Our proposals have been rigorously tested in every discipline and we have engaged the UK’s leading experts in creating vibrant new communities. This is far more than just 5,500 new homes - our aim is to build a new community that stands the test of time and can make both Plymouth and South Hams proud.”

The Prince’s Foundation for the Built Environment has been involved in the design of Sherford from the outset. Hank Dittmar, Chief Executive, commented:

“The Prince’s Foundation’s aspiration for Sherford is that it will take our work to a new level of environmental and social sustainability. The design vision for Sherford begins to address the house building challenge that Government has laid out when it speaks of “eco-towns”. The Foundation has enjoyed working with South Hams District Council, Plymouth City Council and with the developers Red Tree in our “Enquiry by Design” public consultation and masterplanning work. We look forward to continuing to engage to ensure that the development remains both forward-looking and of the highest quality.”

Red Tree now looks forward to continuing to work closely with South Hams District Council Plymouth City Council and Devon County Council in progressing its planning application for Sherford, which was submitted after over three years of detailed dialogue and public consultation undertaken in partnership with The Prince’s Foundation for the Built Environment. Subject to securing planning consent, Red Tree would commence development on the site in Spring 2008.

Notes to editors
Sherford area has been earmarked in both the Devon Structure Plan, and South Hams District Council and Plymouth City Council’s Local Development Frameworks as the location for a new community for up to 5,500 new homes (with at least 4,000 delivered by 2016).

Red Tree is a single purpose vehicle established solely to develop Sherford through a consensus led approach that avoids the conventional methodology for developing and managing new housing growth. Red Tree, which was set up in partnership with the Royal Bank of Scotland and the multi-disciplinary design and planning practice Scott Wilson broadened its delivery capabilities in 2006 with the introduction to the partnership of an investment and construction company, Cannon Kirk Developments, who considerably strengthen the delivery capabilities of Red Tree. Cannon Kirk, a highly valued addition to the team, has extensive experience in delivering major infrastructure and housing development projects in Ireland, the UK and also now in Europe.

The Prince’s Foundation for the Built Environment is an educational charity established by The Prince of Wales to teach and demonstrate in practice principles of traditional urban design and architecture which put people and communities at the centre of the design process. More information about the work of The Prince’s Foundation can be found at www.princes-foundation.org .

In April 2005, The Prince’s Foundation announced that it would spearhead the development of detailed plans for the proposed new community, having previously conducted a successful Enquiry by Design event in October 2004.

For more information contact:

John Casey
Deborah Clark Associates
01872 276276
07796 615864
john.casey@dca-pr.co.uk

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