Development clears planning with help of SuDS and landscape features

A small development of private houses has cleared planning after four and a half years, with the help of a sustainable drainage system and a special road surface which protects tree roots.

Artist impression of the finished development. Image: Evoke
Artist impression of the finished development. Image: Evoke

The as-yet unnamed development in Culcheth, Warrington comprises nine private homes with large gardens in a woodland setting of just over a hectare.  

Managing director of developer Evoke Patrick Seed said: "We were pushed by the local water authority to look at a sustainable system first. They said the capacity of the local system wasn’t that great. The ground underneath is sands and gravels, with clay a metre and a half down. Water perforates into the ground.

"The design puts large attenuation tanks within garden areas and courtyard areas which can take water if no more moisture can go into the ground. Then there is an overflow system that goes to the local drainage system if that gets full up. The engineers think that 99.9% of the time that all the water is retained on the site."

Landscape architects DEP Manchester also specified Geo Cell porous road surfacing to protect tree roots on the site. The Geo Cell system is a bit like an egg crate which spreads the load of any cars which drive across it."

Evoke is also increasing the net number of trees, removing eight and planting 40 more hornbeam, oak and silver birch. In the decision of the inspector who looked at the case for The Planning Inspectorate the "onsite trees contributed significantly to the character and appearance of the area, noting a recent nearby dismissal due to the effect of development on trees. Loss of eight trees, including a large Sycamore, would be adequately compensated by planting 40 replacements."

In addition, Evoke proposes to landscape the existing woodland which Seed describes as overgrown. "We’re working at introducing native plants with a different height canopy to attract wildlife into the woods. It will provide a very nice space. There’s a huge area of land we can’t develop on. We bought the site knowing full well that the trees were protected but we see that as a positive. That’s why the houses have been designed around the trees.

Seed said his company also plans to sell the homes with landscaped gardens, a small patio and maybe a lawn, planting hedgerows to divide the gardens. 

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