The proposals have been developed to positively respond to the allocation within the Thorpe Neighbourhood Plan and to recognise the locally identified needs for new public facilities as well as new homes.
- A car park (c. 44 spaces) to serve the existing community facilities in the village and the cemetery
- A new multi-use community area (open space) to accommodate sports or events (1.47 ha)
- An extension to the existing cemetery (0.18 ha)
- A new public park (10.16 ha)
- A Local Equipped Area of Play
- At least 40 new homes, including affordable homes.
Car Park: There is currently limited public car parking within Thorpe Village, particularly in proximity to the Church and Village Hall. Thorpe Cemetery also only has a small car park. The proposals incorporate a car park capable of accommodating around 44 car parking spaces. This is accessed from Ten Acre Lane, providing easy access on foot to the Cemetery to the north and Village core to the south west. It is also located adjacent to the proposed multi-use community area, changing/ WC facilities and play area and will also serve the new 10-hectare public park.
Multi-Use Community/ Sports Area: This area of almost 1.5 hectares is to provide an area of open space for sports/ recreation. An additional area has been identified to accommodate a building to provide toilet/ changing and associated facilities to support the use of this space.
Equipped Play Area: A Local Equipped Area of Play is proposed in proximity to the Multi-Use Community/ Sports/ Area and car park and to the north of the residential parcel. This will provide play space for the new homes and wider community with its location contributing to a ‘hub’ of activity at the heart of the Site.
Cemetery Extension: As part of the restoration scheme, we committed to provide an eastward extension to the existing Cemetery. This is shown on the plans here. In accordance with the agreed contractual terms, the Borough Council will take forward the detailed delivery of the extension.
Public Park: The majority of the Site (some 10 hectares) is to be provided as a public park, the aim being to provide greater access to greenspace and Green Belt land in and around the Village. The park will be laid out to encourage informal walking and recreation.
Improvements are proposed to the public park which aim to enhance the landscape and biodiversity interest of the Site through the retention of existing landscape features and provision of additional hedgerows and planting that connect to the existing network of green infrastructure as envisaged by the blue and green infrastructure policies in the Thorpe Neighbourhood Plan.
The existing Public Right of Way that runs through the eastern part of the Site is to be retained with new paths in the park connecting to this to provide an improved recreational network through the Site and connecting to the wider area.
The intention is for all of the community facilities to remain within the Green Belt as appropriate uses.
The residential element of the proposals will provide much needed new homes for the community. The area of 1.76 hectares (or 13% of the total site area) has capacity for around 40 new homes based on a mix of two, three and four-bedroom houses, albeit the final number of homes and mix of sizes will be informed by further design work as well as updated evidence of housing need and the views of the community.
35% of the homes are to be provided as affordable homes, split between affordable rent and other affordable tenures such as shared ownership or discount market sale. The final tenure split will be based on latest evidence and agreed with the Council. The aspiration is for the affordable homes, or a proportion of them, to be targeted to people with a connection to the local area.
Access to the new homes is proposed to be taken from Coldharbour Lane and will be separate to the Ten Acre Lane access to the public facilities. Walking and cycling connections will be provided between the public and residential area but no vehicle through route is proposed to avoid ‘rat-running’.
A Character Assessment and Heritage Appraisal of Thorpe have been undertaken and these have resulted in a set of design principles that draw on the historic character of the Village and will inform the design of the residential proposals.
High-quality design that recognises and reinforces local distinctiveness through the use of materials traditional to the historic core of Thorpe and its Conservation Area, and incorporates features such as brick walls that contribute to the strong sense of enclosure along local streets, will be fundamental to the success of the development.