/ URBANISM / DESIGN AND ACCESS STATEMENT
AUSTIN-SMITH:LORD / GLASGOW OFFICE
INTRODUCTION / BACKGROUND INFORMATION / BRIEF
This design statement sets out a vision, Development Framework and indicative, illustrative Masterplan for a very significant site in North Lanarkshire. This proposal for Castlehill and Weymsshill would make a signifi cant contribution to providing housing and associated amenities in an attractive location adjacent to existing communities in south Wishaw. This Development Framework seeks to augment the obvious assets that the sites have through careful, landscape-led place-making to create a high quality, distinctive place that respects, and is very well integrated into, its local context. Although not allocated for development, we believe that Castlehill & Wemysshill site can make a significant contribution to addressing the housing shortfall in South Wishaw, in the short to medium term. The site could accommodate up to 825 new homes. It is serviced, has no insurmountable technical constraints and is ideally located to meet North Lanarkshire and Wishaw’s housing needs. The site is in a sustainable location; it has good public transport links and is within a walkable distance of local services, including Overtown Town Centre and the new Clyde Valley shared campus. The proposed development will provide a choice of housing, including aff ordable housing, in an area where people want to live. The proposal could include a mixed-use neighbourhood centre, which would provide local services and facilities for the existing, as well as the new community and will create local employment opportunities. Furthermore, the increased population will contribute to the regeneration of Overtown and Gowkthrapple and will help sustain, and drive improvements to existing community facilities and infrastructure.
The site, approximately 69.4 hectares (171.5 Acres), is located on farmland 1 kilometre South of Wishaw town centre and 1 kilometre north east of the River Clyde nestling within the Clydesdale Valley.
Bounded to the north east by Castlehill Road, the B754 is a busy road with access roads off to the north serving residential, community and educational uses (Clyde Valley High School Campus) area of Gowkthrapple. While residential development to the east has frontage development off this road it will be necessary to provide access to the south with no frontage access to the B754. Castlehill Farm has existing access off the B754.
The existing residential development of Overtown and Wemysshill. The eastern boundary is formed by the small burn to the east of Wemysshill Farm fl anking open grassland, which was formally derelict land, and housing at Overtown fringed the site in the north east corner.
The southern edge of the proposed development on the western end is formed with new woodland planting to the south of which outwith the site is a south facing slope visible from the Clyde Valley – south of the slope is Highmainshead Wood. The woodlands and topography screens the proposed development site from the Clyde Valley. The midsection has Durhambank Orchard to the south and the eastern section has Lucindabank to the south. The eastern section has a gentler slope to the south and is not visible from the Clyde Valley.
The eastern boundary is formed with mature woodland on either side of a track leading to Carbarns Wood and the Grade A Listed Building, Cambusnethan House.
The site has a history of agricultural use, with a small terrace of houses (Sneddons Rows) historically present midway between the cattery and settlement at Overtown (Hopefi eld). A railway line historically crossed the site, Cambusnethan Colliery circa 1860. As such, a number of mine shafts are located throughout the site which have been identifi ed and considered within the design proposals.
Apart from the physical loss of farmland, it is not anticipated that the development will have a signifi cantly detrimental impact upon any landscape features of note. The existing woodland surrounding the site and the belt of trees which has been designated as a Site of Interest for Nature Conservation which encroaches into the site along the southern boundary, will be protected and incorporated within the scheme. Established hedgerows which have been assessed as being of ecological value will be retained where possible and incorporated in the scheme. In addition, a comprehensive Green Network will be provided within the development. Substantial belts and blocks of new woodland are also to be introduced on those parts of the site around the western and southern fringes, which have not been identifi ed for development. The overall eff ect upon the landscape resource from a conservation point of view might therefore be regarded as moderately signifi cant and benefi cial. In terms of Landscape Character, it is considered that the development of the Castlehill/Wemysshill site will have only limited impact upon the prevailing scene, as the development will only ever really be seen from Castlehill Road and from existing properties on the edge of Overtown where the prevailing character is already primarily urban/suburban. Any actual change in character is therefore only ever likely