29th May 2011

Development at Riverside Avenue

On 20th April, Troika Developments Ltd made a new planning application to see whether an Environmental Impact Assessment would be required for a 3 storey 60 bed nursing home, a three storey health care and nursing facility and up to 160 dwellings with associated landscaping, vehicular access and car parking, on the site where they had previously won planning permission on appeal for offices with up to 5,000 workers.

To build the office blocks, Troika must first construct a park and ride and lorry park in the green belt and a huge dumbbell junction by the footbridge over the A338, for access.

On 11th May, it was confirmed that an Environmental Impact Assessment Screening to assess the whole development, including access roads etc., for the potential new development is needed, but there are no details about the type of housing or the nursing home and health care facility.

However, the new proposal is for the field which surrounds the National Retired Nurses Home and does not include the park and ride site or junction. Access will be sought along Riverside Avenue, to the (Tesco) junction with Castle Lane East, which would require the widening of Riverside Avenue into the Green Belt.

Apparently, the application has come, not from Troika, but from the Trustees of the Cooper Dean Estate, who actually own the land (Troika have an option on the land for their development).

The land is designated in the Borough Plan as Commercial/Industrial. Therefore any change to residential would need agreement by the Planning Board to a fundamental change in use.

This news will be updated at Forum on 2nd June 2011.