RSK is pleased to have been part of the team that helped to secure outline planning permission to transform 6.5 hectares of brownfield land in Latchford, Warrington, UK, into 140 new homes. The Premier Loushers redevelopment site, for which RSK and ADAS (an RSK company) provided landscape, ecology and arboriculture services, achieved outline planning consent on 8 July 2020.
The new residential development will sit just north of Loushers Lane and forms part of a wider masterplan to revamp the town’s infrastructure with a series of new developments. The site forms part of Warrington’s Southern Gateway redevelopment area and land has been set aside for a road link to the town centre. It also includes an adjacent local wildlife area that will undergo landscape and ecological enhancement.
RSK and ADAS have provided ecology, arboriculture and landscape architecture services for the proposed development since July 2017. A landscape-led approach to the design set out the proposed structure of the development, both within the site and to the wider links.
The RSK landscape team produced a landscape framework to provide an overall structure for the residential development. The framework included character areas, land take, open spaces, infrastructure, ecological opportunities and responses to existing landscape features. This information formed the basis for the site layout and RSK collaborated with project architects and other specialist consultants.
The landscape masterplan
“A key element of the project was to achieve overall biodiversity net gain and enhance the adjacent local wildlife site, including an area of woodland covering Black Bear Park and the former Latchford sidings,” commented Consultant Landscape Architect Emily Wilkinson. “Biodiversity net gain has been met and the enhancements will include 2.28 hectares of improved woodland and ecological areas, achieved through planting additional native trees and shrubs to improve the woodland structure and longevity; ecological areas, with no public access, containing a patchwork of native hedgerow planting, woodland edge planting, wildflowers, ponds and scattered trees; 0.6 hectares of additional woodland planting elsewhere on the site; and private garden spaces and green roofs.
“The project will also improve existing links through additional planting and surfacing and provide additional links to Black Bear Park and the wider green infrastructure network. Path routes will be carefully selected to minimise tree removal. Well-being spaces and a network of natural play spaces providing a range of physical, sensory, imaginative and educational play will also be created and will include wildflowers, bird and bat boxes, and bug hotels. Biodiversity and landscape elements will be increased within residential areas with swales, drainage ponds, ornamental planting, a tree-lined avenue, and home zones will provide safe and green pedestrian and cycle routes.”
The project team also included architectural consultancy Brock Carmichael and SCP Transport.