The greenest and most elegant new place in England
Little Haldens can become the greenest and most elegant new place in England. Crafted rigorously and with outstanding designers, engineers, landscape and ecology specialists to respect and honour its setting in the Gomm Valley, it will set a new benchmark for high-quality design, place-making, community participation and, in future, sustainable lifestyles and well-being.
Little Haldens will provide up to 1,000 new homes in a mixed-use community with a village square, family park and a beautifully regenerated valley.
The proposed development takes up less than 24% of the valley area and is concentrated in the southern and western parts; the building footprint is only 8% of the land area
We propose to create large new areas of species-rich chalk grassland, enlarge the local wildlife site, safeguard and better manage the ancient woodland and SSSI, plant nearly 5,000 new trees, extend the hedgerows, manage water run-off in a necklace of ponds, establish community gardens and local food-growing areas and reinforce green connections
There will be very significant net environmental gain from this scheme: using the government Defra matrix, the total biodiversity value for the valley will increase from 92.77 units pre-development (now), to 337.45 units post-development, a gain of 244.68 units.
There will be impacts on the local highways network but they are reasonable and manageable; we will invest in junction and highways improvements as well as in a local bus service, in electric vehicles, a car club and cycling. Little Haldens will be a pioneer of new, cleaner, safer, more environmentally-friendly movement and we will work closely with the county and district on network changes to enhance the experience of sustainable movement for all. Many millions of pounds will be provided under the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) to support improvements in infrastructure across the district.
The main street – a beautiful sinuous lane that will be the spine of the new place – has been designed at a gradient that allows for walking and cycling despite the steepness of the valley slopes. It helps make for a spectacular place to live, play and work.
The centre of Little Haldens will be a village square complete with primary school, nursery, fantastic local independent café and restaurant, shops, co-working spaces, a housing co-op , family park, community centre and, hopefully, health care provision.
We will offer a rich mix of homes for households of all kinds and circumstances. It will be an inclusive and accessible place. There will be flats and duplexes, small terraced rows, semis and detached homes all held to a code of elegant design and a site-wide material palette. 2o% of the homes will be on-off specials, 20% of them will have green roofs, and all will have fantastic access to open and green space.
A suite of proposals have been made for the long-term stewardship of the valley, the community and the estate. There will also be a Design Excellence Group with local stakeholders to work with the architects through the life of the scheme to help ensure that the design and quality of construction achieved hits or exceeds the ambition defined in the Development Brief and planning application. The construction of Little Haldens will see opportunities for local building firms and specialist contractors of all kinds.