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FAQ: Proposed New Settlement: Bowmans Cross

Last Modified November 03, 2021

What is Bowmans Cross?

Bowmans Cross is the name given by the promoters of the proposed new settlement in the north of the borough between South Mimms and St Albans.

How many new homes would Bowmans Cross deliver?

It is proposed that Bowmans Cross will deliver 2,400 new homes between 2023 and 2038. A further 3,600 homes could be delivered beyond that in the next plan period. If approved, Bowmans Cross would therefore deliver 6,000 new homes over a 30-year period.

The new homes would range from one to five bedrooms and include self-build homes, affordable housing, and specialist accommodation for the elderly.

Who will build Bowmans Cross?

Urban&Civic are the company leading the design and planning work for Bowmans Cross on land which is owned by the Tyttenhanger Estate. They will have to make a planning application for the development of the site when the detailed proposals will be considered.

Urban&Civic operate as a ‘master developer’ and have delivered new settlements of this scale elsewhere in England. Urban&Civic would be responsible for delivering the grey, green and community infrastructure required across the site, and work to bring on housebuilder partners who would then deliver the new homes to agreed design and sustainability standards via design codes.

What infrastructure will be provided within Bowmans Cross?

If granted planning permission, alongside new homes, Bowmans Cross would deliver the following infrastructure provision to create a self-sustaining new community:

-          Community centres for youth and childcare provision

-          Up to five primary schools

-          Up to two secondary schools

-          Healthcare provision

-          Sports provision

-          Sustainable transport hub

-          Local shops, cafes, and public amenities

-          Green open spaces.

How have you considered existing constraints when developing proposals for Bowmans Cross?

Urban&Civic have submitted initial technical reports which identify and address site constraints within and around the site. These reports include heritage assessments identifying the significance of local heritage assets through to landscape and ecology, noise, and pollution assessments. Urban&Civic are also working alongside HBC and HCC to consider the impact on adjacent road networks and the need for mitigating measures. We anticipate that Urban&Civic will be releasing technical reports more widely as part of their response to the Regulation 18 engagement on our draft Local Plan.    

How have protected species been considered at Bowmans Cross, especially the Tree Sparrow population?

Two tree sparrow breeding colonies are present within the centre and north of the site, which have been monitored by the Herts Bird Club since 1999. Urban&Civic have been working with Herts Bird Club and other key stakeholders such as Natural England to ensure the continued success of the local tree sparrow population, through the relocation of their historic breeding grounds and a 200m development buffer proposed to the northern colony and a 100m buffer to the central colony. This important work remains on-going and is being closely monitored by the council.

Ecological surveys and walkovers have been undertaken to identify the protected species on site and to take into account ecologically sensitive landscape, such as Redwell Wood Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), Colney Heath Local Nature Reserve (LNR) and Tyttenhanger Gravel Pits Local Wildlife Site (LWS). This work identified protected species ranging from Great Crested Newts to Badgers. 

In order to mitigate against harm to protected species, measures such as 50m buffers around SSSIs, LRN and LWSs will be put in place, off-site ecological improvements will be provided and on-site green corridors facilitated to create ecological refuges. The areas within the 50m buffer zones will also undergo ecological enhancement to create nature reserves, with restricted public access.

What will happen to existing quarries within Bowmans Cross?

If granted planning permission, the construction of Bowmans Cross would commence within the context of the mineral phasing and restoration plan. An 800m buffer would be put in place between the new homes and quarrying works which remain on site during the early phases of Bowmans Cross. A construction phasing plan will be submitted as our draft Local Plan progresses to ensure building of the proposed homes and necessary infrastructure align with the extant mineral extraction and restoration process.

How has traffic impact been factored into growth at Bowmans Cross?

Urban&Civic are currently undertaking work to support the sustainable transport strategy for Bowmans Cross. The work will include transport modelling, which will take into consideration the expectation that more and more people will move away from private car use to more sustainable forms of transport. Once this work has been finalised, a transport model (known as COMET) will be run to assess the impact of car use on the existing road network. This will guide the need for highway interventions and improvements which will need to be put in place to address the impact of the proposed development at Bowmans Cross, particularly on local road networks and the M25. Urban&Civic are engaging with Highways England and Hertfordshire County Council in this work.

How will Bowmans Cross ensure future climate change resilience?

If granted planning permission, Bowmans Cross has ambitions to be carbon neutral in its operation. Reaching net-zero would involve expanding the on-site anaerobic digester as a renewable energy source, utilising renewable technology such as air source heat pumps and batteries as an energy storage solution. Technical reports have also been prepared in order to address how new settlements would respond to pressures resulting from climate change, such as flood risk, water use and air quality net-gains.

Urban&Civic has taken a ‘Biodiversity net gains’ approach to development; an approach which leaves biodiversity in a better state than before.

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