Design and Access Statement
The proposed site for the new boat-park and future clubhouse is located approximately 120 metres from the site of the existing temporary clubhouse facility. Therefore there is precedence for this type of use in this area. It is not a duplication and/or increase in such facilities in the area but a direct replacement for the former permanent facilities lost when the lease on the property was not renewed.
Currently the land is a sloping site of low grade agricultural quality. It’s immediacy to the Tamar and the hard makes it an ideal location for the new boat park and future clubhouse.
The proposal will actually improve and tidy-up the waterfront in that most of the dinghies will be contained in the new enclosed boat park hidden for the most-part by the boundary embankment and hedge. From the adjoining road except at the entrance, the site will be visually screened.
Retaining the clubhouse in this location reinforces the presence of this well established club in it’s known location .
The current application is for the change of use of the low grade agricultural land into recreational use, ie the creation of a boat park with boat shed and outboard engine store. It involves earth moving including excavation and re-location of sub-soils to the upper part of the site. This earth moving has been professionally designed and engineered to ensure stability but significantly offers a more sustainable solution. Retaining materials on site avoids excessive “cart-away” with consequential lorry movements through narrow roads and lanes.
Also included in this application is the proposed new gig boathouse and smaller outboard motor store. Both these buildings have been designed as basic agricultural style functional buildings such that would be found on farms in the areas. Hence they will naturally blend into the landscape as buildings on any farm would do.
The area proposed for the dinghy park is equivalent to the existing boat-park area.
At a later stage an application will be made for a new clubhouse building. The possible location of which is marked on the plans. However this future clubhouse does not form part of this planning application and will be subject of a fresh application at a later stage
Initially therefore the main visual impact of these works will be the sides of the gig boathouse and the tops of the dinghy masts above the boundary hedge line, albeit mainly from the centre and other side of the river.
Once grassed, the raised contours of the upper site will hardly be noticeable as any different from the original field.
The layout of the site has been determined largely from the practical considerations of developing a relatively steeply sloping site. The positioning of the new gig boats storage “shed” again has been largely determined by the practical considerations of hauling the Gigs up a slope of no more than a 1:20 gradient
As there was a fundamental briefing requirement for dinghy parking, the slope of the haul road up to the boathouse was simply widened to allow dinghies to be parked either side.
An initial important consideration was the requirement to retain as much of the existing character of the area as possible undisturbed. This particularly related to the embankment and hedging on the riverside of the site. This boundary forms an important feature of the character of the area. The early concept was to undertake the development as far as possible behind this existing embankment .
Only at the proposed entrance will the existing embankment be penetrated. Here stone gabions would shore up the steepest sections of the site. In all other areas the excavation would be bordered by embankments (at a maximum incline of 30degs.)
The majority of the remodelling of the existing contours would be hidden behind the existing boundary embankment.
Similarly the relocating of the excavated spoil over the upper part of the site has been determined by civil engineering criteria and the desire to eliminate the removal of spoil from the site.
Both to define the new site and also to dispose of excavated material a 1.8 M high embankment would be constructed down the boundary of the site with the residual area of field. This would reflect the character of the area and the predominance of “Devon banks” as field dividers. This bank would be planted with trees and shrubs to further blend it into the landscape.
The new profile of the upper part of the site will hardly be discernable once seeded and matured. From the centre of the river and the opposite embankment there would be little noticeable difference from the currently existing upper part of the site.
12 No car parking spaces have been incorporated at the southern end of the site accessed from an existing driveway and right of way. The car parking will be located on two levels in cuttings into the existing hillside with the excavated ground around the cuttings being retained by gabions
Whilst the scale of the earth moving is considerable (approximately 3,500 cu M.) the restored site would soon blend into the existing landscape.
The initial agricultural style buildings would be relatively small in relation to the scale of the site.
The final haul road, dinghy parking and buildings would when completed still only use up about 1/3rd of the overall open space of the site. Therefore in the context of the area of the site the proposed development is quite modest
In the context of the riverside landscape this proposed development would have a minimum visual impact once the ground had been grass seeded and landscaped.
The proposal for the remodelling of the land would include the establishment of a species rich grassland and some tree and shrub planting to further mask the new buildings from the river and adjoining roadway. From the other side of the river the scale of the site would be relatively small but would need to blend into the pattern of the hills on that side of the valley.
It is proposed therefore to plant some tree species suitable for a marine environment down the newly formed embankment built on the northern boundary of the site. A line of trees integrated into such an embankment is a typical feature of the area.
Where gabions are used planting would be encouraged to eventually envelope them making them blend more sensitively into the landscape
Car parking areas would be screened by hardy shrubs suitable for a marine environment as would the exposed walls of the boat sheds to soften them into the landscape.
None of the excavated slopes would remain as exposed sub-grade material. All of the slopes of the remodelled ground would be grass and wildflower seeded or turfed as appropriate to produce a naturally shaped hillside, the excavated section would be similar in shape to historic quarry areas where nature takes over and envelopes steeply sloping sites.