Solving the challenge of the gas pipe that runs through the site
As with any site there are challenges to overcome. These include motorway noise, surface water drainage and a gas pipe on part of the land. Our masterplan addresses these issues in ways which include a landscape buffer to the motorway and ponds that store surface water run-off and provide space for wildlife.

Preliminary technical work has left us confident that the gas pipe can be diverted, and the masterplan is based on this assessment. We have also explored other options to ensure a sustainable development is possible if the pipe needs to remain where it is.

Wales and West Utilities (WWU) is responsible for the pipe. We have liaised with WWU to explore options and an independent feasibility report has been commissioned to inform our work. Further detailed work on moving the pipe will happen as the project progresses.

Feasibility

The report confirms it is possible to reroute the pipe. Of the three options explored, option one - rerouting the pipe along the east of the site adjacent to the M5, before routing along the northern boundary – is preferable.

By moving the pipe to the edge of the site, this option gives maximum flexibility to design a new community at Wisloe in the best possible way. It allows the pipe to be rerouted alongside a landscaped earth mound that will be created to help block noise from the motorway. This bund will shield people in Slimbridge from the motorway as well as providing open space, areas of tree and woodland planting and new habitats for wildlife.

Where the pipe will run across the north of the site it will be located within generous areas of green spaces for the enjoyment of the local community as well as plants and wildlife.

Impacts

As well as benefits, rerouting the pipe presents some impacts which must be managed.

The alignment of the diverted gas main will be carefully considered to minimise removal of vegetation. Generally, the route will run through the edge of open areas requiring no removal of vegetation.

This option will potentially require the removal of a limited area of trees and vegetation where the new route crosses the A4135. The route will be aligned to meet the A4135 and existing hedgerows at 90 degrees to minimise vegetation removal (using existing openings or gaps in vegetation where possible).

Where vegetation must be removed appropriate tree and ecological surveys will be carried out.

Any removal of trees or lengths of hedgerow will occur in autumn/winter to avoid the bird nesting season. Once the gas main is installed appropriate replacement planting will include wildflower grassland, hedgerows and trees/woodland where possible.

Overall, the proposed development will provide approximately 40 ha of green infrastructure which will include extensive new tree, woodland and hedgerow planting and wildflower meadows. This will provide a significant net gain in vegetation cover and biodiversity.

Next steps

As the report details, there is still further work to be done to reroute the pipe. The report is a feasibility study prepared on behalf of WWU. We will conduct further detailed work on the pipe as the plans progress and will make this information available online when it is complete.

Confirmation that the pipe can be rerouted is good news for the project and for the local community, particularly those who live near it. We will continue to work closely with WWU, Stroud District Council and the local community as our plans progress.

We have an opportunity to create a new sustainable community at Wisloe that benefits local communities and provides the homes the area needs in the right way. We are excited to share our masterplan which shows what a new community could look like and shares the technical work we've been conducting.

We've prepared summaries to help everyone understand what's in the report. Find out more about the masterplan report and browse the summaries.

If you have any question please contact wisloe@social.co.uk or 0330 107 0535.



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