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New guidance sheds light on proposed sustainable community at Wisloe

New details of how a proposed sustainable new community near Slimbridge, Gloucestershire, could look are revealed today [20th February 2023] in new draft designs submitted to Stroud District Council.

The draft Wisloe Design Code sets out defining principles which help guide how streets and homes at Wisloe might look if the site is developed in the future. This guidance document also covers how infrastructure and community amenities may be set out on the Wisloe site.

Landowners Gloucestershire County Council and The Ernest Cook Trust progressed the draft Design Code to provide further clarity on important principles which shape the new community.

Stroud District Council's Local Plan recommends the proposed development site for Wisloe as one area where new homes could be built between now and 2040.

A spokesperson for the Wisloe Project Team said:

“The publication of this new Design Code is an important moment in the development of plans for a sustainable new community at Wisloe.

“We have exciting proposals, which set out what Wisloe's streets and homes could look like, and how residents living on the site may live, work, play, and travel if the proposals for the community are supported.

“We can also see how the plans could support a sustainable community and how the site's natural elements would benefit residents.”

Principles for sustainable design

The Design Code shows how the new community could support sustainability and enhance local wildlife and plant life.

These could include:

  • Wildflower meadows and new wetland areas, and planting of new native trees and hedgerows including oak, alder, cherry and lime.
  • Boundary fences to incorporate hedgehog holes allowing the animals to move through residential gardens.
  • Bird and bat boxes, near to green spaces and hedgerows across the site, at an average rate of two per home or building.
  • A proposed fruit tree for all new gardens for possible future residents to enjoy.

A healthy place

Elsewhere, details reveal how the plans for the new settlement would support more healthy and active travel, through new measures to promote walking and cycling, and play and activity areas.

These include:

  • A proposed new public pedestrian and cycle route providing an accessible route east-west across the site, joining up to National Cycle Network Route 41 and the planned Cam, Dursley & Uley Greenway.
  • Segregated cycleways and a range of secure cycle storage across the community.
  • Details of new allotments and orchards and other areas which enable formal and informal play and exercise.
  • Three proposed new parks at:
    • Wisloe Park, a 1.5-hectare green space with flexible use pitches and a multi-use games area, pavilion or community shelter, and adjacent events area, and a playground.
    • Lightenbrook Park, a 1.7-hectare green space with flexible use pitches, a youth shelter, and a community orchard.
    • Orchard Park, a 1-hectare park with flexible use pitches, informal play opportunities, seating, and a community orchard.

The Wisloe Project Team continues to engage residents and organisations. In 2022, a business breakfast event was held in Coaley in July, a street stall in Cam in May, a surgery event in Slimbridge in April and a public engagement event at Slimbridge AFC in March.

The project spokesperson added:

“Involving the local community is an important part of shaping plans for Wisloe. This new Design Code sets out some important principles for planners and future partners to consider.

“We recognise that it remains early days for this project, but we are also proud of the work that has already gone into this and are confident that it meets national standards for a high quality, sustainable community.”

The Wisloe site is recommended for inclusion in Stroud District Council's new Local Plan, which provides a planning policy framework for the district for the period up to 2040. A government inspector is due to examine the draft Local Plan at a public hearing during 2023.