Holmwood Park, Ferndown

NEW Masterplanning were asked by local developer Libra Homes to test the development potential of a site on the southern edge of Ferndown in Dorset. Holmwood Park was being considered for allocation in the East Dorset and Christchurch Core Strategy for 85 dwellings. There were initial concerns from the Council over access to the site, the potential impact on the historic Holmwood House, existing woodland, moving the green belt boundary and coalescence with the neighbouring village of Longham.

Our initial landscape appraisal and design concepts showed that the site could achieve a higher potential of development, with a better more permanent greenbelt boundary. Working closely with the District Council Officers we developed a masterplan for 148 dwellings set in a landscaped ‘bowl’ between the treed setting of Holmwood House and woodland of Poor Common. An existing walled garden was retained for communal use, drainage ditches were retained and enhanced bringing water features past front doors and connections to existing green infrastructure were made.

A central green takes advantage of excellent long range views, the topography of the site and incorporates a children’s play facility. Access to the site is to be delivered through a sensitive wooded setting, the team worked with the highway and tree officer on site to agree the design. Our design work with the Nicholas Pearson ecology team helped to achieve a satisfactory screening opinion where the local authority would not require an EIA for the development.

The landscape strategy proposed a 7.0 ha SANGS to alleviate pressure on the existing heathland. Work was also undertaken at a strategic level to discern how the SANGS at Holmwood could act as a gateway to support the council’s wider ambitions to improve the Stour Valley as a recreational asset. The planning application has been submitted and is awaiting approval.