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Milford Golf Course

9 Apr 2021

Discover how our specialists in ecology, arboriculture, and landscape helped expert land and planning consultancy, Satplan, ignite Milford Golf Course’s transformation into a residential area with a lush green space.  

The Project

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In 2018, all three disciplines ecology, arboriculture, and landscape worked together at Milford Golf Course on a proposal that sought to split the site in half to make room for a residential area featuring 180 homes.

The development site, whilst allocated in the Council’s Local Plan, contained an array of trees and woodland areas identified as green space to attract more wildlife. We worked collaboratively both as a team and alongside Waverley Borough Council and Natural England to design a development that benefited people as much as it did the natural environment.

The Client

We were brought into this project by Satplan, a land, and planning consultancy with over 40 years combined experience in the industry. Satplan has a prestigious portfolio of completed projects for residential, industrial, and commercial sites and we were thrilled to be working alongside them for this exciting project.

Our main contact was Shaun Taylor, Satplan’s Managing Director, and Founder. We worked closely with Shaun across three core disciplines to help deliver Satplan’s vision for the residential site on Milford Golf Course.

Our Approach

Our approach to this project was three-fold: Tyler Grange specialists in ecology, arboriculture, and landscape worked collaboratively to survey the natural habitats and their inhabitants as well as the trees in and around the site.

From there, they worked alongside stakeholders and specialist contractors to design and present a development plan for the Milford Golf Course, encompassing all aspects of the site.

Let’s look at the team’s approach in a bit more detail.

Nathan Jenkinson, Associate Ecologist at Tyler Grange took the lead for this project.

Ecology

Nathan Jenkinson, Associate Ecologist at Tyler Grange, was the lead ecologist for this project. His main task was surveying the different species and habitats in the woodland on site, which is recognised at a county level as an area where there were opportunities to enhance the area for biodiversity.

The survey provided a detailed analysis of how the new residential area would impact the natural environments while providing mitigation insights to help protect the wildlife.

There was also a Natura 2000 site less than a kilometer away from the site. As a protected natural space, it was key that a suitable, alternative green space for the future residents of Milford Golf Course was included in the plan. Otherwise, the new residents were at risk of damaging this protected site through overuse.

Also, a huge part of Nathan’s work was to ensure Natural England was happy with the specifications and the amount of green space recommended, known as Suitable Alternative Natural Greenspace (SANG). Natural England was invited to visit the site early on to discuss the designs and site options. Getting Natural England’s input from the outset meant that, by the planning application stage, it would be a smoother process to get the proposal over the line since key stakeholders had already given their approval.

Associate and Senior Arboricultural Consultant, Jamie Pratt also imparted his knowledge into the project.

Arboriculture

Jamie Pratt, Associate and Senior Arboricultural Consultant at Tyler Grange, conducted an arboricultural impact assessment for all the existing trees on site in line with the British Standard 5837-2012.

His findings informed the layout and design of the scheme proposed to minimise the impact on the trees and to address any compensatory or enhancement measures. The sites key arboricultural features, such as the woodland to the north/west and the mature southern boundary mature tree line wil be retained and protected as part of the development, and new tree planting will provide around the site’s boundaries and internally within the development to compensate for the removal of some younger trees.

Jamie also tackled the challenge of designing a plan where the roadside trees and vegetation is retained as much as possible without impacting visibility for new access points. He worked closely with transport consultants to achieve a balance between visibility requirements and tree retention.

Surveying the landscape and delivering an appraisal was left in the trusty hands of Jack Jewell.

Landscape Planning

Jack Jewell, Director and Chartered Landscape Consultant at Tyler Grange, led the landscape and visual appraisal. His goal was to understand and communicate the likely effect of the proposed development on the surrounding landscape and visual amenity.

From there, Jack needed to establish an overarching landscape strategy for the site, incorporating the provision of SANG – Suitable Alternative Natural Green Space – as this was a requirement for the site and integral to the strategic landscape masterplan. He worked closely with Nathan and Jamie to make sure that adequate functional green space was included in the development plan whilst maintaining screening at this settlement fringe location.

Getting Jack’s input from the get-go was integral to getting planning consent from Waverley Borough Council. It meant he could deliver an early steer on the emerging scheme layout through design and address the site’s constraints before they could turn into major problems that would be much more difficult to address in the future.

When the going gets rough...

Our team put their minds together when they became stuck (quite literally).

A boggy challenge

Nathan, Jamie and Jack all agree that the most challenging aspect of the project was the mature, wet woodland on site. The team needed to find a way to make the woodland accessible without causing damage to the trees and wildlife in the area.

Together, they came up with an intuitive design for an unobtrusive, high-quality boardwalk. Getting advice from specialists early on saved time and ensured that all the major issues were addressed before getting to the development stage.

The outcome

Working as a team, Nathan, Jack, and Jamie developed a plan for the Milford Golf Course project that:

  • Addressed ecological concerns
  • Provided insights into reducing the impact on wildlife
  • Minimised the impact on trees
  • Delivered feasible green space alternatives for SANG
  • Designed an accessible boardwalk for the wet woodland
  • Achieved approval from the local council and Natural England

Despite the complexity of the project, getting the plan over the line was a smooth process, helping us gain the best results for Satplan. Success came down to a strong collaborative approach and early input from key stakeholders. What’s more, Satplan was a fantastic client to work with. They trusted the team to get the job done, giving them the autonomy necessary to do their best work swiftly.

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Thoughts from Satplan

“Tyler Grange offers an unrivalled service across all of their disciplines, with integration at the heart of what they do. This unique approach makes our lives so much easier knowing that all outputs have been taken into account.

“Without question, we would recommend Tyler Grange. In fact, we’ve been recommending them to our clients for over 10 years! Tyler Grange has been our trusted advisor across multiple projects with a demonstrable record of success even on the most complex issues.”

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