Given the site's edge of settlement and partly Greenfield nature, landscape impact is an important factor to consider when developing the concept layout. Accordingly, landscape architects were instructed to assess the site and provide advice on how best to evolve a sensitive scheme, prior to any substantive work being undertaken to develop the proposals.
The landform falls from the west to the east, with a high point of approximately 101m Above Ordinance Datum adjacent to the western boundary, to a low point of approximately 94m Above Ordinance Datum at the south-eastern corner.
The landform within and to the north of the site along with the mature boundary hedgerows and trees result in the site being heavily screened from the majority of the surrounding landscape. The site is bound on two sides by roads, Trinity Lane to the western boundary and St John's Way to the south. The landscape surrounding the site contains a variety of manmade landscapes. Sports pitches with associated buildings and flood lights are located to the west, and Chipping Sodbury Golf Club is located to the north-west.
Further influences within close proximity to the site are a block of mature woodland associated with Frome Valley (approximately 100m to the east) and the existing residential development of Chipping Sodbury which lies adjacent to the southern edge of St John's Way.
Initial analysis indicates that the site is considered capable of being developed without having a significant impact on the surrounding landscape that includes Common Land to the north and east and the Cotswolds AONB which lies some distance to the east of the site on higher ground. The site boundary vegetation and surrounding intervening mature vegetation results in a considerable level of visual screening. The sloping landform within the site and the high ground to the north limits the extent of site visibility to a relatively small visual envelope and as such few visual receptors will be affected.
The retention and enhancement of the on-site hedgerow vegetation with the addition of new hedgerow and tree planting, and the consideration of both the scale and density of development and site frontages, would result in the development not having an unacceptable or harmful impact on the local character or landscape context. The development will also utilise brownfield land in part and the removal of what is currently an unattractive collection of commercial buildings is considered to be of benefit to the wider landscape.