Sites and Housing DPD Proposed Submission Document

Sites and Housing DPD Proposed Submission

SP53 - St Cross College Annex, Manor Place

St Cross College Annex, Manor Place

Site area: 1.24 hectares/3.06 acres

Ward: Holywell

Landowner: Merton College

Current use: Vacant former tennis courts, allotments and orchard

Flood Zone: FZ3b but FZ3a for sequential test

B2.124 This site consists of a mix of disused hard and grass tennis courts, abandoned private allotments and an orchard. It is a sensitive site as it is close to a number of listed buildings, the Holywell Cemetery and within the Central Conservation Area with a number of large trees on site. Any development would need to ensure that there was no adverse impact upon the setting of the listed buildings and the Central conservation area. There is high potential for archaeological interest on the site with Civil War defences having been excavated previously.

B2.125 The most appropriate vehicular access would be to widen and extend the existing pedestrian and cycle access from Manor Place to the north of the site, incorporating land in Merton College's ownership. Access via Holywell Mill Lane to the south is unlikely to be deliverable as it is not under the control of Merton College and the visibility at the junction with St Cross Road is substandard.

B2.126 In order to minimise traffic movements, the most appropriate uses for the site are either student accommodation or car free residential. The loss of the former sports facility is considered justified only due to the need for and benefits of new housing or student accommodation.

B2.127 Residential use of the site in Flood Zone 3a has been justified through the sequential test. The site satisfied all but one part of the Exception Test (relating to reducing overall flood risk) but this remaining part would be difficult to fulfil until the proposed development is designed. A site specific flood risk assessment will be required which must demonstrate how the development will be safe otherwise planning permission will not be granted.     


Planning permnission will be granted for student accommodation or car free residential development or a mix of both uses at St Cross College Annex. Planning permission will not be granted for any other uses.

Careful design must ensure that development proposals contribute towards the character of the conservation area and preserve and enhance nearby listed buildings and their setting.

Development should be designed to ensure that there is no adverse impact on the New Marston Meadows SSSI. A buffer zone should be provided during the construction period to avoid disturbance to the Magdalen Grove SSSI. Important trees should be retained. A biodiversity study will be expected to ensure that development would have no adverse impact on any UKBAP habitat.

A planning application must be accompanied by a site-specific flood risk assessment and development should incorporate any necessary mitigation measures.