43% of the site remains as green space. A large central meadowland area provides sustainable drainage as well as a natural playspace and a kick about pitch.
The redesigned woodland will improve areas that are currently not looked after and make them more appropriate for a residential development setting. The existing woodland to the southern boundary consists primarily of plantation stock Scots Pine, Sitka Spruce and Larch. The plantation species would be supplemented with a native deciduous mix, creating structure and providing future succession and life to the woodland. In the long term this would provide habitat and food resource for local fauna, create an accessible and permeable green boundary for the community and form an appropriate setting for the restoration of the currently degraded footpath referred to as GB/2 Core Path.
A tree survey has been carried out to establish the condition of the trees. Some trees need to be removed – however any trees removed will be replaced with more trees being planted than removed. 21,500 new transplants (young trees) will be planted to create strong boundaries on all sides.
Much of the existing woodland has not been actively managed in recent years and this has led to some deterioration with trees being regularly blown down in strong winds. A management plan for the open space and woodland will be put in place to ensure its success and safety for all.
During ecological surveys a number of habitats and species were identified on site including broadleaved woodland, hedgerows, nesting and breeding birds, bats and barn owl. Although not identified at the time of survey, the potential for badger and reptile was also noted.
A range of mitigation and enhancements are proposed to ensure no net loss of biodiversity. These include:
- Maintaining the rough tussocky grassland in areas of green space;
- Utilising the Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SUDS) as opportunities to enhance the site for species such as amphibians,
- Enhancement to woodland planting of native species; and
- The use of bird and bat boxes and log piles to create additional habitats for species within the site.
The retention of so much of the open space and woodland will provide excellent opportunities for habitat retention, but also biodiversity enhancement and creation.
We acknowledge that a development of this size will impact on the availability of school places in the local area and that it is our responsibility to work with the Council to provide additional capacity and solutions.
The build programme at Dykebar is six to eight years with pupils starting in August 2023 at the earliest. After that pupils will gradually enter schools over the build period, so not all new pupils will need to be accommodated immediately allowing the education capacity to grow to meet demand.
There are no anticipated capacity pressures at the local non-denominational secondary school – Paisley Grammar or at St Charles’ RC Primary School. The local non-denominational primary school – Todholm Primary School – is currently operating near capacity and there are existing capacity pressures at the denominational (Roman Catholic) secondary school – St Andrews Academy.
As part of the planning application process, we are working with the Council to agree the final education proposals and the level financial payment that we will make to ensure adequate school capacity.
There are 2 proposed vehicle access points off Grahamston Road – a new 3 arm roundabout and use of the current hospital access. There will be several pedestrian and cycle connections which will integrate the development with neighbouring areas and provide attractive walking and cycling routes.
The Transport Assessment has identified mitigation measures on the road network including roundabout improvements at Hawkhead Road/Hurlet Road and Hurlet Road/Grahamston Road. New Traffic signals are proposed on Hurlet Road at Ben Nevis Road to reduce unnecessary u-turn mileage. The Transport Assessment has also looked into active travel measures and walking and cycling routes will be enhanced across the site. There will also be several walking and cycling accesses that will link with existing network surrounding the site. The development also proposes new pedestrian crossing facilities and the development with connect with current and proposed walking and cycling provision on Hawkhead Road and Hurlet Road.
The Council will review the transport proposals as part of the planning application and decide what final improvements are required.
A planning application has been made for 603 new homes ranging from 1 bedroom apartments to 5 bedroom villas. Much of the existing woodland will be improved and restored woodland walkways will remain for public use as well as new outdoor public play areas and a kick about pitch.
Approximately 93 acres has been identified as surplus to NHS requirements and therefore suitable for development.
55 acres will be used for new homes and 43% – will be retained as woodland and greenspace for residents and the wider community to enjoy.
A wide range of house types will be available for sale including apartments, terraced, semi-detached and detached that will cater for most household requirements.
The plans provide for a mix of home types suiting a variety of budgets. Sales prices will not be available until the launch of each phase of the development.
The housebuilders have assessed impacts on infrastructure such as roads, flooding and schools as well as woodland and wildlife. Reports on all of these matters have been submitted as part of the planning application and the Council will decide the final level of contribution and/or mitigation required.
In the Renfrewshire 2014 Local Development Plan, the site was allocated as having potential to provide medium to long term residential expansion to Paisley. It has been allocated as a housing site in the 2019 Proposed Local Development Plan.
There is a need for new homes in Paisley. Renfrewshire Council has an obligation to provide sufficient housing land to meet local housing demand. The Renfrewshire Economic Strategy 2020-30 advises that 5,000 new homes are needed over the next decade.
The NHS also has an obligation to achieve best value for land that it is selling. Income from land sales allows reinvestment into the existing NHS Estate and front line services.
NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC) is undergoing a major transformation and redevelopment programme and disposal of surplus non-operational property allows reinvestment in front line services.
Existing NHS facilities at Dykebar, both clinical and administrative, will remain securing 380 jobs on site supporting existing adult mental health wards, outpatient mental health services, finance, estates, administration and Health & Social Care Partnership (HSCP) support.
All monies received will remain with NHSGGC to provide better services from improved facilities. NHSGCC will reinvest in Dykebar.
There are 10 listed buildings on site however only one of these, which is now dilapidated, is within the land being sold by the NHS. An application to demolish this Grade B listed building has been given consent by the Council.
Land is being retained to allow for any future expansion needs.
The housebuilders have held two public events (June 2018 and September 2019) and have attended meetings with Hawkhead and Paisley East & Whitehaugh Community Councils. In addition, we have formed a neighbourhood liaison group from interested households around the site. We have also been consulting with local businesses and families.
A planning application was made in December 2019. This is now being reviewed by Renfrewshire Council and consultees. A report will go forward to a future Council “Communities, Housing and Planning Policy” Board for decision.
This is dependent on when all the necessary statutory consents are granted. It is anticipated that the earliest site start would be 2021.
The development should take between 6-8 years in total to complete. This will depend on a variety of factors including the rate of house sales. We would anticipate a 1 year lead in from planning consent prior to the construction of any new homes.
If granted approval, how do you plan to ensure that disruption is minimised during the construction phase?
All three companies are recognised responsible developers and good neighbours. A Construction Management Plan will be completed for approval by Renfrewshire Council, which will ensure best construction practices are adhered to so disruption is minimised through the construction process.
The potential flood area has been identified and we’ve agreed with the Council and Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA), which areas can be developed on: no areas that are at risk of flooding will have homes built on them.
Surface water will be managed through Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SUDS). Drainage will be improved with surface water draining to a retention basin which will manage outflow to the Tod Burn. This will ensure there is no detrimental impact on the Tod Burn downstream of the development. As a result, existing flooding problems from the Burn will be improved.
Economic Benefit & Social Value
We have commissioned an independent economic and social impact assessment undertaken in line with the Scottish Government’s guidance on ‘Net Economic Benefit and Planning’. Benefits include:
- £150 million new capital investment.
- 100 full time equivalent (FTE) construction jobs, injecting an additional £39.7 million into the regional construction sector.
- An additional £1.9 million per annum in new Council Tax receipts.
- £18.0 million per annum in total household expenditure, with more than £7.3 million of this accounted for by new consumer retail spending.
- NHSGGC improvements of the retained estate at Dykebar Hospital and retention of 380 clinical and administrative staff on site.
At the appropriate time, the consortium will work with Invest in Renfrewshire to deliver local employment and supply chain opportunities and employability support to local schools. We will also work to ensure new residents are aware of the range of local business, retail, food and leisure opportunities on offer in Paisley.
NHSGGC intend to develop several legacy projects including improvements to the woodland and landscaping, possible art projects and potential use of vacant space which is not required by NHSGCC.