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Crab Hill Wantage

Wantage, Lands Improvement Holdings

Crab Hill is one of the South-East’s most significant strategic housing projects. Due to its location, scale and the inherent qualities of the site it presents a great opportunity to develop a high quality, sustainable mixed-use development. OPEN led the masterplanning process for Land Improvement Holdings (LIH) which involved the delivery of representations to the emerging Core Strategy and the preparation of an Outline Application for up to 1500 residential units, combined with a primary school, a neighbourhood centre and other supporting mixed uses. The site is located on the urban edge of Wantage and extends to around 90ha. Due to its sensitive edge condition and a significant number of residential properties ‘backing’ onto the site, a careful approach to design has been essential. Despite the scale of the application OPEN has ensured that parameter blocks are thoroughly tested, thereby ensuring that the development block quantum are deliverable and ensuring that LIH as master developers have a robust and detailed GFA analysis on which to base their assumptions and viability.

OPEN was also commissioned to prepare the Landscape and Visual chapter of the Environmental Assessment. In tackling this stream of work in parallel with the masterplan design process, a more sensitively planned proposal has emerged. This has been critical as the site abuts both an AONB and an important green wedge which functions to prevent coalescence.

Planning was approved at Committee in February 2014 and work is currently progressing on clearing associated conditions.