Area Five (1, 2 & 3)

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Phoebe Merrick

Look at Romsey

Town Design Statement for Romsey

Great Woodley

Prepared by a team of volunteers in the area under the auspices of the
Romsey and District Society.

Woodley Residents Association Logo Great


Area Map

Great Woodley, Winterbourne Road
Great Woodley, Winterbourne Road

Area Setting and Landscape

Great Woodley is a residential area of the town of Romsey. It lies above the town on the plateau above the eastern slope of the valley of the River Test. Most of the houses in Great Woodley have been built since 1960.

The area is bounded by Winchester Road (A3090) to the south, Braishfield Road to the east, and Woodley Lane to the north and west. There are no watercourses in this area.

The district has two distinct areas of settlement. The larger development was laid out as a Radburn Estate, a design layout in which vehicles and pedestrians are largely separated. The smaller and newer estate forms a crescent on the north-east side, named Horseshoe Drive.

The area is fairly level, although there is a gentle slope to the west. From many parts of the central area, there are views of Romsey town centre and across to the western side of the Test valley. The northern side of Great Woodley is rural. Ganger Farm, Ampfield Woods and Hillier Arboretum are all nearby and help to create an attachment to the adjoining countryside.

Settlement Pattern

No houses face directly onto Winchester Road, and few onto either Braishfield Road or Woodley Lane. Thus the area is relatively inward looking.

The layout of roads is such that it is not possible to drive across Great Woodley. Instead, there are separate access points for traffic to different parts of the area.

Woodley Lane, junction with Cavendish Close
Woodley Lane, junction with Cavendish Close

Great Woodley Farmhouse
Great Woodley Farmhouse
The northern and western sides are reached from one of three access roads leading from Woodley Lane, as are Cupernham Junior School and Cupernham Infants School. Horseshoe Drive joins Woodley Lane at either end of the crescent. This road is wrapped around Great Woodley Farmhouse, a seventeenth-century listed building standing in a substantial plot of land.

The roads to the east have access from two access points from Braishfield Road, Anstey Road and Winterbourne Road. These two roads form three sides of a square acting as a local distributor road off which the eastern and southern parts of the estate can be reached. There is no vehicular access point directly from Winchester Road.

Despite the complexities of traffic access, the estate is fully permeable to pedestrians and it is easy to walk from one part to another. However the layout of the estate can be confusing and the road name signs are not entirely helpful. In particular it can be difficult to find specific addresses.

Direction sign on Woodley Green
Direction sign on Woodley Green

In the Radburn Estate layout vehicular access is to the back of the houses and pedestrian access at the front. In consequence many people use the back door as their main entrance. In Horseshoe Drive vehicles can drive up to the fronts of houses all of which have substantial private driveways, some shared.

The focus of Great Woodley is a large open grassed area known as The Green. Many houses have been built around The Green, with several facing directly onto it. The houses near Winchester Road, Braishfield Road and Woodley Lane are further from The Green, but none are very far from it. Horseshoe Drive is fairly self-contained but there are footpaths through to the rest of Great Woodley. Cupernham Infant and Junior Schools lie to the south-west of the area and are adjacent to The Green.

Most of the area is made up of terraced houses, although interspersed with a few rows of semi-detached buildings. In addition there are two blocks of flats which are three storeys tall, as is the block that contains a parade of shops at ground floor level and maisonettes above. On the Radburn Estate the layout of the terraces of houses was deliberately arranged to give a casual and informal structure. In some cases, houses have been built around small communal courtyards or facing onto small grassy areas Vehicular access is to the backs of the houses or to garage blocks.

Houses in Horseshoe Drive
Houses in Horseshoe Drive

Garages in Warren Gardens
Garages in Warren Gardens

The houses in Horseshoe Drive are detached having garages within their curtilages.

Elsewhere some properties have garages in their back gardens, usually built as joined pairs. In addition there are many garages standing in separate blocks, often screened by brick walls. Many of these garages, particularly their forecourts and the walls require immediate investment. Some walls have reached the point where they are considered hazardous. Furthermore, street lights have not always been placed to provide light to these enclaves, and many garages are not served by electricity.

Open and other spaces

The major open space in the area is The Green which is fairly central and greatly valued by residents. To the west of it lie the Cupernham Schools with their substantial playing fields that back onto houses in Woodley Lane and Fairview Drive. Cupernham Junior School has an outdoor swimming pool. The Green has a few trees on its perimeter and a children’s playground near the schools. There are two substantial open lawns in the vicinity of Fairview Close.

View across The Green
View across The Green

Trees in the courtyard of Halden Close
Trees in the courtyard of Halden Close
In addition the Woodley area has a number of communal small green areas and paved courtyards, some of which have trees growing in them. However many of these areas would benefit from remedial works and enhancement to improve the setting of the surrounding buildings. For example, there are several paved courtyards in which patches of grass show where trees once grew.

The estate is separated from Winchester Road by a shelter belt of trees that grow in a small disused gravel pit, known locally as 'The Dip'. The houses that face Braishfield Road are set well back and separated from the road by grass verges. In particular the verge at the southern end is wide. Similarly there are grass verges on the northern side of the estate along Woodley Lane. A number of houses in Horseshoe Drive have grass areas alongside the footways.

There is a substantial privately owned parking area in front of the shops in Warren Gardens and a service area behind. The shops include a Post Office/newsagent, a hardware shop, a launderette, a grocery store and a take-away. They are used by most households in this area.

Shops in Warren Gardens
Shops in Warren Gardens

Selborne Court
Selborne Court
The other two blocks of flats, Selborne Court and Winchester Court each stand in their own grounds which contain both grass areas and allocated residents’ car parking spaces.

There are a number of car parking spaces near the access roads. Many of them have small pieces of grass adjacent. Much of this grass is used for car parking which causes damage. In addition, some of the principal distributor roads are bordered by grass strips, often instead of tarmac or paved footways.


Design Recommendations

Arrow The main distributor roads should be provided with pedestrian footways
Arrow There is a need for more dropped kerbs at principal crossing points especially on routes serving schools.
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Setting and Landscape / Settlement Pattern / Open spaces - Area 5