A key focus of the Hersham Park development is to create a new Community Park and outdoor space for the whole community of Hersham and its neighbouring wards.
For the first time, local residents will be able to freely explore this part of the countryside on their doorstep, which was previously restricted to specific footpaths around and through the golf course.
In addition to the Community Park the scheme will include extensive landscaping, pocket parks, complementary green squares, and informal play areas.
This Community Park will make a significant contribution towards Elmbridge Borough Council’s call for potential Suitable Alternative Natural Green Space (SANG) sites. The designation of the community park as a SANG will ensure its protection from development in the future and ensure this element of Green Belt is retained in perpetuity.
Identifying and creating additional SANG is a key benefit to the Council. Elmbridge Borough Council targets a provision of 8 hectares (ha) of freely accessible space, per 1000 residents living within 5km to 7km of the Thames Basin Heathlands, which are Special Protection Areas for various protected bird species. This scheme will provide over and above the level of SANG land required for the new occupants meaning it can be allocated to other smaller developments within the area.
The proposed Community Parkland at Hersham Park will provide over 2.5km of pathways through the site that will benefit the physical and mental wellbeing of the wider community.
This outdoor green space will offer a varied landscape, which will include one larger pond, smaller water features, woodland glades, and the more open landscape towards the south. The open space and new native planting across the entire scheme will provide a biodiversity net gain.
The community park will be accessible to all and will be designed in line with Natural England’s best practice guidelines. A dedicated car park will be provided off the site’s existing Assher Road access, which will be close to the proposed community hub and café.
To ensure the scheme is sustainable and provides features which are specific to the local need, a community hub is proposed in the centre of the development adjacent to the main entrance to the Community Park. The community hub also overlooks the central square in the scheme which can provide spill out space for a proposed café.