Royal Holloway is planning to submit an application to Runnymede Borough Council on 15 July 2022 to build a new research facility on its main campus.
Once built, the Omnidrome building will allow operators to develop and test specialist electric drones in a confined, safe space, without disrupting residents, or those on campus.
The build should only take two to three weeks, as the structure is primarily fabricated offsite, and will start in Spring 2023.
The eight-metre high hanger will be constructed using insulated metal skinned panels which will restrict any additional light pollution from the building and will also screen the lighting impact of the existing car park lighting columns.
The insulation will also limit noise, whilst the drones being tested will be electric, rather than petrol, therefore quieter in nature.
Restrictions on the hours of operation will be applied to reflect the typical working day, for example 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday, with limited weekend use.
The existing, established tree cover along the boundary of the car park will be retained with no need to remove any trees for the development.
The retention of the existing trees will serve as a natural, visual and acoustic buffer between the building and adjacent properties to the east.
Car parking and work vehicles
Part of the site of car park four will be used for the new build, however, since the global pandemic, the university has seen a significant reduction in parking demand and therefore, the loss of part of this car park will not affect the ability to accommodate ongoing parking demand across the university estate.
Work vehicles will arrive via Piggery gate or the main entrance during working hours.
The planning application
The planning application will be informed and supported by the following technical studies and assessments:
Arboricultural Impact Assessment: to ensure the development does not impact adjacent trees along the boundary of the development site.
Ecological Survey and Assessment: to ensure the development does not impact species or habitat in the immediate locality or wider area.
Transport Statement: to evidence that the development will not give rise to transport impacts on the immediate and wider transport network.
Noise Assessment: to assess the anticipated noise output from the new building and to ensure it will not have an adverse noise impact on local residents.
Surface Water Drainage Strategy: to detail the proposed surface water drainage connection to manage and control surface water runoff.
We would welcome your views regarding the proposed Drone Research Facility development and request that comments are either emailed to email@example.com or posted to Stride Treglown, Promenade House, The Promenade, Clifton Down, Clifton, Bristol, BS8 3NE.
The consultation will conclude at midnight on Sunday, 10 July 2022.
It is anticipated that, following review of comments received, the submission to Runnymede Borough Council will follow soon thereafter.