© Bloor Homes

Planning Permission Approved for the Erection of 50 Open Market Dwellings in Cheltenham.

15 June 2021

On behalf of Bloor Homes, the Ridge planning team led the preparation, submission and monitoring of the planning application. The proposal included new planting, the provision of electric vehicle charging points and cycle parking, a new pedestrian crossing at New Barn Lane and the implementation of a travel plan and bin and cycle stores. Whilst there was no provision for on-site affordable housing, Bloor contributed a significant off-site contribution.

The application site, which was a greenfield site, formed part of the original outline consent for the wider development which proposed an extra care facility on this parcel of land. However, as no detailed reserved matters application was ever submitted for this element of the site and it remained undeveloped, the original consent had lapsed.

In submitting the proposal, Ridge had to address the following issues;

(i) principle,
(ii) visual impact and design,
(iii) impact on neighbouring properties,
(iv) trees and landscaping,
(v) highways,
(vi) ecology,
(vii) S.106 including affordable housing.

Ridge presented a robust case demonstrating that as the Council has no policy requiring the delivery of a particular form of housing on this site and there was a shortfall of housing overall, the loss of the extra care facility was acceptable. As an acceptable agreement was reached with regards to affordable housing, the principle was considered to be acceptable. Ridge was able to demonstrate that the scheme was acceptable in terms of design and layout and, despite the concerns of some neighbouring residents, demonstrated that there would not be any significant adverse impacts in terms of residential amenity. The LPA agreed that the scheme represented an acceptable balance between safety and security whilst creating an accessible and permeable development.

Ridge worked closely with the Tree Officer and Townscape team to ensure that the overall landscape strategy would fit in with that of the wider Starvehall Farm site. Ridge also worked with the ecologist and Badger Trust to ensure that the proposal’s impact upon ecology and biodiversity was acceptable.

Whilst the was no on-site provision of affordable housing, Bloor proposed a commuted sum to be spent on affordable housing off-site. Ridge argued that whilst the Council would normally expect affordable housing to be provided on site, given the nature of the scheme which provides apartments within blocks there would be management issues for any registered provider in having apartments pepper potted through the scheme. Similarly, to allocate one of the blocks would be undesirable in terms of social mix and integration. As such the LPA was persuaded that the justification for an off-site contribution was acceptable in this instance.

The LPA agreed that the development of the site in the manner proposed would complete the Starvehall Farm development with a scheme which makes efficient use of the land available. Furthermore it was agreed that the benefits of the proposal significantly outweighed any impacts.