House builder Crest Nicholson has submitted detailed plans for the first phase of its 1,200 home development on former green belt land at Harry Stoke.
The application, for 166 dwellings, comes seven months after a masterplan for part of the development (phases 1 & 2 with parts of phases 3 & 5) was approved by South Gloucestershire Council (SGC), in September 2011.
Access to the site will initially be from the Avon Ring Road (A4174), via a new road that heads northwards from a point opposite the Holiday Inn before it turns left to run westwards through the new development.
The first section of the access road will eventually form the southernmost part of the Stoke Gifford by-pass which, when complete, will link the Avon Ring Road to Great Stoke Way, near the Virgin Active Health Club. The by-pass forms part of the £102m North Fringe to Hengrove Bus Rapid Transit Scheme, which was approved for Government funding in December last year.
Land at Harry Stoke was first earmarked for development in SGC’s Local Plan, adopted in January 2006. The plan anticipated that 900 homes would be built by 2011 but a series of legal wrangles and the economic downturn have meant that construction is still yet to start.
An application for outline planning permission submitted in March 2006 had to be determined by a planning inspector in October 2007 after the Council failed to issue a decision within the required time frame. The inspector recommended that the application be refused but this was later overruled by the Secretary of State in December 2007.
Despite being granted permission, Crest Nicholson failed to commence work on the development, claiming that the depressed state of the housing market had rendered it unviable. Negotiations with SGC led to the Council agreeing, in December 2010, to a reduction in ‘Section 106’ contributions demanded of the developer. A reduction in the proportion of social housing units from 33.3% to 25% was also agreed at this time.
A further alteration to the conditions attached to the original planning permission was agreed in February 2011, permitting Crest Nicholson to construct the access road from the Avon Ring Road ahead of the one from Great Stoke Way (near Friends Life).
Photo: Proposed site of the Harry Stoke new neighbourhood, viewed from the junction of Great Stoke Way and Westfield Lane, Stoke Gifford, Bristol.
SGC’s Core Strategy, the Council’s development plan for the period up to 2026, designates more land ‘East of Harry Stoke’ (as far as the M4 M32) as another new neighbourhood and earmarks it for the building of a further 2,000 homes, to be constructed from 2016/17.
More information: Harry Stoke New Neighbourhood (The Journal)