Anyone who has driven along the A4174 Ring Road between Abbey Wood and Hambrook recently can’t failed to have noticed the plethora of housing developer signs that have sprung up along the northern edge of the road, with Crest Nicholson and Linden Homes telling us that some new development is ‘Coming soon’ and urging us to ‘Register now’.
Journal readers will be aware from previous articles that 2,000 new homes are to be built on either side of the Stoke Gifford By-Pass, which links Parkway North with the Ring Road. This development is known as the ‘East of Harry Stoke (EoHS) New Neighbourhood’, where the houses are currently planned to be completed between 2020 and 2026, subject to further planning approvals and S106 agreements.
This is in addition to the 1,200 new homes earmarked over a decade ago for an adjoining area further to the west known as ‘Land at Harry Stoke’ (LaHS). Here, just 166 units of the approved housing quota have so far been delivered – at Crest Nicholson’s Highbrook Park development.
Little has happened on the ground for the last couple of years, but that all changed in July when excavators began work in earnest on land between Westfield Way and Highbrook Park. The Journal understands that this activity is associated with the construction of a new access road that the developers are contractually obliged to provide before the 200th home can be occupied on the LaHS site, suggesting that house building might be about to resume.
Above: Construction activity at a site off Westfield Lane.
Meanwhile, behind the scenes, Crest Nicholson has been urging South Gloucestershire Council (SGC) to move towards making a decision on its reserved matters (detailed) planning application to build 763 homes on the west-most part of the LaHS site, bordering Harry Stoke Road. As previously reported, the land here was recently acquired by Crest Nicholson, who went on to submit a swathe of revised drawings in November 2018, angering local residents who claim the new plans are no longer compliant with design codes associated with the outline planning permission granted back in 2007.
Describing the latest proposals as “a modern, urban design with some tall blocks and a cramped layout”, the objectors argue that this clashes with the traditional and locally listed buildings in the historic hamlet of Harry Stoke. They have also raised concerns over an alleged over-concentration of affordable housing towards the southern end of the site and along part of the ‘rural edge’ along Harry Stoke Road.
Eighteen of the residents have now grouped together to investigate the possibility of taking legal action by using the services of a planning expert solicitor, in an effort to “achieve a better development on [their] doorstep”.
A reserved matters application for 263 homes on the third parcel of land within LaHS was made by Crest Nicholson in December 2017. This lies to the south of the already-built Highbrook Park development, bordering the Ring Road. The SGC planning portal records no recent activity in connection with this application although it is noted that a recent housing supply report published by SGC foresees the first houses on this site being delivered in 2022, subject to the undergrounding of power lines.
A recent development concerning the EoHS New Neighbourhood saw an SGC committee meeting being brought forward by two weeks in July, to resolve legal technicalities that were blocking progress on an S106 agreement associated with Crest Nicholson’s ‘land south of the railway’ site.
Above: Illustrative map showing areas allocated for development and details of the the corresponding planning applications. [Click on icon on top right to view full screen]
The individual development areas in detail…
LAND AT HARRY STOKE
 Planning ref: PT12/1302/RM
Crest: Highbrook Park
166 homes already built
 Planning ref: PT17/5810/RM
Status: Awaiting decision
Crest: Brooklands Park
Linden Homes: Brook Park
763 homes planned
Delivery: 2019 to 2028
 Planning ref: PT17/5847/RM
Status: Awaiting decision
Crest: Highbrook Park Phase 2
257 homes planned
Delivery: 2022 to 2026
EAST OF HARRY STOKE
 Planning ref: PT16/4782/O
Status: Outline permission; S106 and reserved matters pending
Crest: ‘South of the railway’
1,290 homes planned
Delivery: 2020 to 2026
 Planning ref: PT16/4928/O
Status: Part approved; S106 and some reserved matters pending
Crest: ‘North of the railway’
327 homes planned
Delivery: 2020 to 2024
This article originally appeared in the September 2019 issue of the Stoke Gifford Journal magazine (on pages 8 & 9). The magazine is delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH, to over 5,000 homes in Stoke Gifford, Little Stoke and Harry Stoke. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.
UPDATE (17th September 2019)
South Gloucestershire Council’s Strategic Sites Delivery Committee will consider Crest Nicholson 763-home PT17/5810/RM reserved matters planning application at its meeting this Thursday (19th September 2019). Council officers have recommended approval. More info: Meeting agenda and reports