Decisions expected soon on plans to build 1,600 new homes between Stoke Gifford and Hambrook

East of Harry Stoke New Neighbourhood: Crest Nicholson Masterplan (October 2018).

After more than two years of deliberations, two planning applications for a total of more than 1,600 new homes on former green belt land between Stoke Gifford and Hambrook look set to be brought to the decision table within the next few weeks.

The East of Harry Stoke New Neighbourhood site was allocated for development when South Gloucestershire Council’s Core Strategy was adopted in December 2013 and housebuilder Crest Nicholson submitted the two planning applications in August 2016. One application is for land south of the Great Western mainline railway and the other for land north of it.

The application on land south of the railway, PT16/4782/O, seeks outline permission for a mixed use development including 1,290 new homes, a local centre, community facilities, landscaping and open space and detailed access junctions.

The application on land north of the railway, PT16/4928/O, is for 327 new homes and associated infrastructure and landscaping. This is a hybrid application, with full permission being sought for some elements and outline permission for others. The full application is for 150 homes, an earthworks strategy, access and public open space. Outline permission is being sought for 177 new homes, as well as a new primary school and nursery.

Since the applications were first submitted, Crest Nicholson says it has engaged in comprehensive and ongoing discussions with planning officers at the council.

These discussions are understood to have focused primarily on matters relating to landscape, arboriculture, provision of sports pitches and the viability of the site with respect to the provision of affordable housing.

A major factor affecting viability is understood to be the need to divert two high voltage electricity lines which cross the area. It is proposed that these will be ‘under-grounded’ around the perimeter of the site.

A ‘site inspection meeting’ for the Crest ‘south’ application, attended by some of the councillors who sit on the committee which will determine the application, was held on Friday 21st September.

The application subsequently appeared on the agenda for a full planning committee scheduled to take place on Thursday 4th October, with officers recommending that it be approved, subject to a number of conditions.

The development south of the railway will be accessed from two new junctions on the recently opened Stoke Gifford Transport Link (a.k.a. Stoke Gifford By-Pass) which provides a link between Parkway North and the A4174 Ring Road. There will also be access from Old Gloucester Road, at a point 80m north of the bridge over the M32.

Should planning permission be granted, Crest Nicholson will be required to submit ‘reserved matters’ applications for the detailed planning consent on the southern site. These are likely to go to the council in early 2019.

The Journal understands that the first phase of development on the southern site will be the parcel of land north of the Stoke Gifford Transport Link, behind existing properties on Hambrook Lane.

Subject to planning permission being granted, Crest Nicholson says it hopes to be ‘on site’ by April 2019, with the first homes being sold by the end of 2019.

With regard to the land north of the railway, an SGC spokesperson told the Journal:

“The Crest ‘north’ application is currently at a less advanced stage. Amended plans were received, have been advertised and can be found on our website. At present, it is anticipated that the application will be forwarded to the Sites Inspection Sub-Committee at the end of October or early November, and then the DC (West) Committee in November or December.”

Image: Crest Nicholson Masterplan (October 2018). [Click to enlarge. Hi-res version available here on or as a JPEG or PDF on Dropbox.]

N.B. Annotations have been added by the Journal. Refer to the planning applications for definitive documents.

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Photo of councillors and officials at the recent site inspection meeting for the Crest 'south' planning application.

Photo: Councillors are talked through plans at the recent site inspection meeting for the Crest ‘south’ planning application.

This article originally appeared in the October 2018 issue of the Stoke Gifford Journal news magazine (on pages 10 & 11). 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.

Postcript (21st October 2018)

Planning permission for outline planning application PT16/4782/O (land south of the railway) was granted, subject to conditions, on 4th October 2018.

The Journal understands that the hybrid planning application on land north of the railway, PT16/4928/O, is likely be brought before the relevant committee in late November 2018.

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