Drop-in session to address concerns over revised plans for 763 homes at Harry Stoke

Photo of concerned residents gathered at a field gate near the junction of Westfield Lane and Harry Stoke Road.

Residents of Harry Stoke have expressed concern over revised plans for a proposed housing development that would see 763 homes constructed on land immediately east of Harry Stoke Road.

The greenfield site forms part of a wider area which was designated in South Gloucestershire Council’s Local Plan, adopted in 2006, for the construction of a total of 1,200 homes. Outline planning permission for the whole site was subsequently granted in 2007.

So far, only 166 of the 1,200 homes have been built, at Crest Nicholson’s Highbrook Park development further to the east. A third block of 263 homes, planned for the area immediately south of Highbrook Park, makes up the total allowed by the Local Plan.

A reserved matters (detailed) planning application for “763 dwellings, community building, nursery and retail units with parking, landscaping and associated works” on the land closest to Harry Stoke Road was submitted by Muben Investments in December 2017. However, the land has recently been acquired by Crest Nicholson, who submitted a swathe of revised plans in late November 2018. In a covering letter submitted with the new plans, Crest explains that the changes have been necessary to substitute its own housetypes. It concedes that there are many other plans that still need to be updated, but argues that these should not hold up determination of the planning application as they can be addressed through ‘pre-commencement conditions’.

Speaking at a meeting of Stoke Gifford Parish Council on 8th January, local residents expressed concern that the style of housing proposed along Harry Stoke Road had been “completely changed” and was out of keeping with the existing architecture in Harry Stoke hamlet.

Residents were also angered by the fact that the consultation period coincided with the festive break and expired before the parish council could properly consider it at a formal meeting.

One resident expressed the view that Crest were “trying it on”, while a councillor said the submission of new plans “completely trashed” the results of previous consultations.

Speaking to the Journal near the site a few days later, residents added that they are concerned about the height of properties (up to 4-storeys) on the highest part of the site, the altering of contours (land levelling), the preservation of a historic moat and a reduction in the number of retail units proposed.

In response to an enquiry from the Journal, a Crest Nicholson spokesperson said:

“We are working closely with the parish council and the local community with regards to the reserved matters planning application for 763 homes on land in Harry Stoke. In line with this, we’re hosting an information session on Tuesday 5th February from 4pm to 8pm at St Michael’s Centre in Stoke Gifford. The community event has been set up to provide further information and answer any questions. We welcome all residents in the surrounding community to attend.”

• Planning ref: PT17/5810/RM

Photo: Concerned residents gather at a field gate near the junction of Westfield Lane and Harry Stoke Road, from where part of the proposed development site can be viewed.

This article originally appeared in the February 2019 issue of the Stoke Gifford Journal news magazine (on page 17). 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.

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