Parish council withdraws from Harry Stoke community centre project

CGI of a proposed community building.
Visualisation of the proposed Brooklands Park Community Centre, Harry Stoke (Stoke Gifford). View from north-east.

A project to provide a community centre to serve the residents of around 1,200 new homes in Harry Stoke has suffered a setback after Stoke Gifford Parish Council pulled out of negotiations to run the new facility.

The planned community centre will serve the existing Highbrook Park estate, Crest Nicholson’s under-construction Brooklands Park development, Linden Home’s under-construction Brook Park development and yet-to-be-approved developments on two other parcels of land At Harry Stoke.

Funding for the construction of the centre is being provided by the housing developers, as part of their community infrastructure commitments.

Location map.
Approximate location (marked with an ‘X’) of the proposed Brooklands Community Centre in Harry Stoke (Stoke Gifford).

In 2019, the parish council formed a working group to examine the possibility of running the centre and an initial expression of interest was registered with South Gloucestershire Council. Since then, the group has been working on a business plan, which assumed that financial support would be provided by the local authority for the first three years of operation.

The parish council’s plans were shared at a public information session in June 2022, ahead of which it was stated that construction of the community centre was expected to begin in July 2022, with completion targeted for April 2023.

Kitchen & Laundry Appliance Care.

However, in July 2022, it was revealed that the parish council was asking SGC to underwrite a potential business case deficit of £150,000 over the first three years, which was proving a stumbling block.

At the end of that month, following further meetings with SGC, parish councillors “reluctantly” took a decision not to take on the operation of the new building.

A parish council spokesperson told the Journal:

“Councillors felt that the potential operating deficit for the first three years posed an unacceptable risk to the financial stability of the parish council, even with the financial support offered by South Gloucestershire Council.”

“Councillors continue to support SGC’s officers in efforts to find an operator for the building.”

A spokesperson for SGC confirmed to the Journal that the talks had broken down, saying

“Up until 1st August there were monthly meetings between South Gloucestershire Council (SGC) and Stoke Gifford Parish Council (SGPC) attempting to find an agreement on leasing the building to them, but SGPC ultimately did not accept the terms offered. We are now seeking a local group to run the centre.”


In response to a question about the timescale for constructing the centre, the SGC spokesperson said:

“We are currently in discussion with Crest Nicholson as to when construction work for the community centre will start, and therefore we are unable to provide a firm date for its completion at present.”

Occupancy schedule

New homes at Crest Nicholson’s Brooklands Park development in Harry Stoke (August 2022).

The community centre is designed to serve the whole development of approximately 1,200 dwellings proposed for the Harry Stoke area.

To date, detailed planning permission has been granted for 929 homes (the 763 at Brooklands Park/Brook Park plus the first phase – 166 dwellings at Highbrook Park).

An application for the final phases (6 & 7) is pending and a decision is likely to be taken in the new year.

Crest Nicholson recently reported approximately 480 completed homes on the site to date.

A spokesperson for SGC said:

“We understand that Crest Nicholson estimate that the site will be completed/fully occupied (approx. 1,200 dwellings) in 2027.”

More information and related links:

Stoke Gifford and Little Stoke A-Z directory of trades and services.

Expressions of interest sought

UPDATE added 19th October 2022.

The following statement has appeared on the South Gloucestershire Council website:

“We are seeking to appoint an operator for a new community centre which will shortly start construction in Harry Stoke. Expressions of interest are invited from local community and non-profit-making organisations. In all cases, a lease will only be offered where applications received are considered to be satisfactory.”

Interested parties are asked to make contact by 31st October 2022.

More details: Property for sale or rent (SGC)

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One comment

  1. As usual plans for building houses passed with NO infrastructure in place like community facilities, surgery and road net work . Abroad the infrastructure has to be in place before building of the houses.

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