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Gloucestershire Business News

Cheltenham Aldi to be built before 6,000 square metre business park

Developers have won their fight with Cheltenham Borough Council to allow a supermarket to be built on the site of a proposed business park.

Aldi CGI. Credit: Cheltenham Planning

Hinton Properties (Grovefield Way) Ltd won an appeal in February 2019 to build 5,914 square metres of commercial office space, a 502 sqm day nursery and 1,742 sqm Aldi supermarket on land off Grovefield Way.

Situated adjacent to Cotswold BMW's new showroom, the site was previously within the Gloucester-Cheltenham Green Belt but following the adoption of the Gloucester, Cheltenham and Tewkesbury Joint Core Strategy, the site has now been removed from the Green Belt.

The plan was originally turned down by Cheltenham planners because of the fact that non-B1 (food retail units and day nursery) were included in the proposed development, which originally gained outline approval in 2007 solely as a business park.

Business park CGI. Credit: Cheltenham Planning

That decision was appealed and the scheme was granted subject to a Costa Coffee store being removed from the plan and certain other conditions being met.

One of those was that: "The A1 food retail unit shall not be occupied until B1 office units labelled 'office 1' and 'office 2' and 'office 5' have been constructed and are capable of occupation."

Within the decision notice, the inspector said that this was to ensure that 'the prime purpose of the business park is achieved'.

Hinton Properties applied for removal of this constraint in September 2019, on the basis that they felt it was 'preventing delivery' and placing a disproportionate financial burden on the applicant.

Business park site plan. Credit: Cheltenham Planning

They argued that retail elements of the scheme should be provided upfront, thereby creating a more attractive offer to business park tenants. This should then in turn bring the remainder of the site forward in a timely manner.

The request for condition removal was backed by a funding report from property investment and commercial property advisors Franck-Steier Price.

The report recognised that "both elements of retail and office accommodation are fundamentally different in terms of market dynamics and to link these together (via the condition) jeopardises the deliverability of the development."

The removal of this condition has been approved this week, which should prompt the beginning of development on the site.

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