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Gloucestershire Business News

Councils set to bare their teeth in bid to deliver Cheltenham Cyber Central scheme

With the public consultation into the planned cyber central development in Cheltenham well underway, the two local authorities behind the plan are preparing to bare their teeth.

Cheltenham and Tewkesbury Borough councils are currently working through the first phases of plans to deliver what they are calling a "world-class development."

A £37.5million land purchase confirmed in August set wheels in motion for the scheme which will be a home to the UK cyber security industry.

New homes and infrastructure will also form part of the development that is currently open to public consultation in the lead up to finalising a Supplementary Planning Document.

The SPD will set out the nuts and bolts of the development from an outline design for green spaces, new homes and employment land as well as community facilities.

The consultation is currently open until February 17 with the full details online at cybercentral.commonplace.is.

Although the consultation and SPD will play a vital role in the development, both councils are pressing ahead with some of the necessary behind the scenes work.

In announcement made this week, the two local authorities confirmed that they will be seeking to gain permission to bare their teeth and use compulsory purchase powers to aid the development.

The announcement said: "To ensure the comprehensive project is delivered to a high quality specification and in a timely manner the councils are considering the planning options available to assemble land in multiple ownership to support its delivery.

"As part of this first stage the councils propose to make a 'resolution in principle' to use their compulsory purchase powers.

"The resolution in principle enables surveys and land exploration to be undertaken and ensure engagement with landowners. This is usual practice for large strategic developments that are in multiple ownership."

The resolution will be discussed by the two councils in the coming weeks.

Tewkesbury Borough councillors will discuss the plans at their council meeting on January 28 while Cheltenham Borough Council's cabinet will do so on February 11.

Tim Atkins, senior responsible officer for the project, says: "We're pleased that this ambitious and exciting project is moving forwards.

"The aim is to deliver a vibrant community, bringing high quality housing, opportunities and services to our residents and businesses, that also places Cheltenham and the wider Gloucestershire county firmly on the map as a world leader in cyber tech.

"We'd like to encourage people to take a look at the SPD masterplan and share their views with us.

"To do this we'd welcome comments online or join us at one of our events, where officers will be on hand to talk people through the various aspects of the masterplan.

"It's really important that members of our community know that their views will be heard and used to shape the plans ahead."

The process of selecting and appointing a development partner for Cyber Central will begin shortly.

Once a developer has been appointed, detailed design work will start for the scheme, along with continued opportunities for the community to have their say and influence the proposals.

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