Gloucester gets £2.2 million grant for 300 new home scheme
By Richard Wright | 3rd December 2021
Gloucester is to get 300 new homes on undeveloped land next to St Oswalds retail park which the city council bought two years ago.
The government has awarded £2.2 million from its Brownfield Land Release Fund to develop a new urban village at the site, with 180 of the new properties being affordable homes.
The project will see nine acres of land adjacent to St Oswalds Retail Park at the site of the former cattle market, redeveloped by Rooftop Housing Association working with Gloucester City Council.
John McGinty, Gloucester City Council managing director, told Punchline Talks!: "Gloucester has been like a jigsaw. To actually see the pieces all come together and enable a great big housing scheme like this is just fantastic news."
The Council bought the retail park, including this undeveloped area, behind Tesco, two years ago for £54 million.
It raised a few eyebrows at the time - because the Council had already bought Kings Walk and Eastgate shopping precincts.
The site with flagship tenants including Homesense, B&Q and Wren Kitchens was previously owned by Hammerson who originally developed the land in 2005.
In keeping with the council's commitment to the environment both the construction methods and the new buildings will use minimal energy and the development will have a Sustainable Urban Drainage System (SUDS) for biodiversity, water quality and flooding.
It is fourth significant award for Gloucester's regeneration in the last fifteen months following the recent £20m Levelling Up Fund for the city centre regeneration.
It addition, the Gloucester received £12.8m in Levelling Up funding secured by Gloucestershire County Council for the Gloucester to Cheltenham cycleway and to widen the A38 at Llanthony Priory to reduce traffic jams and air pollution.
This is on top of the 2020 £1.7m Station Improvement Fund GWR win for works around Gloucester's Railway Station where the additional entrance and exit from Metz Way opens very soon.
Taken together, it's hoped these four awards will enable improvements to the city's transport links, increase both public and private investment, and create new jobs and boost the local economy.
Councillor Andrew Gravells, Cabinet Member for Planning and Housing Strategy at Gloucester City Council who requested that the bid be submitted, said: "I'm delighted that my recommendation has resulted in this massive grant coming to Gloucester and I'm very grateful to Gloucester MP Richard Graham for supporting it."
Richard Graham MP, said: "What a great example of our Council and Rooftop Housing Association working effectively together to regenerate a long unused site close to the city centre for housing - and this funding means the project can go ahead."
The grant for Gloucester is the largest single grant given by the Fund.
Punchline says there may have been surprise and some misgivings when the Council used public money to acquire this particular retail site but as the pieces of the jigsaw come together the merits of the move become clearer with a long undeveloped area finally being put to good use.
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