EXCLUSIVE: New lease of life for North Place, Cheltenham
By David Wood | 31st July 2023
Plans for around 150 new homes will breathe new life and create a vibrant neighbourhood in the heart of the town centre.
Wavensmere Homes has been confirmed as the development partner for the prime brownfield site, originally purchased by BBS Capital, as part of a joint venture.
The land, which extends to 13,400 sq m, has been used as a car park for many years.
The development will deliver in the region of 150 much-needed EPC-A rated new homes. Glancy Nicholls Architects has been appointed to design the scheme.
A planning application for a combination of one- and two-bedroom apartments, three-bedroom townhouses and 'pocket parks' will be ready to submit to the planning committee later this year.
The transformation of the brownfield site is part of the borough council's wider plans to reconnect the town, create more employment opportunities, support economic growth and attract and retain younger people.
Better connectivity is key to a thriving town and economy. Huge leaps forward have been taken to achieve this already through; improved access from the much-loved and ever popular Pittville Park, North Place, the thriving Brewery Quarter, to the new mixed-use redevelopment to be created around the current Poundland site, through to the Minster Exchange (MX) and the recently renovated Minster Gardens.
Alongside this, significant investments have been made at the Wilson Art Gallery and Museum and town centre spot, Clarence Fountain and big brands continue to move onto the High Street, contributing to the continued success of Cheltenham as a day and (award winning) night-time destination.
Councillor Rowena Hay, leader at Cheltenham Borough Council, said: ''The North Place redevelopment - providing much-needed, attainable homes for professionals, families and older people in an area where people want to live and work - is a shining example of what can be achieved when the borough council and developers work together to realise their ambitions and create something really special for the benefit of Cheltenham.
"The proposed development at this central, brownfield site is important as it connects key areas of the town together. Good connectivity cuts down on travel times, increases opportunities and health and wellbeing, reduces isolation and is crucial for the economy.
"The development will, of course, have the environment in mind, ensuring the build is sensitive to its surroundings, has rich green spaces to encourage biodiversity and uses modern methods of construction and low carbon materials.''
The scheme has been designed as a residential square development with a centralised community green. Housing will be orientated around the green to create a rich community and sense of neighbourhood.
The design is such that the heart of the site remains car free. A green corridor/boulevard will be introduced through the centre, which provides additional benefits of improved biodiversity and sustainable drainage opportunities.
James Dickens, managing director of Wavensmere Homes, said: "The acquisition of this prime site in central Cheltenham could deliver 150 highly sustainable new homes and transform a blot on the landscape in the process.
"This site has been considered for development for over a decade, with various parties not being able to bring it forward successfully. We are proud to be working alongside BBS Capital to propose a scheme to the council that overcomes the complexities and will greatly enhance the street scene along North Place and St Margaret's Road.
"Our plans for the scheme include both apartments and townhouses, as we want to offer young professionals, families, and older people, appropriate and attainable new homes that enable them to significantly lower their carbon footprint. We are continuing to work alongside all stakeholders and look forward to submitting a full planning application."
Nick Spencer, director and co-founder at BBS Capital, said: "We are delighted to once again be working with Wavensmere Homes. This site is positioned within a highly desirable area of Cheltenham, where the rich historical context has shaped the design ethos.
"Located very close to the range of quality restaurants and shops at The Brewery Quarter - and also within walking distance of the train station - the homes being proposed here will be in very high demand.
"Subject to planning, this multi-million-pound residential project is set to deliver new investment and jobs, while creating highly sustainable homes on brownfield land."
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