Land search resumes as inspector raises new homes target…
Gloucestershire will need to identify development sites for 39,000 homes rather than the 30,000 presently proposed by the county council.
And Brownfield sites will be prioritised as the search for new housing developments in and around Gloucester intensifies.
Scott Winnard, Planning Partner at Bruton Knowles, attended a Strategic Assessment of and Availability meeting to discuss Gloucester, Cheltenham and Tewkesbury Authorities’ Joint Core Strategy on Wednesday.
“The inspector’s preliminary observations were that whilst the thrust of housing distribution is sound the plan will need to consider how supply could be met more from urban extensions to Gloucester.
Smaller urban extensions of up to 500 homes could be included in site allocations options.
Of the proposed Green Belt releases, the inspector felt schemes at Innsworth, South Churchdown, Brockworth, and North West Cheltenham met the ‘exceptional circumstances’ test, while others, at North Churchdown and part of North West Cheltenham, were not suitable and should be amended.
Scott Winnard summarised: “It is clear more Brownfield sites will be required if Gloucestershire is to meet its expected target of delivering these homes.
“More sites will need to be identified and landowners are being encouraged to come forward with proposals. That’s where we can help.
“Brownfield sites have been somewhat slow coming forward and are not yet delivering the affordable housing the Government is demanding – largely due to viability issues.
“But now Gloucester City Council will have access to new funding which has been set up to help overcome some of these issues.”
The SALA initiative also focused on the Gloucester City Housing Zone Area where development sites being brought forward will be eligible for a share of a £525m fund for schemes of between five and 250 homes.
Bids for sites of between five and 14 homes are invited.
Scott went on: “Clearly more sites and required to come forward in order for the local plans to be compliant.
“These may include sites which have not previously been promoted – and where landowners have suitable sites there may be an opportunity to bring them forward for consideration.”
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