A vision for a vibrant community at West Cheltenham – join the conversation and have your say

Published on 18th December 2019

Artists impression of cyber central garden community showing the cyber hub, people and water feature

Cheltenham and Tewkesbury Borough councils are working together to create plans for a world class development at West Cheltenham.

The public are invited to take part in a consultation in the new year, subject to approval.

The vision

The vision is for a vibrant pioneering community, with hi-tech business, residential and leisure uses, for investors, local people and visitors. It will offer the highest standards of environmental sustainable homes as part of a thriving campus and garden community.

Given the importance of these plans to the future of both towns, the councils will be seeking residents’ and businesses’ views of the plans for a Cyber Central Garden Community master-planning framework in the new year.

This framework called a Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) will provide a broad masterplan setting out important principles including connections from existing neighbourhoods, the design of green spaces, new homes, employment spaces and community facilities.

Cheltenham’s cabinet members unanimously agreed the SPD for public consultation when they met on 17 December 2019 and, subject to the approval of Tewkesbury’s executive committee on 8 January 2020, the masterplan will open for public comments on 13 January 2020.

Get involved

If approved by Tewkesbury Borough Council’s executive committee, residents and businesses will be able to view and comment on the masterplan at any time during the consultation period, from 13 January up until 17 February 2020 online at https://cybercentral.commonplace.is/

Residents will also be encouraged to come along to a drop-in event to talk through the masterplan SPD with the planning team:

  • Thursday 23 January, 12:30pm - 3:30pm, Springbank Community Centre, GL51 0LG
  • Thursday 23 January, 4.30pm – 7.30pm, Hester’s Way Community Centre, GL51 7SU
  • Saturday 1 February, 10.30am – 1.30pm, Regent Arcade, High St, Cheltenham GL50 1JZ
  • Saturday 1 February, 2:30pm - 5:30pm Tewkesbury - Cheltenham West Community Fire Station Tewkesbury Road, GL51 9SN

Steve Jordan, leader of Cheltenham Borough Council, said: ‘’We want to deliver a vibrant community that brings quality housing and services to our residents and businesses, but that also places Cheltenham and wider Gloucestershire firmly on the map as a world leader in cyber tech

“Provided Tewkesbury Borough Council’s executive also approves the SPD for consultation, we hope people will take a look at the masterplan and share their thoughts with us. They will be able to do this online or at one of our events, where we will have officers on hand to talk people through the SPD. It’s really important that members of the community feel that they can express their views and then help to shape the plans ahead.’’

The feedback from the engagement to date has been invaluable in shaping the master planning process and has resulted in redrafting of the SPD in a number of key areas:

  • Emphasis on green spaces close to the existing community - the plan has been altered following drop-in events with local residents who were supportive of a new park close to the Springbank neighbourhood.
  • Impact of traffic and car parking - aiming for the new development to have enough car parking to serve the employment and residential areas. Sustainable transport modes including improved bus networks and cycle networks will also contribute to improving access and reducing the reliance on the private car.
  • Spreading the impact of employment - although the focus for the employment area will be to the south of the SPD area, conversations have highlighted the opportunity to focus some employment space with good access to the road network.
  • Response to climate change emergency – opportunity to be innovative and consider ways in which the new development can support the climate change agenda through a drive to deliver a carbon neutral development together with a landscape led scheme that provides functional spaces for residents and businesses, but provides rich and diverse biodiversity, supports water management and drainage and is resilient to the severe weather extremes increasingly experienced.
     

Notes

The land to deliver the Cyber Central Garden Community has been identified through the approved Gloucester, Cheltenham and Tewkesbury Joint Core Strategy and a planning framework – known as the SPD - has now been prepared to help guide the detail of future planning applications. 

The draft SPD has been subject to engagement with key stakeholders and the wider community of West Cheltenham. The draft has been subject to technical review by specialist officers across Cheltenham Borough Council, Tewkesbury Borough Council and Gloucestershire County Council.

The consultation runs from 13 January to17 February 2020