Published on 24th March 2023

Aerial view of Cheltenham

266 new homes for Cheltenham with 93 to be affordable.

The first phase of the Elms Park development, Tewkesbury Road, Cheltenham, went before the council’s planning committee yesterday (Thursday 23 March) to seek approval for the application.

The site, also known as Swindon Farm, is part of a wider proposal for the area which could see up to 4,115 new homes in total with a 10 hectare office park, retail, healthcare and community facilities, a new secondary school and two new primary schools.

This first phase will bring 266 new homes to the borough, with 93 being affordable. All homes will benefit from non-gas heating with low carbon air source heat pumps (ASHPs), solar panels and charging points for electric vehicles (EVs).
The scheme also works with the natural landscape, safeguarding a network of green spaces to protect trees, hedgerows and areas along waterways. Public open space will run through the centre of the site which will have natural pond areas set aside to absorb rainwater and helping to avoid flooding in the future.

Cllr Martin Horwood, cabinet member for customer and regulatory services, said: “We welcome these new homes and I’m delighted that Persimmon have made a real effort to go the extra mile for the environment too, especially in the week the UN Secretary General has told us to do ‘everything, everywhere, all at once’ to tackle climate change.

“Cheltenham now rightly expects that no new homes built should be connected to gas and every one of these new homes will have solar panels, air source heat pumps and EV car chargers. I’m pleased that measures are in place to protect biodiversity in the local brooks and that the designated Local Green Space will be respected - and even the kitchen designs allow for segregated recycling. This just shows what’s possible and that we’re right to stand up to other developers who just aren’t doing enough.”

Cllr Paul Baker, chair of planning committee, added: “This is a really exciting development which also brings much needed affordable homes to our residents. The planning committee is happy to give the green light when due care is paid to the environment and to what local people want.”

The next steps are for the Secretary of State to confirm whether an Environmental Impact Assessment is required and a section 106 agreement needs to be completed for a range of planning obligations.

For more information on the council’s commitment to becoming a net zero carbon council and borough by 2030 visit

For information on the Cheltenham plan and Joint Core Strategy visit the council’s planning and development pages

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