Sites out to market

Published on 27th January 2011

Development proposals invited for North Place and Portland Street

Plans are accelerating for two of Cheltenham's key town centre sites - North Place and Portland Street - as they are marketed to potential developers.  From the end of January, developers are invited to submit their proposals to regenerate the sites against a brief set by project leaders, the Cheltenham Development Taskforce.

The brief - which won support from full council last month - is significantly more flexible than its predecessors, and encourages potential developers to bring forward proposals for a mixture of town centre uses which they believe will be financially viable. This will include some residential development and can also include commercial, retail and leisure uses.  The brief also calls for at least 300 public car parking spaces to be provided, as well as a public square and six bay bus node.   Property consultant GVA is acting as agent for the sites which are currently used as car parks. 

Jeremy Williamson, managing director for the taskforce said:  ''We are pleased to have reached this milestone. Much work has been done by the taskforce in the past year to get to the point of attracting proposals from developers. 

''Our objective is to not only deliver the ambitions for these sites but also release some capital for other town centre aspirations so that we can continue to roll out the development programme.  It is hoped that this site will act as the first in a series of dominoes.''

Survey work on the North Place and Portland Street sites has prepared them for market, including a ground conditions survey and an archaeological evaluation.

Councillor John Rawson, cabinet member for built environment said: ''This will provide interested developers with a real opportunity. It's an important move towards a redevelopment scheme that can bring huge environmental improvements to the town centre, as well as boosting the local economy and creating jobs.  The  brief is aimed at delivering a development scheme that stacks up financially so that the money the council receives from the land is enough to pay for the improvements we want to see.''

When bids are short listed, drawings that demonstrate the scheme proposals will be available for members of the public to have their say.  It is anticipated that the preferred bidder will be selected by the end of 2011.

To discuss the development opportunity, call GVA on 0117 984 2400.

For press enquiries contact:  Katie Sandey, communications team leader, telephone 01242 775050 or email:


Notice for the site disposal and associated works has been placed in the OJEU (Official Journal of the European Union).  The selection of preferred bidder needs to follow the requirements of the EU procurement rules. 

Disposal of the sites, whether in whole or in part, could be by way of a freehold transfer, leasehold disposal or a mixed freehold and leasehold disposal.

The project timetable should allow for the identification of a preferred bidder to develop the sites by late autumn 2011.

The principles within the development brief including high quality design and improved connection to the town centre are as follows:

 The specific list of acceptable land uses
 A reduction in affordable housing from 50% to 40% to reflect local plan policy (affordable housing) and current market conditions
 Inclusion of a six bay bus node
 Flexibility in land uses to encourage a wider range of proposals
 Previous plans to build new council offices on the North Place car park site have been deleted