Town and Country Planning

New homes to replace former Gloucestershire’s Constabulary Headquarters, found to be exempt from affordable housing provision

25 September 2017 | Ridge News

On behalf of Cala Homes Ltd and The Police and Crime Commissioner, HPP has obtained planning permission for the demolition of the existing buildings and erection of 67 open market housing at the former Headquarters at Lansdown Road, Cheltenham.

The site is located in a prominent position within a conservation area and affects the setting of a number of listed buildings. Due to its sensitive location, the scheme was subject to extensive pre-application discussions which resulted in a high quality development, representing a high standard of design, which enhanced the character and appearance of the Conservation Area and protected the setting of the nearby listed buildings. The application was accompanied by detailed, high quality, hard and soft landscaping proposals to include the provision of an area of green open space and the planting of 49no. trees throughout the wider site.

In relation to affordable housing, Local Plan policy requires a minimum of 40% provision. HPP submitted a compelling case referring to vacant building credit and confirming that the Constabulary has invested a significant amount of money into new and improved County-wide policing and the capital receipt for the sale of this site will be used to repay this expenditure. HPP convinced the LPA that in this context, the proposal could be considered as exceptional circumstances to justify no affordable housing being delivered on the site because of the public interest of delivering quality policing. FHPP argued that when the vacant building credit is applied to the site (as an incentive to developing brownfield land) it is apparent that the scheme should be exempt from any affordable housing provision. The LPA accepted these arguments and determined that the scheme should be exempt from any affordable housing provision.

Credit for Elevations/Plans – Robert Limbrick Architects

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