Skip to main content

Joint Core Strategy - Issues and Options

Joint Core Strategy - Issues and Options


List of answers to the specified question

4.1.49 We consider it appropriate for the JCSR to define and allocate ‘strategic sites’ to meet local and regional housing needs and employment needs. There is no set definition of a ‘strategic site’ within national policy or guidance. This is presumably because the size of site and whether it is considered strategic in scale will be relative to the area it is proposed in.

4.1.50 In defining strategic sites by size, location and use the GCT JCSR should bring forward sufficient land at a sufficient rate to address housing needs over the plan period. Whilst Gladman support that the allocation of non-strategic sites is delegated to Local Plans, we consider it essential that this should not undermine the sufficiency of the overall housing land supply.


01 Apr 2019 15:57

The definition of Strategic sites will differ from one authority to the next, and will probably differ from one part of an authority to another. For example a strategic allocation on the edge of Tewkesbury could be smaller and different in type to an allocation near Cheltenham, given the difference in settlement sizes. If a figure is required, then 200-300 homes would be a reasonable minimum figure or a similar amount of employment land (7- 10 hectares). However it is considered that the definition should be kept broad in order to provide Officers with the necessary flexibility to determine which sites should be controlled by the JCS.


01 Apr 2019 15:39

We note the reference in the IOD (at para 12.2) to the acknowledged shortfalls in housing land supply at Gloucester and Tewkesbury that were incorporated into the adopted JCS. Specific ‘known opportunities’ are referred to in the IOD as potential sources of strategic sites that could address the shortfall and contribute towards meeting future development needs of the area. These comprise; Ashchurch; North West and West Cheltenham; and South Gloucester.

It is our view is that too much emphasis and reliance is being placed on a continued focus on the existing strategic allocations to the West and North West of Cheltenham given the acknowledged problems in terms of their deliverability and the risk that delivery will continue to fall short of the plan requirements. This is to the potential detriment of other locations deemed suitable, available and achievable across the area.

We note and generally support in principle the commitment to Ashchurch and the wider area to help meet the housing requirements of the area. We also generally support in principle the work being undertaken to develop the Ashchurch Concept Masterplan’ for the area as an evidence base to support more detailed proposals to be progressed as part of the JCS review. Nonetheless, it is our view that the masterplan boundary should be amended to better reflect the potential in this locality to accommodate additional growth to assist the authorities (in particular Tewkesbury) in meeting the likely increase in housing needs close to where it arises. This would, in our view, be consistent with the wider economic aspirations for this part of the JCS area. In particular, this would recognise the opportunities available and which are already being considered in the vicinity of Ashchurch. In the form of a background paper to the IOD consultation, development opportunities are currently being considered for the land in the vicinity of Ashchurch, to assist Tewkesbury in meeting it’s future development needs as part of the JCS review process. The Ashchurch Development Project Draft Concept Masterplan (January 2018) considers a range of options and proposals for development at Ashchurch, taking advantage of it’s strategic location on the A46 into Tewkesbury and junction 9 of the M5 growth corridor.

It is noted that at this point the JCS authorities are not seeking formal comments specifically on the Concept Masterplan for the Ashchurch, rather it forms part of the evidence base to support emerging proposals for the area. Given our land interest in this part of Tewkesbury borough, we support the broad approach being taken to the future planning of Ashchurch and the surrounding area and would welcome engagement on the proposals as they are progressed in due course.

Nonetheless, to reiterate, it is our view that there is potential to extend the area beyond the current indicative boundary as defined, to include the land to the immediate south of the development area. Incorporating the site at Fiddington (see SALA extract below) into the overall masterplan concept would offer the opportunity to deliver additional development, including much needed affordable housing, alongside supporting infrastructure and associated community facilities, in an area already recognised as a foci for growth (under Policy SP1 and A5 of the adopted JCS) and which is relatively free from any physical or environmental constraints. The site clearly has potential to be brought forward as part of the masterplan for the wider Ashchurch area to support an appropriate mix of housing, employment and other associated uses in close proximity to Ashchurch and the new retail development recently approved, and also relatively close to the east-west corridor linking Tewkesbury to Evesham.

[Location plan in attached response]

The latest SALA has assessed the site as being deliverable, albeit beyond the first five-year period. In our view, the site could be progressed in the short-term, at least partly, due to there being no known constraints preventing the site from being brought forward prior to 2031. If this were not taken forward, then we would support the allocation of the site to be brought forward in phased manner in association with adjacent land being promoted to the immediate north of the site as part of the wider masterplan for Ashchurch/Fiddington and in concert with upgrades to the local transport network.

28 Mar 2019 12:49

RPS consider that a reasonable definition of what might constitute a ‘strategic site’ relates in a number of factors, including its size, the range of uses that can be accommodated on the site, and its location and the type of range of needs being met through the development. We support a site size of 450 dwellings and above as representing an appropriate definition of a ‘strategic’ site allocation, which was recognised as part of the previous JCS.

27 Mar 2019 16:27

The definition of a ‘strategic site’ will vary based on location and use. A ‘one fit’ definition is too rigid and would not reflect the different nature/size of the three separate main settlements in the JCS area.

27 Mar 2019 15:36

This question is, or should be irrelevant to the limited review that we would like to see. However we are unconvinced that the two tier approach to plan making is either efficient or effective. It results in delay and in the same things being considered twice (for example Green Belt reviews and the whole issue of development at Leckhampton).

27 Mar 2019 14:55

Size: if the proposed or implied follow-on development of the wider site exceeds 20 hectares OR
if the maximum conceivable capacity exceeds 250 dwellings within 2 km of an adjoining District;


Location: if leading to further erosion of Green Belt OR AONB OR
if located close within 2 km of an adjoining District OR
if acknowledged as 'valued landscape';


Use (proposed or likely): if substantially for commercial ("Employment" or Retail), because they provide JCS-wide services across District boundaries

27 Mar 2019 14:26

In defining strategic sites by size, location and use the JCSR should bring forward sufficient land at a sufficient rate to address housing needs over the plan period. If the allocation of non-strategic sites is delegated to Local Plans or Neighbourhood Plans this should not undermine the sufficiency of the overall Housing Land Supply.

27 Mar 2019 13:06

As set out earlier in these representations, historically the JCS has placed reliance on large, complex strategic sites that are reliant upon major infrastructure to deliver housing to meet needs. In doing so, the JCS area and in particular Tewkesbury, has fallen short on housing supply. This will only be exasperated with the Standard Methodology and housing projections which are predicted to increase the need in the area. Smaller to medium sized sites need to be considered in the JCS and not overlooked as they provide a buffer on housing supply through their ability to deliver relatively quickly.

Strategic sites may vary in size depending on and relative to the scale of the settlement to which they are adjoined. Previously the definition of strategic fell around the 500 dwelling mark which meant that sites falling under this threshold fell out of the JCS consideration for allocation – these could have been important sites, in sustainable locations which would have lessened the need for an immediate review of the plan.

27 Mar 2019 12:12

As previously noted, the JCS is reliant on a number of large-scale, strategic sites that require significant infrastructure intervention. MMG consider that JCS Review should identify further opportunities and seek to diversify the scale of the strategic allocations to provide greater flexibility. This would assist in speeding up delivery by providing greater flexibility and providing sites that can be delivered without significant infrastructure interventions.


25 Mar 2019 11:59
Next pageLast page

Powered by INOVEM Consult™ - Online Consultation Software