Bathurst Development Limited’s proposals for a significant new neighbourhood on the edge of Cirencester, comprising 2,350 homes and mixed uses including a school and employment space, have reached a major milestone with Cotswold District Council resolving to approve the scheme.
This is the largest planning application ever received by the authority and covers their strategic site at Chesterton.
Designed by architects and masterplanners JTP, the new neighbourhood is one of the first to be awarded Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust’s new Building for Nature certification, recognising the exemplar green infrastructure embedded into the proposals. This includes over 40 hectares of green and landscaped spaces, incorporating sustainable urban drainage, allotments and wildlife habitats, and includes a new public parkland that runs east-west along the full width of the site, providing a resource for new and existing residents.
2,350 new homes will be provided in a variety of types, sizes and tenures to support a well-balanced community, including homes for the elderly, family housing, student accommodation and starter homes designed for first-time buyers.
The scale of the proposals provides the opportunity to deliver a cohesive and integrated new neighbourhood, supported by a comprehensive mix of facilities and uses including: 9 hectares of employment space, a primary school, neighbourhood centre with community facilities including a healthcare centre, 40 hectares of green space, sports facilities, shops, restaurants, leisure uses, as well as new pedestrian and cycle routes.
The new settlement is designed to act as an interface between the existing settlement edge at Chesterton, and the open countryside to the south. The proposals will improve sustainable transport connections into the town, whilst delivering new and improved infrastructure to the direct benefit of local residents.
At Chesterton we have an all-too-rare opportunity to plan comprehensively for a new neighbourhood that integrates effectively with its surroundings - allowing a carefully considered and sensitive growth of Cirencester to take place. It will deliver new facilities, employment, homes and abundant open space and landscape in an environment where the community and wildlife can both flourish.
Graeme Phillips, JTP Partner leading the project
The vision for the neighbourhood was first developed through a Community Planning Weekend, held by JTP and attended by over 300 people, including Bathurst Development, stakeholders and the local community. The emerging masterplan served as the basis for a subsequent two-year process of design development and testing before submission of the application to CDC.
Now approved in outline, the proposals will be developed alongside a phased construction strategy, to deliver the neighbourhood in stages that allow for coherent growth, creating a series of distinct places.