Bovis has been given permission to change the Charlton Hayes masterplan, so that it can build wholly-residential properties on a small part of the development originally foreseen for ‘mixed use’.
Conditions attached to the outline planning permission (granted in 2008) for the 2,200 home development require a total of 60,000 sqm of employment space to be created but the housebuilder says that there has been very little demand for employment premises, due to the current economic climate.
In a decision announced in December, South Gloucestershire Council has allowed two blocks that were foreseen for ‘mixed use’, i.e. residential and employment, to be re-designated ‘residential only’.
The two blocks lie either side of ‘The Boulevard’, the still-under-construction road that links Highwood Road with the Hayes Way/Gloucester Road junction.
A report written by officers of the Council stated:
“The proposed change of the Mixed Use areas 3 and 4 from employment to residential represents approximately 8% of the total employment allocation [in the whole Charlton Hayes development]. It does not mean, however, that this floorspace would be lost, since the employment parcels and the other mixed use areas in Phase 1 and other phases are capable of accommodating this amount of employment floorspace.”
The report adds that allowing the alteration “would result in more housing built out on this important strategic site, which contributes significantly to the Council’s five-year housing supply.”
In related news, Patchway Town Council has revealed that Bovis has agreed to lay out and maintain a temporary playing field/children’s play area on the site earmarked for the new Charlton Hayes primary school and that a new community development worker is to be appointed for the area, paid for by developers and housing associations.
At a meeting of the Town Council in October last year, Chair Cllr Chris Mills explained that the Charlton Hayes developers are obliged to prepare land for the new primary school once 750 properties have been sold, which he estimated might not be until 2015. A realistic date for the opening of the new school would therefore be 2017, he added.
According to Cllr Mills, the new school will be an academy or ‘free school’, i.e. funded from central Government rather than the local education authority. This is because South Gloucestershire Council is no longer permitted to build its own schools, he said.
Photo: Site of the proposed primary school at Charlton Hayes.