Plans submitted for new homes near Willow Brook

A planning application has been submitted to build 21 new dwellings on one of the last remaining building plots in Bradley Stoke.

The proposed site is a vacant plot of land adjoining Hornbeam Close, directly opposite the Tesco filling station at the Willow Brook Centre.

Aerial view.
Hornbeam Close planning application: Aerial view.

The land, which is owned by South Gloucestershire Council (SGC), was originally designated to be used for a health centre, but the authorities later decided that there was no longer a requirement for this purpose, and it was subsequently put up for sale.

The adoption of SGC’s Policies, Sites and Places Plan in November 2017 finally saw the ‘healthcare’ allocation removed, paving the way for alternative uses to be seriously considered.

In 2018, SGC successfully bid for grant of £200k from the government’s Land Release Fund (LRF) to help bring forward a housing project on the land.

The plot was initially marketed as a possible self-build site, but due to a poor response it was decided to advertise it on the open market from May 2019, which resulted in some viable bids.

The scheme now put forward, by housing association LiveWest, comprises a terrace of nine family homes, a block of eleven ‘supported living’ apartments and a separate wheelchair-accessible bungalow. The family homes will be for social rent tenure while the apartments will be for affordable rent tenure.

Image of a planning drawing.
Hornbeam Close planning application: Proposed site plan.

The terraced properties consist of seven two-storey two-bed homes and two three-storey three-bed homes, all with private gardens. All the homes have one on-plot parking space; the three-bed properties additionally incorporate a garage.

The ‘supported living’ apartments, intended for tenants with learning difficulties, are each one-bed and the block also incorporates some communal space. The two-bed bungalow shares a communal garden with the apartments.

Eight parking spaces are provided for the apartments and bungalow. The site has five unallocated/visitor parking bays, bring the total number of parking spaces up to 24.

The applicant admits that the scheme’s parking provision does not meet SGC’s design policy but argues that the town centre location and the fact that people with learning disabilities “generally do not drive” can justify the shortfall.

Vehicular access to the site will be via an extension of Hornbeam Close, i.e. off Savages Wood Road. The proposal includes an option for gated pedestrian/cycle access to the access road of the Willow Brook Centre, but it is stated that this would need the agreement of the landowner.

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SGC declined to say how much it expects to raise from the sale of the land, adding that no decision has yet been made on how the £200k LRF grant will be spent.

A council spokesperson said:

“Grant funding will be made available to help facilitate a 100 percent affordable housing scheme including the provision and higher specification of accommodation required for a supported living scheme.”

Several neighbours have raised objections to the application citing concerns over the plan to access the site through Hornbeam Close, which they say already suffers from a lack of parking provision. Concerns are also expressed about the need for heavy vehicles to pass through Hornbeam Close during the construction phase.

Bradley Stoke Town Council (BSTC) has also objected on the grounds of “overdevelopment of the site and insufficient parking provision”.

More information and related links:

At the time of writing, the application remains open to public comment – via the ‘Make a comment’ button shown on the planning application webpage (see link above). Registration may be required if you haven’t previously commented on a planning application.

This article originally appeared in the June 2021 issue of the Bradley Stoke Journal magazine (on pages 6 & 7). The magazine is delivered FREE, nine times a year, to ALL 8,700 homes in Bradley Stoke. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.

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2 comments

  1. Regarding people with learning disabilities generally not driving, tho this may be true they often own vehicles for their support workers use, or cars adapted for their use .

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