Publication: Pre-Submission Gloucester City Plan

Pre-Submission City Plan

Introduction and context

Development needs and strategy

4.1 The NPPF requires that local authorities should positively plan to deliver development needs. For Gloucester, these development needs are set by the strategic level Joint Core Strategy (JCS), which was adopted by Gloucester City Council, Cheltenham Borough Council and Tewkesbury Borough Council. Between 2011 and 2031, the development needs are;

  • Policy SP1 - The need for new development': 14.357 new homes for Gloucester City and, along with Cheltenham Borough and Tewkesbury Borough, 192 hectares of B-Class employment land to support approximately 39,500 new jobs.
  • Policy SD2 - Retail and City / Town Centres': 45,500 sq m (net) of comparison goods retail floorspace and 3,600 sq m (net) of convenience goods floorspace.
  • Policy SD13 - 'Gypsies, Travellers and Travelling Showpeople': This policy sets out a criteria-based policy for the assessment of planning applications for these communities. The supporting text sets out accommodation needs arising from the Gloucestershire Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Assessment (2016). For Gloucester, it identifies a need of two Gypsy pitches and 16 Travelling Showpeople plots arising from Gloucester's existing communities. In relation to transit pitches for those members of the community travelling through the area, the GTAA recommends that there is no need for such provision and that the authorities should instead consider the use of 'temporary tolerated stopping places'.

4.2 Policy SP2 'Distribution of new development' of the JCS, sets out the delivery strategy, which is the delivery of development that maximises urban capacity, alongside the identification of urban extensions (strategic allocations) to the main urban areas of Gloucester and Cheltenham. This is so as to concentrate new development in and around the existing urban areas of Cheltenham and Gloucester to meet their needs, to balance employment and housing needs, and provide new development close to where it is needed and where it can benefit from the existing and enhanced sustainable transport network.

4.3 Most strategic allocations are in Tewkesbury Borough; this reflects the fact that Gloucester has a very limited land supply and in order to meet development needs, it has been necessary to work in partnership with Tewkesbury Borough Council to identify urban extensions within that local authority area. One strategic allocation, Winnycroft, is located within the administrative area of Gloucester City.


4.4 Approximately 34% of Gloucester's housing needs will be delivered through 'Strategic Allocations' in the JCS. Likewise, they will make a substantial contribution to the need for employment land for the wider JCS area.

4.5 That said, a substantial proportion has been and will be provided for within Gloucester's administrative area. Some of the needs within the plan period (since 2011) have already been delivered, having been granted planning permission and built or are under construction. Many more already have planning permission (known as 'commitments') and will be constructed over the next few years. In addition, the City Council makes an allowance for 'windfall' development; this is development that comes forward on sites that aren't allocated for development.

4.6 Further capacity is to be delivered through site allocations within the Gloucester City Plan (GCP). These have been identified through officer searches, call for sites, regeneration proposals and the brownfield register. Sites have been assessed for their suitability, availability and viability through the annual review of the Strategic Assessment of Land Availability (SALA) and in many cases, tested through community and stakeholder consultation and engagement.

4.7 In total, the GCP makes 22 site allocations for residential development, employment development, mixed-use development, a school and community use. The site allocation is underpinned by a comprehensive evidence base including a Flood Risk Assessment (Level 2), Highways Assessment and Infrastructure Delivery Plan to understand the likely infrastructure requirement required to support delivery. A summary of the site allocations is provided below:


Site Allocation


Land at the Wheatridge

2 Form Entry Primary School and approximately 10 residential dwellings.


Land at Barnwood Manor

Approximately 30 residential dwellings.


Former Prospect House, 67 – 69 London Road

Approximately 30 residential dwellings.


Former Wessex House, Great Western Road

Approximately 20 residential dwellings.


Land at Great Western Road Sidings

Approximately 200 residential dwellings.


Blackbridge Sports and Community Hub

Multi-use sports, physical activity and community hub.


Lynton Fields, Land East of Waterwells Business Park

‘B’ class employment uses.


King’s Quarter

Mixed use ‘main town centre uses’.


Former Quayside House, Blackfriars

B1 offices, combined GP practice, pharmacy, approximately 50 residential dwellings.


Former Fleece Hotel / Longsmith Street Car Park

Mixed use ‘main town centre uses’ and approximately 25 residential dwellings.


Land rear of St Oswalds Retail Park

Approximately 300 residential dwellings.


Land at Rea Lane, Hempsted

Approximately 30 residential dwellings.


Former Colwell Youth and Community Centre

Approximately 20 residential dwellings.


Land off New Dawn View

Approximately 30 residential dwellings.


Land south of Winnycroft allocation

Approximately 30 residential dwellings.


Land off Lower Eastgate Street

Approximately 15 residential dwellings.


Land south of Triangle Park (Southern Railway Triangle).

B1 / B8 class employment uses.


Jordan’s Brook House

Approximately 20 residential dwellings.


Land off Myers Road

Approximately 10 residential dwellings.


White City Replacement Community Facility.

Replacement community facility.


Part of West Quay, The Docks.

Mixed use ‘main town centre uses’ and approximately 20 residential dwellings.


Land adjacent to Secunda Way Industrial Estate

‘B’ class employment uses.

4.8 The potential capacity of a site to accommodate new development has been determined in one of two ways; the first is to draw on existing masterplans or proposal from which a realistic capacity can be identified; the second is to use a ‘density calculation’, whereby an allowance is made from the gross site area for infrastructure and community uses, and a calculation then made of the likely capacity of the remainder.

4.9 In making the most efficient and effective use of land, higher capacities have been identified for site allocations where they are within or in close proximity to the city centre, near the transport hub (bus station and train station), and where appropriate in the context of the surrounding character and uses. In other locations, capacity assumptions are based on a higher level ‘suburban density’ of 35 to 40 dwellings per hectare, in accordance with the SALA methodology.


4.10 Gloucester city’s housing delivery position, as of 31st March 2019, is summarised in the table below.


Gloucester City

Tewkesbury Borough

JCS Strategic allocations (Tewkesbury Borough)



Winnycroft Strategic allocation (Gloucester City)






Planning consents



‘Windfall allowance’



Gloucester City Plan allocations





4.11 Further information is available from the housing monitoring report (September 2019), available to download from the City Council’s website.

4.12 Gloucester City has a shortfall of sites to provide for identified housing needs from 2028 to 2031; this amounts to 900 dwellings. This shortfall is acknowledged and accepted within the JCS. Policy REV01 ‘Gloucester and Tewkesbury Housing Supply Review’ states the need for an immediate review of housing supply and that ‘The review will cover the allocation of sites to help meet any shortfall in housing supply against the JCS housing requirements for the respective authorities’.

4.13 The JCS Review has already commenced with an ‘issues and options’ consultation taking place during November 2018 and January 2019. Further information is available from the JCS website.

Employment land

4.14 From an employment perspective, a total of 14.6 hectares is allocated, either as 100% ‘B Class’ employment sites or as part of wider mixed-used schemes. Together, they will deliver a substantial amount of employment floorspace. Policy B2 of the GCP seeks to protect against the loss of employment land and buildings and Policy B3 supports proposed to intensify existing employment land where possible and appropriate. Further information of available in the Employment Background Paper, available to download from the City Council’s website.

Retail and city / town centres

4.15 Policy SD2 ‘Retail and City / Town Centres’ provides the current JCS position. However, the policy is subject to an immediate review; criterion 7 of the policy states ‘Following adoption of the JCS, this policy will be subject to an immediate review. The single-issue review will take approximately two years to complete. It will cover strategic planning matters relating to the three JCS authorities including issues such as a revised assessment of retail, market share between different designated centres, city / town centre boundaries, site allocations, primary and secondary shopping frontages and locally defined impact thresholds.’ As mentioned above, this review has already commenced with an ‘issues and options’ consultation held between November 2018 and January 2019. Consultants have been appointed to undertake the necessary evidence and support the JCS authorities in taking forward the emerging plan.

Gypsy and traveller communities

4.16 As identified above, there is a need for additional permanent Gypsy and Travelling Showpeople accommodation to meet the needs of Gloucester’s existing communities. The City Council has reviewed all possible site opportunities, including their own land assets and those submitted through ‘call for sites’, and it has been concluded there are none that are suitable, available and viable within the city. A request has been submitted to all neighbouring authorities, under the ‘duty to cooperate’, for help in identifying deliverable sites.