A £30 million ‘new urban village’ of up to 300 new homes could be about to get the go ahead on a brownfield site close to Gloucester city centre.
Gloucester City Council, which owns the land, said its cabinet would meet next week are were likely to ‘give the go ahead’ for work to begin with Evesham-headquartered Rooftop Housing on the project.
It would see the 15 acres, adjacent to St Oswalds Retail Park, behind the Tesco supermarket, transformed in a development including 200 ‘affordable homes’.
Councillor Andrew Gravells, cabinet member for planning and housing strategy at the council, said the project would be ‘exciting and ambitious’.
It would also bring to an end long-standing speculation over the plot and any possible expansion of the Tesco store.
‘There are a number of hurdles ahead, but we are committed to increasing the supply of homes available for families and meeting the challenges of a growing population,’ said Mr Gravells.
Jeremy Hilton, Liberal Democrat county councillor, said he supported the proposal in principal, but that it was essential enough public open space was included in any scheme.
Rooftop Housing created what is called St Oswalds Village, behind the adjacent B&Q superstore.
Boris Worrall, Rooftop group chief executive, called the new site ‘challenging’, but said his business could create ‘high-quality homes for local people to rent and buy’ if given the go-ahead.
Those challenges are thought to refer to contamination of the land from an old abattoir and cattle market which once stood on the site.
According to the local authority the plan would be to have a third of the houses available to buy, a third set aside for affordable rent and the last portion sold under a shared ownership scheme.
It has been known as early as March last year that the council has been considering selling the land – which is included in Gloucester’s City Plan for development, but it is not known whether any sale is part of its talks with Rooftop.
It is thought the development could put an end to Tesco’s prior ambitions to build an even bigger store, a project it won planning permission for in 2011.
It had planned to replace the existing 5,683 square metre store, petrol station and 790 parking spaces with a new 15,310 sq m, 985 parking spaces and new filling station.
By Andrew Merrell