DELIVERING SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IN CHARFIELD
A vibrant new community is proposed to the south west of Charfield which will deliver new community facilities alongside homes and a mix of parks, play areas and green spaces. Space is provided for a new school with sports facilities, as well as a neighbourhood centre which could house healthcare, as well as places to eat, drink, meet and shop.
A full mix of high quality, characterful homes would help the next generation stay in Charfield, providing starter homes, places for growing families and retirement properties as well as providing affordable housing for local people to rent or part own.
CEG is leading the proposals and submitted an outline planning application in March 2019. This application responded to the comments raised at a consultation event held in May 2018 and a copy of the exhibition boards from the consultation event can be downloaded using the link below:
The Local Plan
The Joint Spatial Plan (JSP), which was produced by South Gloucestershire, Bristol City, Bath & North East Somerset and North Somerset Councils has now been abandoned and South Gloucestershire Council (SGC) is now preparing its own Local Plan instead.
Charfield is one of five locations in South Gloucestershire identified as suitable and sustainable Strategic Development Locations (SDL) within the JSP.
As the CEG site was considered by SGC to be a suitable and sustainable location for growth, it is appropriate that a revised application with reduced housing numbers, with the same strategic facilities, will provide well-planned and sustainable development. It will also help SDC defend against inappropriate development in Charfield and beyond. This is a significant risk as SDC doesn't have an appropriate housing land supply and it will take a number of years to deliver its own Local Plan.
In formulating the proposals, CEG has taken on board the policy requirements, the aspirations set out in the post-consultation submission of the Neighbourhood Plan and the feedback from the Council’s public consultation event in 2017 and our consultation in May 2018, as well as discussions at the liaison group meetings (see below).
The revised application will be submitted in summer 2020 and will provide extensive technical information to explain how a suitable, deliverable and sustainable proposal can come forwards, with its effects mitigated and how it will provide new facilities and infrastructure to support Charfield. .
The Planning Application
An outline planning application was submitted to SGC in March 2019 for a residential-led, mixed-use development on land to the South of Charfield.
This provides for up to 900 high quality homes, including affordable, starter, family and elderly homes alongside a site for a new two-form entry primary school with playing fields and a neighbourhood centre which can provide for a range of community uses alongside places to eat, drink, meet and shop. The extensive green spaces would provide parks, natural green space, footpaths, community allotments and play areas as well as the south western greenway route around the village.
The planning application was the culmination of an extensive process that has involved joint working with other site promoters and discussions with many consultees including SGC, Highways England, Historic England, local groups and residents.
This planning application has now been amended and a revised application will be submitted. This reduces the red line boundary to the south/south west pulling this further back and reducing the site’s application boundary by 32.5% from 61.05ha to 41.23ha.
The revised application provides for up to 525 homes. The school site has been expanded to accommodate a three-form entry primary school, providing the education authority with more choice in terms of how they want to accommodate additional school places in Charfield which are currently in very short supply.
The elderly housing and neighbourhood centre are still included, as well as up to 1,800 sq m of commercial floorspace and up to 0.3 hectares of additional employment provision.
The neighbourhood centre also provides space for a variety of community uses, including health care provision.
In addition, following consultation feedback on the original application and further engagement with SGC and the Memorial Hall, we are also now including three formal sports pitches.
An updated and comprehensive Environmental Statement (ES) accompanies the application. This assesses the effects and mitigation measures and the introduction of a range of facilities and services will improve the sustainability credentials of the village and reduce the need to travel.
The proposed development will be accessible by a range of transport modes, and contributions towards sustainable transport will significantly improve the connectivity of the village. The updated Transport Assessment provides details of how transport effects will be addressed as well as the proposed highways improvements. This will include a package of transport improvements, including funding towards strategic highways and the motorway junction, as well as Church End roundabout and Wotton Road improvements, new foot and cycle ways and extensive new public transport provision. Ultimately SGC will decide how it wants to best invest these funds to provide sustainable transport improvements for the village.
The revised application has also provide the opportunity to review and respond to the post-consultation Charfield Neighbourhood Plan (NP).
To pull out some of the Neighbourhood Plan themes, the proposals include the following:
- We are keen to achieve high sustainability standards in line with the NP aspirations - strategic policies and Building Regulations will deal with some of this and it is important to note this is an outline application and detailed design will be determined at the reserved matters planning application stage, but we are proposing:
- Energy efficient buildings to meet relevant carbon reduction/renewable energy requirements and to assist in addressing the climate emergency
- Use renewable energy which will achieve almost 40% reduction in CO2 (policy requires 20%). We are proposing Individual Air-Source Heat Pumps (ASHPs) which provide efficient space and water heating to each dwelling alongside heating and cooling to non-domestic uses and solar photovoltaics (PVs) on the roofs of houses
- There is also a need for flexibility so that detailed design can adapt to any future changes in policy/ standards and technology over the lifetime of the development
- Retaining and planting new trees and achieving bio-diversity net-gain
- The reserved matters planning process will ensure that the design, orientation and location of buildings, roof pitches, windows, habitable rooms, lighting and soft landscaping help to achieve energy conservation, the protection of environmental resources and assist the appropriate siting of renewable and/or low carbon energy installations and infrastructure
- In term of the green spaces:
- A landscape buffer is proposed which will deliver a minimum 15m buffer between existing and new residential areas, which may contain shrubs, new trees and fencing to prevent overlooking and protect privacy
- In terms of recreation space, the amended proposal exceeds requirements for informal recreational open space and natural/semi natural open space. 2 junior and 1 senior sport pitches are proposed as well as formal play areas, a trim trail and allotments. All age ranges are therefore catered for
- In terms of green spaces, the revised proposal far exceed all policy requirements
- In terms of safe places to walk, public rights of way within the site will be retained and many enhanced. We are still proposing the additional footway from the site to the Pear Tree pub on Wotton Road to provide a continuous link to the village. We support the principle of the Greenway and would be happy to make a financial contribution towards implementation as part of a sustainable transport package
- In terms of the aspiration for a business hub, there is clearly a need to provide employment land/opportunities as part of a balanced mix of uses and to ensure sustainable development. Employment opportunities will be provided at the school, the neighbourhood centre and potentially in any housing for the elderly. As well as the commercial/retail/community uses, the neighbourhood centres includes 0.3ha of land for employment use which could provide units for small locally based businesses seeking accommodation of between 19 - 185 m2 (200 – 2,000 ft2). It provides an opportunity to accommodate a range of small and medium sized offices allowing not only ‘start up’ businesses but sufficient space to grow allowing businesses to expand and stay on site. Detailed design will be agreed through reserved matters. We will continue to discuss this with the liaison group
- In terms of design it is an outline application so much of this would be determined at reserved matters, but it is high quality development and we appreciate all of the comments in the NP. We are setting up a meeting with the Design Review Panel so that the design can be explored in more detail
- Exploring opportunities with network providers to improve broadband provision
- The transport package will provide for improvements to Church End Roundabout and Wotton Road. These proposals were consulted upon at the public exhibition and through the liaison group meeting. The Neighbourhood Plan’s recommendations for pedestrian crossings and speed cameras can be accommodated if considered suitable by SGC. The provision of a right turn lane for the access into the site on Wotton Road means that through traffic on Wootton Road will not be unnecessarily delayed by traffic turning into and out of the development
Planning Application Documents
The revised planning application has now been submitted. Please find links below to key documents. Further information is also available on the Council’s website.
- Planning Statement
- Design and Access Statement
- Non-Technical Environmental Statement Summary
- Transport Assessment
- Statement of Community Involvement
Working with the local community
We have established a liaison group, which includes representatives from the village, who meet regularly to discuss and debate key issues. The liaison group invites representatives from SGC, Charfield Parish Council, Charfield Neighbourhood Plan team, Fighting for Charfield, Charfield Primary School, Charfield Memorial Hall, Tortworth Parish Council, the greenways group, Chipping Surgery and housebuilders active in Charfield. If you have items you would like raised at these meetings please contact us via the link on this website.
Our key aims include:
- Working with the local community to ensure any new development responds to local needs, in terms of housing provision but also in terms of design and character and investment into education, healthcare and transport provision as well as new accessible green spaces, shops, employment and recreation provision
- Contributing to a strategic transport package which includes funding towards strategic highways, motorway, Church End roundabout and Wotton Road improvements, new foot and cycle ways and extensive new public transport provision
- Protecting the village character of Charfield through careful design, landscaping and an enhanced green infrastructure network
- Providing investment into existing facilities as well as providing new
- Protecting and enhancing the strong community/ village spirit of Charfield by investing in a heart of the village/community hub which will include new community buildings as well as public spaces where people can eat, meet, have a drink and interact
- Contributing towards the south western part of the 'around the village' greenway
- Exploring the opportunity to provide new healthcare facilities within the village
- Providing a better housing mix, including smaller homes, starter, elderly and retirement properties as well as family housing
- Making Charfield as sustainable as possible by improving existing facilities and providing new services which reduce the need to travel, enhance public transport and provide good quality green routes
More information about the masterplan, facilities, green spaces and transport improvements can be found in the brochure – please click below to view