Public flock to consultation into Golden Valley Development scheme in Cheltenham

More than 100 people attended a public consultation event about proposals for a new employment-led, mixed-use scheme which will form a vital part of the ambitious Golden Valley Development in Cheltenham.

Developers NEMA Strategic Land will provide more than 500,000 sq ft of commercial space plus around 350 one and two-bedroom apartments on 8.6 acres in West Cheltenham.

The scheme has the potential to provide hundreds of jobs on a site off Fiddlers Green Lane, close to GCHQ and bordering Cheltenham Borough Council’s proposed National Cyber Innovation Centre which is expected to attract thousands of employees to a new high-tech community.

The consultation was held at the Hesters Way Community Resource Centre. An outline planning application will be submitted to Cheltenham Borough Council in the New Year after feedback has been taken into account.

Martin Chandler from SF Planning said: “There was intense interest in the scheme and, understandably, a lot of questions about traffic. But most people who gave us feedback were pleased to hear that this is a mixed-use scheme and very much employment-led – the jobs and the people they attract are expected to be in the tech and innovation industries which feeds into the overall vision to create a community of cyber excellence.

“There were also a lot of positive comments on our approach to the provision of adequate public transport connections, a main spine road, landscaping and provision of public spaces. Our aim is to create an inspirational place for people to live, work and play against the backdrop of a world-class environment.”

The landscaping will include public open spaces, along with footpaths and cycle routes, seating areas, benches and play areas.

There is also space for cafes, restaurants, fitness and leisure facilities and a transport hub.

The commercial space on NEMA’s West Cheltenham site will provide 25% of the total workspace allocation in the wider Golden Valley Development. It will also make an important contribution to housing, with a minimum 35% being affordable.

Cheltenham Borough Council’s masterplan is to create a new 47-hectare development between Junctions 10 and 11 of the M5, the overall aim of which is to deliver a pioneering new community that combines world-class cyber facilities, along with 2,400 homes and leisure, retail and other services.

“We’d like to thank everyone who turned up and showed such an interest in NEMA’s West Cheltenham proposals and gave us feedback,” said Mr Chandler.

“All the comments will be taken on board before an outline planning application is submitted to Cheltenham Borough Council in the New Year.

“The wider Golden Valley allocation is a very exciting project and we’re proud to be playing a part in helping to bring that vision to reality.”