A long-awaited project to build a new community hall in Bishop’s Cleeve has progressed a step further after the submission of a planning application to Tewkesbury Borough Council.

The new facility will be used for various community activities, such as parties, events and classes and, now that a planning application has been submitted, members of the public are being asked for their thoughts on the plans.

The community hall was agreed as part of a planning condition on Vistry Homes’ (was Bovis and Linden Homes) housing development in the Gotherington Lane area of Bishop’s Cleeve. The agreement refers to Section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 – Section 106 is a mechanism by which a developer is required to provide public benefits on a development site, making the proposal more acceptable to planning authorities.

However, it transpired that the funds allocated to the project in the agreement would not be sufficient to deliver a building of the size stipulated and so the project was delayed. Despite this setback, officers from the council’s property, community, planning and legal teams have been working in partnership with Bishops Cleeve Parish Council and Vistry Homes over the last twelve months to progress the building to fulfil the Section 106 obligation and secure the best building possible for the community.

Regular meetings between the partners have taken place and an architect was appointed. The focus of the project moved from the size and cost indicated in the 2011 Section 106 agreement and instead concentrated on the current needs of the new community in the area, and whilst the submitted planning application fulfils the floorspace requirement, there are also options to extend the building in the future.

Councillor Clare Softley, lead member for communities, said: “Community halls are integral to any village, town or neighbourhood – they enable communities to flourish. I’m so pleased that this collaborative approach to the hall in Bishop’s Cleeve has resulted in a planning application being submitted to the council. It’s great to hear that by working together, an agreement was reached by all parties that puts the needs of the community above all else. I would encourage as many potential users of the building as possible to get involved in the planning consultation to ensure that their voices are heard.”

Councillor Wendy Hopkins, Chair of Bishop’s Cleeve Parish Council, said: “We are delighted that after a twelve-month working partnership with Tewkesbury Borough Council and the Vistry Group, the planning application has now been submitted for the long-awaited community building on the Homelands development. This is an important step forward in securing a much-needed additional community facility for the residents of Bishop’s Cleeve.”

A spokesperson for Vistry Group said: “We are very pleased with the progress of The Homelands’ community hall plans and our good working relationship with Tewkesbury Borough Council and Bishop’s Cleeve Parish Council on this popular project. The community hall will bring exciting facilities to the area, as part of our Section 106 agreement and we look forward to residents being able to make full use of these.”

To comment on the plans, visit: publicaccess.tewkesbury.gov.uk/online-applications and search for 21/00638/FUL and 21/00639/ADV.

Category: Community Planning