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Tewkesbury Garden Communities programme

On 25 March 2019, the government announced that Tewkesbury and its surrounding area is one of only a handful of locations to be awarded Garden Town status.

This means the borough council and its stakeholders can develop Tewkesbury and its surrounding area in a holistic way – helping to create vibrant, thriving settlements where people can live, work and raise families. This includes improving transport links, education provision and green infrastructure, such as new parks and cycle routes. It also means the council will have access to specialist government support and strategic planning advice.

The Tewkesbury Garden Town programme will work with local people to develop a successful and sustainable place where future generations will want to live and do business.

Towns are evolving and growing. Demand for housing is increasing, with more single-person households and people living longer. Development is inevitable, so it is important that we don’t leave it to chance. We want to manage it in a way that ensures the best quality of life for our communities.

Through the Tewkesbury Garden Town programme, there is the opportunity to influence future development, to create a place that has the best quality, sustainable housing and infrastructure – working with the people of the area to benefit everyone, both now and for the future.

The programme is not only about housing, but also about planning for all aspects of a great location. The development will include new schools, health and community facilities and a creative mix of housing design, as well as integrated walk-cycle greenways and better links to Ashchurch for Tewkesbury railway station.

Tewkesbury is a busy and important location at the junction of the south-west, Midlands and Wales. We are pleased that people want to live here, visit our lovely town or invest in businesses and jobs.

What's happened so far?

We will not be building homes or new facilities; that is the role of the developers. However, we do have an important role to play in managing growth and development so that it is of a high-quality and supported by sustainable infrastructure.

As part of the concept masterplanning process, nine founding Development Principles have been created, drawing on experience from the long-established global Garden City Movement and UK Garden Communities Model of Development. The principles include developing a strong identity and character of place, creating a carbon-neutral community and enabling sustainable modes of travel.

A Concept Masterplan and Evolution Concept Plan have been developed in collaboration with stakeholders and specialists. As part of a suite of emerging documents, this provides a guiding framework for the garden town, and the key elements to be designed and delivered over the next 30 years. These key elements will be tested through the new approach to the garden town programme.

A planning application for a rail bridge was approved by our planning committee in March 2021 and this decision was upheld in January 2022 following a Judicial Review challenge by Ashchurch Rural Parish Council (ARPC). However, in December 2022, ARPC appealed the High Court decision, and in February 2023 the Court of Appeal ruled in favour of ARPC. Further work will need to be undertaken to deliver the connectivity required for the garden town area.

Running in parallel with the garden town are a number of other programmes including work on updating the local plan and a major programme on improvements to M5 J9 and A46.