Tewkesbury Borough’s five-year housing land supply will not be impacted by a review that’s currently underway for the Tewkesbury Garden Town programme.

The council agreed to a gateway review of the garden town programme, a step which is considered best practice for programmes of its size, to ensure its original aims and objectives are still being met.

While the review will give a temporary pause to the programme, the council wants to assure those concerned that there will be no impact to its required five-year housing land supply.

A five-year housing land supply requires councils to continuously identify land sufficient to deliver at least five years’ worth of new housing needed in its area. In practice, this usually means maintaining a register of sites where planning permission has already been granted and development could begin immediately.    

In cases where there is a shortage of available housing land, government rules require that new planning permissions are granted to developers – even if this would involve sites not previously earmarked by the council for development in its local plan.  

The council is aware that concerns have been raised around the risk of creating a housing land shortfall resulting from the garden town review. However, this is inaccurate – the Garden Town programme does not contribute to the council’s five-year housing land supply because it is a longer-term project that won’t be delivered in the next five years – and so any temporary pause will have no impact.

The findings of the gateway review are expected within a matter of weeks and will be shared with the wider community, alongside a clear direction on the next steps for the garden town, including how local residents and businesses can get involved.    

Tewkesbury Borough Council’s Chief Executive, Alistair Cunningham, said: “A gateway review of a major programme is best practice, and an important way for us to check if it is delivering in line with our aims and objectives. Importantly, this temporary pause will not lead to a setback in the programme. In fact, it will strengthen the council’s approach and ensure it aligns with the new council’s priorities.”   

Tewkesbury Borough Council’s Leader, Councillor Richard Stanley, added: “Having a five-year housing land supply is a government requirement, and a shortfall can result in unwanted and piecemeal development. This is why it’s really important that we clarify any misleading claims and misinformation – our review will have no impact on our five-year housing land supply whatsoever.

“What the review will do, however, is ensure that we take stock of the situation with the Garden Town. As leader of the council, it is really important to me that we listen to the concerns of the communities we represent. We want to work with our communities, landowners and developers to deliver the best possible outcome for our area. We are now awaiting the reviews findings before we make an informed and pragmatic assessment of the situation.”

Category: Environment