Plans unveiled for key site in heart of Cheltenham town centre

Plans have been drawn up for an exclusive development of 150 homes in the heart of Cheltenham town centre.

Wavensmere Homes and BBS Capital have submitted a full planning application to Cheltenham Borough Council for the redevelopment of the North Place surface car park, located within the town’s Central Conservation Area.

A total of 153 houses and apartments are proposed for Arkle Court alongside the Grade II listed St Margaret’s Terrace.

Designed by nationally acclaimed architects Glancy Nicholls, the proposals for the 75 three-bedroom three-storey townhouses, and the four-storey building containing 78 one- and two-bedroom apartments, will complement the town’s Regency properties.

Extending to over three-acres, the plans to redevelop the site include multiple areas of high quality landscaped open space, with the opportunity for a public art installation and provision for murals to be created as part of the Cheltenham Paint Festival. Vehicular, pedestrian and cycle access is from North Place, less than half a mile from the University of Gloucester campus and the historic town centre.

Ben Clarke, technical director of Wavensmere Homes, said: “Following consultation with local people, stakeholders and the planning department, we are very pleased to have now lodged this significant planning application, which would transform an unattractive blot on Cheltenham’s townscape. Arkle Court is designed to complement the range of quality restaurants and shops at The Brewery Quarter and will continue the renaissance of the St Paul’s area, which features a plethora of fine heritage assets.

“The detailed plans we have put forward include both apartments and townhouses, as we want to offer young professionals, families, and older people, appropriate and attainable new homes that enable them to significantly lower their carbon footprint. The scheme design overcomes the various site complexities, will greatly enhance the street scene along North Place and St Margaret’s Road, and is entirely reflective of the principles of Cheltenham’s Central Conservation Area.

“We look forward to continuing to work with Cheltenham Borough Council’s Officers, Councillors, and wider stakeholders, as this planning application is considered.”

In 2013, the Council awarded planning for a large supermarket and 143 new homes for this site, but this didn’t materialise. The newly proposed residential scheme is gas-free with a target A-rated energy performance. Local, sustainable, low carbon materials will be specified, along with an array of energy saving technology including air sourced heat pumps, solar PV, and centralised mechanical ventilation.

The environmental impact of the project has been carefully considered to deliver sustainable drainage and biodiversity net gains in excess of the upcoming regulation changes.

Each house is designed with dedicated parking which will be served by 7kW EV car chargers to ensure the scheme is future proofed.

Adam McPartland, director of Glancy Nicholls Architects, said: “In crafting our vision for this contemporary housing scheme within central Cheltenham, we’ve drawn inspiration from the rich historical tapestry of the area. Our design ethos – alongside the collaborative vision of Wavensmere Homes – places a significant emphasis on exemplary placemaking, intricately weaving modernity with the timeless charm of Cheltenham’s Regency heritage.

“This planning submission embodies our commitment to addressing local housing needs, while creating sustainable homes and spaces that resonate with the local community.”

Rowena Hay, leader at Cheltenham Borough Council, said: ”This is another step in bringing the North Place redevelopment site forward.   Subject to planning, this multi-million-pound project has the potential to re-purpose brownfield land and deliver new investment and jobs.

“The proposed and much-needed homes will see highly sustainable and attainable housing for professionals, families and older people in an area where people want to live and work. This development is set to showcase a shining example of what can be achieved when the borough council and developers work together to realise their ambitions and create something really special for the benefit of Cheltenham.’’

The redevelopment of the North Place car park will also connect Pittville Park on the one side, through North Place, to the thriving Brewery Quarter, the Lower High Street Poundland site – which will see a mixed-use redevelopment – through to the cyber-tech Hub MX (opening later this year), and Minster Gardens. Enhanced connectivity and walkability will cut down travel times, increase opportunities and health and wellbeing, reduce isolation, and drive economic growth.

Wavensmere Homes is constructing three major urban regeneration schemes, located in central Birmingham, Derby city centre, and Ipswich, and has five further developments, including the £150m Wolverhampton Canalside South project – in addition to Arkle Court – in the immediate pipeline. The Birmingham-headquartered housebuilder has around 3,500 new homes either under construction or in planning.