Harrow Estates, a Redrow Group Company, purchased the site speculatively in 2009, achieving outline planning consent in 2010 for change of use to 15 acres of residential development and 22 acres of Public Open Space, Woodland, and a site for a Community Centre. A development of up to 150 new homes was permitted.
As an area of outstanding natural beauty there were a number of additional challenges to consider, including strict Cotswold design guidelines, the views of the local community and the habitat of a European protected species, the Great Crested newt.
The majority of homes recently permitted in the Cotswold Water Park are ‘second home’ dwellings enabling occupation for a maximum of 11 months of the year. This would adversely impact the desirability and hence value of the homes if applied to this site. The challenge here was to successfully negotiate a planning permission without any constraint on occupancy.
To progress the detailed planning stages and drawings of the development, Redrow appointed specialist architects for the first 140 dwellings, designed in the traditional Cotswold style as well as 9 contemporary lakeside units, as envisaged on the Illustrative Masterplan and Design Statement.
Redrow submitted a Reserved Matters application, which gained approval 2012. It made a number of financial contributions towards transportation, library, education and Community Centre together with the site for its construction.
Redrow also carried out minor improvements to the local road network to mitigate the impact of additional traffic generation from the development.
As the site provides a habitat for Great Crested newts, Redrow produced an ecological management plan to ensure that they are not impacted by the development.
Due to Redrow's good relationship with the Parish Council, it also agreed to relocate an important war memorial within the village centre during its offsite highways improvements. Redrow also worked with the Parish Council during the development of their plans for the Community Centre. This helped to ensure that both developments were in keeping with the area and each other.
Redrow achieved full planning consent within 3.5 months of application, a significantly short timescale in comparison to all other Cotswold applications for major sites. The permission does not limit the occupancy of the homes, making it a unique proposition within the Cotswold Water Park. The Council’s policy also required affordable housing to be set at 40%, however they agreed to reduce this to 20% in exchange for funding of the design and build of the Community Centre.
The first phase completed in April 2013 with a total of 30 homes sold between £390k and £816k. The development is due for completion in 2017.
The development has been marketed in a number of high profile publications including: The Times & Sunday Times, The Daily Telegraph and Cotswold Life, as well as local publications and on the property portals (including emailers).