New design plans have revealed how a cyber business park proposed for Cheltenham could look.
The development will be GCHQ’s next door neighbour in the western edge of the town, taking over 132 hectares of land with 3,000 homes in a new ‘garden village’.
Artist impressions show how the cyber park, a 24-hour campus, could include shops, cafes, hotels, leisure spaces and an electric bus shuttle service transporting people into Cheltenham.
Other mock images illustrate how certain homes and streets could look, taking inspiration from the town’s developments such as Royal Crescent, but also Bath, Bristol and Copenhagen.
The cyber park would see a campus built and create new jobs, while a broader plan aims to build thousands of homes and a primary school as well as improving the road network coming into Cheltenham on the A40 from the M5.
A new M5 junction 10 is also proposed to lead through the site, spanning Springbank and Fiddlers Green, to the cyber intelligence centre – but Gloucestershire County Council is waiting for Government approval.
Cheltenham Borough Council announced last August it bought 45-hectares of the land for £37.5million, becoming the major landowner of the development to give greater control to ensure the project achieves its full potential.
Locals are invited to have their say on the plans, such as the road connections from existing neighbourhoods, the design of green spaces, new homes, employment areas and community facilities, by attending a drop-in event.
The consultation was launched by Cheltenham and Tewkesbury Borough Councils today (January 13) and will close on February 17.
To provide feedbank online, the link is here: https://cybercentral.commonplace.is/
Residents can also attend four drop-in events to talk to a planning team about the masterplan, called the Supplementary Planning Document (SPD).
Those events are:
When: Thursday 23 January, 12.30pm – 3.30pm
Where: Springbank Community Centre, GL51 0LG –
When: Thursday 23 January, 4.30pm – 7.30pm
Where: Hester’s Way Community Centre, GL51 7SU
When: Saturday 1 February, 10.30am – 1.30pm
Where: Regent Arcade, High St, Cheltenham GL50 1JZ
When: Saturday 1 February, 2.30pm – 5.30pm
Where: Tewkesbury – Cheltenham West Community Fire Station Tewkesbury Road, GL51 9SN
Steve Jordan, leader of Cheltenham Borough Council, said: ‘’We want to deliver a vibrant community that brings quality housing and services to our residents and businesses, but that also places Cheltenham and wider Gloucestershire firmly on the map as a world leader in cyber tech.
“We hope people will take a look at the masterplan and share their thoughts with us. They will be able to do this online or at one of our events, where we will have officers on hand to talk people through the SPD. It’s really important that members of the community feel that they can express their views and then help to shape the plans ahead.’’
Rob Bird, leader of Tewkesbury Borough Council, said: “Local communities can be reassured that the pioneering development at West Cheltenham will be backed by the expertise, quality and infrastructure needed to make it a fantastic place to live, work and do business. Having Government-backing through the Garden Communities programme is a great achievement, it clearly recognises the crucial role our areas play in helping to unlock the delivery of much needed homes and vibrant, thriving communities.
“This is a very new and unique development, not just for Cheltenham and Tewkesbury boroughs, but for Gloucestershire, so it’s crucial for us to hear local opinion. Please do get in touch and tell us what you think of the plans – it’s important that we hear from as many people as possible.”
A draft document of the West Cheltenham Masterplan Strategic SDP can be found here: https://democracy.cheltenham.gov.uk/documents/s31455/2019_12_17_CAB_West_Cheltenham_SPD.pdf
Written by: Leigh Boobyer, Local Democracy Reporting Service