Councillors approve plans for Bromford’s biggest ever development

Housing association Bromford is getting ready to start work on its biggest ever development after being given the green light by city planners.

The Gloucestershire-based organisation’s plans to build 180 homes at a site in Matson between existing development and the M5 were approved by Gloucester City Council last week. Although planning officers had recommended the scheme be refused it was publicly backed by Gloucester MP Richard Graham, local councillors and community groups.

The 180 homes, which will be built by Bromford’s in-house construction team, will be a mixture of 77 homes for social rent, 59 shared ownership and 44 for sale. The homes will include features to improve their energy efficiency such as air source heat pumps and solar panels. At the heart of the development will be an open meadow, with the remains of a ‘medieval’ moat, which Bromford will preserve and enhance through the provision of new footpaths and information boards, so visitors will be able to fully appreciate the historic landmark.

Bromford has worked alongside a number of partners to draw up the plans for the site and secure planning permission including: Edward Ware Homes, Origin 3, Black Box Planning, JR Land and Development Services, Conversation PR, EDP, Pegasus Group and James Blake Associates.

Bromford’s operations director Robin Smith said: “We’re delighted to have received permission to build these new homes at Matson. It’s a unique site, with a historic moat at its heart which will be preserved and enhanced as part of this development, but also with its opportunity to provide a life-changing affordable home for hundreds of people.

“This development will form a noticeable part of our plans to build 11,000 new homes before the end of the decade and to be the biggest builder of affordable housing in Gloucestershire. Importantly over this period we will look to use our size as one of the biggest housing associations in the country and our financial strength to invest at scale in developments like this and really affect change in communities.

“We have listened to and worked with the local community in Matson to develop these plans and I can honestly say that in 35 years of working in the industry I have never had a scheme which has had so much local support, which is a testament to the work of everyone who has been involved in this application. The development is going to provide job opportunities while the homes are being built, improved access to the area’s largest employer and the chance for lasting links with community groups. There’s still some work to do before we’re ready to start construction, but we’re hoping to start on site next year.”

Simon Jenkins, land director at Edward Ware Homes added: “We started this project in May 2017 with a vision to deliver policy affordable housing in an area where successive applications had, through viability, argued it to zero. Through the process it became apparent that we needed to go a step further and brought Bromford onboard with the support of the landowner, increasing the offer to 50% affordable. Bromford’s tireless work with the local community, interest groups including Gloucester City Homes, local councillors and a magnificent supporting cast of consultants, many of whom have been involved from the outset, means that the scheme will now deliver 75% affordable housing capable of accommodating just under 600 people. As well as the immense social benefits of the scheme it also makes available a new public open space area of over 7 acres to the wider community, creates awareness to, and provides learning experiences for local children, of a heritage asset almost lost when the M5 was built. “