Old Cop Shop to become new homes

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A former police headquarters in Cheltenham is to be redeveloped into almost 70 new homes after planning officers recommended approval for the scheme.

Cala Homes and the Police and Crime Commissioner for Gloucestershire are seeking permission for the redevelopment after the housebuilder acquired the Lansdown Road site for £7.1m earlier this year. Approval is sought for the demolition of all existing buildings on site and the construction of 68 homes, access, landscaping and other associated works. The scheme has been the subject of extensive pre-application discussions, while residents have raised concerns about traffic and highway safety matters. The application site comprises the majority of the former Gloucestershire Constabulary Headquarters site on the southern side of Lansdown Road, at the junction with Talbot Road. Holland House, a building in the north-western corner of the former headquarters site has been retained by the force as a community police station. The housing mix proposed includes 43 apartments within three villa buildings fronting Lansdown Road, and 25 townhouses on the rear portion of the site. According to a report to be scrutinised by councillors next week, a “comprehensive, high quality, contemporary design approach has been taken across the site and the layout is generally considered to be successful and well thought out”. Officers are also said to be satisfied that any harm to the conservation area the site is in would be outweighed by the public benefits of the proposal.

The proposed redevelopment would secure the removal of the existing ‘significant negative’ buildings on site which “offers significant heritage gains to the Lansdown Road frontage”. Concerns raised by residents in relation to highway safety are acknowledged, but planning officers highlight that the Highways Authority has raised no objection. The proposed residential development is expected to generate significantly fewer vehicle movements than the former police headquarters.

Overall, officers recognise the “significant potential enhancement to the locality” and councillors are recommended to approve the scheme subject to conditions.