Council backs major housing plans
Two planning applications for 1,595 homes and community infrastructure in Gillingham have today received approval from North Dorset District Council.
The council’s planning committee gave consent for outline schemes submitted by CG Fry & Son Ltd and Welbeck Land Ltd as part of the town’s Southern Extension development.
Litton Cheney-based builder CG Fry & Son Ltd’s plan for land at Park Farm includes:
- up to 634 homes
- a new primary school
- sports pitches with floodlighting
- public open space
- play facilities
- a community orchard
In a separate application, Welbeck Land gained consent for up to 961 properties with a local centre for the community including:
- a main street
- health facilities
- community hub
- pedestrian and cycle routes
- open space
- car parking
Both applications are on sites allocated for housing in the North Dorset Local Plan and feature in a Master Plan Framework drawn up by developers with the council to shape the Southern extension for Gillingham.
David Lohfink, who is Land & Planning Director at CG Fry & Sons Ltd, said: “We are delighted with the committee decision.
“It represents the culmination of many years of positive collaboration with council officers, local councillors and the wider community to deliver a high quality scheme with the necessary supporting infrastructure and facilities.
“We look forward to working further with the local community as we evolve our detailed design proposals for the Park Farm element of the overall southern expansion area.”
Andrew Hodgson, Strategic Land Director at Welbeck Land, said: “This is an important milestone for the project and we are pleased with the understanding and pragmatism shown by the district and the planning committee.
“We look forward to working with the council and consortium members in progressing the project further.”
The next stage of the schemes is for ‘reserved matters’ planning applications to be submitted with the council with more details about the developments, including affordable housing.
Cllr David Walsh, NDDC portfolio holder for planning, said: “There has been a great deal of work by the council, developers and community to reach the stage where planning applications are submitted and approved for Gillingham’s Southern Extension.
“For the last six years I have been working with the community, the consortium, ministers and Government bodies, regularly speaking in Parliament to bring this development which was designed by the community through master planning along with the necessary infrastructure essential to the town.
“I look forward to seeing the latest schemes progressing and delivering significant amounts of housing and associated infrastructure in the coming years for Gillingham and north Dorset.”
Cllr Graham Carr-Jones, NDDC leader and portfolio holder for housing, said: “The council’s Opening Doors programme was launched to encourage much-needed housing of the kind at Gillingham.
“We’re keen to work with developers, landowners, the community and prospective homebuyers to see more good quality homes and accompanying infrastructure built in the coming years.”
The approvals follow approval for a reserved matters application last November for Taylor Wimpey to build 90 homes for its Gillingham Meadows development as part of the town’s Southern Extension.
The Southern Extension will be built in phases and will include a mix of one, two, three and four bedroom homes. As well as community facilities and infrastructure it will include employment land.
NDDC’s Opening Doors programme aims to encourage the construction of more good quality housing in the area.
It includes a Home Ownership Register for people seeking to buy or rent a home and an affordable housing masterlist of properties available.