Cheltenham Borough Council
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Agenda item

17/00337/FUL Central Cheltenham Police Station, Talbot Road





Application Number:



Central Cheltenham Police Station, Talbot House, Lansdown Road


Demolition of all existing buildings on site and erection of 67no. new homes, access, landscaping and other associated works at the former Police Headquarters, Lansdown Road



Officer Recommendation:

Permit subject to a 106 Obligation

Committee Decision:

Permit subject to a 106 Obligation

Letters of Rep:


Update Report:



MP introduced the application, which Members will remember was deferred at the August meeting to allow further discussion and negotiation with the applicants regarding the design of the apartment blocks on Lansdown Road.  Officers have met with the applicants, who have now made beneficial changes to the scheme, with a notable reduction in the footprint of Apartment Block C giving a 25% increase in the space between the apartment blocks, together with additional soft landscaping.  The penthouse accommodation on all three blocks has been reduced to improve visual separation between the buildings and a better transition between the development and Holland House.  Four of the apartments have been reduced from two-bed units to one-bed units, one flat has been lost from Block A, and car parking provision has increased by one space.  The recommendation is to permit, subject to S106 agreements on education, libraries and playspace.



Public Speaking:

Mr Guy Wakefield, Hunter Page Planning, in support

As the officer has said,  Cala has taken all comments made at last meeting on board and amended the proposal accordingly.  There have been two meetings with officers to discuss revisions, as well as internal discussions to consider alternative options, such as making one block larger, or reducing the height of one of the others. With each alternative option, it was concluded that they undermined the quality of scheme in the was the three buildings relate to each other.  The changes have resulted in the loss of one dwelling and a change to the mix of dwellings so that four of the 2-bedroom apartments are now 1-bedroom apartments.  The footprint of Block C has been reduced, increasing the gaps between the three apartment blocks by 25%. The penthouse apartments have been scaled back to reduce the massing of the buildings and create a graduated relationship to buildings either side.  Two montage drawings have been prepared to show the views rom each side of the site and give a better impression of the design. Members’ comments have been carefully considered and alterations made, in addition to those previously made in response to comments from the Architects’ Panel and Historic England   Hopes Members will agree that the latest changes improve the scheme without compromising its quality and objectives. The proposal complies with policy, conserving and enhancing the character and appearance of the conservation area.  Hopes Members will therefore be able to support the officer recommendation. 





Member debate:

PB:  it would have been naïve to expect a major revision of what Members considered last month, but with the work of officers and architects, the modest visual changes have resulted in a better scheme.  Is happy to support it.


MC:  congratulates the developer for taking Members’ and officers’ comments on board, but made the point last month about traffic movements, trip generation, and the junction serving the site – there has been no progress with this.   There is a problem with on-site parking for the apartments – provision is still insufficient, and nothing has been done to solve the problem.  Officers have based the calculation on the average space requirements nationally, but there will be issues with parking on the site.  Doesn’t want to be the one to say “I told you so”, but is not happy and will vote against the scheme.


HM:  reiterates PB’s comments, that the scheme is much improved.  Are there any changes in the conditions from the first report?


DS:  has two questions.  Firstly, waste disposal:  this was mentioned in the papers, but we will soon be recycling for 4-5 commodities; will there be adequate access for all the lorries to take the waste away?  Secondly, has any thought been given to seagull-proofing the building?


CN:  at the last meeting, spoke about the connection between the police and the sale of the property; subsequent to the meeting, had a chat with the constabulary and now understands that Gloucestershire Police will receive £100k when the applicants have secured full planning permission.  Regarding the changes to the proposal, agrees with PB that these are modest but reasonable; the whole scheme cannot be redesigned, and it is nice that when asked to re-think, the agent has taken Members’ comments on board.  Is not altogether happy with the changes, but will vote for the proposal. 


AL:  is pleased with the improvements to the scheme, which will restore the rhythm of Lansdown Road.  However, the proposal is for three distinct buildings but each has a vertical line of darker brick in the middle, which gives the effect of splitting each building in two and makes them look less like other buildings along the road – this is an unfortunate aspect of the design.


MP, in response:

-       To HM, the conditions are the same as given in the previous officer report;

-       Regarding waste disposal, there is a condition requiring this to be provided; it will meet local requirements and access for refuse vehicles has been approved by Highways officers;

-       Regarding seagull-proofing the buildings, this has not been considered. 


DS:  in view of the trouble caused by seagulls, doing something about it at the building stage is better that asking occupants to contribute at a later stage.


MP, in response:

-       This would be a reasonable condition. 


DS:  requests that it be added.


Vote on recommendation to permit subject to S106 agreements, with additional condition regarding seagull-proofing the buildings

13 in support

1 in objection

0 abstentions



Supporting documents: