Fresh plans to build houses on site of old compost facility

There are fresh plans to build houses on the site of an old composting facility in the Cotswolds.

Hercules Real Estate Ltd has submitted a planning application to build 28 homes on land off Welsh Way near the hamlet of Sunhill, between the villages of Quenington and Ampney St Peter.

One quarter of the homes would be classed as ‘affordable housing’, while the development would also include a small farm style shop/café, additional community buildings and three small business units would also be built as part of the development.

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: How the site could look in the futureHow the site could look in the future

Back in 2018 Cotswold District Council refused an application from Cotswold Compost Company to build 20 homes on the site, stating that it was outside any settlement boundary defined in the Cotswold District Local Plan and the isolated location lacked amenities for future residents.

On appeal the planning inspectorate backed the council. Their report stated: “The proposed housing would be in an isolated location and would have a harmful effect on the character and appearance of the rural surroundings.”

There had earlier been an attempt to use the site for traveller accommodation.

Hercules bought the land in 2020 and obtained permission to store equipment, machinery and vehicles at the rear of the site.

As the government’s planning policy states that the development of isolated homes in the countryside should be avoided, the developer is relying on an exception granted for designs of ‘exceptional quality’.

They say they meet this criteria, in part by being carbon neutral.

A planning statement submitted on behalf of the Hercules states: “A fundamentally different design approach has been adopted to that associated with the previous residential proposals and is intended to serve as an exemplar in how to successfully redevelop large rural brownfield sites to provide sustainable dwellings and mixed-use communities that not only enhance the character and appearance of their settings, but also have a positive impact on the environment by being ‘Net Zero Carbon’ and increasing biodiversity in their respective areas.”

“This is such a tremendous opportunity to repurpose a local brownfield site and create a beautifully designed net zero carbon development” said Paul Field, construction director for Hercules.

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