Cheltenham Plan Pre-Submission consultation

Pre-Submission Cheltenham Plan

2 Vision and objectives

2.1 Following the scoping consultation in 2013, the Council published a draft vision and objectives for the Cheltenham Plan in February 2014. The draft vision and objectives were subject to consultation as part of Issues and Options consultation exercise in June 2015 and also as part of the Preferred Options consultation in January 2017. During this time, there has been an extensive public examination and adoption of the Gloucester, Cheltenham and Tewkesbury Joint Core Strategy (JCS), as well as the adoption of the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) Strategic Economic Plan (SEP), both of which have helped to shape this plan.

2.2 Future national government policies, in particular the development of the UK’s ambitious Industrial Strategy, will focus heavily on place, people and industries. The combination of the Cheltenham Plan and the JCS will help ensure that Cheltenham plays a pivotal role in facilitating an increase in productivity and providing significant economic growth across the Borough and the county of Gloucestershire.

2.3 Local communities, businesses, developers and visitors have all helped to shape what the Cheltenham Plan should deliver (the vision) and how it should be achieved (the objectives). Wide-ranging consultation has given the Plan a firm direction in which to move forward and this is reflected in the document that follows.

2.4 It should be noted that the Cheltenham Plan vision and objectives should also be viewed within the context of the JCS’s visions and objectives as well as the Council’s own corporate vision.

2.5 The Cheltenham Plan is also being developed alongside an emerging Place Strategy for the Borough. The objective of the Place Strategy is to draw together the strands which impact on defining Cheltenham as a place and to act as a leadership and influencing tool to support economic growth and the wider well-being of our communities. The chosen way forward will therefore need to ensure that the Plan remains consistent and continues to support the wider aims and objectives of the Council.

2.6 The preparation of the Cheltenham Plan has been led by a cross-party member working group, steering its direction since the scoping consultation in 2013.

VISION THEME A

2.7 Cheltenham is a place where people live in strong, safe, healthy, well-served and well-connected communities which are successful and sustainable places in which to live and work and which contain the necessary infrastructure to support social and cultural life together with space for people and places to evolve in future.

THEME A OBJECTIVES

a) Recognise the local distinctiveness of Cheltenham’s various neighbourhoods and deliver regeneration where appropriate;
b) Ensure provision of sufficient housing land and other opportunities for residential development to meet the needs of the current and future population of the Borough;
c) Understand what people need from the places where they live and work to help create socially sustainable communities using locally specific models;
d) Ensure that new communities are integrated with neighbouring communities to promote cohesion, address issues of deprivation, and reduce social isolation;
e) Enable investment in schools, healthcare and other community facilities and meeting places in order to support new and existing communities;
f) Increase opportunities for sport and active leisure, particularly in areas of under-provision;
g) Design places, with a focus on connectivity, that are accessible to all and where barriers to walking and cycling are removed so that active travel and public transport are the default choices;
h) Improve health outcomes by promoting and prioritising active travel;
i) Support a network of neighbourhood centres that provide an appropriate range of local amenities to support sustainable communities;
j) Ensure that new development protects public safety and amenity and creates environments that contribute to reducing crime and fear of crime.

VISION THEME B

2.8 Cheltenham is a place with a prosperous and enterprising economy where education, skills and employment opportunities are increasing and diversifying, where businesses choose to invest and deliver increased value of economic output, and where the benefits are felt by all.

THEME B OBJECTIVES

a) Ensure provision of sufficient sites and a range of employment land and other opportunities for economic development to attract new businesses and to enable existing businesses to grow and develop within Cheltenham, creating an environment that supports economic growth, provision of local jobs, and flexibility within the local economy;
b) Promote the development of adaptable and flexible employment space within Cheltenham so that sites and buildings can be re-used with minimal environmental impact;
c) Support opportunities for business start-ups and small / medium-sized enterprises (SMEs);
d) Assist in developing and maintaining an attractive retail offer in the town centre and other designated centres;
e) Help secure a balanced economy overall which includes a focus on retail and leisure employment in the central core;
f) Deliver a range of sustainable transport choices through appropriate infrastructure improvements including better cross-town and local links, prioritised junctions, and improved public transport.
g) Encourage knowledge-intensive services businesses in high-value sectors;
h) Support development of Cheltenham’s educational facilities to ensure that the young people have access to a wide range of opportunities.

VISION THEME C

2.9 Cheltenham is a place where the quality and sustainability of our cultural assets and natural and built environment are valued and recognised locally, nationally and internationally and where tourists choose to visit and return.

THEME C OBJECTIVES

a) Conserve and enhance Cheltenham’s architectural, townscape and landscape heritage, particularly within the town’s conservation areas;
b) Conserve, manage and enhance Cheltenham’s natural environment and biodiversity;
c) Support development of Cheltenham’s sporting, cultural, arts and tourism infrastructure (including public art) to ensure that the Borough maintains its reputation as a cultural destination and continues to be an attractive place to visit;
d) Address the challenge of climate change, ensuring that development meets high design and sustainability standards and is built to be adaptable over the long term;
e) Improve pedestrian and cycle connectivity and permeability throughout the town by creating a network of convenient routes which include multifunctional green spaces that link with the wider countryside, attractive and safe streets and spaces, and measures which reduce the visual and environmental impact of vehicular traffic;
f) Support provision, maintenance and continued investment in a high-quality public and private realm, including public hard-landscaped areas, formal and informal green spaces, and private gardens that contribute to local amenity and wildlife biodiversity;
g) Manage and reduce the risk of flooding within the Borough.

2.10 During the course of the plan period, the Cheltenham Plan will seek to ensure that all the above objectives are realised through the implementation of the following policy proposals.