Littlecombe construction steams ahead
Leader of SDC Geoff Wheeler, St Modwen Homes Sales Director Neil Simpson, St Modwen Regional Director Rupert Joseland and SDC Principal Estates Surveyor Nick Stewart outside the new show home on the second phase of building at the Littlecombe site
THE CONSTRUCTION of the mixed-use site at Littlecombe in Dursley is moving full-steam ahead as the next phase of the development continues unabated.
The Gazette was invited on a tour of the £150million site being developed by St Modwen to see the finishing touches taking place to the first set of the 94 homes currently being built, with nine already sold.
These homes form the second phase of the housing construction, which will eventually total up to 600 houses, currently estimated to be finished around 2019.
The 92 acres has seen extensive work carried out so far, including the construction of the Vale Hospital, 16 business sites and the diversion of River Cam.
Several amenities are also planned including a public house, doctors’ surgery and crèche as well as retail space, in work that is estimated to provide the opportunity for 1,000 jobs.
The river’s diversion has proved to be a large undertaking, with hundreds of thousands of cubic metres of land being transferred so the valley can run through the estate.
The construction of the bridge is also nearing completion and the now-open river has seen significant growth in vegetation, with the Environment Agency approving the high number of fish found in the stream.
In addition, a new four-bedroom showhome has been unveiled so the public can get an impression of the homes still to come.
During the height of the recession, construction slowed as the demand for housing waned but St Modwen has come back with earnest.
The developer has had a number of obstacles to overcome, particularly getting Dursley firms Lister Petter and Lister Shearing to relocate, as both currently sit in the middle of future plans.
The two companies are now set to have left the site by July next year.
St Modwen also faced resistance from residents who reacted angrily to plans to vary conditions so 30 more homes could be built before the obligatory spine road was extended to ease congestion.
The developer also has to find a solution with a housing association, which has applied for village green status to land on Long Street.
But regional director Rupert Joseland said that discussions were being carried out to address both issues.
"We want to be seen to have the local residents' concerns in mind, not just the ones who live here but those who live nearby as well," he said.
"We are currently in discussions with Gloucestershire Highways to look at the entrance to the site as people have raised questions about the safety of the road.
"We’re also talking to the residents association to see how we can fit in their ideas about the village green. We think we have a solution that will fit in with them."
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