Crest Nicholson is now a company with revenues of over £1 Billion and for 2019 made an operating profit of £133 Million.
Hunts Grove is estimated to have a gross development value of over £600 million when completed.
Yet, against this financial backdrop, Crest Nicholson have substantially cut the community facilities at Hunts Grove and delayed their completion. In 2015 Crest applied for a Section-73 variation to the planning commitments, which was approved by Stroud District Council in September 2017. This major shift in commitments has substantially reduced the facilities and attractiveness of Hunts Grove and lumbered residents with liabilities they had no choice but to accept:
- An annual service charge fee to pay for a Management Company;
- Community facilities and land would have been transferred in full to the council for the benefit of the community. Now all the land and facilities will only be leased, with ownership retained by the developer/landowner;
- A 330 m2 Sports Pavilion building, completely cancelled to save Crest money;
- Delays in the delivery of key infrastructure and facilities;
- Removed the “Neighbourhood Centre” from its rightful place in the heart of the village, to the very edge by the dual carriageway;
It’s very disappointing, but we cannot change these things.
It would be a disgrace if Crest Nicholson sought to cut what’s left in order to increase their profitability, however with their planning applications last month, that is exactly what has happened. Residents were shown three sets of plans that all met the current planning requirements at a public exhibition of 21st November 2019. Consultation feedback was sought and the main discussion points were the external design and character of each option.
Fast forward to 9 weeks later and Crest Nicholson submit entirely different plans to the planning authority cutting 200 m2 off the community building and packing the neighbourhood centre with 38 residential dwellings!
These applications need to be rejected. For a £1 Billion company such as Crest Nicholson, that markets itself as a quality developer, expert in ‘place-making’ and ‘garden village principles’ it is an absolute disgrace.
HOW TO COMMENT:
Comment directly on the planning portal at these links:
http://tiny.cc/bmaajz (Community Building)
http://tiny.cc/ttaajz (Neighbourhood Centre)