A New Garden Village in South Gloucestershire?


The West of England Authorities, consisting of South Gloucestershire, North Somerset, Bristol City, and Bath and North East Somerset Unitary councils have produced a plan to deliver at least 105,500 homes in the period between 2016 and 2036 as well as plans for new employment opportunities, transport and other infrastructure needs.

At the start of that plan making process, as the first stage in the creation of a Joint Spatial Plan for the four local authority areas, the Councils invited responses to an “issues and options” consultation; which ended in January 2016. In response……

In response, the Tortworth Estate, working with Hunter Page Planning Ltd, submitted a concept document for a new “Garden Village” at Buckover. Crucially the site is not in the Green Belt and benefits from being under the ownership of just one party – Tortworth Estate.

We set out the background, rationale and vision for a possible new garden village, of up to 3,000 homes with employment, health, and education facilities. Together with the necessary transportation and communications infrastructure, there will also be retail provision, community facilities and green open spaces.

The Tortworth Estate embraces the Garden Village concept because it accords with our sustainable beliefs, and the principles behind our successful estate management. It is taking a refreshing look at how we plan for the homes we will need in the future and begins with what is, in effect, a largely blank canvass. This avoids poor planning by ensuring that there is a holistic approach planned from the outset rather than trying to deliver large-scale housing bolted on to the edge of our towns and villages.

Following lengthy public consultation and full endorsement by the West of England Authorities the Joint Spatial Plan was submitted to the Secretary of State for Examination on the 13th April 2018. Buckover Garden Village was chosen as one of the five South Gloucestershire Strategic Development Locations (SDLs) to deliver 3,000 houses, employment opportunities and key infrastructure; of which 1,500 houses are to be built within the lifetime of the Joint Spatial Plan.

Full details of the JSP can be found here:- www.jointplanningwofe.org.uk

The next stage of the JSP will be for the government appointed Independent Planning Inspectors to conduct an Examination in Public (EiP), now due to begin around the May 2019 timeframe. Following the EiP it is then for the Inspector to report back to the local authorities on their findings. Finally, each local authority will consider whether or not to adopt the plan.

During the period May 2016 to January 2018 the Estate devoted much time to meeting various local groups, residents, Parish and Town Councils and businesses face-to-face to understand the challenges that exist at the moment, and the opportunities that people tell us about for the future. Our aim is to work in a collaborative manner. We have faced challenging questions but also received constructive help and advice on what is required should the Garden Village proceed. In addition, we are exploring what makes a successful community, how you create that community from scratch and how you ensure it remains sustainable into the future. Our firm belief is that we need to “complement rather than compete” with local facilities and communities already in place.

All this work culminated in us beginning a series of consultation events in April 2018. The relevant press announcement can be found on the attachments section below.

The first event was on the 17th April 2018 and was targeted specifically at representatives from local groups, organisations and service providers. A full report on this workshop was published in August and can be found under the attachments section above. In July 2018 a second workshop was held for individual households who live on, or adjacent to, the proposed Garden Village site. The report of that workshop can also be found under the attachments sections above. At this householder event interest was expressed in forming a residents liaison group and this will be organised in due course. Engagement also continues with stakeholders, householders and various interest groups. At an appropriate time, and before a planning application is submitted, a full public exhibition, open to everyone, will be held.

An important milestone was reached in October 2016 when the draft site allocations in the West of England Joint Spatial Strategy (JSP) were endorsed for public consultation. Buckover was identified for a potential new Garden Village of up to 2,200 homes.

On the 24th July 2017 the Tortworth Estate announced St Modwen as its partner to deliver the Buckover Garden Village concept. For further details please see Media Statement under Attachments below.

On the 22nd November 2017 the Public Engagement process was launched by the West of England Authorities on the Final Draft of West of England Joint Spatial Plan. This engagement ended on the 10th January 2018.

On April 13th 2018 the West of England Authorities submitted the Joint Spatial Plan to the Secretary of State. A media statement from the four authorities can be found here:


During the autumn of 2018 the Examination in Public Inspectors requested further information from the West Of England Authorities in respect of, for example, transport, viability, habitat, the Duty to Cooperate and employment. This information has been collated but before submission to the Inspectors there will be a period of consultation on that additional information from November through to January 7th 2019. Further information can be found under “Latest News" at the link immediately above.

What Happens Next?
A significant amount of technical work has been carried out since 2016 to demonstrate the deliverability of the Garden Village, and that work continues. We are therefore pleased that the Buckover Garden Village was one of the five Strategic Development Locations in South Gloucestershire contained in the JSP submitted to the Secretary of State.

We recognise the importance of the forthcoming Examination in Public and await that process to begin. In the meantime we continue to cooperate with South Gloucestershire Council in relation to any extra information that may be required. Our consultation and engagement work will also continue so that we can hear from as many people as possible about the proposals for a Garden Village at Buckover.

In the meantime, we still want to hear your views, and thank you to all those who have already been in touch, and we will keep you updated on this web page.

If you would like to send us your thoughts, please email us at bgv@mediationinplanning.co.uk

Second Workshop July 2018 report.pdf3.01 MB
March 2019 - Update on Communtiy Engagement.pdf103.83 KB
18.08.07 EQn Buckover workshop round up FINAL.pdf113.3 KB
First Workshop (April) 2018 report.PDF7.67 MB
Press Release STM2771-Buckover workshop FINAL 20 Mar 2018.pdf170.82 KB
South Gloucestershire new Local Plan drop-in Events.pdf98.92 KB
Media Statement - Tortworth Estate Selects St Modwen for Buckover Garden Village .pdf326.56 KB
Notes Tortworth Estate meeting - Issued 15 Nov 2016.pdf2.67 MB
Media Statment - Statment of Clarification - Issued 14 March 2017.pdf184.75 KB
HCA letter - Issued 5 Jan 2017.pdf295.49 KB
Media Statment re Learning from the Community Nov16 V4.pdf58.71 KB
South Glos JPS Event Posters.PDF823.73 KB
Concept Document.pdf6.81 MB
Public Engagement Timetable - Issued 23Aug16.pdf136.79 KB

Process Timelines

We have put together a timeline to show significant events during the process:

  • 2015
  • 2016
    • January
      • Estate submits responses to JSP and JTS consultation which includes Buckover Village Garden -see documents on this page
      • West of England Joint Spatial Plan: Issues and Options consultation closes
      • West of England Joint Transport Study (JTS): Issues and Options consultation closes
    • May
      • West of England releases responses to JPS and JTS consultations
    • June
    • July
      • South Gloucestershire Council Local Plan: Policy, Sites and Places formal consultation commences
      • Estate attends Falfield Parish Council meeting: http://www.falfield.org.uk/cMinutes190716.pdf
      • South Gloucestershire Council submit Expression of Interest: Locally-Led Garden Villages, Towns and Cities
        to The Department for Communities and Local Government - see document on this site.
    • August
    • September
      • Estate submits response to Local Plan: Policy, Sites & Places consultation
      • South Gloucestershire Council Local Plan: Policy Sites and Places formal consultation closes
      • Estate meets with Falfield Parish Councillors, referenced at this link but full notes yet to be published: http://www.falfield.org.uk/dMinutes200916.pdf
      • West of England Planning, Housing and Communities Board and Joint Transport Executive Committee agenda and papers released for October meeting. Buckover Garden Village included draft JSP consultation.
    • October
    • November
  • 2017
    • January
    • February
      • Estate receives official notes of the meeting between Falfield Parish Council and the Tortworth Estate held in September 2016.  Please see attachments above.
    • March
    • July
      • On the 24th July 2017 the Tortworth Estate announced St Modwen as its partner to deliver the Buckover Garden Village concept.  For further details please see Media Statement under Attachments above.
    • September/October
      • South Gloucestershire Council’s Public Consultation on new Local Plan and Strategic Development Locations
    • November
      • All four Councils making up the West of England Partnership voted to approve and press ahead with the draft Joint Spatial Plan (JSP) which outlines how 105,000 houses are to built across the West of England area by 2036, including 32,500 new homes to be built in South Gloucestershire. Buckover Garden Village remains in the JSP as a committed allocation. The plan is now open for consultation (see above right) before being submitted to the Secretary of State for approval in 2018.
      • Master Planning work and meetings continue.
      • Specialist technical and environmental companies continue with the site investigation, transport and sustainability matters.
      • Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP pledges action to “fix the broken housing market”. Full speech can be found here:-


    • December
      • Master Planning work and meetings continue.
      • Work on future Community Governance for Buckover Garden Village continues.
  • 2018
    • January
      • Public Consultation on the West of England Joint Spatial Plan (JSP) ends.
    • March
    • April
      • South Gloucestershire Council, as part of their West of England Joint Spatial Plan and their own Local Plan process, begin a series of "Stakeholder Workshops” for various Strategic Development Locations (SDL's) to run over the Spring and Summer. Their first event will be focussed on the future growth at Charfield. The other SDL’s are:- Coalpit Heath, Buckover Garden Village, Thornbury, and Yate and Chipping Sodbury.
      • On 17th April a Buckover Garden Village workshop was held for representatives from local groups, organisations and service providers.
      • The Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP was appointed Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government.
    • May
      • Mr Malcolm Rivett BA (Hons) MSc MRTPI and Mr Steven Lee BA (Hons) MA MRTPI were appointed as Inspectors to conduct the Examination and determine whether the JSP is sound and legally compliant.
    • July
      • Workshops held specifically for households living within, or immediately adjacent to, the proposed site. Please contact us at bgv@mediationinplanning.co.uk if you did not receive an invite and, by living within the proposed site, feel you should have been included.
    • August
      • Further details of the JSP process and Examination in Public (EiP), now expected in 2019, can be found here:
      • The feedback report on the first workshop held on April 17th this year was published and can be found under the attachments section above.
      • The EiP Inspectors confirmed a delay of at least 7 months to the EiP timetable with the Councils now proposing the hearings to begin in May 2019, instead of October 2018, as originally anticipated.
    • November
    • December
      • The feedback report on the second workshop held on the 19th and 20th of July 2018 was published and can be found under the attachments section above.
  • 2019
    • February
    • March
      • Update on further community engagement published and can be found under attachments above.
      • Ongoing individual meetings between Buckover Garden Village Team and local residents continue.
    • April
      • The Inspectors advised on 11th April that the JSP Examination Hearing Sessions will commence on Tuesday 2nd July 2019.
    • June
      • Buckover Garden Village team made public their response to questions raised by the Inspectors at the current Examination into the JSP, in respect of the Buckover Garden Village Strategic Development Location (Matter 7.8: Buckover Garden Village SDL). All of this submitted information can be found here:- http://mediationinplanning.co.uk/jsp-matters/
      • JSP Examination Hearing Sessions begin.
    • October
    • November