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The South West John Ryde Commercial Paul Maguire

The last year has seen significant announcements and events in North Gloucestershire including: Tewkesbury was granted Garden Town Status. This is aimed at helping the Council deliver over 10,000 residential units for the East Tewkesbury area over the next 21 years together with about 100 hectares of employment land. It is likely to require significant investment in infrastructure to enable delivery.

A West Cheltenham draft Supplementary Planning Document is out for consultation. This relates to 320 acres of which 110 acres was recently acquired by Cheltenham Borough Council for a reported £37 million. The vision is for uses including high tech business – 125 acres of employment use much of which is to be devoted to a Cyber Park by GCHQ and residential and leisure uses to create a campus and garden community, with potentially circa. 3,000 dwellings. The draft needs approval by the Council’s of both Cheltenham and Tewkesbury. Major infrastructure investment will be required to enable implementation.

Associated with the above projects are discussions regarding J10 of the M5 motorway to enable all ways traffic movements, or possibly a new junction to the North. Meanwhile the shortfall of allocated housing numbers in Tewkesbury Borough has resulted in planning appeals being won West of Bishops Cleeve (by Gladman) for over 200 residential units and 5.5 acres of commercial use and for over 800 residential units South of the A46, just to the East of the M5 at Tewkesbury (by Robert Hitchins).

The office market has seen a notable activity and rising rents. At Gloucestershire Business Park a 65,000 sq ft HQ building is being developed for occupation by Ecclesiastical Insurance. Castle Forge recently acquired Festival House, Cheltenham a multi-let modern office building for about £19 million, representing a 6.4% yield. Following on St James House, Cheltenham is about to be marketed; as a multi-let office building, 80,000 sq ft with a price tag expected to be £26 million.

At the Quadrangle in the centre of Cheltenham, major improvements are being undertaken to provide 60,000 sq ft of office accommodation with food and drink elements at ground floor and a new roof top space.

A major investment acquisition by Gloucester City Council of Gloucester Retail Park from Hammerson for upward of £50 million may spur to development on the periphery of the Park on land part owned by Tesco and partly the City.

Additional major facilities at Gloucester Business Park include a new manufacturing distribution HQ of approximately 184,000 sq ft for Dowty Propellers, 120,000 sq ft for G-TEKT in the automotive industry, 100,000 sq ft for TBS Engineering.

Further South by J12 of the M5 motorway, St Modwen are completing Phase 1 of 170,000 sq ft warehouse/industrial scheme with over 20% let to Adey Innovation. Also, on the industrial front Chancery Gate have nearly completed their Furlong Park development of 86,500 sq ft in 11 units ranging from 5,000 sq ft to 25,500 sq ft to the North of Cheltenham and at Kingsditch Estate, Cheltenham they have lodged a planning application for 85,000 sq ft in 14 units.

Cheltenham is thriving Reports Richard Crabb MRICS Partner, THP online - Cheltenham Richard Crabb

We are only in February, but 2020 has felt definitely positive compared to late 2019. Not difficult really as the tail end of last year was quite hard work with the triple headwinds of Christmas, the election and Brexit which all seemed to hold people back. There is an appetite to “get on with it”, so fingers crossed.

We ended out 2019 on a real high with the letting of 42,000 sq ft in Honeybourne Place where cbre Bristol acted for the tenant. This speculative office development is the first large scale new build office in Cheltenham at 60,000 sq ft for about 18 years. I have been testing my memory and this deal is the largest single letting in the town over the same time period.

The developers are Formal Investments who are locally based and the success shows how tight the local office market has become. We are in negotiation on the remaining space in the building at the moment.

Addington Capital bought 111 High Street alongside the new John Lewis store in Cheltenham and have just completed a compete strip out and re-fit of the upper floors as offices with a new access off High Street and an atrium garden area. The majority of the space at first floor of 7,600 sq ft was pre-let to an expanding local holiday company. It`s not so long ago that offices over shops were unwanted but the kick up in rental values has justified refurbishments to create interesting, modern space. Joint agents are cbre Bristol. The shift in the office market in Cheltenham has followed Permittted Development with a lot of old stock taken over for residential use. Demand in the area


for residential developments remains strong with limited demand and two disposals for a housing association have been very popular, including a rare block of 5 adjoining period buildings in Cheltenham.

In terms of industrial/ Trade Counter IPIF built one of the first new schemes in Cheltenham for many years on the Kingsditch Trade Park which is the town`s main industrial location and the last of the 7 units has just been let. New rent levels have been set at over £13.50 per square foot showing the pent-up demand for new accommodation against some quite old existing stock in the town. On the back if this demolition has just started on the next phase of units. Joint agents are Bruton Knowles and JLL.


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