Redeveloping Garage Sites for Affordable Housing

Redeveloping Garage Sites for Affordable Housing
The benefits of redeveloping garage sites for affordable housing, an undervalued and sometimes overlooked supply of quality affordable housing delivery.

The housing crisis in the UK is driving housing associations and local planning authorities (LPAs) to make the best possible use of land with development potential. Gloucester City Homes’ approach to finding innovative solutions to the housing shortage is delivering high quality and affordable housing throughout the city of Gloucester.

Providing Affordable Housing in Cities and Towns

Redundant and disused sites like old garages, parking courts and lockups in towns and cities, provide a sustainable and effective method of addressing the increasing housing shortage. Sites such as these are often in central locations and are generally well-related to existing forms of development. They therefore provide an ideal solution to creating much-needed affordable housing.

This is especially pertinent when considering paragraph 120 of the National Planning Policy Framework, which encourages planning policies and decisions to “promote and support the development of under-utilised land and buildings.”

Here in Gloucester, we are fortunate to work with independent housing association Gloucester City Homes (GCH), assisting them in their mission of providing affordable housing in and around the city.

SF Planning has assisted GCH with gaining planning permission for several old garage sites. Combined, these sites provide a healthy number of new affordable, sustainable and energy efficient homes.

At the time of writing, the schemes we have worked on with GCH have provided over 30, much-needed affordable houses for Gloucester City. These housing sites have mainly involved the effective reuse of underutilised land and buildings, such as disused garage sites in key residential areas of the city. The mix of housing provision varies from small and medium sized houses to bungalows, as well the odd small apartment block. As a result of supplying a range of options, occupiers can choose a home which best suits them.

Striking the right balance

To date, Gloucester City Homes have engaged SF Planning on eight similarly underutilised sites. The housing association took the sites on from Gloucester City Council in 2016 and they have subsequently formed an important part of their delivery of affordable housing across the city.  Dan Lutman, development Manager at GCH explains that engaging neighbourhood residents during the planning phase of developing the garage sites is vital. Simply providing additional homes is not enough, projects need to be executed in a way that respects and enhances the existing communities. In addition, working with local experts to consult on and design their developments is an important part of GCH’s values.

In choosing SF Planning. GCH recognised and valued our candid and pragmatic approach.

“We consistently get straightforward advice, in a department that is typically not a straightforward one. With SF Planning, it’s never a case of giving us the answers we might like to hear initially, then causing complications further down the line. We get good, candid and pragmatic solutions combined with innovation and efficiency.”

Dan Lutman: Development Manager at Gloucester City Homes

Mark Godson, director at SF Planning says:

“We’re thrilled to be able to work with both a highly reputable housing association with a clear passion for providing high-quality, low-cost affordable homes, and an award-winning firm of architects in Quattro Design.  Redeveloping garage sites for affordable housing plays an important role in addressing the significant housing shortage in the borough. SF Planning look forward to upcoming projects with GCH, where we will be looking to provide further growth in much-needed areas of the city.”

Examples of our projects for development of disused garage sites with Gloucester City Homes:

Longlevens – Seven homes across two sites in Meadowleaze and Oakleaze

As well as achieving an attractive and high-quality design, the dwellings also exceed sustainability targets for housing development. All houses include air source heat pumps, EV charging points and a high energy efficiency rating.



Meadowleaze Garage SIte
Meadowleaze Garage SIte 2
Meadowleaze Garage site 3


Meadowleaze garage site 4
Meadowleaze Garage SIte 5


Oakleaze Garage site 1
Oakleaze Garage site 2
Oakleaze Garage site 3


Oakleaze Garage site 4
Oakleaze Garage site 5

 Worcester Parade – Five homes

During the planning phase of this project, SF Planning tackled various issues including flood risk, archaeology, and importantly, the position of the site relative to the Worcester Street Conservation Area. The completed scheme provides a significant enhancement to the setting of the conservation area, particularly when compared to how the site appeared before redevelopment. In addition, the development provides much-needed, low-cost affordable housing in a central location of the city.

Worcester Parade


Worcester Parade Garage site 1
Worcester Parade Garage site 2
Worcester Parade Garage site 3


Worcester Parade Garage site 4
Worcester Parade Garage site 5
Other Gloucester City Homes projects from SF Planning:

For more information on our work securing affordable housing provision, please contact Mark Godson.

For advice and assistance on any planning project, large or small, please get in touch:


t: Cheltenham: 01242 231575 | Gloucester: 01452 527997 | London: 020 3763 8005

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