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Enabling Development

Enabling development refers to development that would usually be considered harmful but is considered acceptable because the resulting benefits outweigh the harm.

An enabling development can be a useful mechanism for those who are asset rich but money poor to find a way of providing or funding the facilities that they desire through releasing assets (normally land) that is surplus to their own requirements.

Hereford Rugby Club

An example of this type of arrangement can be seen with the granting of planning permission in Hereford designed to benefit Hereford Rugby Club with the provision of a new ground in exchange for releasing land for housing.

Outline Planning Application for the development of a new Rugby Club facility and 190 residential units on Land to the East of Holywell Gutter Lane, Hereford.

The application developed and submitted by Foxley Tagg Planning Ltd in conjunction with Hereford RFC, Bloor Homes and the Landowner consists of two elements.

The first element is to provide a bespoke Rugby Club and sporting facility which includes a range of flood lit pitches, one of which is an all weather surface, along with a new clubhouse and indoor training facility. The scheme will allow the Rugby Club to relocate from its current Wyeside ground which is beset by flooding and access issues.

The second element consists of an enabling development of 190 residential units, of which 67 will be affordable. The housing development will therefore provide the £5million required to develop the Rugby Club scheme.

The use of the residential scheme to ‘enable’ the development of the Rugby Club would ensure that the new facilities could come forward using private funds with no reliance on the public purse.

Plans for the Scheme

Worcestershire County Cricket Club

In a similar vein Foxley Tagg Planning achieved success with another great sporting entity, Worcestershire County Cricket Club when it secured planning permission for the Basil d’Oliveira Stand at the world famous New Road Ground.

Development of any sort in a floodplain is an issue but one which is also a conservation area and in a world renowned site is especially difficult. This was the situation at Worcestershire County Cricket Club where a clear need for modern comfortable and fit for purpose spectator accommodation and associated facilities challenged Foxley Tagg to be creative and sensitive.

A number of agencies were interested in this site in the shadow of Worcester Cathedral and on an annual floodplain not least the Environment Agency who expect a significant degree of betterment to flood water capacity as a prerequisite to any scheme.

The club were keen to take advantage of Sport England funding that was available in a small time frame and hence any application was pressured to be achieved with minimal delay. The scheme required the bringing together of the local authority planners, architects, heritage society, conservationists, environmentalists and not least the worlds media who were interested in this scheme at the country’s and arguably one of the world’s most beautiful sporting arenas.

A close and positive working relationship was established by Foxley Tagg with the developers, Barrs Ltd, who worked with the client and Foxley Tagg to bring this scheme to fruition delivered on a tight build timetable which was potentially compromised by seasonal sporting and weather constraints.

If you would like to discuss the potential for an enabling development please contact Foxley Tagg Planning on 01242 222107 or email and we would be happy to discuss with you your ideas and the potential for such a project.