Golden Valley Masterplan   Cheltenham, United Kingdom

Golden Valley is designed to support the development of the UK's largest cyber security innovation district in west Cheltenham. This pioneering garden community, set within a rich, biodiverse landscape reinforced by green infrastructure, will provide over 1 million square feet of workspace and over 550 high-quality new homes served by people-first streets, smart mobility and intelligent services.

The masterplan forms the centrepiece of the west Cheltenham strategic allocation site known asThe Golden Valley Development (GVD), delivering the largest employment component within the wider allocation.

The GVD comprises land parcels held in multiple ownerships, which will be master planned collaboratively to provide a rich holistic new edge to Cheltenham.

A regenerative community

The design approach for Golden Valley is founded on the natural physical systems of the site. At every stage of the masterplan development, the existing waterways, landscape habitats, ecology, biodiversity, and soil will be left in better shape than when they were found, and the community will be inherently incentivised to continue to sustainably grow.

The masterplan sets this ambition with the creation of a mosaic of native landscape habitats, truly sustainable transport and movement infrastructure, and low-carbon mixed-use neighbourhoods with distinctive characters.

The stewardship and management of this vision are augmented by digital technology and smart systems helping shape a strong inclusive community. This celebrates the interrelation of nature and technology, the possibility of a place that is responsible and regenerative, and a way of living that fosters creativity, innovation and beauty.

A nature narrative

With remnants of a primordial landscape at Golden Valley, preservation of this ancient and distinct natural environment, forms an essential part of the masterplan — recovering stories of the past through native species, habitats, and ecology. Vast swathes of historic landscapes in the UK have been obliterated by many years of intensive agricultural practice, so this narrative of nature is designed to give way to the essential improvement — the bettering — of the landscape and community: regenerating the nutrient of the soil, cleaning the air, enabling pollination, and purifying and improving the quality of groundwater.

A viable community

As a knowledge, research and innovation district, this progressive national and globally connected economy of Golden Valley will be a place that supports an existing and future diverse community. Exemplary homes, leisure facilities, and services will revitalise west Cheltenham and its environs, with public spaces — squares, parks and pocket gardens — stimulating community interaction and collaboration.

Understanding the place: a golden ecology

The Golden Valley masterplan has been developed through an in-depth understanding of the site, its existing features, and the flora and fauna. These include trees and hedgerows of significance, including three veteran oaks, Fiddler’s Green Meadow — an area of unimproved grassland, and a dense landscape that thrives along the brook that flows through the site.

Other site constraints present opportunities for clever design and place-making solutions. Underground services that run through the site preclude built development, tree planting and deep digs for heavy highways infrastructure, they do however support wildflower and grassland meadows which contribute significantly to Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) and carbon sequestration.

In areas of steep topography opportunities to design unique innovative building typologies and landscape had been identified and areas where water naturally attenuates have been retained, enabling the integration of SuDS ponds planted to support increased biodiversity. The presence of the Cheltenham Circular Footpath — a promoted Public Right of Way (PRoW) — within the site works to naturally create an open public space. These PRoW connections across the site come alive in the masterplan with rich walking and cycling experiences for both new and existing communities.

Cheltenham, United Kingdom

Project Type
Master Planning →

Henry Boot Developments