Gloucester has been given a great new homes boost by the city’s planning committee last night when it gave the green light to the building of 411 new homes around the Docks.
This is a major development at Monk Meadow by Peel and Crest Nicholson, who will build the apartments and houses in a deal worth something like £65 million.
And all these new homes - so badly needed in Gloucester - will probably be built by October next year which is great news, particularly for young people.
I was at the committee meeting last night in the same council chamber where twelve years ago up until midnight, councillors pondered on whether to give the Quays outlet centre the go ahead to build.
Finally - with a little, gentle persuasion from my paper, The Citizen, which I edited at the time - they made the right decision then and just look what has happened.
Peel have probably now invested over £350 million into the development of the Docks, and last night’s decision to me was one of the final pieces of their development jig saw for Gloucester.
And I have to pay tribute to the councillors last night who have realised the value of that ongoing Peel investment - without it this city of ours would not be in the rude state of economic health it is in today with further investment coming in on the back of Peel’s lead.
Councillor Andy Lewis, deputy chair of the planning committee was there in that meeting twelve years ago and he was there last night speaking enthusiastically about the Peel investment and how the jig saw was being completed.
And I have to say that the council planners - so often criticised these days for inordinate delays - have done a remarkable job of bringing what was a fairly complex planning project to fruition.
We now have one of the country’s leading outlet centres which has become a real destination for Gloucester, and with this decision last night a good feeling that real people, real families, will now be living alongside the Quays.
If Gloucester is to maintain its momentum, we have increasingly got to ensure we have more people living and working in the centre our historic city.
That is the only way you will get the vibrancy we need to complete the Gloucester jig saw and keep this city on the up.