October 2011

Last night was a important milestone at the Tewkesbury Borough Council offices which sets the stage for many hundreds of house to land on our doorsteps. The councillors authorised the Joint Core Strategy for consultation by the public.

In the document there were four levels of housing options. Option A being the lowest and option D being the highest. Only option A would not require building on the green belt. They voted for option B, which is a plan for 33,200 houses over the next 20 years in the Cheltenham, Tewkesbury and Gloucester areas. All four options for building houses in the three areas are; scenario A is for 16,200, Scenario B is for 33,200, Scenario C is for 36,800 and Scenario D is for 40,500.

STC at Tewkesbury Borough Council Offices

STC at Tewkesbury Borough Council Offices

Some wording in the JCS document was changed as some councillors objected to APPROVING or ENDORSING option B and wished to stress that they were publishing the whole document for consultation. However, they did think that option B was the right option even so! I wasn’t at the meeting so I may not have conveyed the subtleties quite right. Whatever, my friends in STC thought the three Bloor representatives present when away very happy.

We had a small contingent at the offices so we should be in the Glos Echo and Helen Wells made some comments which should he heared on Radio Gloucestershire today.

We are outraged that the JCS seems basically to be a regurgitated RSS with all the same housing figures and same dodgy evidence base that assumes massive growth in housing need based on 3.6% economic growth over the next 20 years. Last night STC and Leglag campaigners established that the public does have a right to challenge this evidence base and we will be doing so.

The green belt review has now been published.

Its good news for land around Leckhampton but bad news for land around Swindon Village to the NW of Cheltenham.
Areas have been rated on their value for green belt purposes. With Red meaning are large contribution to green belt objectives and Green meaning little contributions. It looks like Green=Development (although the report does stress further consideration is required). The NW of Cheltenham gets the green light.

Summary of Green Belt Review

There is an excuse that ‘the north side of the Tewkesbury Road is ribbon development’ reducing the openness of the Green Belt’. This is nonsense, it has little impact on the miles of open fields. There has been no consideration on the land value in relation to needed farmland or flood prevention. It all very depressing.

See the Glos Echo Article.

The full document is available from Here