February 2013

A very worrying story has appeared on “Inside Housing” stating that if councils cannot get their local plans in place within 2 months!! then they face unconstrained development since the current government has declared that the default answer to (sustainable) development is YES.

Inside Housing Article

Its very worrying, bearing in mind that the current plan is that the Joint Core Strategy (JCS) won’t come into action until August 2014! We don’t yet know whether to trust this article

Helen Wells kindly gave the Swindon Village History Society an update on the ongoing saga of the Joint Core Strategy and planning issues relating to large housing developments around Cheltenham and particularly around Swindon Village.

The Joint Core Strategy – JCS

A joint development plan to shape the development of  Gloucester, Cheltenham and Tewkesbury up to 2031.
It replaced the Regional spatial strategy (RSS)

Updated JCS Timetable

The Government makes a final decision July 2014
Sustainability Appraisal Scoping Report October 2008
‘Issues and Key Questions’ public  consultation Nov 2009 to Feb. 2010
‘JCS Part 1’ public consultation June to August 2010
‘Developing the Preferred Option’ public consultation Dec. 2011 to Feb. 2012
Preferred Option Document June 2013
Preferred Option public  consultation July to Aug.2013 (6 weeks)
Adoption August 2014

The JCS consulted on four options:

A 16,200 new homes Building only on brownfield (previously used) land and some other sites where planning permission has already been given. Enough for 16 years supply for population growth according to Save the Countryside
B 33,200 new homes
C 36,850 new homes
D 41,500 new homes

B, C & D would see development on brownfield land and also on large areas of greenbelt and greenfield land.
Including 4,450 houses between Swindon Village and Uckington on existing greenbelt land, 1300 at Shurdington and developments of 3100, 1000, 1500, 1300 (incl farm lane), 750, 3700, 250 new homes in other areas.

  • To use housing need figures calculated by consultants Nathanial Lichfield Partnership (NLP) as the basis of further progress on the JCS.
  • JCS must be concluded else large risk of uncoordinated passing of planning applications
  • Challenged by our groups and also many CBC councillors – projections do not include latest 2011 census info
  • A Working Group was set up by CBC to review the figures used for “Average Household Size” (AHS) in 2031
  • A Cambridge University Consultancy is engaged to report on “how to project the AHS for the JCS”

Decisions made by JCS team

JCS area population in 2011 322,800
JCS area households in 2011 138,430
Persons per household 2.33
Anticipated population growth over 20 years to 2031 44,700
Final population for JCS area in 2031 367,500
housing need 28,500

(= 1.6 Av persons per new household) (21% increase)

Save the Countryside’s view

An Amended version of Option A (19000) would meet our long term housing needs : based on accurate nationwide statistics of average 2.3 people per house not 1.2 as the JCS team have estimated and considering our economic climate

  • Brownfield First: The Greenbelt boundary must not be changed for the convenience of developers.We must protect our precious countryside.
  • We must not lose our local food production land.
  • We cannot take a risk on flooding in this area.
  • There are enough available sites already to meet our housing needs.

What’s Next

STC LEGLAG and CPRE challenge the figures formally

  • Population increase
  • Economic climate
  • Household size

Challenge politicians who promised to protect Greenbelt.

  • Show your support
  • Come to our annual walk – Sunday 19th May 2pm
  • Put up a Poster in your window
  • Join in the Public Consultation in July – Aug 2013
  • We need all the help we can

Thank You

Cheltenham / Tewkesbury Boroughs: 13,800 new homes in Cheltenham by 2026. 26% increase (by 2016 if growth point status had been accepted)

Dictated Urban extensions on Greenbelt and Greenfield sites

  • 5000 North West Swindon Village,
  • 1300 South Leckhampton
  • 1000 Bishops Cleeve

To comment:

Write a letter to the JCS Team,

Municipal Offices, Promenade, Cheltenham, GL50 9SA

Visit the JCS website: http://www.gct-jcs.org

Email: info@gct-jcs.org

Phone the JCS team on 0800 073 1441

Please also contact your local Councillors on Cheltenham Borough Council, Tewksbury Borough Council or Gloucester City Council.