Note that the following paragraphs are historical and need updating. The latest situation is that due to the new government the RSS framework has been scrapped so we’ve achieved a huge successful (not on our own though!). However, that doesn’t mean the threat of housing around Cheltenham has gone away. We will still need to fight hard.

“Save The Countryside” is made up of Swindon Village and Elmstone Hardwicke residents who were alarmed by the settlement of 5,000 houses planned to be built to the North-West of Cheltenham alongside the Tewkesbury Road between Swindon Village and Elmstone Hardwick. See the outline plans here. The Goverment plans an unprecedented rate of growth for the area aiming to build these houses by 2016. We believe these projections are based on a deeply flawed model of the numbers required.

Key concerns are:

  • Increased traffic on roads that are already congestedLoss of the village character of Swindon VillageIncreased pollutionLoss of green space for walkingTragic loss of wildlifeIncreased Flood risks
  • The Government imposed a target of 12,500 houses on the Cheltenham built-up area by 2026 in its draft Regional Spatial Strategy – a growth of 25% in the next 18 years. Following a review, this is set to increase to 13,800 houses. If this happens it will be an unprecedented rate of growth in the area and will have a massive impact on our town and its quality.

The major focus of growth will be in the Greenbelt along Tewkesbury Rd towards the junction with the M5 motorway. A settlement of 4,000 was originally planned here straddling Cheltenham around Swindon Village and stretching into Tewkesbury. This is recommended to increase to 5,000 in the final Regional Spatial Strategy. See the plans

The Government is keen to pursue a national growth strategy. As a result of this it wants 2 million houses built in the UK by 2020. This will see a substantial increase in the population of the area as people move here from other parts of the country.

It has offered some funding for ‘infrastructure and planning’ to those Councils that agree to ‘accelerate’ their rate of growth, and deliver some of their 2026 housing targets by 2016. As a result of this, Cheltenham and Tewkesbury Borough Council has applied for funding for infrastructure for an ‘urban extension’ of 5,000 houses to be built by 2016. This is equivalent to a town bigger than Tewkesbury being built on the outskirts of Cheltenham. It is institutionalised urban sprawl.

One Response to “Save The Countryside”

  1. mike Says:


    SOME HOPE!!!!

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