Latest news. It’s happening. A planning application is expected soon for 4500 house for the Cheltenham NW urban extension.
 Cheltenham Council confirmed in the 28th Match that Bloor and Persimmon plan to submit THE application in July for the NW urban extension (beside Swindon Village and Tewkesbury Road). We think this date has been very carefully chosen.
  • so, AFTER the JCS preferred options (I WONDER what those are going to be!)
  • so, BEFORE the JCS is finalised and
  • so BEFORE our five year +20% housing land availability is safely sorted out and
  • so when anything ‘sustainable’ will be fair game
The developers will probably be hoping that the lack of the local plan (the JCS) will give them a presumption that the answer to ‘sustainable’ (appalling misuse of the term!) development is YES – the government has said as much. But, this is still green belt at the moment, which the government has also stated it will protect.
This is a key time for our fight to stop this building. Its been a great success to delay it this long, but now its crucial that we work hard to stop it, delay it further, get it staged or reduce its impact. We must do whatever we can. We will be calling on your help shortly.

Save the Countryside Meeting January 15th 2009 Municipal Offices

More than 40 people attended the meeting last night (15th January) to discuss the issues arising from proposals to build in the Green belt around Cheltenham.
Barbara Farmer from Safety in Waste and Rubbish Disposal (SWARD) outlined the history and issues associated with waste disposal at the Wingmoor Farm site near Bishops Cleeve.
In addition to the smells, flys, rats, noise and 82,000 traffic movements to and from Wingmoorevery year is the much bigger problem of toxic waste disposal. The hazardous waste site deals with ‘disposal’ of dioxins which amount to about 50% of the UKs total toxic waste.
The European Commission in a draft document maintained that there should be a half kilometer distance between non-hazardous waste sites and 2 kilometers distance from hazardous waste sites. This was not turned into law – but the so-called NW urban extension is to be built right up against the tip. Who will buy a house in such a situation?
Dave Wittsand Vernon Smith from the Severn and Avon Valley combined Flood Group outlined the history of flooding in the Severn Vale and the use of Sustainable Drainage Systems (SUDS). The evidence shows that most SUDS systems don’t work on the Severn Flood Plain because it is covered in impermeable clay and the water cannot soak away. Any building in the area of the NW urban extension will send more water down local streams into the Tewkesbury area and increase the risk of flooding there as happened in July 2007. Their campaign has attracted academic support from Professor Cluckie (Swansea University).
Cllr. Paul Massey, speaking for Cheltenham Council Leader Steve Jordan, indicated that the Regional Spatial Strategy has fallen even further behind and won’t be available until Summer 2009 now, and this will delay production of the Local Development Framework back. There will be a General Election in 2010 at which housing targets imposed on the area can be challenged.
Helen Wells, Chair of ‘Save the Countryside’ urged people to attend the meeting in Parliament on 21st January when Gloucestershire MPs will have an opportunity to meet one of the Ministers, Iain Wright, responsible for the RSS. ‘Save the Countryside’ is running a coach to it.
For further information, leave a comment on this site and we will get in touch.

John Webster