23 NOVEMBER 2016

All are welcome to attend



Affecting everyone in Down Hatherley and Twigworth.

A new page has been created to share news of the Joint Core Strategy and Neighbourhood Development Plan.





All are welcome to attend


Combined newsletter from the Parish Councils for

Down Hatherley, Norton and Twigworth

Neighbourhood Development Plan: The three Parish Councils have been preparing a community-based plan, called a Neighbourhood Development Plan (NDP), for the past 3 years. We will soon have this ready for consultation and will announce dates when the proposals can be explained and discussed in village halls, so we can get feedback and can consider refinements. The NDP aims to protect the area’s rural character, safeguard Green Belt, and ensure traffic is managed. Very modest amounts of new housing are proposed in non-Green Belt areas of Twigworth and Norton. The NDP adds detail to the Tewkesbury Borough Plan, currently being updated. As we finalise the draft NDP a major complication has arisen, as below…

Over 2,000 dwellings proposed for Twigworth and Down Hatherley: The Joint Core Strategy ( http://www.gct-jcs.org/ ) is an over-arching planning policy, allocating houses across the boroughs of Tewkesbury, Cheltenham and Gloucester. In recent months the JCS proposals have been examined by a government appointed Inspector, to scrutinise the proposals and finalise the numbers and locations for new housing. Previously no houses were proposed in the Green Belt of Twigworth, but in May 2016 the Inspector made an interim recommendation which added between 750 and 2,300 dwellings to the JCS Plan, in Twigworth and possibly stretching into Down Hatherley along the A 38 axis and as far down as Frog Furlong Lane The land for these dwellings would be removed from the Green Belt. These proposed dwellings would be additional to 1,300 already confirmed for Innsworth and the 570 being built at Longford.

Response of the 3 Parish Councils to the housing proposals: The 3 Parish Councils are greatly concerned that these proposals would transform the area into a swathe of suburbia. There would be great risk of exacerbated flooding, and traffic seizure on major junctions and through our narrow rural roads. If J10 of the M5 is made into an all-ways access in future, the resulting increased A38 traffic levels would add to the congestion from traffic generated by large numbers of new houses.

Tewkesbury Borough Council (TBC) has resolved to oppose the proposals. The 3 Parish Councils are supporting our District and County Councillors and TBC staff to challenge the housing plans, showing how the impacts are too severe and cannot be mitigated. We are currently in dispute with the Inspector over the terms by which we can have an input. We are not getting the same access as community reps elsewhere in the JCS area, and although the proposals are interim and due for consultation, we are challenging what we see as jumping the gun by the JCS Inspector, in giving the impression this is a given matter, for example in considering major road linkages, which Highways England is already actively investigating.

An initial statement issued by the 3 Parish Councils is copied overleaf.
Main updates on the Neighbourhood Development Plan and the proposed housing will be paced on local web sites including down-hatherley-village.moonfruit.com

If anyone can offer skills or experience to help our efforts in challenging the proposals, please get in touch: ………..

Clerk to both councils is David Bayley:
Address: 11 Lonsdale Road, GLOUCESTER, GL2 0TA Tel: 01452 501746
eMails: twigworthparishcouncil@gmail.com

Next Meetings: Down Hatherley: Wednesday, August 31st (7pm D.H. Village Hall)
Twigworth: Thursday, September 1st (7pm Orchard Park Site Office)

(Whenever possible the Borough (Mark Williams) and County (Phil Awford) Councillors wll attend).


-- There have been several recent break-ins during daylight hours. One house was entered via a smashed door, easily visible from the road, along the A38 near the entrance to Orchard Park. This was on Monday July 4th at midday.

Response to JCS Inspector’s Interim statement regarding “

at least 750 dwellings at Twigworth”.

Briefing from the Parish Councils of
Down Hatherley, Norton, Twigworth

The three Parish Councils are shocked and alarmed at the JCS Inspector’s 31 May statement proposing "at least" 750 dwellings (and possibly over 2,000) at Twigworth.

The Parish Councils highlight the following points:

The JCS examination has not examined Twigworth. Yet the Inspector makes a remarkable claim that Twigworth is an “obvious choice”. Such wording should not be part of an Inspector’s vocabulary.  There appears to be no evidence from the Examination to justify this assertion.

No engagement has occurred with the Parish and community representatives of Twigworth, despite their approach to the JCS Secretariat in autumn 2015, to explain the Neighbourhood Development Plan in preparation for this area, and a pledge that this would be scheduled..

The three Parish Councils have worked with Tewkesbury Borough Council for over three years preparing a Neighbourhood Development Plan which is soon to emerge for public consultation. The JCS Inspector has completely overlooked an emerging Neighbourhood Development Plan but has taken notice of a developer’s speculation in the Green Belt.

Tewkesbury Borough Council emphatically refused a speculative application for 725+ dwellings on the land in February 2016.
The JCS Inspector made an interim announcement in December 2015, which included the possibility of land at Twigworth being considered for inclusion in the JCS. The statement said she looked for the local authority to respond with a view on this. The February 2016 refusal from TBC gave the JCS Inspector a formal and decisive response.

There is demonstrable flood risk in the area proposed in Twigworth, especially from pluvial flooding along the lip of the flood plain. Houses adjacent to the proposed development have been flooded in recent heavy rain events, with houses vacated for several months as a result of pluvial flooding. It is ironic that proposed land for housing at Leckhampton has recently been refused on appeal largely on the grounds of traffic impact and flood risk. The demonstrable traffic impacts and flood risk at Twigworth are significantly more severe.

Twigworth development would create traffic chaos along the the A38, at Longford Roundabout, and at key junctions in Churchdown. The area’s rural roads would be unviable, and nearby villages including Down Hatherley and Sandhurst would be even more prone to rat-running, endangering walkers, cyclists and horse riders. The JCS Inspector refers to traffic modelling which is 4 years out of date. Updated traffic modelling and forecasts are due in September 2016 to properly inform the JCS.

On this site you will find information on the community groups in the village, events which are taking place, and information on the area’s history and its environment.

Making connections:

This web site helps people to make connections within Down Hatherley, and it helps people in Down Hatherley connect to the rest of the world. Ideas, information and contributions are always welcome so please feel free to use the contact us page to let us know what you'd like to change or add. The site includes contact names and addresses for specific organisations or community interest groups.

Down Hatherley – its location and character: 

Down Hatherley lies in the Green Belt between Cheltenham and Gloucester. It has evolved as an area of farming, small holdings, orchards and nurseries, and these are still very much in evidence in the locality. The area enjoys long open views across open farmland and some attractive walks across arable and pastoral farmland and along the Brickhampton Golf Course. The Cotswold Hills are prominent to the East, the Malvern Hills are in view to the North West, May Hill frames the view to the West, and Gloucester Cathedral is a key landmark to the South West.

As well as its 165 households, Down Hatherley includes St Mary and Corpus Christi Church, a village hall, the Hatherley Manor Hotel, a cricket club, garden centre, three plant nurseries, horse stables, and four farms.

Although there are few services and no shops in the parish........ adjacent villages, suburbs and the nearby major towns of Cheltenham, Gloucester and Tewkesbury together provide a great variety of choice just minutes away by car, bus or bike.