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
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).