Twigworth & Severn Vale Community

Dear resident,
Appeal for funds to fight housing and road plans

This email asks for donations asap to help the Parish Councils challenge the housing and road plans proposed for Twigworth and Down Hatherley.

As you may know, the Parish Councils and local residents are challenging the Joint Core Strategy (JCS) proposals for up to 4,000 houses, including up to a third social housing, in Twigworth and Down Hatherley. As well as increased flood risk and building on Green Belt, the proposed development would have dramatic traffic impacts at key junctions and along our narrow rural roads . A major elevated new road would also be developed through the main part of the development. New roads generate their own traffic so this will not create much if any relief, and at least 30 per cent of the new traffic is due to be directed through Down Hatherley anyway.

To have a chance of success we need to deploy professional and legal skills where we could influence the JCS Inspector and the appeal Inquiry in June. We will deploy planning and transport professionals and possibly a barrister. We will prioritise these as soon as we know the level of funds available. The world-renowned flood risk consultant Professor Ian Cluckie is kindly working free of charge.

There is no guarantee we will be successful but we have a fair chance. Not making our case will mean that development here is inevitable.

We are hoping for donations of up to £50, but more if you can afford it. For example a barrister to front our arguments at the June Appeal would cost £8,000.

Please help now - if you leave it to others, it is likely that nothing will happen and we will certainly have our lives transformed by a large suburban development, traffic chaos, and several years of construction traffic.

Cheques should be payable to:
Twigworth and Severn Vale Community

Cheques or cash can be dropped into Helen Ford during 9.00 - 17.00 at Orchard Park office

Bank transfers to account number:

Natwest Bank Account No : 76461416 Sort Code: 60-09-02

Our individual members are also putting in time to plan and deliver the work. We have already made a detailed submission to the Joint Core Strategy consultation - this is available to read on the respective Parish web sites, linked below.

Please get in touch if you have any queries or would like to offer help, and thanks in advance if you can contribute funds.

Thank you
Helen Ford (Twigworth) helenford7@yahoo.co.uk

Rick Minter (Down Hatherley) rickminter@easynet.co.uk



not at

to be decided soon

All are welcome to attend




13 JULY 2017

All are welcome to attend






“ If I may explain in a little more detail my reasons for mentioning the airport in our last inTouch leaflet as a possible alternative localtion for housing. I grew up on air bases as my father was in the RAF, so aircraft and aircraft noise doesn’t bother me or cloud my viewpoint.

The three local councils Tewkesbury, Cheltenham and Gloucester have been tasked with building 35,000 new dwellings and have come up with a combined plan they call the Joint Core Strategy (JCS). In this they currently plan 3,500 dwellings to meet Gloucester City’s need in the greenbelt/flood plain between Churchdown and Gloucester, both sides of Cheltenham Road East (by the fire station and up to John Daniel’s) for 1,100 and off Innsworth Lane for 1,300 more with 995 just north of that. I believe these developments are flooding risks and would clog up Innsworth Lane, Cheltenham Road East and Pirton Lane virtually bringing Churchdown to a standstill.

In my opinion a ‘Garden Village’ with direct access to the A40 is a preferable option (although I would be happier if we didn’t have to do either). This would increase revenue for the local Council’s and the public transport advantages would be huge.

The airport site is big enough to take much of the housing currently proposed at Innsworth, Twigworth and Churchdown. it is afar better location with it being next to the A40 and the main commuter routes. It doesn’t flood. It would not use up green belt agricultural land. It’s location is in a part of the greenbelt now heavily degraded by existing and proposed developments, including on the airport site itself.

I would also like to stress that this article is my opinion and, although supported by some, is not necessarily the view of all Churchdown Conservative councillors or the Conservative Party in Tewkesbury

It is an option I believe people should be aware of and I wanted to gauge public opinion (hence the feedback request). Rest assured that I will continue to fight against these other
developments as I too live in Churchdown and wish to protect it from becoming part of Gloucester’s urban sprawl. "


I had the misfortune to be sitting in the public gallery, and observing our Borough Council at work questioning and debating the amendment to the Joint Core Strategy.

Basically, although a previous meeting (25 October 2016) had democratically rejected the inclusion of Twigworth in the JCS plan, this amendment proposed to bring Twigworth back into the plan.

The amendment was passed with a vote of 19 for and 14 against.

If Twigworth was unsuitable last time, why had it become suitable this time, admittedly with a lower number of homes proposed?

No satisfactory explanation was given as to why the resolution from 25 October had not been complied with. Pro-development councillors argued that the JCS Plan would only be sound with Twigworth in, yet the 25 October resolution had asked for Twigworth to be removed and replaced with allocations from elsewhere to make the Plan sound.


The question and answer session went into detail with experts giving their opinion about flood risk and traffic flow with technical documents beyond the comprehension of the average person. The hydrology consultant had been commissioned from a consultancy which advises developers, and was given freedom to critique the advice of the hydrologist advising the Neighbourhood Development Plan who has advised against developing at Twigworth because of the degree of risk. Twigworth Parish Council had asked for this adviser to be present to brief the councillors but this request had been refused.

Three main issues emerged …

1. Flood Risk (see also above and below)

2. Traffic Flow ( all questions on the lack of up to date traffic modelling, costs of the mitigation measures, and the nature and affordability of a new road, bringing a grotesque intrusion in the Severn Vale, were comprehensively fudged by a County Council official).

3. Loss of Green Belt (see also below)


The debate after the Q&A session, largely forgot the three main issues, and descended into a debate about the consequences of not passing the amendment.

The issues were …

1. The site at Ashchurch was no longer going to be released by the MOD for development, so the JCS were desperate for new sites.

2. The allocation at Twigworth was for Gloucester City’s needs not for Tewkesbury Borough’s needs.

3. If the JCS did not meet their quota of sites for housing need, the Council would lose their ‘New Homes Bonus grant’ (a sizeable amount). This dominated many pro-development Councillors’ arguments even though it is not a planning matter and should not influence the actual decision.

4. If the JCS did not finish their plan, the Government could take direct control, and the Council would lose their power.

5. The new houses at Twigworth could not have water run off connected to the sewage network. No practical solution about drainage and long term maintenance was forthcoming. The can was kicked down the road to be decided later in the Planning Application stage.

6. This loss of Green Belt could be appealed, and the JCS would be delayed by a call in, which is precisely what the Councils seek to avoid.


I must applaud the 14 councillors, who stood their ground, and voted against this amendment.

Sadly, the rest of the Council were more concerned about revenue, power, and lethargically ending the JCS planning exercise than serving the residents of Twigworth and the commuters on the A38.

One issue never raised – the destruction of a village by being engulfed in suburbia, and impacts on downstream communities.

It will flood.

There will be traffic chaos.

But maybe you will be reassured by the words of Tewkesbury’s monotone planner who kept insisting it’s “deliverable and sustainable”…