So much narrative has been written down about the pluvial flooding problems in the fields around Twigworth, that everyone is aware of the risk.

It would be hard to find a more unsuitable place for development.

No amount of quick fix ‘sustainable drainage’ would cope on this flat clay-clogged land, which is adjacent to the river flood plain.

Despite claims of no flood risk, applicants, proposing these developments, don’t have to worry about the flood
alleviation – they sell on their planning permissions and have no liabilities.

The actual housing developers can rid themselves of the maintenance costs of supposedly sustainable drainage, and leave the councils with the ongoing expense.

Furthermore, mass housing at Twigworth would choke rural roads, and all the key junctions in Churchdown, Innsworth, Longlevens and Longford. If Twigworth were to be encircled with mass housing developments, the A38 traffic would proceed at a permanent crawling pace, and the Longford roundabout (already the second-most congested roundabout in Cheltenham, Gloucester and Tewkesbury) would become a greater bottleneck.

As you report on November 9th and 14th, councillors at Tewkesbury Borough Council have voted to remove the late entry of Twigworth in the Joint Core Strategy examination, so as to avoid the gross environmental risk of development in this part of the Severn Vale.

We thank our MP, Laurence Robertson, for backing the efforts to prevent development at Twigworth and for enlisting the support of former Prime Minister, David Cameron, when he visited the area to appreciate the flood risks.

We are grateful to theTewkesbury Borough Council members for demanding a more sustainable approach to the JCS, and retaining Twigworth within the green belt.

Dave Evans, chairman, Down Hatherley Parish Council,
Eirwyn Jenkins, chairman, Norton Parish Council,
Ken Watson, chairman, Twigworth Parish Council.

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 ( ) 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

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).


-- 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.

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.