The Severn Vale Community campaign would like to thank everyone, who helped us financially - this enabled us to engage experts to provide evidence and reports, and to attend the two public inquiries / JCS sessions.

We much appreciate the efforts of parishioners and others, who gave up many hours of their free time to help our cause.

A personal thank you, of course, to Prof. Ian Cluckie, who together with George Sharpley, prepared all the flood risk material showing how inappropriate it is to develop on flood plains.

New plans affecting the area (December 2017)

Neighbourhood Development Plan – the local level plan

The draft Neighbourhood Development Plan for Down Hatherley, Norton & Twigworth is now available on this website.
From 3 November to 15 December your feedback is invited on the draft. The NDP will be a local level plan which backs up the district level plan (Tewkesbury Borough Plan) soon to be prepared for Tewkesbury.

Joint Core Strategy – the plan for the wider area

The councils of Cheltenham, Gloucester and Tewkesbury have now received the Inspector’s recommendations for the Joint Core Strategy (JCS). This is a strategic plan for new housing allocations and related infrastructure across the three boroughs, to 2031. The JCS has possible implications for this area which are very different from the draft NDP. The JCS Inspector’s recommendation is for at least 995 houses raised two and half feet high on the lip of the flood plain at Twigworth and possibly into Down Hatherley. There is a similar allocation at Innsworth.

These proposals would result in swathes of suburban housing literally looming on the landscape, as well as invasive construction traffic throughout the stages of development. Around a third of the allocation would be social housing. Housing applications might then cascade to neighbouring land and there are likely to be severe traffic impacts on the main roads, key junctions and the rural lanes.

Many thanks to residents who generously supported the work at the planning appeal hearing in June, and the JCS sessions in July. We challenged the applicants at these events – inevitably Green Belt impacts, flood risk, and traffic impacts were major issues.

December decisions: An announcements from the planning appeal hearing is expected in December – this will be the Planning Minister’s decision on whether the Innsorth and Twigworth proposals are approved. Meanwhile the JCS Inspector’s recommendation for these proposals at Innsworth, Twigworth and Down Hatherley will be voted on by Tewkesbury Borough councillors at their 5 December meeting. We are working with our local councillors to influence these decisions – see updates on the respective village web sites.

Sarah Seccombe (nee Yates),