‘We’re at ca­pac­ity’ – call for no new homes

Plea for ob­jec­tions to any plans for hous­ing

Gloucestershire Echo - - FRONT PAGE - so­phie.flow­[email protected]­plc.com So­phie FLOW­ERS

APARISH coun­cil­lor has ap­pealed for vil­lagers to ob­ject to all new de­vel­op­ments in Bishop’s Cleeve.

Coun­cil­lor Andy Walker, of Bishop’s Cleeve parish coun­cil, said that the vil­lage is ‘at ca­pac­ity’.

Mr Walker, 52, posted on so­cial me­dia say­ing: “There has been a great deal of con­cern re­gard­ing devel­op­ment in Bishop’s Cleeve over the last few months and years.

“Our com­mu­nity has ben­e­fited from the in­flux of bright young fam­i­lies who are com­mit­ted to our vil­lage, and con­trib­ute to ev­ery as­pect of vil­lage life.

“How­ever, we have reached a point in the area where devel­op­ment has out­stripped in­fra­struc­ture.

“We are un­able to sus­tain the cur­rent rate of devel­op­ment.

“The Parish Coun­cil will al­ways ob­ject to fur­ther devel­op­ment with­out in­vest­ment in in­fra­struc­ture, but we must ob­ject as a com­mu­nity.

“It would be use­ful for residents to

at­tend ev­ery plan­ning meet­ing in num­bers.

“If we shout loudly enough we might be heard.”

This year Tewkes­bury Bor­ough Coun­cil has ap­proved plans for 749 homes, the se­cond high­est num­ber of all Glouces­ter­shire’s coun­cils, but none of these are in Bishop’s Cleeve.

In July its plan­ning com­mit­tee refused plans for 200 homes on fields off Stoke Road, near Bishop’s Cleeve, say­ing the devel­op­ment was ‘un­sus­tain­able.’

It’s un­der­stood that the de­vel­op­ers are ap­peal­ing that de­ci­sion.

The vil­lage has a pop­u­la­tion of around 15,000, boosted in part by the re­cent de­vel­op­ments of 450 homes in Home­lands and 500 new homes in the Cleeve­lands devel­op­ment.

It’s also set to grow as house builder Per­sim­mon wants to ex­tend the Cleeve­lands site north by an ex­tra 500 homes.

Mr Walker, who has lived in Bishop’s Cleeve for 10 years, said: “Bishop’s Cleeve has grown in size more than any other com­mu­nity in the South West of Eng­land in the last 10 years.

“As a re­sult the in­creased pop­u­la­tion has had to adapt to its en­vi­ron­ment and has done so in spec­tac­u­lar fash­ion. Lo­cal schools, churches, the parish coun­cil and nu­mer­ous groups in the vil­lage have stepped up to the mark and have tried to ac­com­mo­date our new residents.

“Bishop’s Cleeve is at ca­pac­ity. With­out im­proved roads, ex­tra schools, shops and other in­fra­struc­ture we can’t hope to main­tain our com­mu­nity.

“I would like to see the bor­ough coun­cil re­ject any plan­ning pro­posal un­til Bishop’s Cleeve has a plan to pro­vide the ser­vices we so des­per­ately need.”

Paul Skel­ton, tech­ni­cal plan­ning man­ager at Tewkes­bury Bor­ough Coun­cil, said: “We recog­nise that Bishop’s Cleeve has al­ready ex­pe­ri­enced a sig­nif­i­cant amount of growth over the years.

“Whilst the vil­lage has been iden­ti­fied as a Ru­ral Ser­vice Cen­tre in the Joint Core Strat­egy the coun­cil is not propos­ing any sig­nif­i­cant fur­ther growth.

“Within the new Tewkes­bury Bor­ough Plan, which is cur­rently be­ing pre­pared, there are two new small sites to­talling to ap­prox­i­mately 120 homes planned for Bishop’s Cleeve.

“How­ever, we do know that de­vel­op­ers are in­ter­ested in the area as a lo­ca­tion for new devel­op­ment.

“The coun­cil strongly en­cour­ages lo­cal residents to have their say on any cur­rent ap­pli­ca­tions and this can be done by sub­mit­ting their com­ments through the coun­cil’s web­site.”

With­out im­proved roads, schools, shops and other in­fra­struc­ture we can’t hope to main­tain our com­mu­nity

Andy Walker

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