No joined-up thinking over planning moves
✒ YOU reported last week on two developments in Tewkesbury.
The first was a new out-of-town shopping development off the A46 at Fiddington, comprising a 159,000sq ft outlet village and 81,800sq ft of garden centre run by a company from Vienna, with the intention of attracting shoppers from Bristol, Birmingham and all points in between.
Apparently, planning permission was granted despite objections by planning officers and ignores the widespread impact on town centres and increased traffic.
Secondly, Gloucester and Tewkesbury are to receive funding to revitalise and refurbish their high streets from a £95m Government pot to revive high streets across England and Wales and help traditional businesses to compete better with online outlets.
Local authorities have targets to cut CO2 emissions, of which cars are a major source, so can only be achieved if car use is reduced.
In 1998, the county council, following on from the Vision 21 Sustainable Development Report (part of a national project) signed up to the targets set by the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution:
To achieve standards of air quality that will prevent damage to human health and the environment in compliance with WHO guidelines for transport-related pollution by 2005
To reduce journeys by car from 65 per cent to 60 per cent by 2020
To reduce CO2 emissions to no more than 80 per cent of 1990 levels by 2020 (now 2030...).
None of these targets have been met – and there has been a massive increase in car use.
Out-of-town developments, of which the seemingly endless expansion of the Tewkesbury Road retail park in Cheltenham (but in Tewkesbury BC) is a good example, is a major contributor to car use, as the traffic chaos in Cheltenham illustrates.
So, on the one hand Tewkesbury will have a retail development which may decimate the town’s high street and increase car use in the teeth of CO2 reduction targets and on the other hand gets funding to regenerate its high street.
Nothing illustrates better the complete disconnect between what needs to be done regarding climate change and what is actually happening in spite of so many warnings.
Just what planet do these councillors live on? It’s absolutely bonkers. What will they tell their children? A Davies Charlton Kings