Consultation set to begin on controversial housing plan
A CAMPAIGN group has vowed to continue the fight against a 20-year housing blueprint that could see thousands of homes built across Cheltenham, Tewkesbury and Gloucester.
Margaret White, from Leckhampton Green Land Action Group (Leglag), said the battle will continue through the public consultation into the Joint Core Strategy.
The housing plan sets out where 33,449 homes will be built between 2011 and 2031.
The trio of partner councils across the region have had their say on the plan and it will now be sent out for the public to add their views.
Traditional Shave, Facial Treatment, Whisky and a Shoe Shine -...View details
Gents, enjoy a traditional shave, facial treatment, glass of whisky and a shoeshine for £31
Terms: Early and later appointments available upon request.
Contact: 01242 504887
Valid until: Tuesday, December 31 2013
And it is likely to be in for a rough ride at a series of public events, especially from Leglag.
Ms White, the group's secretary and member secretary, said: "We will be fighting very hard to prove that the JCS is ill founded and the figures which they are basing the housing numbers on are inaccurate.
"We believe they are using short-term figures from the Office for National Statistics and that they are building five times the amount of houses that they need."
Thousands of the proposed homes are earmarked to be built on greenbelt land with campaigners adamant they will fight to defend the precious countryside.
But while the councils are seeking people's opinions on the housing plan, they have stressed that it is not a referendum, pointing out houses need to be built and they have to go somewhere.
Greenbelt land off Up Hatherley Way and to the north-west of Cheltenham, as well as green fields in Leckhampton, are identified in the JCS for housing.
Public consultation is due to begin on October 15, running until November 26.
As well as putting forward sites for housing and business, the JCS also sets out a long-term vision for the area with policies relating to issues like flooding, the greenbelt and affordable housing.
Andrew North, Cheltenham Borough Council's chief executive, said: "It is really important that we go out to consultation on a sound document and I am pleased all three councils have given approval to this consultation.
"It is vital we hear the views of the public and we take account of comments as we develop the final document for statutory consultation and submission to the Secretary of State."
All councils are required by law to have a development plan that is based on empirical evidence relating to housing need.
Gloucester City Council was the last of the three authorities to rubberstamp the plan for consultation when it met on Thursday evening.
Tewkesbury and Cheltenham borough councils agreed on the plan earlier this month.
The consultation will include a series of public events across the region.
Details of these will be published shortly on the JCS website at www.gct-jcs.org.