Halve estimate for new Gloucestershire homes - campaigners
ESTIMATES on the number of new homes for parts of the county over the next 20 years should be halved, campaigners have claimed.
An independent review, put together as part of a Joint Core Strategy, has suggested 28,500 houses need to be built by 2031 to meet the demand of a growing population.
But members of Leckhampton Green Land Action Group (Leglag) believe the actual figure should be closer to 18,000. They have now vowed to write to all the councillors, urging them to reject the numbers.
The Joint Core Strategy, which will earmark land suitable for development, is currently being put together between Cheltenham borough, Tewkesbury borough and Gloucester city councils.
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After months of sifting through public feedback and reports by consultants, the three authorities are now being asked to approve the figures which have been put together by independent consultants Nathaniel Lichfield and Partners. Council chiefs hope it will pave the way to finalising a document by August 2014.
But Kit Braunholtz, chairman of Leglag, said he does not believe the figures add up and wants to see the authorities reject the estimate.
He said: "We are extremely angry at what is being put forward to councillors. They are being told that they have to accept these figures or the JCS will collapse.
"But these figures are excessive. If the councils decide to set a much lower number of houses, the JCS can still proceed just as quickly."
Mr Braunholtz said the group would be emailing councillors from the three authorities, telling them to throw out the figures.
Cheltenham borough will vote on the figures on September 24, Gloucester on September 27 and Tewkesbury on October 1. Councillor Steve Jordan (LD, All Saints), leader of Cheltenham Borough Council, said there was an urgency to put together a plan to prevent developers from building on land which residents and the authorities wanted to protect.
"Developers are champing at the bit to crack on with building," he added.