New group will fight against greenbelt homes #hashtag
A NEW campaign group is urging people to rally to its cause to prevent houses being built on greenbelt land in between Cheltenham and Shurdington.
A large triangle of land sandwiched by Up Hatherley Way and Chargrove Lane to the south of the town has been earmarked for development in the borough council’s new 20 year housing plan, the joint core strategy (JCS).
Just shy of 800 homes have been earmarked for the site but the small community which calls the area home has mobilised to fight against the plans.
Residents have formed the Hatherley and Shurdington Triangle Action Group – Hashtag – to raise awareness and ask people to voice their objections to the JCS.
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The group believes that should the Chargrove Lane site get the go-ahead the result would be “mayhem”, especially when combined with the effects of the plans to build 1,075 new homes on land at nearby Leckhampton.
Bridget Farrer, who lives in Chargrove Lane, is the chairman of Hashtag.
She said that while the plans for the site remain “sketchy”, she believes the impact of building homes on the greenbelt land would have a dramatic impact on wildlife and in terms of a loss of farm land.
She said: “We are a small group based in Chargrove Lane and we have decided to fight the JCS proposal to breach the greenbelt boundary at Up Hatherley Way.
“The council wants to build 795 houses there.
“Obviously our goal is to try to stop the housing, to stop the breach of the greenbelt because if housing comes toward Shurdington, which is technically where this land is, it will eventually encroach further and join up with Gloucester.
“If nobody stops them that will be a problem.”
She added: “I don’t know how the A46 will cope with this development combined with the one proposed for Leckhampton. It will be mayhem.”
The group has already started to try to get its message out into the wider community.
Bridget explained: “We have put out thousands of leaflets around Up Hatherley and we have also put out leaflets with the parish newsletter in Shurdington.
“We are trying to encourage people to protest against the JCS.”
Consultation on the JCS, which is the work of Cheltenham Borough Council, Tewkesbury Borough Council and Gloucester City Council, is due to start on October 15.
The JCS sets out where 33,449 homes will be built across the three authority areas between 2011 and 2031.
Hashtag has organised a protest walk around the triangle on Sunday, October 20.
It will start at 11am on the green at Shurdington.
To find out more about the JCS and to have your say when consultation starts, visit www.gct-jcs.org.