Prime land sacrificed to development
I WELCOME the decision of Tewkesbury Borough Council to go for a judicial review concerning Homelands 2.
There is an important issue at stake here, namely who decides planning?
Is it the democratically elected borough council or a consortium of developers who appear to have the Minister in the palm of their hand?
At present, every time an application is rejected, the developers simply go to appeal, where they know their application will be rubber stamped. A crass misuse of tax payer's money.
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When the JCS has completed its report, it will show that there is a more than adequate supply of potential housing in Tewkesbury Borough without touching Homelands 2.
With half of Ashchurch Army Camp being sold off, and with developments taking place at Stoke Orchard, there is no need to bulldoze prime farmland on the edge of the Area of Outstanding National Beauty (AONB).
I have said before, but will repeat – in Africa, 90 per cent of children go to bed hungry.
Britain should be helping to feed the world, not granting the wish lists of arrogant developers (and anyone who attended the public inquiry will know the word arrogant is very apt).
How can we lecture the Brazilians on cutting down the rain forests when we behave in such an arbitrary manner?
Apart from the food considerations, Homelands is on the edge of the AONB, and aesthetically beautiful in its own right.
The AONB ends at the GWR railway, but there is no logical reason for this.
Members of the Villages Action Group have long campaigned to allow Gotherington Lane to be the boundary, with the land to the west, between Gotherington Lane and the A435, granted SLA status (which the land near Woolstone and Oxenton already has).
Judging by his misinformed comments, the Minister concerned has given no more than a cursory glance at the case made by the objectors.
This is the same minister who called National Trust members' left-wing activists.
Strange that under New Labour, we were right-wing reactionaries.
The trouble is, we get in the way of the developers' carefully laid plans.
Michael Newman, Chairman, Villages Action Group