Under-estimate people power at your peril
PEOPLE power is, once again, proving it's alive and kicking in the Five Valleys.
Time after time, residents of our towns and villages refuse to be steamrollered into accepting building developments which they find unacceptable, for whatever reason.
With energies still being poured into the fight against, may be, 1,500 homes out at so-called Westington near Stonehouse, families nearer the heart of our community now have fights on their hands.
In Summer Street, and around Stratford Road and Gannicox, hackles are raised by suggestions, respectively, for 150 homes on Baxter's Field and for a sports academy at Stratford Court.
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The Top of the Town protestors argue the extra traffic from an estate on Baxter's Field would swamp local roads and impact visually on the late, great Laurie Lee's beloved Slad Valley.
While over in Cainscross Road, Downfield and on the edge of Paganhill objectors fear South Gloucestershire and Stroud College's major "Olympic legacy" bid might exclude local sportspeople in favour of students – despite the college's firm assurances to the contrary.
As both issues gather momentum what is clear is that, as usual, Stroudies are keen to become involved and to work hard to protect the environments for which they care so passionately.
The town has its long history of successful protests.
Think the rooftop sit-in which saved our Upper High Street and made it the characterful street it is today.
Think too, later on, of the famous battle of the trees which retained Stratford Park's leafy avenue.
So developers of whatever hue beware.
Work with Stroud people, as indeed the college is attempting to do with its forthcoming drop-in consultations.
Compromise Mr Developer, if you have to, to may be scale down your schemes and get residents on board.
But never, ever, under-estimate the power of Stroud people.