Plans for the construction of 500 new homes in the Shurdington area have faced heavy criticism over concerns with traffic, recreation and development issues.
The development comprises of up to 500 homes, 40% of these being affordable housing, a community hub, offices and shopping facilities.
Concerns the development would make the current road congestion on the A46 Shurdington Road worse. A plan to build 650 dwellings on the Leckhampton fields was recently rejected for similar concerns that development would cause further issues on the road at peak times. However the developers, Redcliffe Ltd, believe the necessary precautions have been taken that should reassure local residents.
“As part of any planning application, a Transport Impact Assessment is conducted where the increases in traffic flow and distribution are modelled to identify any areas of concern within the highway network. There have been no severe impacts identified with these proposals but we will continue to do further modelling in consultation with Gloucestershire County Highways and Highways England.”
Questions have also been asked about the plans regarding the Joint Core Strategy. Hunter Page developments insists the submission is in compliance with the Joint Core strategy and the Local Plan however Cllr Andrew McKinley believes it isn’t.
“This proposed development is totally unacceptable. It ignores the findings of the Joint Core Strategy and seeks to build housing in a key part of Cheltenham’s Green Belt. If a formal application is made residents can be assured that we will oppose it in the strongest terms. We will keep local residents informed of any developments.”
The area to build the proposed dwellings would result in Cheltenham losing a Green Belt area very much loved by local residents. ‘Very special circumstances’ will have to be met for the plans to go ahead, these include: contributing towards housing requirements, adding to economic and social needs of the borough and making improvements to public access such as the Cheltenham Circular Walk.
Cllr Roger Whyborn is confident the plans won’t go ahead.
“There is a slight possibility that this is not a done deal but I mean I think all logical thought is this is not likely to happen.”
Tewkesbury Borough Council are working with Gloucester City Council and Cheltenham Borough Council to prepare a Joint Core Strategy to provide a strategic level of policy.
Tewkesbury Borough Council have extended the consultation period for a second time to November 16th.