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Dozens of Hempsted residents say plan to build more houses will 'rip heart out of community'

By The Citizen  |  Posted: April 10, 2014

Comments (4)

RESIDENTS in a leafy suburb of Gloucester say the development of homes on green open space will “rip the heart out of their community.”

Land to the east of Hemptsted Lane which is owned by Christian charity the Sylvanus Lysons Trust has been earmarked for the potential development of 60 houses.

The trust wants to sell the land in order to raise more money for its charitable aims which has so far included a £45,000 donation to The Rock, a centre which offers activities to young people in Cheltenham.

Residents posed a number of questions to planning officials and trust representatives at a meeting chaired by city MP Richard Graham at the village hall tonight.

“It seems to me that we feel that selling the land for development is ripping the heart of our community,” said one man, who did not give his name.

“I would like to know from the Sylvanus Trust if this is the only solution to make ends meet or are you considering other options?

“I am just interested to know why you are living beyond your means and what have you done to make up the shortfall?”

Chairman of the trust Bernard Day disputed this and said: “We have a responsibility to increase our income for the purposes of the trust and it has not changed its fundamental purpose.

“We never live beyond our means and only give grants in a financial capacity.

“Half of the land will become public recreation space and only half will be used to build houses.”

An outline application for a maximum of 60 houses has been submitted to Gloucester City Council.

Many residents have campaigned against development in the village, claiming it has already reached its peak and that greenfield space to the east of Hampsted Lane should be preserved.

Dozens of residents attended a meeting with Anthony Hodge, head of regeneration at the city council, Bernard Day, Tim Partridge, the trust’s planning agent and Phil Staddon, an independent planning consultant.

Residents heard that a total of six sites in Hemptsted have been listed for the potential development of housing and employment space in the city plan, which may become part of the strategic development requirements of the county until 2013.

Mr Staddon told residents that he has been involved in 20,000 planning decisions in England and Wales and that he was at the meeting to give advice on how to make representations to council planners – whether for or against.

He said: “The application is in the public domain and you should be able to look at that on the council’s website.

“Don’t fire off letters straight away. Look at the planning policy, look at the documents and reflect on it before putting pen to paper.

“The key thing I would advise people to do is stick to the planning issues, and they are very wide.”

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  • glosres  |  April 12 2014, 12:05PM

    Bernard Day responded to the question about whether or not the Trust had planted 5000 trees and shrubs to offset any objections to the future development concerning loss of views by just saying "I make no apology for planting trees". Some answer.

  • spindles12  |  April 11 2014, 8:15AM

    Chairman of the trust Bernard Day said "We never live beyond our means" and yet the charity's accounts on the Charity Commission website show that for the last three years they have overspent so isn't that living beyond their means? Apparently they also own some land in Bristol Road so perhaps the residents there should expect a similar application in the future. "Half of the land will become public recreation space and only half will be used to build houses."

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  • JemmyWood  |  April 10 2014, 11:05PM

    One word, five letters... NIMBY. How can homes on the edge oh Hempsted rip the heart it of their community? And why is Dick Graham getting involved with this? He sat on his **** tight lipped when Stan the Burning Man and Henchman Hawthorne were doing their best to dump an incinerator on Quedgeley's door step... Why get involved now? Nothing to do with a looming general election of course... Scraping the barrel for potential votes. A pointless campaign by a pointless politician.

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  • jas37  |  April 10 2014, 10:51PM

    This site seems ideal for a quality , low density housing development. 60 Homes appears to suit this description

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