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Flood fears spark objections to plan for 100 homes

By The Citizen  |  Posted: January 23, 2013

SITE: Wimberley Park.

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OBJECTIONS have started to flood in over a plan for almost 100 new homes beside a valley-bottom river and a canal in Stroud.

Protests about the redevelopment of Wimberley Mills at Brimscombe centre on the unsuitable road to the site, local councillors have said.

But one householder on Knapp Lane has also raised the consequences of living in the floodplain.

The scheme, submitted by Alvin Lindley to the Stroud District Council, is only an outline application.

The renamed Wimberley Park, on the former Critchley Brothers' factory land, might have 96 homes and up to 20 units of sheltered accommodation.

The suggestion is for homes near both the River Frome and the Thames and Severn Canal.

The Environment Agency has said it has "no objections in principle from a flood risk maintenance perspective".

But Brimscombe and Thrupp Parish Council chairman Bill Harvey said the Knapp Lane access to Wimberley Mills was a disaster waiting to happen.

Traffic already queues at the bottom of Toadsmoor Hill to access the main London Road and Mr Harvey said if extra vehicles from Knapp Lane joined the existing congestion, chaos would result.

"We will definitely be opposing it," Mr Harvey said. "We have always said they have to do something at that junction."

Mr Harvey was also deeply disappointed highways officials had not protested, instead saying that if the mills reverted to industrial use, the traffic volume would be the same.

Bill Petyan, boss of the Olympic Varnish factory adjoining Wimberley Mills, has already lodged his objection with the district council.

"This is, and always has been, an industrial area," wrote Mr Petyan. "We are permitted to work 24 hours a day. We operate commercial vehicles and these have early morning starts."

The householder at Knapp House has also protested about the likely "enormous" increase in traffic.

He said the "ongoing habit" of building houses on flood plains was not good enough.

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