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Gloucester councillors say YES to Joint Core Strategy plan

By citizenmike  |  Posted: April 09, 2014

By Mike Wilkinson, Public Affairs reporter

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Goodbye green fields at Longford Lane... they are now being developed

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DEVELOPERS will not be able to run amok with house building wherever they want, Gloucester city councillors said as they approved a plan for future developments until 2031.

The masterplan – known as the Joint Core Strategy – sets out a plan for all housing and economic development in Gloucestershire between 2011 and 2031.

It also details what infrastructure such as schools, doctor’s surgeries and roads will be needed to cope with a growing population.

City councillors overwhelmingly voted in favour of the draft plan which will be submitted to the Government for approval.

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Without a plan, developers would be able to submit house building applications for almost anywhere.

Councillor Jeremy Hilton, leader of the Liberal Democrat group, said: “Developers would have a field day if we do not approve this plan. It would be difficult to refuse planning applications in areas that are totally unsuitable.”

Councillor Kate Haigh, leader of the Labour group, said: “It is not lightly that we are taking this decision. This allows us in Gloucester to have a future plan for a housing need that already exists. There are people who can’t afford to buy a property. We need a plan and this is it.”

NEW HOUSES

  • Innsworth - 1,250
  • North Churchdown - 532
  • South Churchdown - 868
  • North Brockworth - 1,500
  • North West Cheltenham - 4,785
  • South Chelt Leckhampton - 1,124
  • MOD Site at Ashchurch - 2,125
  • Total: 12,184 homes

The plan had to go forward to meet the demand for more housing in Gloucester. Some 4,500 people are on a waiting list for social housing, while house prices continue to increase.

Councillor Declan Wilson (LD, Hucclecote) said: “We are leaving a terrible legacy to the next generation including unaffordable housing. This is because we are not building enough houses. It is a simple matter of supply and demand. I am going to vote for the next generation because they quite frankly need all the help they can get.”

But not every councillor agrees with the plan and councillors were not divided down party lines. Councillor Susan Witts (LD, Elmbridge), Jim Porter (C, Longlevens) and Kathy Williams (C, Longlevens) refused to back the plan.

Mr Porter said: “In Longlevens we are already struggling with congested roads and our doctor’s surgeries and schools are full. We cannot cope with any more development.”

Mrs Williams added: “The impact of new homes will be devastating for my area. The recent bad weather saw both sides of the A38 covered in water and it became a marshland. Some of those areas are now being considered for building. Currently 570 homes are being built in Longford Lane. This will have a serious impact on people living here.”

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4 comments

  • jas37  |  April 09 2014, 10:56PM

    It's a pity that the Twigworth site has been withdrawn. This was probably the most appropriate area for large scale Housing development. 3000+ Homes fairly close to Gloucester City Centre would have been of great benefit. The flooding protests were a red herring. Accompanying water catchment/ water management features could have reduced any potential flooding in the Longford area. Now the problem may remain indefinitely.

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  • MikeMorrisOBE  |  April 09 2014, 10:34PM

    A typical LibDem quote from Jeremy Hilton. The philosophy being that the best form of defence is retreat. Tidy. Give up the green belt before the blighters ask for it. That's the way to deal with them.

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  • NibNobs  |  April 09 2014, 1:22PM

    And just where will these new families find work, other than at the never ending list of new supermarkets from Morrisons, Tesco, Asda, Aldi and Lidl on £7 per hour??

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  • SandraPee  |  April 09 2014, 1:17PM

    Did Paul James vote against it too ? Local roads in the Longlevens are not able to cope with even more traffic , they sometimes struggle as it is , with Oxstalls Lane and Church Road being nose to tail and the crossroads being at a standstill when the top of Longford Lane was flooded . Surely building 570 new houses on what was flooded fields is absolutely crazy . Can we have a guarantee that building these houses will stop the flooding in the Longford/Twigworth areas ? This seems to be what we're being told !

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