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New plans for 1,100 homes on Leckhampton green space

By Gloucestershire Echo  |  Posted: February 08, 2013

By MICHAEL PURTON

Kit Braunholtz front and other members of Leckhampton Green Land Action Group

Kit Braunholtz front and other members of Leckhampton Green Land Action Group

Comments (25)

BATTLE is set to resume over controversial plans to build more than 1,000 new homes on green space in Cheltenham.

A consortium of developers is due to reveal revised plans to build 1,100 homes on land between Shurdington Road and Church Road in Leckhampton – down from the 1,300 dwellings previously proposed.

The designs, which include a new primary school and 25 hectares of green space, will be unveiled at two public exhibitions on February 23 and 24, before a planning application is submitted in the spring. Environment campaigners in the Leckhampton Green Land Action Group (Leglag) will once again lead the fight against the development plans.

Members want to protect the green space and are opposed to the increase in traffic the development would cause.

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Leglag chairman Kit Braunholtz said: "The 1,100 homes are an improvement on 1,300, but it's still far too many. We would like to see around 300 homes, but we would rather have none at all.

"We think the land is valuable as it is. It could house a farm or be a country park. Basically we want to see some real countryside that people can get to."

Leglag members conducted their own exit poll when the previous plans were shown to the public in the autumn, and said 94 per cent of the almost 900 people they surveyed were against the scheme.

The new plans will be displayed at Leckhampton CofE Primary from 11am to 7pm on February 23, and at the main hall of the Parish Church of St Paul in Shurdington from 1pm to 6pm on February 24.

A cottage hospital, care home and offices are also planned for the development.

Ally Kennedy, spokesman for the consortium of developers, said: "We are looking to retain the most popular features of the development, including newly protected public open space, allotments, play areas and the GP surgery.

"I would encourage all local people to come to the events and talk to us about the draft plans before an application is submitted to Cheltenham and Tewkesbury councils."

The consortium will give "comprehensive financial contributions" to public facilities on and off the development.

OPINION, P8

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25 comments

  • moremiles  |  February 08 2013, 9:45PM

    Simple fact is that we need more houses immediately to bring prices to within reach of everyone. Shout as much as you like about your house price coming down but housing real people takes presidence over house prices, they've been over inflated for years! As for where are the people going to come from, they already exist, they're just 30 and living with mum and dad. The housing market in this country is still over inflated and needs to crash so that real people can get real homes. Anyone who thinks they made half a million pounds by sitting in bricks and mortar is about to get a shock.

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  • dontyaknow  |  February 08 2013, 9:29PM

    Part buy / part rent schemes are NOT designed to help first time buyers to get on the ladder. They are designed only to keep house prices high. 10 years ago you could buy 100% of your home, today you can buy 50%, in 10 years you will only be able to buy 25%. They will stop at nothing to keep the housing bubble inflated.

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  • sky_lark2  |  February 08 2013, 7:36PM

    I'm afraid I have no idea about splitting up, I would imagine its similar to a normal break up - difficult! Perhaps entire areas are HA but I would be more interested in those who claim rent as some people do work and rent from the HA as an agent. My point is really based around the idea that not all new estates are bad, some have great community spirit and work with developers (however hard that is!) and the permissions to build are usually given whether people like it or not, it's a shame but houses seem to be selling before building works are complete at the moment :)

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  • NibNobs  |  February 08 2013, 5:42PM

    Sky Lark_2, You maybe right but I do know some complete apartment blocks on Coopers Edge are owned & managed by a housing assn. As you walk through the common entrance of these apartments there is usually a framed notice on the wall from the housing assn. reminding the tenants of the rules of the tenancy, keeping the stairway tidy, collecting your post, taking rubbish out not leaving it in the hall etc. On shared ownership tell me, I assume a young couple/first time buyer enter into a shared/joint contract but what happens when the couple split up? Does one have to 'buy out' the other? How do they sell the property if one party won't move out? I suspect it's a legal nightmare if that happens (and probably will)

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  • sky_lark2  |  February 08 2013, 4:55PM

    Nibnobs, there are social housing flats and homes on every new estate - its a building requirement and must be agreed up front before permission to build is granted (just like open spaces etc are agreed in a 106), however builders try to avoid building social homes because it puts buyers off, and they don't get the full value. I can only speak for Coopers Edge but many of the houses you reference are part buy and part rent - the only way some people can afford to get a foot on the housing ladder (I also know some are fully bought). Perhaps based on previous developments they should fight for a better development rather than no development at all - at least they would be working with the people that decide rather than against - and we all know that the protesting rarely makes a real difference where councils are involved

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  • Matt1006  |  February 08 2013, 2:53PM

    NibNobs - didn't something like that also happen on the Wheatpieces in Tewkesbury? If I recall correctly, a load of un-sold open-market houses were eventually sold off as a job-lot by the developer to an HA, much to the disgust of the private buyers who had bought on the development, thinking they'd be no social housing in their immediate vicinity. Guess you can't choose your neighbours. Which applies whether you buy or rent, and whether you pay £100k or £1m...

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  • NibNobs  |  February 08 2013, 2:12PM

    Actually housing associations did buy up loads of un-sold houses on Kingsway a couple of years ago as estate agents realised there was no-way they could get 'Abbeymead' prices on Kingsway. I'm not sure if housing associations have bought lots of un-sold properties on Coopers Edge but I know some of the beige ugly blocks of flats with shed style lap cladding on them in the middle of the development are owned by these organisations as I know someone who pays rent to a HA, but it's not publicised in fear of putting 'real' buyers off the rest of the estate.

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  • TheNub  |  February 08 2013, 1:41PM

    lets get these houses built asap the bulgarians and romanians are coming and will need somewhere to live good old europe

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  • CaptCX  |  February 08 2013, 1:06PM

    JASB999 - In which case I would agree with you, so long as everything was agreed & documented up front regarding the type of housing to be developed and the amenities to be put in place to sustain the increase in population in the locale. However, in the case of this development, I don't think that the positioning is sensible, given the problems already evident regarding the traffic on the Shurdington Road.

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  • JASB999  |  February 08 2013, 12:54PM

    CaptCX - no spat needed. I agree with a lot of what you are saying. I am asking for a fight for better development, not a fight against development.

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