During a debate which lasted well over an hour, many of the Committee Members discussed the Plans and there was significant agreement with many of the points that I raised on behalf of Residents when I spoke.
Despite many additional points being raised by Committee Members about the clear lack of joined-up thinking in terms of the impact that all of the developments along the A46 are going to have on a road network, which is already far too busy, it became clear that because none of the organisations or agencies such as Gloucestershire Highways or the Highways Agency have raised any objections, there was – in planning terms – no robust reason for the Committee to refuse.
The Committee voted to permit the Application – under delegated authority – on a margin of 7 votes to 6.
I have since been made aware by Residents who attended and were watching from the Public Gallery, that Members who during the debate said that they would not support the Application going ahead, actually didn’t vote – or ‘sat on their hands’.
Sadly, the fact remains that the Joint Core Strategy which arguably prioritised Cheltenham and Gloucester’s development needs way above those of people who live in Tewkesbury Borough, has failed Pamington even before it has been rubber stamped by the Government.
We can only hope that no more significant development applications are submitted from within the Ashchurch with Walton Cardiff Ward – even in outline form – before the Secretary of State reaches a decision – hopefully be in the Autumn. Otherwise, these too are likely to be built without any real regard to the wider impact that they will have on our Community.
Many additional houses will also be built which were never projected within the JCS Plans. These are extra homes that will almost certainly only be added to the significant number of houses already set to be developed, rather than be included within.
We should perhaps not forget that the number of houses now planned for development in Tewkesbury Borough would never have been so high in the first place if we had developed a Strategy for Tewkesbury on its own, during a process which would clearly have been much shorter. By now, it will almost certainly have been complete and in all likelihood have prevented the Pamington Lane Development from going ahead.
Who should we thank for that?