Author Archives: Adam Tugwell

Aston Fields: Outline Application for 550 Homes

Barratt-Developments-buil-006I can now confirm that an Outline Application has been made and formally listed with Tewkesbury Borough Council for land off Aston Fields Lane, listed under Reference Number 14/01245/OUT, and can be viewed on the Borough’s Planning Portal by following this Link.

This is an Application which has already been discussed by many local people and I have been made aware of the views of many local Residents. Irrespective of whether we have talked about this Proposal before or not, I will be pleased to discuss any concerns that Residents may have and can be contacted by e-mail at councillor.tugwell@tewkesbury.gov.uk. I will also be attending the next Meeting of Ashchurch Rural Parish Council which is scheduled to be held later this Month.

As with all Planning Applications, if you wish to make your views known, the best advice I can give to everyone is to write or e-mail the Planning Department. Your view is always important and even if the result of an application turns out not to be how you would like it to have been, your input will have been put on record, and could turn out to be useful in the future.

image: theguardian.com

Christmas Tree Recycling in Tewkesbury Borough

Christmas tree recycling in Catford, Lewisham, South LondonWith the end of the Festive Period now in sight, Tewkesbury Borough Council are once again offering the Treecycle Scheme for Residents who would like to kick off 2015 with a green start.

If you would like to recycle your real Christmas Tree and stop it being sent to landfill, you can take your Tree to one of 12 locations for it to be collected and composted.

Trees can also be taken to any of the places below from 2 to 17 January 2015:

 

Around Ashchurch with Walton Cardiff Ward:

  • Pamington Farm Christmas Tree Centre, Pamington
  • Tewkesbury Garden Centre, The Mythe, Worcester Road, Tewkesbury
  • Blooms, Evesham Road, Bishop’s Cleeve

Other locations across the Borough:

  • Gotherington Nurseries, Gretton Road, Gotherington
  • Toddington Garden Centre, Toddington Railway Yard, Toddington
  • Norton Garden Centre, Tewkesbury Road, Down Hatherley
  • GL3 Community Hub, Cheltenham Road East, Churchdown
  • Dundry Nurseries, Bamfurlong Lane, Staverton
  • Dawn Nurseries, Shurdington Road, Shurdington
  • Greenway Nurseries, Main Road, Shurdington
  • Wyevale Garden Centre, Shurdington Road, Brockworth
  • Primrose Vale PYO, Shurdington Road, Bentham

Trees can also be taken to any of the Household Recycling Centres in Gloucestershire.

Alternatively, if you have subscribed to the Council’s garden waste collection service, you can recycle your trees in your brown garden waste bin. Trees must be in the bin and if they are taller than 8ft, must be cut in half to allow them to enter the collection vehicle safely.

Only real Christmas trees can be composted and all decorations must be removed beforehand.

 

image: http://www.theguardian.co.uk

 

 

Ashchurch with Walton Cardiff: Flood Risk & Resilience Event to be held in Tewkesbury on 2nd December 2014

2faf76aafe8cef3f6239595852a9fd90208ebc19For those residents and businesses who may have concerns about protecting their property, a Flood Risk and Resilience Event is being held to offer support and advice.

The event, which is being held on Tuesday, 2 December 2014 at the Watson Hall in Tewkesbury, offers people the opportunity to find out about the different grants available, and to chat through any concerns or ideas. Members of the public are invited to drop in at any time between 3pm and 5.30pm.

Representatives from the Environment Agency, Gloucestershire County Council’s Civil Protection team, Tewkesbury Borough Council, Gloucestershire Rural Community Council and the Flood Memories team from the University of the West of England will be present to provide advice and support where possible.

A free workshop will also be held between 6pm and 8pm where members of the public are invited to join in with others to put together a community emergency plan for their local area. The workshop will offer ideas and suggestions for what might work for your local area – and there will also be the opportunity to gain some practical tips.

image: bbc.co.uk

The Joint Core Strategy now reaches the Government stage this Thursday. But what happens while we wait for the Autumn 2015 Report and why wasn’t it avoided?

I would like to thank everyone who has taken the time over the last weekend and early part of this week to send e-mails to Members of Tewkesbury Borough Council concerning the Joint Core Strategy process.

The concerns raised are not lost on me in any sense. Many should have already been taken into consideration and acted upon within the JCS programme which is now being handed to the Government for final review on the 20th of November.

Many of you were hoping for change. But the very frustrating part of all this has been that the decisions that really counted were taken over a year ago.

Once a majority of Members voted the project through in early September 2013, no matter what consultations and processes have taken place since, that was basically the whole thing done and dusted, seemingly without any hope of change, unless it were to be rejected at the stage where it is submitted to the Secretary of State.

This itself is extremely unlikely. The whole JCS Process, rather like applications going through the Planning Process itself has been conducted very much as a tick-box exercise.

The modus operandi has been squarely focused upon the requirements placed upon Local Authorities by Central Government and any flexibility which might come from the interpretation which that may have allowed, has almost certainly always been used to facilitate and sure-up the three-way arrangement between Cheltenham, Gloucester and Tewkesbury which myself and other Members have long since argued has been anything but in the best interests of the people that we as Ward Councillors – and collectively as a Council – represent.

Our voices fell on deaf ears and the practical implications of what is a flawed process and three-Authority-Strategy have been manifesting in the shape of all of the ‘lightning’ developments which have either reached Application stage or are in the processes of doing so, that involve building on land which is not even included within the JCS Strategic Allocation(s). This itself is set to continue until such time as the JCS is formally approved; the Report on which is itself not due until Autumn 2015.

Put the prospect of the developments which could receive consent in the next 12 months to one side, and right around the Borough, there is clearly massive concern about the realities of rubber stamping a long-term Planning Strategy which will effectively give a green light to developers to build across a 20+ year development allocation that will see much of our beautiful landscape and Villages changed forever – when as a Borough, we are and were simply at no stage obliged to make anything remotely like such a commitment.

These kinds of concerns are no less prevalent in the Ashchurch with Walton Cardiff Ward and are probably more so. We are currently witnessing developers looking to build almost everywhere along the A46 apart from the JCS Strategic Allocation in and around the Ashchurch Camp site itself and this doesn’t consider other areas that fall behind the Camp and will no doubt have a significant impact on Northway too.

Nobody should be under any illusion that a combination of the state of the Planning System today and the avoidable time that the JCS has taken – rather than pursuing a much better and wholly expedient Policy just for the Borough – potentially makes such Applications very difficult to stop. In this specific instance alone, it now threatens the very identities of Aston-on Carrant, Aston Cross, Ashchurch and Pamington as independent communities and Villages.

People from outside both the working and political environments of Local Authorities do see the inability of the Planning System to police and enforce the very Policies they have in place, irrespective of whether it is due to the ability of a higher power to override any local decision at a higher level, or whether there simply isn’t the money available in the local public purse to pursue developers who seem to have bottomless pits for pockets where making money is concerned.

Locally, we have already witnessed one company having developed and put into use an industrial sized chicken production unit at Starveall without Planning Consent for a large part of it, once it had Consent for the initial Plan. It is more than regrettable that nobody really knows what might now lie ahead, once the JCS has been put firmly in place.

It is simply wrong that the views of local people are being ignored and where they have not spoken, that their best interests now and for the future are not being considered as they should, by all of the people who are elected to represent them.

Nonetheless, everything you all have to say and how you feel is still important, even if it doesn’t influence a decision the way you might like to see it go this time.

Keep registering your comments, objections and even support for developments – where they will benefit your Community – by contacting your Local Planning Authority and getting them recorded.

Being able to say ‘I told you so’ wont help anybody and certainly wont turn the clock back. But evidence of the strength of your feeling and the reasons why you feel that way certainly does have the ability to influence future decisions.

Better still, it could at some point help those of us who really care to change the System and benefit us all.

 

Wheatpieces Parish Council – Consultation on Multi-use Sports Field to begin

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At the Meeting of Wheatpieces Parish Council last night, it was confirmed that the Questionnaires for the Consultation on future use of the Multi-use Sports Field off Starling Road will be going out to Residents in the next few days.

Residents will receive one Questionnaire per household, and will have until 12pm on Monday 1st December 2014 to complete and return the form to Wheatpieces Community Centre, where a collection box will be available.

As well as having the opportunity to express a choice over the possible uses of the Field, which include leaving it as it is, or having the field laid out with football pitches, Residents also have the opportunity to add comments.

Once the returned Questionnaires have been counted and the information recorded, the Parish Council will use the results to inform their decision making process on the future of the Field. If the results are available in time for the December Meeting of the Parish Council on Thursday 4th, they will be announced during the Meeting. However, due to the limited time available, this may not happen until the New Year.

If you would like further information or have any questions about the Consultation, please contact the Parish Clerk, Theresa Shurmer on clerkwheatpiecespc@gmail.com

 

Pamington: Planning Application for 150 Homes off Pamington Lane

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I have been advised by the Planning Team at Tewkesbury Borough that an Application has been submitted and is now confirmed as valid fort he erection of up to 150 dwellings including access, landscaping, open space, and associated infrastructure with all matters reserved other than access on Land off Pamington Lane, Pamington.

The details can be found on the TBC Website using the Planning Reference 14/00972/OUT.

This is an Application which has already been discussed by many local people and I have been made aware of the views of many local Residents. Irrespective of whether we have talked about this Proposal before or not, I will be pleased to discuss any concerns that Residents may have and can be contacted by e-mail at councillor.tugwell@tewkesbury.gov.uk

As with all Planning Applications, if you wish to make your views known, the best advice I can give to everyone is to write or e-mail the Planning Department. Your view is always important and even if the result of an application turns out not to be how you would like it to have been, your input will have been put on record, and could turn out to be useful in the future.

Halloween: Print your own ‘No Thanks’ Poster for Trick-or-Treaters

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Most of us see Halloween as a pretty innocent way for children to have fun getting dressed up , and to have a great evening filling up with all sorts of weird and wonderful snacks, sweets and chocolate as a reward. (Yes – and parents too!!!)

However, knocks on doors, on dark evenings, when nobody is expected, can be a frightening experience for some people – such as the elderly or infirm.

For those who would prefer to ‘opt out’ of Halloween and not be disturbed, Gloucestershire Constabulary have kindly produced this Halloween Poster which you are invited to print out, cut to size and then display somewhere that those who might have thought about calling on you can easily see.

If you are out and about supervising children celebrating Halloween on Friday, please do respect people’s wishes if they don’t want you to call. But do have a great time as you call on those who are happy for you to do so!!!

image thanks to http://www.history.com

 

Claydon: Planning Application for Solar Farm

Picture of a solar farm (thanks to www.telegraph.co.uk). Please note that this image is for illustrative purposes only and may not reflect either the design or aesthetics of the Proposed Development

Picture of a solar farm (thanks to http://www.telegraph.co.uk). Please note that this image is for illustrative purposes only and may not reflect either the design or aesthetics of the Proposed Development

I have been advised by the Planning Department at Tewkesbury Borough, that an Application has been received and is now confirmed as valid for an 18.2MW Solar Farm on land to the South of Claydon Farm, Claydon.

The details can be found on the TBC website using the Planning Reference 14/00785/FUL.

I will be pleased to discuss any concerns that Residents may have and can be contacted by e-mail at councillor.tugwell@tewkesbury.gov.uk

As with all Planning Applications, if you wish to make your views known, the best advice I can give to everyone is to write or e-mail the Planning Department. Your view is always important and even if the result of an application turns out not to be how you would like it to have been, your input will have been put on record, and could turn out to be useful in the future.

Wheatpieces PC to hold Parish Consultation on the future of the Multi-use Sports Field off Starling Road

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With no clear plan in place for the future, steps to put the Multi-use Sports Field into full use on the Wheatpieces 2 Development have caused great concern amongst Residents living adjacent to the Field and along Starling Road.

Wheatpieces Parish Council held an open debate with Residents who attended the June Parish Council Meeting and this followed the Council’s previous decision to ask Tewkesbury Borough Council (TBC) to begin the work necessary to make the two Football Pitches, which had always been planned, ready for use.

As a result of the discussion with those Residents present last Month, the Parish Council passed a Motion at last nights Meeting to rescind or stop the earlier decision, whilst they carry out a full Consultation across the Parish; a Plan which was also agreed by Members at this Month’s Meeting.

When I attended last Month, I was asked to follow up with Borough Officers so that the Parish Council could be fully clear on matters, before the questions for a Consultation could be decided and then written in a way which considers all of the options open to the Parish and to Residents.

The Field and MUGA (Multi-Use Games Area) are currently under the ownership of TBC, but could be adopted by the Parish. I now understand that the Field can only be used for the intended purpose of two full-sized Football Pitches and that at the current time, whilst the Parish is being and will be consulted on use, this decision ultimately rests with TBC Officers, who I also understand to have registered a need for Football Pitches in the area beyond Walton Cardiff.

Clearly, the Parish Council does not yet know how the whole Community feels about putting the Field into use for Football and they are without doubt doing the right thing by engaging Residents through a Consultation and asking everyone what they would like to happen.

However, at last night’s Meeting, I also advised the Council that it is my view that the best way for local people to influence the future of the Field most effectively will be for Wheatpieces Parish Council to adopt it from TBC. This way, the choices that need to be made now and in the future will be made as locally as they can be, and in the way that in normal circumstances you would expect them to be.

The Consultation which Wheatpieces Parish Council plans to carry out over the Summer will give all Residents the opportunity to have their say on a real issues affecting people in their own locality. I hope as many Residents as possible will be able to spare the time to take part and support the Parish Council to make its decision.

 

How much more development in Ashchurch before the traffic problems are taken seriously?

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Traffic on the A46 at Ashchurch near Junction 9 of the M5, July 2014

With the Joint Core Strategy’s (JCS) final Public Consultation Phase only having began earlier this week, it really seems quite incredible that a Developer has already began moves towards building over 500 homes and a School on the Northern side of Ashchurch Camp.

Earmarked as part of the JCS Strategic Allocation which includes the Camp, comments suggesting that the Developer concerned may have jumped the gun are already well in circulation. However, it could be asked if this Plan gives a better illustration of the approach which nearly all commercial developers are employing, and one which certainly doesn’t fit with phrases they use to describe their plans in their publicity brochures, such as ‘homes which are much needed by the community’. This does after all come hot on the heels of two other developments in the immediate vicinity which will themselves supply around 300 new homes in the Ashchurch Rural Parish – and which without the JCS being formally ‘rubber stamped’ are regrettably no less likely to go ahead.

So even without the 2000 or more homes earmarked for the Ashchurch Camp at some point between now and 2030, just this Parish alone stands to absorb the better part of a thousand homes with not even the merest hint of comparable job creation in the area of a kind which would necessitate even a fraction of this level of development in the immediate area any time soon.

Sadly, this can only lead people living around the Ashchurch with Walton Cardiff Ward to conclude that these homes – if built – will be occupied by commuters who will most likely have 2 cars per household, thereby adding around perhaps 1500 cars to either the A46, the B4079, the roads around Northway or in fact all of them each morning, evening and basically any other time.

Many Residents are already feeling dumbstruck by the quick-fire succession of opportunist Developments along the A46. With an even bigger one that nobody had expected to hear sight nor sound of until the fate of the Camp was definitely known, now on the cards, it is the realities which surround the traffic problems on the A46 which are causing universal concern.

At Monday evening’s Meeting of Ashchurch Rural Parish Council’s Planning Committee, the Developer now carrying out consultation on building 45 homes South of Ashchurch Village was more than happy that the Highways Agency had expressed no concern with regard to the impact their plans would have on the A46, despite the experiences that many of us have almost daily.

With the Representatives present stating to the Council that they had been advised their Plans would have no excessive impact on the capacity of the road network – basically an indication that Highways Officials believe the roads can take more traffic without any major change – it is perhaps little wonder that Developers are apparently falling over themselves to get their Projects built before they find themselves having to contribute to what will at some point become a very expensive process of extensive restructuring the existing Roads or building a new by-pass of some kind – if that indeed remains possible by that time.

My views and approach to the JCS are well known by Residents and I take no pleasure from seeing the chaos which this flawed Strategy is causing to Communities right across Tewkesbury Borough, even before it actually comes into being.

I, like a number of other Tewkesbury Borough Councillors made clear at a variety of points in the process that the best solution for Residents was a Strategy which focused on the Borough – not least of all because of the delays which would inevitably be caused by working with two other Authorities which themselves had much more to gain by drawing out the process for as long as it takes for them to get the best solution to their own Development problems. That unnecessarily delayed process which is being used as a significant window of opportunity by Developers continues, and it seems to be all at the cost of Residents in Tewkesbury Borough and the Ashchurch with Walton Cardiff Ward in particular.

We can only hope that when these Proposals reach the Borough Planning Committee, they are rejected on the basis of what has already been promised by this Policy, and in the case of the Development North of the Camp, held back until such time as the Community will not be expected to experience perhaps years of inconvenience and enhanced levels of danger because the infrastructure doesn’t exist that will lead to Residents experiencing otherwise.