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Could 850 houses soon be built near Tewkesbury?

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Written by: Robin Jenkins | Posted 18 May 2017 7:33

Could 850 houses soon be built near Tewkesbury?

Plans to build a large new housing estate close to Tewkesbury have been submitted to the borough council.

Robert Hitchins Limited’s planning application is for 850 homes and a school on fields close to the hamlet of Fiddington.

The site is just two fields away from a planned outlet centre and garden centre. Hitchins is also behind that £60million scheme, which has been granted outline planning permission and could be open in 2019.

A spokesman for the company said: “An outline planning application has been submitted for up to 850 homes on land at Fiddington, along with a new primary school, a small local centre, playing fields/recreation facilities and extensive areas of green infrastructure.

“The proposals would provide much-needed homes, including affordable ones.”

 
Part of the land at Fiddington being targeted by the developer
Part of the land at Fiddington being targeted by the developer

Details about the proposal are limited at the moment, with the borough council yet to register the application and give it a reference number.

But drawings released by Hitchins’ planning consultants, RPS CgMs, last year showed space for a primary school, three football pitches and public open space on the site.

A public exhibition of the plans to build the houses was also held in Ashchurch Village Hall in September last year.

And CgMs has said that the scheme will include creating a new access to the A46 and Fiddington Lane.

 
How the houses could be laid out on the fields by Fiddington
How the houses could be laid out on the fields by Fiddington

Hitchins has decided to try to get planning permission despite the land not being included in the draft Joint Core Strategy, a future development blueprint being drawn up by the district councils for Tewkesbury, Cheltenham and Gloucester.

The developer had sought to have an allocation of 900 homes on the site included in the JCS.

John Hargreaves has lived in Fiddington for 26 years and is a member of Ashchurch Rural Parish Council.

He said the big issue for villagers was whether the busy A46 through Ashchurch would cope with the extra traffic such a huge development would generate.

The road was often gridlocked at peak times, he said, and the worry was that this would make the situation worse.

He said: “I think the feeling is that the A46 is still a stumbling block for all the traffic. I think the only problem people have got is that this area, Ashchurch rural, keeps getting included in lots of planning applications and still nothing has been done about the A46.

“If you’ve ever tried to get on to the road between 7am and 9am and between 3pm and 5pm each day, you’ll know it’s hopeless.”

He added that villagers also feared that the new development could see more motorists using the narrow country lanes in the area as a rat-run.

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