Dursley protest group forms amid 69-house development plan
DOZENS of furious residents have joined forces to show their opposition to plans to build 69 homes near Stinchcombe Hill in Dursley.
Around 70 people attended the first meeting of the Defend Dursley’s Green Escarpment steering committee, set up in reaction to an impending planning application by Mark Snook Planning to develop land between Hardings Drive and the woods leading up to the hill.
The meeting, held at the Kingshill Inn last Thursday, saw joint chairman Phil Maynard, 69, from Torchacre Rise, explain they would have to campaign hard if they wanted to stop the development.
The marketing consultant pointed to the list of reasons people opposed the plan, including the sharp incline of the hill, the narrow and congested roads leading to the proposed site, the problem of running water and "already-overflowing" schools.
"We have got to send a massive, strong signal straightaway," he said.
"This development is about profit. It will be like building the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, it’s not going to be practical.
"This is more serious than anything I have ever been involved in. The countryside is precious and belongs to everyone."
Fellow joint chairman and Garden Suburb resident, Keith Andrews, 66, warned homeowners that a successful planning application may lead to further development of the hill, registered as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
As part of the process to submit a planning application, the Dursley-based planning company sent letters and an outline of the proposal to nearby residents, giving them the chance to submit their thoughts.
Speaking at the meeting, Chris Cockram said he was one of the first occupants of Hardings Drive around 40 years ago and that his mother still lived there.
A former sales director for a development company, Mr Cockram believed the developer intended to change the plans at a later date to mitigate residents’ concerns as the current proposal was "undevelopable".
"I have pored over the plan and looking at it I think it is important to fight what needs to be fought and not what you think you have to fight," he said.
"This plan is never going to be built. You are never going to get anything that looks anything like that. He’ll have to give those houses away. Financially it is a complete no no.
"We need to oppose any kind of planning here and tell them we would like to see their real plans because this is not what they want to build at all."
As part of the campaign, the group is aiming to gather 1,000 signatures for the petition to stop the development and is currently constructing a website: www.ddge.org
No one at Mark Snook Planning was available for comment this week.
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