Coaley campaigners succeed in changing housing plans on Far green

Gazette Series: Far Green residents in Coaley protesting outside the houses being redeveloped, who have now received letters announcing a change in the plans (2579806) Far Green residents in Coaley protesting outside the houses being redeveloped, who have now received letters announcing a change in the plans (2579806)

RESIDENTS in Coaley are rejoicing after their appeals for the council to re-think its strategy of building five terraced houses and a car park to replace two existing homes has been granted.

While Stroud District Council (SDC) initially approved permission for an application to replace the two homes at Far Green, which were condemned earlier in the year as they were deemed unsafe, they have now written to homeowners in the area telling them of the u-turn.

The news follows the Gazette's report last week (Thursday, November 28) into residents’ fury that the application was not going to SDC’s development control committee but instead had been passed by a single planning officer - despite 20 objections and opposition from Coaley Parish Council.

Changes in SDC’s constitution meant that the application was not going to the meeting of councillors automatically but protestors claimed the new requirements had not been made easily available via the council’s website.

In a bid to appease the objectors, SDC has written to the homeowners informing them that they are starting the process again to apply for permission for four homes split into two semi-detached buildings.

In the letter from development officer Julian Kent, it states: “This is in order to assist with mitigating concerns raised locally over the proposal which we appreciate received significant objection.

“Should the scheme receive support within the local community and go forward to gain planning consent the council will be prepared to progress this alternative proposal.”

Far Green resident Marion McDowell said the new outline for the homes was certainly an improvement but she was waiting for the full details to be published before backing the new plans.

“I think it’s relief that they did listen because the public’s opinion was that they had been misled,” she said.

“The consensus seems to be from other residents that four is better than five and that they’ll settle with it.”

A spokesman for SDC said it would submit a new application within a couple of weeks.

“Whilst planning was secured on a scheme of five units, officers were asked to reassess the position given the level of public feedback on the scheme,” he said.

“We hope the revised proposals to create two pairs of semi-detached houses will be backed by the local community over the previous one.”

Demolition of the two existing houses is still expected to happen shortly.

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