Dursley says no to 100-home development

Gazette Series: Homeowners showed their objections to plans for 100 homes in Woodmancote, Dursley at a meeting of Dursley Town Council on Tuesday.  (7055780) Homeowners showed their objections to plans for 100 homes in Woodmancote, Dursley at a meeting of Dursley Town Council on Tuesday. (7055780)

FURIOUS residents have lambasted plans to build 100 homes on a green field site next to a Dursley school, with the proposal described as an "absolute shocker".

Over 110 people attended an extraordinary meeting of Dursley Town Council (DTC) to make sure their objections to the planned development by Hunter Page Planning were known.

So far the outline application, which includes plans for a range of two-bedroom to four-bedroom homes off of Shakespeare Road in Woodmancote, has received over 250 objections.

The site is next to Dursley Primary Academy, where the meeting took place on Tuesday, June 10, and Shakespeare Road resident, Mike Griffiths, revealed a long list of problems highlighted by nearby residents.

“The land is adjacent to the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, within two metres of its perimeter. I think everyone would agree we see a lot of wildlife in the area and this would be detrimental to that," he said.

“If the proposal is granted the land will be lost forever.”

He added that existing houses would drop in price because the new homes would overlook them and raised concerns about current problems with the road network being exacerbated by the extra traffic, as the narrow lanes in the densely populated area have caused several accidents and more near misses.

Wordsworth Road resident John Sheen was incredulous about the planned layout, which includes a single access point believed to be too small.

“The whole thing seems to be somebody in a drawing office saying; we’ll do this, we’ll put that there, that will be great,” he said.

“The whole thing is really not well conceived, I think this development is an absolute shocker.”

Tennyson Road resident Kim McMillan, 45, told of her worries about her children walking to and from the academy with the extra traffic, with her eight-year-old daughter Keira putting her case at the meeting.

“I do not want the houses to be there otherwise me, my mother and my brother won’t be able to go on adventures in the fields,” she said.

“I do not want my friends to get hurt if they try and cross those roads.”

Gladedale Estates has hired Hunter Page Planning to process the application and holds the option of buying the land, if the application is approved, from the family of Dursley Mayor Cllr Jane Ball, who was not at the meeting.

Half the site is earmarked for green space, with assurances it will be legally protected from further construction.

But there is also land to the north east of the current site, next to Highfields, which may be used for housing in the future.

Dursley Town Cllr Matt Nicholson said the extra people would not be sustainable.

“I do not think there’s enough employment to sustain these numbers, it will turn Dursley into a commuter town," he said.

“People are not going to walk their children to schools. I do not care what infrastructure they put in place. It is insufficient for what we have already, it could not cope with the additional traffic.”

DTC voted unanimously to oppose the application, which will be considered by Stroud District Council when it makes a decision on the application in a few months time.

It also voted in a list of requirements it would like fulfilled by the developers if permission was granted, including ecological surveys, financial contributions to transport schemes and a new access route to the school.

Cllr Ball and Hunter Page Planning were unavailable for comment.

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