Council demands answers on proposed changes to 600-house site in Dursley

Council demands answers on proposed changes to 600-house site in Dursley

SR_542_001 Richard Furness, Lisa Gadd and Diane Davies in the Long Street car park in Dursley (9731522)

SR_543_001 Richard Furness, Lisa Gadd and Diane Davies in the Long Street car park in Dursley (9731518)

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A PUBLIC meeting is set to take place with the developers of the Littlecombe site as criticisms have been levied at its attempts to change the overall master plan for the area.

Dursley Town Council (DTC) has invited St Modwen to present their new plans for the 600-home mixed use site that links Cam and Dursley on Tuesday, September 2 from 6pm.

Motorists working the town are concerned with the current plan's proposal to replace the long stay car park at the back of Long Street with housing and not provide an alternative parking site.

Cam Green resident Debbie Jones, 54, who works as a secretary on Long Street, said: “Where are we going to park? Do they not want us to work in Dursley?

“There’s no way for anybody to park elsewhere.

“This car park gets very full at times, it would be missed.”

Administration assistant Lisa Gadd, 34, who also works on Long Street said it would be a bad idea to remove the 43-space car park.

“There’s not enough space for us to park at work, it would be really hard to find places if it went.

“I don’t know what I would do.”

Dr Richard Furness from Uley, owns JDF Associates on Long Street and writes books as well as making vintage railway memorabilia.

“If they want to encourage business in the town it is not a good idea,” he said.

“If they provide an alternative parking site then housing would be good there, but it might be difficult to find an alternative site.”

DTC has applied to Stroud District Council (SDC) to make the car park a community asset to protect it from development.

However SDC, who own the Littlecombe site, have decided objected to the registration, but a spokesman said there was not a conflict of interest.

“We are just starting a review over the next few months that is looking at parking for Littlecombe and within the town, together with connections to and from the new development,” he said.

DTC have highlighted a number of other concerns with the revised plans, which will be discussed at the meeting.

It believes the extra care unit and small retail area proposed will not provide as many or as highly-skilled jobs as the previously proposed business site would.

It added the jobs provided by the new plans would not command the salaries needed to buy the houses being built, thereby increasing the number of commuters leaving the town.

In her report, DTC clerk Helen Bojaniwska said: “What evidence is there to support the need in Dursley for extra care units and affordable housing on the scale proposed?

“Is Dursley being expected to pick up the district’s shortfall?”

It was also critical of the layout of roads and traffic priorities at the bottom of Long Street as well as the size of four-block flats planned for the Dursley-side entrance.

Other issues highlighted include the new route for the river, a lack of public open space and play areas as well as no land for allotments.

DTC is set to hire a planning consultant at the cost of £10,000 to help deal with future planning negotiations regarding Littlecombe and other areas in the town.

St Modwen has constructed about 60 per cent of its phase of homes, with 28 houses currently built and occupied, with around 100 already completed by another contractor.

The semi-detached and detached properties range in price from £216,000 to £329,950.

The site also already includes a business park and Vale Community Hospital.

When complete, the development will also provide a public house, doctors’ surgery and crèche, as well as retail space.

St Modwen confirmed it would be at the meeting to discuss the issues but did not wish to comment further.

Comments (1)

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11:25am Thu 28 Aug 14

Steve Knowlson says...

The redesign of the Littlecombe site highlights one issue that is always relevant:

NEVER believe any developer or council when they state that a development will bring **** number (usually thousands) of jobs. They always start off by saying this, but it NEVER EVER happens.

If a developer tells you at the planning permission stage that their wonderful proposal will bring **** number of jobs that will definitely be a lie.

A developer will attempt to gain planning permission by declaring that many jobs will be created at their development, but later they will row back from this position and try to cram more houses in place of the proposed employment. It happens time and again in Gloucestershire and across the country.

In future, planning authorities should insist on a bond from developers. If the developer reneges on their promises regarding employment provision, then they should forfeit this bond and the money should go into providing jobs in the locality.

Parking definitely needs to be sorted in Littlecombe too. The proposals will remove one of the very few long-term car parks in the town – many Dursley workers rely on this and the developer should be made to include long-term parking provision in their new plan. In addition, there is a lack of parking for Littlecombe residents as it is.
The redesign of the Littlecombe site highlights one issue that is always relevant: NEVER believe any developer or council when they state that a development will bring **** number (usually thousands) of jobs. They always start off by saying this, but it NEVER EVER happens. If a developer tells you at the planning permission stage that their wonderful proposal will bring **** number of jobs that will definitely be a lie. A developer will attempt to gain planning permission by declaring that many jobs will be created at their development, but later they will row back from this position and try to cram more houses in place of the proposed employment. It happens time and again in Gloucestershire and across the country. In future, planning authorities should insist on a bond from developers. If the developer reneges on their promises regarding employment provision, then they should forfeit this bond and the money should go into providing jobs in the locality. Parking definitely needs to be sorted in Littlecombe too. The proposals will remove one of the very few long-term car parks in the town – many Dursley workers rely on this and the developer should be made to include long-term parking provision in their new plan. In addition, there is a lack of parking for Littlecombe residents as it is. Steve Knowlson
  • Score: 10

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