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Liberal Democrats Response to the Joint Core Strategy

March 8, 2012 6:04 PM

Liberal Democrat leaders of Cheltenham, Gloucester and Tewkesbury responding to the Joint Core Strategy have announced five key policies that include supporting calls for a small eco-town near Highnam. Tewkesbury Liberal Democrats

The policies that the Liberal Democrats say must be considered in the next stage of developing the Joint Core Strategy's preferred option include protecting the Green Belt.

Others include finding alternatives to urban extensions, undertaking a re-evaluation of the housing numbers, prioritising affordable housing as well as establishing a small eco-town near Highnam.

The Liberal Democrat vision is to see the development of a small eco-town at Highnam meeting the standards required of an eco-town. The proposal would be an alternative to building on the protected Green Belt and help the economy of the West of Gloucestershire.

Liberal Democrat Leader of Cheltenham Borough Council Cllr. Steve Jordan said: "We recognise that there is a need for a long-term strategic plan to outline the economic, housing and environmental requirements of the Joint Core Strategy area.

"We believe that it is important to protect the Green Belt to stop Gloucester and Cheltenham from coalescing and that of Bishops Cleeve and Cheltenham.

"It is also essential that alternatives to urban extensions are considered in order to protect the urban regeneration within both Gloucester and Cheltenham."

Tewkesbury Borough Liberal Democrat Group Leader Cllr. Bill Whelan said: "We would like to see a re-evaluation of the number of houses needed over the life of the Joint Core Strategy (2031) as any oversupply of housing would create unnecessary urban sprawl."

Commenting on the small eco-town at Highnam, Gloucester City Liberal Democrat Group Leader Cllr. Jeremy Hilton said: "A small eco-town at Highnam is an exciting vision. It would not be just about building houses, but building a sustainable community to the west of Gloucester.

"There would be improvements to existing amenities and the creation of new services and facilities including a park and ride that would connect Gloucester and the Forest of Dean.

"A small eco-town like the one being proposed is a realistic alternative to other locations being suggested.

"For example, the Tory plan to build 3,100 houses to the north east of Longlevens at Innsworth under the flight path of the runway of Gloucestershire Airport should be reconsidered."

The public consultation on the first stage of the Joint Core Strategy for the area of Gloucestershire covered by Cheltenham, Gloucester & Tewkesbury councils ended on the 12th February.

The next stage of public consultation looking at the preferred options will happen this autumn.