Campaigners stage blindfold protest against Baxter's Field housing development
Blindfolded protesters from the Slad Valley Action Group on Summer Street near to the proposed development site
DOZENS of campaigners opposing plans for 140 homes in the Slad Valley donned blindfolds on Saturday (February 23) to symbolise their fight to protect their properties from the shadow of the proposed housing development.
Summer Street residents believe their natural light would be blocked out and their night-time view of the stars obscured if the planned housing scheme is given the go-ahead on a tract of land known locally as Baxter's Field.
"It's not just that this development will destroy the views and landscape around a cherished ANOB, it will also destroy residents' light," said protester Phil Coysh.
"We were out in our blindfolds, because if this development goes ahead we had better get used to darker homes."
On Monday night (February 25), scores of residents and campaigners from Slad Valley Action Group attended a meeting of Stroud Town Council's consultations committee to discuss the controversial plans.
The town council is opposing the application to develop the 15.5-acre site and has employed a planning consultant to draft a letter of objection to it.
Town councillor Kevin Cranston, chairman of the committee, said the site was vital for the well-being of the community and needed to be protected.
"We strongly oppose the creep of housing up the Slad Valley and the other green fingers of land coming into Stroud," he said.
Green county councillor Sarah Lunnon has also expressed concerns that the development would heighten the risk of flooding close to the Slad Brook.
"This area of Slad Road has flooded to 8 foot, a depth that poses a risk to life and threatens the structural integrity of buildings. No proposals should be accepted that does not clearly demonstrate how it will mitigate this risk," she said.
Gladman, the developer behind the proposals, has said that the plans seek to address the 'acute shortage of affordable homes in Stroud'.
For more information about Slad Valley Action GroupÕs campaign visit: www.savesladvalley.org.uk