12:17pm Tuesday 1st April 2014
By Jane Leigh
A PLANNING application in Minchinhampton looks set to stir up a bitter battle once more.
In July 2012, Devon-based property developer Blue Cedar Homes applied for permission to build seven retirement cottages on the Lemon Field in the heart of the town. Action group Protect Our Space was formed to fight the plan and the application was unanimously rejected in August 2012.
Now the developer has submitted another application on the same site, this time for six homes, and Protect Our Space is pledging to oppose this equally vigorously.
The group is holding a public meeting at The Porch Room at Holy Trinity Church tomorrow (April 2) at 8pm, and also holding consultations to help members of the public lodge objections.
Peta Bunbury, chair of Protect Our Space and a resident of Friday Street, said: “The first application was rejected for six different reasons, including the harm it would inflict on the Conservation Area and the damage it could cause to a protected tree. Those issues still remain.
“One councillor remarked during the 2012 discussions that to build on the field would be ‘destroy the heart of Minchinhampton’. That’s still the case, and we urge residents to object to this application.”
Simon Tofts, Planning Manager for Blue Cedar, said: “In response to the feedback and concerns raised in the course of our previous planning application, we appointed the respected heritage architect Edward Nash and went back to the drawing board. The result is a very tasteful, small retirement scheme of just six homes which has been carefully designed to help meet the local housing need, enhance the character of the town, offer lovely views of the church and provide new and high-quality public open space for all to enjoy.”
Tom Bradshaw, a member of Protect Our Space who lives on Tetbury Street with his wife, Sophie, and their three children, said: “This development, like the first proposal, would sharply reduce families’ privacy. The latest proposals from Blue Cedar show a ‘garden room’ a matter of feet from my back wall, surely a sign that this is a development in which too many homes are trying to be shoehorned onto an inappropriate piece of land.”
Protect Our Space will hold consultations with members of the public in the cafe of Woefuldane Organic Diary on the next two Saturdays (April 5 and 12) from 10am to 2pm.
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