A CAMPAIGN has been launched to stop plans for five new houses in Minchinhampton as residents fear the increase in traffic will cause more crashes on an already dangerous road.

Local people have united for the Protect Our Space protest against the proposals for Well Hill Old Vineyard, directly below King Street.

The hill, which leads to the High Street, has a history of accidents and is notoriously difficult for parking.

On April 25 a driver lost of control of his car and crashed into five vehicles, smashing into the front of an eighteenth century cottage in Well Hill.

In a separate incident on the same day, a driver was reported to police for speeding along Well Hill and narrowly avoiding two pedestrians and a child.

Amabel Barraclough, who lives in Well Hill and was one of the pedestrians almost hit by the speeding driver, said: “It was utterly terrifying – he missed me by centimetres.”

Local developers Chris and Estelle Manson-Whitton announced their plans to build the five new houses at a community meeting on April 15 and are due to make a formal planning application within the next few weeks.

Residents are worried that the new homes will bring more traffic which will increase the danger on the narrow street.

“Well Hill is lethal enough without more cars,” said Sue Raby Smith, secretary of Protect Our Space.

“We await concrete proposals from the developers, properly laid out, which we will publicise so that people can comment.

“Danger from increased traffic, we are sure, will only be one of multiple objections.

"We fully expect anyone who knows Well Hill to oppose this scheme.”

Her husband, Phil Raby Smith, another founder of the campaign, said: “Well Hill is dreadful to drive through. Every time you drive down or up it you see scratched cars and smashed wing mirrors.

“The proposed development would drastically alter the character of Well Hill, one of the most attractive parts of Minchinhampton.”

Since the formation of Protect our Space, the campaign group has attracted more than 100 members.

The campaign has the same name as that which successfully defeated applications to develop the Lemon Field in the heart of Minchinhampton in 2012 and again in 2014.

One of the group's aims is also to promote the drafting of a Neighbourhood Development Plan for Minchinhampton, which would set out where new housing can be built.

Protect Our Space has also launched a Facebook page and website which have reached more than 5,000 people in two weeks.

The group is placing posters and banners locally and will hold public meetings and surgeries when a planning application is submitted for the five houses.

For more information, visit protectourspace.org or facebook/protectourspaceminch