Land News

Greenbelt - major review to go ahead

Lawson Fairbank 11th September, 2005

Pressure from the South West Regional Assembly is putting pressure on greenbelt surrounding Cheltenham and Tewkesbury. The assembley says 30,000 new homes should be built in Cheltenham and Gloucester by 2026, prompting a massive review of the greenbelt.

All greenbelt land will be examined to see if it should be developed or protected.

Areas already identified include Uckington, Staverton and Innsworth as possible sites with a further four greenbelt sites put forward by Tewkesbury Borough Council.

Developers have also been eyeing up chunks of greenbelt land for housing and business parks.

John Ruane, chairman of the Greenbelt Protection Society, said: "We will be watching very carefully. We hope this will be a sensible review. So long as it's not an excuse to take away the greenbelt, I don't mind little bits of land being removed."

The purpose of the greenbelt was to prevent the merger of Cheltenham and Gloucester and stop urban sprawl. Within its current boundaries are the airport and the racecourse.

Coun John Morris (Lib Dem, Springbank) said: "This isn't about housing development. The council needs the review so it can adopt a clear plan for the future of the greenbelt.

"If the council has a plan, only then can it take a clear stance against developers.

"We'll be asking whether the areas allocated as greenbelt are correct. Do we need to extend in one area and reduce in another?"

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