The local plan review (for housing needs, issues and future development) has been underway since autumn 2017 and runs to winter 2021/22. In the first phase of consultation several factors have been raised that will potentially affect the Hardwicke area of Stroud District and the council will be issuing its initial report later this month.
Our district representatives, Cllr David Mossman and Cllr Gill Oxley would like to feedback and update residents on the topics raised that will be covered in the report – please see their update below:
Hardwicke Inclusion in SDC Emerging Plan to 2040
You will see that our officers have included Hardwicke as a possibility for Gloucester’s housing needs. We ask that Hardwicke is removed from any mention in the Plan for either Gloucester`s needs or SDC`s needs too. SDC has enough sites without Hardwicke being even considered.
The following is our justification for this request: –
Firstly, under our legal obligations to cooperate with local councils, it is NOT up to SDC to put forward any sites at all. The first duty is for the other councils to fully explore their own land supplies, and in the case of Gloucester, also consider the loss-making airport for housing. When they have exhausted this part, if they are still short of land and have asked their JCS partners for assistance, then they could come to us as well as other adjoining council areas to ask for assistance with a specific request for a number of houses they cannot supply. It is then up to SDC to decide if we can assist, but we have no legal obligation to use our land for their numbers. AT NO TIME SHOULD WE BE OFFERING LAND BEFORE ALL OF THIS HAS BEEN INVESTIGATED.
Hardwicke Parish since 2014 has or is absorbing 2755 homes already agreed (including 2500 Hunts Grove), and has a further 381 applications still live. This is more than any other district in Stroud has been subjected to in the recent past. We only have a few fields left for nature lovers, dog walkers ramblers, giving an open feel to the village. If these fields are used for housing, as some developers would like to do, then the village of Hardwicke disappears and is just an urban extension of Quedgeley.
Hardwicke has an NDP which was approved by this council in October 2017 by a unanimous vote.
The fields in question are all mentioned in this NDP and at the inspector’s meeting on the NDP he noted area 9b (see plan attached) was to be designated LOCAL GREEN SPACE status. This area is the main area that the JCS would like to fill with houses. Further the area following on from Sellars Bridge is also designated as OPEN SPACE SIGNIFICANTLY IMPORTANT TO THE HARDWICKE COMMUNITY. Also, all the areas are outside the recently extended settlement boundary, and there is one Grade 1 Listed Building and eight Grade 2 Listed Buildings in the area mentioned, plus a variety of listed monuments in the church yard.
Therefore, any attempt to build on this land would be against the Hardwicke Approved NDP, and would be against the SDC Emerging Plan as it is outside the settlement boundary, and on page 75 it states “Hardwicke’s village character and sense of community will be preserved,”. You can hardly equate this to building on the remaining fields/green spaces. Also, Hardwicke does not have the infrastructure to absorb any more housing.
It would be grossly unfair to the Hardwicke Residents to rob them of their only remaining open green spaces. I therefore ask you to support our objection to the Emerging Plan so that Hardwicke is removed in total and is not considered for any more housing for anyone.
District Councillors for the Hardwicke Ward