Greenbelt protest walk over Gloucestershire housing plans

Greenbelt demonstration
Image caption About 150 people took part in the protest near Shurdington

People who do not want 800 houses to be built on greenbelt land near Cheltenham have held a protest walk over fields in the area.

Campaigners against plans to build between Chargrove Lane and Up Hatherley Way claim council figures on "expected growth in population" are "inaccurate".

Bridget Farrer, from the Hashtag Action Group, said there was "not enough space" for the development.

The council said if its figures were wrong it would be "happy to listen".

The proposed development for 800 new homes is part of a joint housing plan between three Gloucestershire councils, which would see 33,000 homes being built across Cheltenham, Gloucester and Tewkesbury.

Waiting list

Campaigner Ms Farrer said: "There isn't much space between Cheltenham and Gloucester.

"One of the government's guidelines is that large conurbations should not join up and this is just going to make it go that much nearer.

"There's not much space between our village of Shurdington and Gloucester."

The action group said it was also concerned about how roads in the area would cope with the extra traffic.

Cheltenham Borough Council leader Steve Jordan said he understood the group's concerns.

He said: "If it can be demonstrated that the figures are entirely wrong then I'm more than happy to listen."

But he said there was a need for housing in Cheltenham.

"We have thousands of people on the waiting list who can't currently find accommodation.

"That's partly because it's fairly expensive in Cheltenham. One of the concerns again is whether even if you build all these houses - will it meet the local need?"

A public consultation for the Joint Core Strategy started on 15 October and ends on 26 November.

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