The “Eco Park” Development Proposal:
personal reflections of a resident on why we should object.
In January 2016 Ecotricity owner, Dale Vince, submitted an outline planning proposal for a major development within the parish of Eastington, along the A419.
The proposal is for a 5000 seater football stadium with associated pitches, buildings and car parks etc (B), and the ‘green technology hub’ that is the business/industrial estate shown at (A). The proposal also includes the small ’nature reserve’ at ( C).
When I first heard about this proposal I thought there wasn’t much that could be done about it and it was probably a done deal given the influential and wealthy local business man behind it.
But in recent months my concern about this development has grown, spurred on by this photo which showed the fields that would be destroyed, and by a real concern for the health and well-being of the residents of William Morris College - which would be significantly adversely impacted as soon as building commenced and would never improve.
The plans do look exciting on the surface, and I support anything which promotes the green and sustainable agenda. However there are many reasons, legal and ethical, why this proposal shouldn’t be agreed and that local opinion should be voiced.
The questions and thoughts which have spurred me on to become more active in challenging it is this:
By objecting are we just being NIMBY (Not in my backyard) protesters ?
My view is that the parish took an environmental hit back in the 1970s when the M5 was built straight through our backyard. The community has had to fight further development because of this ever since.
The site is prominent from many public viewpoints; short and long range. The area is intrinsic to the Severn Vale and the Cotswold escarpment is very obvious on the skyline. The site is visible from outward views from the Cotswold escarpment, including Doverow Hill, Haresfield Beacon, Selsley Common, Coaley Peak and Cam Long Down and could be visible from the Forest of Dean AONB;
- therefore it is not only “our backyard” that will be effected.
Whatever the supposed benefits to Nailsworth and/or to Stroud District, there is absolutely no doubt whatsoever that the proposed development on this site would have a very dramatic effect on the nature of Eastington, and the lives of it’s residents if allowed to proceed.
If we want to retain anything of the tranquil and rural character of our Parish we must ACT to let Stroud District know what is important to us. The Local Plan forced the WoS development on us as a strategic necessity, but the payoff was supposed to be protection for our countryside as a whole, as well as respect for the character of our individual and historic settlements.
This is happening on our watch, let’s not let future generations down.
How can you play your part?
It is important for every single one of us who objects to formally voice that objection to the Planners - as 160 of us have already done. Absolutely everybody is entitled to comment and to offer good reasons why the application should be refused. ‘Good’ reasons include things like the increased traffic, noise, air pollution, loss of amenity and violating the Local Plan. See the KER website for some examples if you have not done this sort of thing before.
We can also try to stop Dale Vince’s ‘mind game’ campaign where he keeps talking up the project as if it were a done deal. It absolutely is not. We must make this crystal clear in all our social media posts and always, always, always correct anyone who speaks of the proposed stadium or business park as though they were certainties!
So, please, if you want to protect our green fields, the nature of our village and our roads:-
Lodge a planning objection, using the Stroud website. It is quick and easy.
Go to the Stroud website, Planning and building control, and search for the planning application S.16/0043/OUT - or -
Or, if you prefer, write to The Planning Office, Ebley Mill, Stroud - quoting ref S.16/0043/OUT .
Be clear that you are objecting not just commenting!
Get active on social media (add links to facebook, website,twitter ) - contest anything which suggests this is a done deal.
Register a skill or time commitment to “Keep Eastington Rural” through the welcome page on the website: www.keepeastingtonrural.uk
Or join us on Facebook
Together we can
“Keep Eastington Rural”
Eastington Community News Magazine. Community news for and by the people of Eastington, Gloucestershire
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