Parish Council notes – March 2020. New housing proposed to triple Whitminster.

The March meeting of Whitminster Parish Council focused very much on proposals from developers for several thousand new houses in Whitminster. These proposals were submitted during the the ‘Emerging Local Plan’ consultation period.

While there were no Planning Applications to consider this month, Council noted that both applications for refurbishment of Parklands Farmhouse had been withdrawn, and hoped that solutions can be found to progress the restoration of this historic building.It was noted that Robert Hitchin Ltd has lodged a proposal with the District Council Planning Strategy Department for more land in Whitminster Parish to be included for development in the next Local Plan to 2040. The land identified for inclusion runs northwards of the A419, between the A38 and the M5, as far as Grove Lane, as Phase 1 and northwards of Grove Lane to the Parish Boundary with Moreton Valence, between the A38 and the M5, as Phase 2. The total development would be for 2250 houses, with employment land, a Primary School and leisure facilities included. This proposal was lodged too late to be included in the Local Plan consultation that ended on January 22nd, so will have to be put out for consultation in the coming months.

A parcel of land adjacent to the south of Hyde Lane has also been put forward for inclusion in the next Local Plan, again it was put forward too late for consultation by January 22nd, and will have to be consulted on over the summer months. Council resolved to fight these notifications, and will take professional help if needed whatever the cost! Because of the Coronavirus outbreak, timings of any further consultations, or indeed any further meetings, are extremely difficult to pinpoint at this time, but Council will keep everyone updated when things start moving again. In the meantime, a Notice of Objection will be sent to Planning Strategy at Stroud to inform them of a more detailed objection being made when the formal consultation period opens.

Council intends to progress the Skateboard Ramp replacement, and install some Outdoor Keep Fit equipment on the Playing Field, as the weather and health issues allows, so please bear with us if these do not happen as soon as we hope they will. As everyone is aware, the Local Elections scheduled for May 7th have been postponed until May next year, so the present Council will stay in Office until then. We expect that the April Parish Council meeting will not take place, and will have to wait from guidance from higher authorities as to when meetings will start again. In the meantime, Councillors are keeping in touch by email and telephone to endeavour to keep the wheels turning.

Let us hope everyone in the Parish stays well, adheres to the advice and guidance given out daily in the media, so that we can all get back to our normal lives as soon as possible.