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Letter to the Editor: community action is alive and kicking in Brimscombe

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Dear Editor,

A public meeting was held at the Pavilion Restaurant to bring the Brimscombe community together to fight to keep the nearby play area.

A long battle on the part of a local community in the heart of the Golden Valley looked to be almost over when the secretary of State denied the appeal by the developer.

SDC had refused to grant planning permission for the fourth attempt by the developer to build on the green idyllic acre behind the ex-council flats on London Road. This refusal, based on visual impact, coupled with the denied appeal means planning will be impossible in the future. This decision was welcomed by the community who celebrated the preservation of this beautiful biodiverse much loved space which is also designated a Local Green Space on the draft Stroud District Local Plan. 

The directors of the neighbouring Charlea Community Gardens have spearheaded the campaign to save the Play Area and have enlisted support from local residents, and both the Parish and Local councils. It was with dismay, therefore that they saw the land go up for sale and risk falling out of community use. Ali O’Brien, one of the directors said: ‘It was a real kick in the teeth after all these years of fighting to keep it in the community, but this community is strong and we will do all we can to keep the Play Area open for all. Our aim is to acquire the land and have started the application for Village Green Status which will further protect it as open space for our community.’ 

Charlea Community Gardens (CCG) is a thriving green space which was also claimed by the community after The Bisley Feoffees agreed to gift the land back to the community because there was so much local pressure and interest in the well-loved local green space.

It is adjacent to the play area and is a richly biodiverse area. Activities have included two livestock groups, laying a hedgerow all along the northern border of the site, establishing and enjoying habitats to increase and support biodiversity, regular social events for locals and a group on Facebook.

The Directors would like to bring the community together to acquire the Play Area and keep it in community use. Graham Russell, one of the directors said: “Linking the Play Area to CCG will help to continue the bio-diverse green ribbon along the valley. There is already a public right of way going diagonally through the site towards CCG.”

Ali OBrien,

Director of Charlea Gardens CIC

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