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Protesters celebrate after homes plan is thrown out

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Campaigners are celebrating after councillors rejected plans to build 52 affordable homes and a sports pavilion in Stonehouse.

Wycliffe College and The Guinness Partnership wanted to develop a section of the Berryfield sports field off Bristol Road.

Proposals included a range of homes made up of one bed and two-bed flats and two to four-bed houses.

The Berryfield, Stonehouse. Picture: Carl Hewlett

And all of the homes would have been affordable housing split 50-50 between social rental and shared ownership properties.

The proposals also included a new sports pavilion with car parking but more than 100 residents objected to the scheme along with Stonehouse Town Council.

The Berryfield, Stonehouse. Picture: Carl Hewlett

The committee voted to reject the plans by eight votes to one.

A spokesperson for Save The Berryfield said: “It’s fantastic news for all of us who campaigned long and hard against this diabolical application, with the District Council’s Development Control Committee voting a thumping 8-1 in favour of rejecting it.

“Since the news of this application first broke back in June 2019 approx. 300 objections have been lodged on the SDC Planning Portal.  Local residents were clearly against the proposal from the outset.

“As was always argued, it was a disingenuous application by Wycliffe to sell Protected Outdoor Playspace for housing to boost their coffers.  This, despite promising never to do this again following their previous application appeal failed back in 1995. Reasons for refusal were many: loss of open space; contrary to the character of the area; contrary to the Stonehouse Neighbourhood Development Plan; contrary to Stroud Local Plan; loss of views of the AONB, biodiversity loss; harm to the (European) protected species in the adjoining Key Wildlife Site.

Entrance to The Berryfield off Bristol Road, Stonehouse. Picture: Carl Hewlett

“There were massive concerns over the access/exit to the A419 which is already dangerous and failure to meet LTN 1/20 cycle regulations, the impact of neighbours’ amenity, no community benefit, proposed garden size does not meet requirements, health and wellbeing of community adversely affected, shortage of playing pitches in the area, pupils should be walking from the main campus so no need for car parking on the field, social rent housing could not be mandated and would be dependent on grant funding – which may not happen.”

To watch the meeting, click HERE

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