Thursday, 24 October 2013

Joint Core Strategy

With heavy hearts, we trekked down to Shurdington Social Centre this evening: the outing was to visit the three local Councils' travelling exhibition to promote their draft plan for where to locate an extra 33,200 new homes over the next 18 years. Of particular concern to the Davis family is that over a thousand of them are scheduled to interfere big time with Caroline's dog-walking.

We listened to a desperately dull presentation from one of many men in a suit, who then declined to answer questions from the floor. Whereupon the microphone was grasped by a spokesperson for the snappily-acronymed Hatherley and Shurdington Triangle Action Group, HaShTAG. Bridget Farrer (she it is in my photograph), the bit firmly between her teeth, resisted all the suits' attempts to cut her short, a doughty display, much appreciated by the citizenry.

It has to be important to safeguard the lea of the Cotswold escarpment from the building that's mooted. I go back to an idea promoted by Kit Braunholtz many years ago: develop along a channel directly between Cheltenham and Gloucester, and combine that development with a major upgrade of the public transport infrastructure - e.g. a new light railway - and a strategy for bringing together the complementary strengths of Cheltenham and Gloucester. So far from either losing its identity, there's no reason why their distinctive attributes could not be enhanced by such a process. Further, the joint attraction of the two towns would make our area a more viable alternative to Bristol for those wishing to relocate to the South-West.

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