Well done Alderton, over 100 of you turned up at some stage to the Freeman Developers appeal at Tewkersbury Council Offices. All in all the Parish was well represented throughout the hearing. The Cheltenham Liberal Democrat MP came and spoke to a number of us, it was a shame that our own MP could not attend and support us. The village was praised most highly by the Inspector for the professionalism of their statements and for the way we conducted ourselves. A number of villagers also spoke and gave passionate statements which I'm sure left the inspector in no doubt about the strength of the village community. We had to win our case against "in favour of sustainable development" by showing the harm this development would cause Alderton. Alderton's case was strong with good arguments, a better emerging local plan with sites of less impact and a local plan that demonstrated proportionally that Alderton had its fair share of allocated housing and most importantly would impact the beautiful scenery and way Alderton is viewed. Finally we argued that it would significantly impact our social cohesion. We put the case for the above strongly- so again Well Done Alderton we could have done no more.
So what next? We have to prepare our case for the next appeal. We all have to help develop further the Neighbourhood Plan and the Borough Local Plan. We should also look to our MP to review our case and remind all of our MP's of the following from the planning Minister Nick Boles who in March 2014 stated in his written ministerial statement;
(on the topic of local planning) that:
“the coalition government is committed to reforming the planning system to make it simpler, clearer and easier for people to use, allowing local communities to shape where development should and should not go. Planning should not be the exclusive preserve of lawyers, developers or town hall officials.
For more information on the appeal case including the opening and closing statements from Alderton please click here.