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Response to sports stadium planning refusal

Eastington Parish Council (EPC) was pleased to witness that the prolonged negotiations and additional information submitted to the District Council have finally been considered.  On 12th June Development Control Committee at Stroud District Council the elected Members of the Council resolved to refuse the application as a result of concerns raised and it is hoped that some direction can now be taken from this decision. 

The decision ratifies the Parish Council views that the scheme, which only assessed the noise and transport provision for a replacement 5,000 seater Stadium (but capable of seating 10,000) and practice pitches for Forest Green Rovers was flawed in its location, justification of need, impacts on amenities, lack of community facilities and impacts on the wider landscape and lacking transport considerations. 

CPRE Gloucestershire (The Campaign to Protect Rural England) was very relieved that planning permission for this controversial development was refused.  A key issue is that the planning system is supposed to be “plan led”.   The current local plan was adopted as recently November 2015 and was the result of much work and extensive consultation.  The site was not allocated for development in the plan and we consider there are more appropriate locations that could be used.

Eastington PC notes the concerns raised by the Cotswold Canals Trust that the planning decision puts the canal restoration project at risk; however, a reversal of the planning decision does not remove that risk. 

The stadium plans excluded the floodplain area where a separate application by the Stroud Valleys Canal Company seeks to secure planning permission for the “Missing Mile” of canal.  District Council officers at the development control committee were quite clear that the canal route could not be considered as a material consideration in the stadium application.  Mr Vince is one of the many landowners with whom the Trust have had to negotiate with to progress the canal restoration project and it is hoped that he will not withhold support for the project.

Whilst EPC acknowledge that Ecotricity and its place on the green stage is important to Stroud, this should not outweigh the normal considerations for development set out in the Local Plan for Stroud.  EPC remain concerned that, whilst no part of this application, future plans proposing part of the site area for a commercial use should be directed to the many brownfield sites within the district or to existing allocated sites which as yet are unused rather than developing on greenfield sites which affect the setting of the Cotswold AONB. 

EPC_Press Release 25 June 2019

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Notice of public rights to inspect accounts

Notice of public rights

Each year the smaller authority’s Annual Governance and Accountability Return (AGAR) needs to be reviewed by an external auditor appointed by Smaller Authorities’ Audit Appointments Ltd.  The unaudited AGAR has been published with this notice. As it has yet to be reviewed by the appointed auditor, it is subject to change as a result of that review.

Any person interested has the right to inspect and make copies of the accounting records for the financial year to which the audit relates and all books, deeds, contracts, bills, vouchers, receipts and other documents relating to those records must be made available for inspection by any person interested. For the year ended 31 March 2019, these documents will be available on reasonable notice.  Please see notice above for further information.

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Parish Council opposed to sports stadium at junction 13

Eastington Parish Council remain opposed to plans to build a sports stadium at junction 13 on land within Eastington parish, despite the recommendation from Stroud District Council’s officers to “Permit” the application.

There are still fundamental issues with the application with no clear resolution (“to be mitigated through reserved matters applications” is just not good enough as we saw with West of Stonehouse).

The application will be decided by the District Council’s Development Control Committee on Wednesday 12th June at 6pm. Public invited to attend. Eastington Parish Council will address the Committee highlighting the main issues of the application.

The main issues of the application:

  • At odds with the priorities outlined in the Stroud Local Plan (2015) and Eastington Neighbourhood Development Plan (2016) to the detriment of a plan lead system.
  • Positioned completely outside the settlement boundary and therefore contrary to Policy CP15 of the Local Plan and Policy EP1 of the Neighbourhood Plan. Further contrary to CP14 (noise), ES3 (maintaining quality of life within our environmental limits), ES7 (landscape).
  • The scheme has been proposed on a speculative basis and is highly likely to have premature effects on Stroud District Council’s overall strategy.
  • Scale at almost 20m (four times the eaves height of an average house) on the highest part of the site will detract from the setting of several historic hamlets in the Parish (Westend in particular) which is at odds with the objectives for the area.
  • Site selection criteria have lacked the flexibility to consider smaller sites which could have been more sustainable.  This was a fatal flaw in the Stroud Rugby Club dismissed appeal[1].
  • The proposed £7 car parking charge will see cars parking on verges and estate roads to avoid the charge; people are unlikely to opt for the bus / cycle / walk given the ease of access from the motorway and A419 to the proposed site. Are people going to drive for 20 minutes and park on an estate road for free or spend over an hour getting 2 buses? The travel plan is not sustainable.
  • Noise to surrounding homes and businesses which enters the range 70-75 decibel range on Ecotricity’s own mapping at numerous houses in Grove Lane and 65-70 decibels at the Travel Lodge, houses in Chipmans Platt and William Morris College. These are unacceptable even without factoring in the special needs of vulnerable residents at the college and the prevailing northwest wind which will direct more noise over a wider area.  Telling residents to “shut windows” to block out the noise is not the answer.
  • The loss of existing landscaping and ecological value is not sufficiently avoided or mitigated.   There will be six lanes of traffic at the access which requires the wholescale removal of established hedges along the whole of the south of the A419 between J13 of the M5 and Chipmans Platt Roundabout and parts of the northern boundary, which will detract from the visual appearance of the access to Stroud and further almost wholescale loss of hedges and trees within the site.
  • There is acknowledgement from Stroud DC’s planning officer that local road junctions will fail as a result of this development, not least as the surrounding roads remain single carriageway.
  • Controversially the stadium application is only considering 5000 seats and yet the building is designed to take an additional 5000 seats with no additional engineering work.

[1] Appeal ref: APP/C1625/A/07/2054481 Land at Eastington Park Farm

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Annual Parish Meeting – 23rd May

We’re trying a new style of annual parish meeting this year.  It takes place on Thursday 23rd May at 7pm in the boardroom at Kings Head House Hotel.  There will be displays from various working groups and organisations and the opportunity to chat freely whilst enjoying a cup of tea or coffee.  The formal part of the meeting will be kept short so that people have more opportunity to discuss the things that matter to them, whether that’s footpaths, community facilities or just to look at the parish council’s spending for the past year.

We hope that you will join us.


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Notice of European Parliamentary Election for the South West electoral region

European elections will take place on Thursday 23 May 2019 and, if the election is contested in this electoral region, the poll will be held that day between 7am and 10pm.

The notice contains information on submitting nomination papers for prospective candidates and applications to register to vote.

European Parliamentary Election – SW Region – Notice of Election

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Defibrillators in the Parish

Automatic External Defibrillators are portable units that can be used to stabilise a heart rhythm in certain medical situations.  We now have four defibrillators:

·         Westend Suites – on the outside wall of the first business unit on the right
·         Eastington Community Centre – left of the front door
·         St Michael’s Church – on the outside wall of the Lychgate inside the churchyard
·         Old Badger Inn – on the front wall

All four are available 24 hours a day.  No special training is needed to use the defibrillator.  In the event of a medical emergency please call 999 as normal and the operator will direct you to the closest defibrillator and talk you through how to use it. 

The defibrillators are checked monthly by the parish council and we have a contract with Community Heartbeat Trust to maintain the equipment.  The Parish Council is grateful to funds raised in the parish via Old Badger Inn, Westend Suites and Eastington Horse Show that has enabled us to purchase these defibrillators for the parish.

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Quotes invited for creation of memorial garden

Eastington Parish Council plans to create a memorial garden at its burial ground at Churchend.  The plans include a new path, sensory garden and seating area.  Contractors are invited to review the garden specification and contact the Parish Clerk for a site visit or further enquiries.  Deadline for submission of quotes is 9am Monday 5th February 2019.  Work is to be completed by May 2019.

Memorial Garden Specification

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Hempsted Household Recycling Centre temporary closure

From Monday 3 to Friday 21 December, Hempsted Household Recycling Centre, near Gloucester, will be temporarily closed to allow some important upgrades to the site.  This work follows a similar upgrade completed at Pyke Quarry HRC, near Stroud last summer.

Gloucestershire CC are changing the method used to compact some types of waste and recyclable materials.  A mobile materials handler will replace the existing static compaction equipment. The existing equipment is old, breaks down frequently and has become expensive to maintain. The new method will save money and also give more operational flexibility.  GCC are also investing in new waste collection containers and improved signage.

The information on this closure will be posted online in the next couple of days at

During this closure residents will be redirected to their closest alternative centre, these being:

  • Pyke Quarry HRC near Stroud (closed on Wednesdays)
  • Oak Quarry HRC near Coleford (closed on Tuesdays)
  • Wingmoor Farm HRC in Stoke Orchard (closed on Wednesdays)

Hempsted HRC will re-open on Saturday 22 December. There is never a good time to have to close a HRC site, but December is historically one of the quietest months at the sites and we hope that residents will welcome the improvements when the site re-opens.

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Stroud District Community Governance Review

Stroud District Council is carrying out a Community Governance Review, the first stage consultation will run for 6 weeks and closes 26th November 2018.  Eastington Parish Council held an Extraordinary Council meeting to discuss the Review and also to consider an approach from Stonehouse Town Council to move the parish boundary.  After much discussion, Eastington Parish Council put forward the following response (see link below).

Community Governance Review – response from EPC

Further information on the Review can be found on the Stroud DC website:

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Christmas Office Hours

The Parish office will be closed from 24th December until 4th January (inclusive) re-opening on Monday 7th January.  The January meeting will take place on Thursday 10th January 7pm at the village hall.