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School to be on Clearwater Drive despite opposition

January 13, 2019 4:06 PM
Liam Harries and Anna Mozol at Clearwater DriveCampaigners have spoken of their disappointment that plans to build a new primary school in Gloucester have been given the green light.
A planning inspector overturned the original decision by Gloucester City Council to refuse planning permission to build the school on the land next to Clearwater Drive in Quedgeley after the Diocese of Gloucester appealed.
The Liberal Democrats have long been against building on land at Clearwater Drive and wanted to see it become designated open space for the community.
Quedgeley Severn Vale ward currently has just 1.08 hectares of open space per 1,000 people which is short of the recommended 2.8 hectares of open space per 1,000 people.
Local campaigners Anna Mozol and Liam Harries, of Quedgeley Severn Vale Liberal Democrats, both attended the appeal to support residents in their opposition to the location of the new school.
"We are bitterly disappointed the planning inspector has overturned the original decision of councillors on the planning committee to reject the plans for the school," Miss Mozol said.
"The land at Clearwater Drive is regularly used by children playing games, dog walkers and others. We will not give up the fight to ensure our community can continue to enjoy this space."
The appeal hearing was held in November and many local residents, members of Quedgeley Town Council, as well as Quedgeley's county councillor attended to oppose the plans.
"I don't think you can underestimate how angry local people are at the planning inspector's decision and the impending loss of the open space at Clearwater Drive," Mr Harries said.
"I think it's important to stress that we are not against the school as it is needed but it should be built at Kingsway or Hunts Grove and not in an established and already developed area.
"During the inquiry it emerged that not enough school places had been allocated in the new developments during planning, thus leading to the pressures we currently see on the existing schools."
The Liberal Democrats also cited at the inquiry concerns about wildlife, increases in traffic and a lack of alternative open space in the local area.
According to the plans an area of land to the left of the new school will be redeveloped for public use, which has been described as looking like a swamp.
"It amazes me how they can propose this small piece of swamp like area as an open space for residents," Mr Harries added.
"We will keep a close eye to make sure what residents are left with is the best it can be."