Ashville Business Park Extension

Shelved plans to extend Ashville Business Park in Churchdown will soon be back in the spotlight when an appeal against a decision blocking the move is heard.

Business bosses at Ashville Business Park are hoping to build another 16,000 square metres of floor space for business, industrial and storage use.

The park is a fully serviced development, with completed projects including new showroom servicing facilities for both Land Rover and Mercedes dealerships.

New buildings have also been completed for regional ambulance centres for the NHS and St John Ambulance.

If the decision is over turned, it will allow businesses to spill out into greenbelt land to the east of Commerce Road, off Cheltenham Road.

Bill Whelan, Churchdown Parish Council chairman, said: “This is yet another intrusion into the green belt in and around Churchdown.

“This land was not included in the industrial land set aside in the Joint Core Strategy, so it is not a valid argument to say that it will help provide new jobs.

“There is already tens of thousands of hectares included to off set the need for business growth. We don’t need any more.

“Many people have moved to Churchdown because of the beautiful green spaces that surround this area. “Sadly, that is being gradually eroded by the savage development of the green belt.”

The area is in line for substantial development under the Joint Core Strategy, a blueprint for new homes drawn up by councils across Gloucestershire. Plans include expansion of 33,000 new homes, and supporters of the business park development have said the new jobs created will help support the area’s growing population.

Planning officers at Tewkesbury Borough Council had recommended refusal of the scheme when it was turned down in January. But, lead member for economic development Councillor David Waters spoke in favour of the plan, despite not being apart of the planning committee.

Gordon Goodman, who vehemently campaigned against the arrival of a new Tesco store in Churchdown, said allowing the development would only further diminish the boundaries of Cheltenham and Gloucester.

He said: “We have seen the impact of Tesco on smaller stores in Churchdown so we must guard against more land being set aside for further retail development.

“There is no doubt takings are down on a lot of smaller village shops.

“Allowing more industrial development near Churchdown will risk further urban sprawl and more damage on the green belt. It is there for a reason, and should be protected.”