Thornbury action group protest outside workshops for garden village

April 29 2018

THE first of a series of workshops organised by those behind plans for a 3,000-home garden village at Buckover has taken place - with opponents staging a silent protest.

The Tortworth Estate and developers St Modwen held the first workshop at Eastwood Park in Falfield.

Although they said the purpose was to “directly engage the local community in the planning process”, the event was by invitation only.

The estate and St Modwen said the workshops would continue until the summer, focusing on specific local people, land owners, businesses and service providers, with the results of each event “used to shape and inform the master planning of the garden village”.

They also said full reports from each session would be made available to the public, while an exhibition would be held before submission of an outline planning application.

Tortworth Estate’s Robert Moreton said: "The estate has spent the last 18 months exploring opportunities, listening to local people and organisations and undertaking a wide range of technical work. 

“We now believe the time is right to begin a series of local workshops to ensure that Buckover Garden Village is consciously planned, in collaboration with the widest range of local people as possible, all working towards the common goal of providing a truly sustainable 21st century community.”

But action group TRAPP’D - Thornbury Residents Against Poorly Planned Development - criticised bringing forward the scheme before it could be challenged through the Joint Spatial Plan development blueprint for the West of England, which will be at the heart of an examination in public, probably in the autumn.

The group said the location of the garden village was the paramount issue and it had turned down an invitation to meet the estate and St Modwen unless they were prepared to discuss it.

However, members staged a protest on the approach road to the workshop venue at Eastwood Park.