It seems like you won’t find many people who will speak out in favour of the possible new developments on Blythe Business Park in Cresswell.
The proposals – for 200 new homes, and 50 new businesses – were presented to the public two weeks ago. Click here for details of them.
At the Draycott Parish Council meeting this week, when some forty members of the public attended, a lot of anger and dismay was vented at the proposals in an open discussion that lasted an hour.
“Disproportionate” said one person; “… the thin end of the wedge” said another; and many were worried that the plans would “totally change the character of Cresswell…we want to keep Cresswell as a semi-rural hamlet, not a suburb!”
In the whole sixty minutes, only one person noted that: “…well, I spoke to some people that do want it – for the sake of their growing children. They like the idea of a new community centre, more buses, more jobs.” But no-one in favour of the proposals had actually come to the meeting.
There was also suspicion: suspicion that the proposals were a smokescreen to divert us from some other as yet unknown issue. And one person was gloomy that any opposition stood little chance anyway – because “… this government wants to see more houses built – so we will experience great pressure from above to get this through…”
And what stance did the parish council decide to take? Not surprisingly, those council members who were present were unanimous too in their opposition. Chairman Tony Fletcher called the proposals “a sanitised, scented view of things, not a practical view of things.”
Nevertheless, the council has decided to hold its fire until a formal planning application is submitted. That formal application is expected in May.
Meanwhile, the local community action-group VVSM has decided that it is best to be pro-active.
Already, the VVSM organisers, buoyed up by a meeting of their own which was attended by about forty people, have been out and about getting views from nearby parish councils, drawing up a petition, and having talks with representatives from the County Highways Department.
Drawing on their ‘fighting fund’ – which is made up of donations from the public – VVSM has commissioned a traffic survey to find out what the present traffic flow near the park is right now. You many have noticed, as you passed through Cresswell, some new traffic monitoring strips – one of these was laid down by a specialist company at the request of VVSM.
The group hopes to have the traffic-data from the strips analysed and compiled by next month.
Jacquie Leach, one of the VVSM organisers, told us: “We noticed that some strips had been put down a few weeks ago, but were not sure who had put them down or why.
So we decided to get in quickly and ensure that we have some independent data that we can all trust – so we commissioned this survey ourselves. Just so we know it’s right!”
But while the parish council and VVSM get on with what they do, there is still time for the general public to make known its feelings to the developers.
Deloitte, the real-estate company which is handling the project, want our suggestions and reactions to be with them by Friday 24th January. They are also prepared to take questions by phone and email – 0121 695 5109 / email@example.com.
If you feel strongly – one way or the other – it’s time to let your views be heard.