Walking Berkeley Vale’s Endangered Rural Byways – an introduction

Just some of the many fields and walks where Stroud District Council plans to locate 5,000 new houses

Until midnight on Wednesday 21st July 2021 (originally 7th but has been extended by 2 weeks), we are in the final consultation on the huge housing development proposed and recently approved by Stroud District Council.  Pretty much every green field between Berkeley and Sharpness and areas throughout Wansell, Hinton and Brookend would be turned into an enormous new build housing estate.

The so called “Sharpness Eco Village” would constitute over 5,000 houses.  The catastrophic effects of such a huge development would be far reaching and irreversible.  Issues such as the destruction of wildlife, habitats and ecosystems in an Area of Special Scientific Interest, lack of rail and road infrastructure, and the provision of services for such a significant influx of new residents, are some of the main concerns that have already been raised.

Through this page we hope to engage as many local people as possible with this issue.  It’s hard to really imagine what such a huge housing development would be like!

What are we inviting you to?

So we will be bringing you weekly walks through our beautiful countryside that would all become housing estate if the development went ahead.

There will be a new walk planned each week for the duration of the consultation – it runs for 6 weeks but as we started the week before it began, there will a new walk each week for 7 weeks.

Each one will focus on one of the main issues and objections as put forward by the Berkeley and Sharpness Action Group (BaSRAG).

BaSRAG have been instrumental in forensically delving into the proposals and highlighting all the key issues.  They have produced a document which outlines the main objections that need to brought to the attention of the Independent Inspectors in this final consultation.

Walk Themes

These key issues will become the theme of each walk in the hope that when people are walking the routes, it’ll help to bring the issues closer to home and make this planned development and its effects more tangible.

There are a lot of people who didn’t feel engaged with the development of the Local Plan and many who didn’t take part in previous consultations, for a lot of understandable reasons.

But now we have one final precious chance for our voices to be heard, this time – importantly – by an Independent Inspectorate, meaning it is probably the most critical consultation yet.

The number of people responding raising the concerns highlighted by BaSRAG really COULD tip the balance. Every response will be counted.

Let’s Walk the Talk Together

So let’s walk with our families and friends on these beautiful green fields and talk about the issues the Independent Inspectors need to hear.

Then let’s go online and respond to the consultation, encourage others to do the same and get the most amount of people possible having their concerns heard.

In the last consultation 314 people responded, could we get 1000 responses this time?!  Let’s try!

I’ll post again in the next few days and weeks with plans and maps and dates, but in the mean time do share this website page with all your friends and family!

Looking forward to walking and talking with you all!

Remember to follow us on Facebook or Instagram- just use the icons on this page to go straight to our page/profile.

We suggest you also bookmark this website page and make a calendar/diary note to regularly check this website for new information during the consultation period (May to July 2021).

Who are BaSRAG?  BaSRAG is Berkeley and Sharpness Residents Action Group.  We at this website Berkeley Byways (Walking Berkeley’s Endangered Rural Byways) are not BaSRAG but do fully support what they are doing.

We strongly recommend that you keep a close eye on their website too –  and sign up to receive their useful emails.  Their website is at:  https://basrag.com