Quite a few people were trying to get into the closed Village Hall thinking the Exhibition was being held there. The meeting was fairly well attend considering that both ends of Green Lane had Road Closure Signs erected across half of the road combined with poor access due to roadworks. The British Legion car park was badly lit and sadly a gentleman fell over an unlit raised tarmac in the car park and was taken to hospital in an ambulance with a suspected broken hip! There was a general acceptance that there is a need for more housing and whilst the general consensus was acceptance of the lanes being closed to through traffic the consistent topic being raised was traffic!! When asked what were Redrow planning to do at the end of Pound Lane and the Junction with the A38, they responded by saying that hadn’t finalised any proposal on that yet, as this was still with Gloucestershire Highways for comment. Someone pointed out that wasn’t this then a little premature to present this proposal if Highways hadn’t agree to this yet!? Another person who lived in the Sellars Bridge Estate also developed by Redrow, asked how many car parking spaces would be allocated for each house. Redrow said that they comply with the requirements set by Central Government – 1.5 spaces per house, although most of their houses have a garage. This was highlighted to be a significantly bad and outdated metric to use and the person from Sellars Bridge said there was already congestion in that area from not enough car parking spaces. Quite a few people raised concerns about why a Primary School was being built and no secondary school which is badly needed in the area. Redrow implied “that would be good for them as they could build more houses on the remaining space”.
Pound Lane and Church Lane is a known regular flooding hotspot and when asked how Redrow were going to resolve this, they suggested that planting a few trees in the new Community Orchard would help. They did acknowledge the potential flooding issues for the new houses and existing properties, but didn’t provide a satisfactory answer as a few suggested balancing ponds with the water to egress to the already saturated Shawn Brook and existing water courses is just not practical!
One resident asked how many houses they were going to build per year and it was suggested by Redrow to be 125! He then pointed out that this would be a project rather than a programme that would be “strung out” for 11 years. He also added that it would devalue his house being in the middle of a “building site” for 11 years and he just didn’t want to live in Hardwicke any longer – but was trapped as wouldn’t be able to sell his house!
Currently there is no Doctors Surgery in Hardwicke and when asked why Redrow weren’t building one, they replied that the Rosebank Practice preferred to ask people to register at the new Kingsway Health Centre – which is great if you don’t mind waiting 6 weeks for a routine appointment! Redrow said yes they could build one but didn’t see the point.
In summary our thoughts are that the meeting was poorly planned, with a paucity of information, in a poorly planned location with Redrow being unable to answer the main question which was what are you going to do about traffic!!