A High Court Judge has upheld Tewkesbury Borough Council’s decision to permit plans to develop a road bridge over the railway in Ashchurch and Northway.

The decision was legally challenged by Ashchurch Rural Parish Council, after the borough council’s planning committee granted planning permission for the bridge in March 2021.

In a robust judgment by Mr Justice Lane, the application for Judicial Review was dismissed on all three of the grounds of challenge.

The Ashchurch Bridge will form a crucial part of the infrastructure needed for a new Garden Town in the area – Tewkesbury Garden Town.

The borough council was awarded £8.1m of funding by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government* in 2018 to develop the bridge, which leads to land highlighted for potential development in the Tewkesbury Garden Town concept plan.

Tewkesbury Borough Council’s Chief Executive, Mike Dawson said: “We are pleased by this judgement and that the planning permission, granted in March 2021 has been upheld.

“Tewkesbury Borough Council is now permitted to continue with plans to start work on building a road, integrated cycle and foot bridge over the railway at Ashchurch with the support of Gloucestershire County Council, their consultants, Atkins and Network Rail.

“This important infrastructure development will help us progress our initial concepts that focus on meeting the Borough’s housing needs by creating a high-quality, innovative Garden Town community.”

The Tewkesbury Garden Town concept aims to provide well-designed, mixed-tenure homes and more than 100 hectares of employment land to the east of Tewkesbury, bringing significant numbers of jobs and opportunities to live and work within the area.

The development will include new schools, health and community facilities and sustainably- designed houses, as well as walk-cycle greenways and improved links to the railway station.

The Garden Town status was awarded in March 2019 to help the council deliver more than 10,000 new homes over a thirty-year period and draw upon specialist government support and strategic planning advice.

The Garden Town concept has its roots in the Garden City Movement founded by Ebenezer Howard in the late 19th Century. The first garden cities were created at Welwyn and Letchworth, bringing together the best of town and country living.

The original principles have been expanded to include current issues such as sustainability and climate change within modern garden communities.

For more information about Tewkesbury Garden Town visit www.tewkesburygardentown.co.uk

*now the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.

Category: Planning