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Keep Eastington Rural is for anyone living in the Parish of Eastington (Near Stroud in Gloucestershire) who appreciates the rural nature of the setting of our village and hamlets, and the spirit of community which we enjoy.
Keep Eastington Rural is not exactly a ‘group’ – it is the banner under which Eastingtonians have united, over the past three decades, whenever there is a threat to the parish or our way of life. These days, that threat may be seen as being any inappropriate development that does not comply with the democratically adopted Neighbourhood Plan.
There is a core group of members who have a great deal of experience of planning law and of speaking with the Planning Officers at SDC, the Planning Inspectors and the members of the Council. We do organise action protests and demonstrations where and when appropriate, but we also largely rely on helping individual people to make their views heard and count at Ebley Mill.
If you want to help protect all that is Eastington and join your voice with others please let us know – or – Click here to visit our Facebook page
Keep Eastington Rural is the banner under which Eastingtonians have united, over the last three decades, whenever there is a threat to the parish and our way of life here.
It first came together over 25 years ago when a 500 house development was proposed. With the help of 500 balloons and a TV appearance by Laurie Lee, KER won the day. Ten years later the draft Local Plan included ‘West of Stonehouse’ ; this too was defeated and the 2003 Local Plan chose Hunts Grove as the principle ‘strategic site’.
Sadly when the 2016 Local Plan was drawn up, ‘West of Stonehouse’ was finally included, covering the land between Nastend, Westend and Nupend. KER did ensure that Alkerton Village was protected by a ‘settlement boundary’.
The Parish council, and KER remain vigilant to ensure that developers are obliged to comply with the many protective conditions that are also in the Local and Neighbourhood Development plans.
In the meantime, there have been a number of other ‘speculative’ development proposals which would have had major impacts, most of which have been successfully rebutted by Eastingtonions operating under the KER banner. Importantly, two planning appeals have recently been defeated by KER which will defend our Eastern approach on Bath Road ( 2015) and our Western approach N. of Alkerton Road (2017) The latter was decided by the Secretary of State, no less!
KER has had many offshoots.
The Eastington Community News was first published in 1990 – in the days before the internet! – to keep people up to date with what was ‘going on’ , especially with regard to local development plans and other decisions taken at District level.
More recently, in 2010, ECO – The Eastington Community Orchard group was formed to help keep more of our environment irrefutably ‘green’.
The Eastington Community Land Trust was also born of KER in 2013 – alongside the ideas of a Neighbourhood Development Plan and Housing Need Surveys.
ECLT allows Parishioners to determine where Eastington will permit just the measured level of development it wants for it’s own ‘natural’ population growth, and to ensure the nomination rights for local people. This helps to stop speculative developers from claiming the use of ‘exception sites’ to satisfy the need for affordable housing as a small part of a much larger and less controlled development. This concept was built into our Neighbourhood Plan.