Reland – Open Day 7th March


Yesterday, Reland hosted an open day so that residents and anyone interested could view and comment on the future plans that Relands parent company Gladedale have for Upper Rissington.

The exhibition in the Reland office was helpful for all those attended. There were murals with some of the ideas that are planned for the site, which gave us a better understanding of what is planned here. Furthermore, the Gladedale and Greenissues representatives were happy to answer any concerns we may have had.

What is very apparent is that virtually everyone present wants to see something happen to the beautiful ex Central Flying School 3-story Officers Mess building before it falls into economic disrepair. Its very saddening to see it vandalised in the last few years. I will upload photographs of it in its current state later, with one of it pictured in 2004. It’s clear that local people (not necessarily from Upper Rissington) must be responsible for most of the destruction.

Other plans for the expanding village is to use as many of the existing quality buildings on site, such as the Sergeants Mess, Station Headquarters and thus preserve them for future generations. However, the industrial side of the Pre-War expansion airfield are planned to be demolished, these are the Military Transport sheds and 4 very large C – hangers, amongst others. These will be replaced with housing and domestic facilities. Nearly 400 houses are planned if the Planning Application is successful, along with a Pub, Shop, Village Hall and possibly a school.

Clearly at this stage we, the residents have a few concerns, but we believe once Outline Planning permission is accepted Gladedale will be receptive to some of the changes we would prefer to see incorporated in any revisions submitted.

A major benefit of the planning being granted for the new build and the existing housing is that Upper Rissington’s water and sewerage systems will be upgraded and connected directly to local supplies.

Fingers crossed that Cotswold District Council are receptive to the Outline Plans.

7 thoughts on “Reland – Open Day 7th March

  1. Rissington expansion plans to go on show

    1:13pm Thursday 5th March 2009

    By Simon Crump »

    PLANS for a £100 million redevelopment of Upper Rissington, which will more than double the size of the village, will be exhibited in public this weekend.

    The Reland company will display the plans at its offices, on Upper Rissington Business Park, from 10am until 4pm on Saturday, March 7.

    Residents will be able to examine the plans and question Reland’s project team.

    Reland has applied to Cotswold District Council for outline planning permission to build 368 homes, a primary school, village hall, health facilities, sports pitches, shops, pub and central park at the former Royal Air Force base.

    The plans also include upgrades of Upper Rissington’s water and sewage infrastructure.

    The Country and Metropolitan company has already converted former officers’ quarters to create about 275 homes on the site, which it bought from the Ministry of Defence in 1996.

    Reland’s parent company, Gladedale, took over Country and Metropolitan in 2005.

    The firm aims to build the new homes on about 120 acres that remain undeveloped and are presently occupied by around 450,000 square foot of disused aircraft hangers, officers’ quarters and other former RAF facilities.

    Reland started devising its plans in January 2006 and has undertaken extensive public consultation.

    The council is consulting the Environment Agency, Highways Agency, Gloucestershire County Council and other interested parties before its planning committee decides if Reland’s proposals should be approved.

    Reland’s spokesman, Richard Halderthay of Green Issues Communications, said: “The plans for Upper Rissington present an exciting opportunity to take a comprehensive approach to solving the problems residents in the village have told us they face day to day.

    “Improving water pressure and reliability, upgrading the sewer infrastructure and enabling broadband and mains gas to come to the village are essential parts of the plan and we believe have the backing of the people.”

  2. Village expansion plans on show. 7 March 2009

    Plans have gone on display for a development which could double the size of a Cotswolds village.

    The £100m scheme at the former Royal Air Force base in Upper Rissington would include 368 homes, a primary school, village hall, pub and park.

    The site is currently occupied by old hangars and other former RAF buildings.

    The plans, which include an upgrade of the village’s water and sewerage system, are being exhibited at the Upper Rissington Business Park.

    Local businessman Trevor Sellers said the scheme would help to breathe new life into the village.

    “The development, if it goes ahead, and the projects which the developers are promising – new pub, shops, community centre, village hall, that type of thing – can be nothing but good for the village,” he said.

    “I think it will be one of the best villages for amenities for many miles.”

    Cotswold District Council is considering the plans before making a decision.

  3. One has to question the wisdom of creating a village on top of an isolated Cotswold hill at an elevation of 750 feet. Ordnance survey maps dating back to the 1930s prior to the establishment of an airfield, do not reveal a single building on the site, a clear indication that it is not a natural place for habitation. The combined altitude and chill factor in such an exposed location must result in unnecessary energy wastage, no matter how energy efficient the new properties may be. RAF Little Rissington was well known as the coldest RAF station in the UK.

    The removal of 4 type C hangers and their high density bases, which were designed to withstand the direct impact of a 500 pound bomb, poses a major engineering task, and will cost far more than the original purchase price of the entire site. Until recently, none of these hangars had ever been demolished.

    When the MOD originally sold the land for development, there was a proviso that, should the total number of houses exceeded 300, the developer would have to pay an additional premium on the site; effectively a government tax on further development.

    Villages evolve and grow, you cannot make them by simply building houses and cramming in more people, especially if the location is not naturally conducive to habitation or employment. A village atmosphere is unlikely to be generated by more than doubling the number of existing properties.

    The airfield remains in use by the MOD and is currently earmarked as a prime military site up until 2030, with military activities taking place right up to the proposed building line.

    The proposed new village entrance requires the unnecessary felling of a line of mature trees that have established themselves slowly over the last 70 years. What happened to the protection order? The inclusion of a mini roundabout is a likely bottleneck, which is compounded further by the proposed location of a shop immediately after the entrance. This will inevitably result in further congestion caused by parked cars, delivery lorries and all residents having to use a single entrance; this is a recipe for accidents and a black spot in the making.

    The mammoth risk assessment on the possibilities of flooding is almost comical; at 750 feet on the top of a hill the greatest risk is Noah running aground!

    It is now 12 years since development began on the former RAF domestic site, many promises have been made, but few if any have come to fruition. Roads and services still remain unadopted, and the developer stubbornly refuses to acknowledge the right of residents to use water meters despite the legal requirement to fit them to new properties. The valley which formed a natural break between the technical and residential sites was used by the former developer as a dumping ground for demolition waste; they were forced by the Authorities to clean it up at considerable expense. Now, 5 years on the new developer has utilised the very same site to dump further waste!

    In stark contrast to the former RAF Kemble less than 30 miles away, the business park has floundered for the past 10 years, due to a combination of its geographical location and poor marketing. Over those years I have encountered numerous former RAF Little Rissington personnel who recall the pleasure of serving at one of the best kept RAF stations, and have returned to reminisce. Sadly, most have been astounded by the appalling sight of decay and dereliction that has confronted them on what is an active business park trying to attract business!

    Whilst something unquestionably needs to be done to tidy up the former technical site, it is far from the ideal location to generate a medium to large size village, geographically, economically or socially. Will the hidden costs associated with this project stand up to realistic scrutiny? If not, it spells more broken promises, but we are used to those!

  4. Interesting to read the comments from Mike regarding the C – class hangars. In fact heard the very same from someone else recently. Consequently, it could become prohibitively expensive to demolish them. Can’t figure out why they should propose his then – they must have costed demolish.

    I really don’t mind “ANY” as long as the “services” are adopted and the site is maintained. By that I mean, the Officers Mess developed and the Waste discussed above cleared.

    Mike who do I write to bring the WASTE problem to the Authorities attention?

  5. Max,

    3 of the 4 Type C hangers have recently been demolished at RAF Watton, so an accurate costing should be available. At Leicester airfield they tried to dig up the base of T2 metal hangar for road repairs, but gave up as it was too dense.

    I believe Cotswold District Council planning department are the people to talk to regarding the waste.

  6. Having demolished C-Type hangers in the past along with other types of Hangers they are not as expensove as one would assume. The recycle content makes them cost effective, anyone who wants to get back to me on this issue can do, and I will quote them some figures.

    Best Regards, John Thurlby.

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