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Doubt over the future of a strip of land in Cheltenham

A RESIDENT has stepped in to ease fears about the future of a piece of land in Charlton Kings.

When Gloucestershire County Council bosses put a 77sq m patch up for sale, people living in Peel Close were worried it would be developed alongside a former police house.

But the mystery resident has stepped in to buy it.

However, there are still doubts about the fate of a different price strip of land in the street. And people have questioned why they were not offered the areas, which were thought to be common land.

Victoria Losh, of Peel Close, said: "It's a silly state of affairs that the council is selling off little patches of land like this.

"We've always thought it was for the use of people in the road and not owned by anyone, so we have looked after it."

Last year, the planning inspectorate threw out a scheme to turn the old police house into a criminal law practice.

The land next to the building was used for residents' car parking and it was expected to raise £20,000.

However, the guide price was not reached and the resident stepped in to buy it.

The second area had a guide price of £1,000 and was sold to a mystery buyer.

Residents have questioned why they were not given first option on the land, on which they had laid turf and planted bushes and an apple tree.

Mrs Losh said: "It would have been nice, given how long we had looked after it, if they had come to us first with an offer."

Cheltenham borough councillor Helena McCloskey (LD, Charlton Kings) said: "This is part of the county's policy to raise money and in this financial situation I can't question that.

"But in this case, there was very little notice to the residents of Peel Close, who may have wanted to do something about it.

"They could have clubbed together to buy the land, but they didn't have time to do so."

Gloucestershire County Council spokeswoman Laura Biddington said: "We cannot give any details on the sale of either of these plots of land until the contracts have been signed."



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