ONCE a sought-after place to live due to its excellent schools and vibrant village life, local residents have been angered by a social media post naming Mitcheldean as among the top five worst places to visit in Gloucestershire.
They have vowed to fight back to regain a better place to live and an action group has been formed to lobby councillors into improving the worst eye-sores in the middle of the village.
Spearheaded by Parish Councillor Tracey Cruickshank, the group of local residents obtained over 860 letters of protest, which were delivered to Councillors Jackie Fraser and Trevor Roach (Green Party) this week.
Tracey said “We don’t expect miracles, or for the Planning Department to suddenly grant the applications that have been persistently denied over several years, what we want is for the derelict site of The Old George Hotel to be cleared of rubble and debris and other dangerous buildings in the village made safe.”
It was suggested at the action group meeting that, as a temporary measure, decorative hoardings, similar to those used on select development sites, could be erected to screen the worst areas and local children encouraged to design artwork to go on them.
Residents agreed anything would look better than the current state of the area.
A memorial bench, dedicated to three village boys killed in an accident and the village recycling bin are currently unusable and stuck behind a mesh cage due to falling masonry.
One passer-by even had masonry fall into her pram!
Councillor Jackie Fraser commented “I have been trying to achieve action from the Planning Department and the site owner for some time. I have contacted the Development Officer who wrote to the owner giving a statutory four week notice to respond. This was ignored so I have now asked for it to be escalated as a legal matter”.
Councillor Trevor Roach is keen to promote the concept of a better village community and would like to encourage more villages to take care of their assets so residents can feel the definite benefits of living in a community that cares.
The Mitcheldean Action Group have raised funds to purchase a banner to cover part of the brambles and hide some of the rubble to promote awareness of their goals.
The next meeting, to discuss the council’s response and how to move forward, will be at Mitcheldean Community Centre on September 21 at 7:00 pm.
Anyone with an interest in improving the village is welcome to attend.