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It was standing room only as over four hundred local people crowded into meetings in Honeybourne and Mickleton last night (Friday) to hear about the impact on Worcestershire and Gloucestershire of the new town the government wants to build at Long Marston

The first meeting was televised live by Central News.

The two meetings were organised by the Better Accessible Responsible Development Campaign group, BARD and local group member and Pebworth parish councillor Dave Cranage. Also in the audience were county, district and parish councillors from the wider Vale and Cotswold communities. They were addressed by Jack Hegarty, managing Director of Wychavon district council, who gave a factual account of what was planned and of the process, by local councillors from Stratford, the Vale of Evesham and the north Cotswolds, and by local MPs Peter Luff and Geoffrey Clifton-Brown.

Commenting, Peter Luff said,

"The main purpose of the meetings was to nail the lie that the new town is a problem just for Warwickshire. It would be as close to Evesham and Chipping Camden as it would to Stratford, and its impact would be just as devastating on these communities and all the villages in the area as on Shakespeare country. And of course, a third of the site is in Worcestershire and its boundary fence is the border with Gloucestershire - it's that close!

"We also wanted to help people to make their voices heard. They were encouraged to study the government's eco-town consultation document and to write and e-mail their protests, copying those messages to local councils and MPs. They have to do this before the consultation ends on 30th June. They were also advised to sign the Downing Street petition and to get in touch with the BARD campaign."

Peter told the meetings that the whole idea of eco-towns was flawed - they would be bad for the environment as people drove from them to work, and they would not address housing need where it actually existed, so they would become the sink estates of the future.

For information about the wider campaign, visit:

To view the government's consultation document, visit:

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