The dispute between the two villages has been smouldering throughout the summer and will come to a head on Wednesday, 16th September, when the housing proposal is considered by the district council’s west area planning committee.
The land in question is known as Tiddington Fields and residents living nearby are outraged that Clifford Chambers Charities has made it available for development.
They have formed themselves into an action group called STOP (Save Tiddington Fields; Oppose Planning) and their spokeswoman, Emma Scott, told the Herald this week: “We are so upset to see these precious fields under threat. “We are aware that the residents of Clifford Chambers have just fought off a similar development in their own village.
“With that in mind, we appeal to the people of Clifford Chambers and the trustees of the charity to think twice before taking away the lungs of our village.”
Lifelong Tiddington resident, Helen Campbell, said: “I have lived in this village for 56 years and have seen these fields first used for grazing by the local milkman’s shire horses, Starlight and Mary, then by Alveston Football Club as a football pitch, and by children throughout the years as an idyllic place to build dens and play.
“In all seasons these fields are so beautiful and it will be such a sad loss to our village if they are built on.”
Mrs Scott said Tiddington was a tight-knit village with a strong community spirit, but it had limited infrastructure and already suffered from substantial traffic problems.
She said Tiddington Fields had been owned by Clifford Chambers Charities for nearly 300 years and had served a variety of purposes for Tiddington village over that time. Mrs Scott said she is aghast at the prospect of 60 homes being built on “this historic and much-loved piece of land”.
She added: “This will have a massive impact on most residents of Tiddington, as the site is a popular haunt for local dog walkers and nature lovers.” STOP would now like to see Clifford Chambers Charities respond in the same way as Stratford Town Trust over Rowley Fields — bow to public pressure and abandon its plans.
During the summer opponents of the proposed housing development have been in regular contact with Len Potter, the chairman of Clifford Chambers Charities, protesting about the organisation’s decision to make the land available for building purposes.
Mr Potter told the Herald this week that he did not wish to comment on the issue at this stage.
But in one reply to a letter from a Tiddington resident he wrote: “The charity receives an income from the land and this, along with other investments, enables the trustees to make grants after expenses and reserves.
“If the land at Tiddington does receive planning permission then the proceeds will be reinvested and any additional income must be used for the charities’ grant-giving purposes.”
Mr Potter added: “This is a planning issue, so naturally the trustees will not be engaging with your village directly.
“Gallaghers have already consulted with the Tiddington Village Residents’ Association before the pre-application, as well as Stratford District Council.”