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Diocese of Gloucester accused of cover up over land dispute

Mon 12 Oct 2015
By Antony Bushfield

A cross bench peer has accused the Diocese of Gloucester of trying to cover up plans to sell off land to housing developers.

Lord Geoffrey Dear, who's speaking on behalf of local residents, said Church bosses failed to consult locals over the decision to sell the land in Willersey, a currently unspoilt area of the Cotswolds.

Last week, the diocese revealed the Bishop of Gloucester Rt Revd Rachel Treweek had received hate mail over the move. Some residents had sent rotten food.

Responding to the allegations of a cover up, a spokesman said: "The Diocese of Gloucester has not sought to conceal anything from the parish concerning the sale of glebe land in Willersey and we categorically deny any accusations of a cover up.

"We have listened to and heard what the people of Willersey have said. No final decisions have been made regarding the future of this land and no deals have been signed with any developer.

"What we want to focus on now is how we move forward, and we are pleased that people were able to express their concerns and ask questions at the public meeting last week and knew they had been heard.

"We will now reflect on what has been said before going back to the parish. The parish council and the people of Willersey will be the first to be told of our decision."

The development plans will see a maximum of 75 houses on around eight acres of land.

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