Bishops Cleeve and Gotherington residents oppose plans

Bishops Cleeve The village of Bishops Cleeve lies at the foot of Cleeve Hill, the highest point in the Cotswolds

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Residents in two Gloucestershire communities have said new houses being built nearby could undermine the identity of their villages.

Bishops Cleeve and Gotherington are less than a mile apart and work is under way on 450 new homes on fields in between.

Project developers Comparo Limited said there is a "demand and market" for more housing and business space.

But Peter Badham, from Bishops Cleeve Chamber of Commerce, said: "The trouble is that it's a foot in the door."

Sylvia Stokes from Gotherington Parish Council added: "I moved into this area to be in a village. We're standing here in a position of outstanding natural beauty, looking at Cleeve Hill, and we can only just see the tops of houses in Bishops Cleeve at the moment."

The developers maintain that a "significant area" between the two villages will remain undeveloped.

Jonathan Orton, from the project's planning consultants Origin 3, said: "There is a huge demand for additional housing in Bishops Cleeve which is unmet, in particular affordable housing.

"We're very confident that the proposals we've put forward are very sensible and sustainable."

A planning application has also been submitted by the developers to build a business park and plans for another 450 homes are on hold, ahead of an appeal in September.

The developers say the new business park would create nearly 200 jobs.

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