Plans for 40,000 new Gloucestershire homes move closer

Plans to build up to 40,000 new homes in north Gloucestershire over the next 20 years have moved a step closer after councillors gave plans the go ahead.

The proposals, by Gloucester City, Cheltenham Borough and Tewkesbury Borough councils, are to meet expected rises in the county's population.

On Wednesday, councillors in Tewkesbury voted 23 to 10 in favour of the plans going out to public consultation.

The two other authorities will decide if they agree next month.

'Take control'

Housing projections produced by Conservative-controlled Gloucestershire County Council suggest there will be an increase in population in the northern part of the county of about 45,000 over the next 20 years.

Under the Localism Bill local authorities rather than government will decide where the homes will go.

But Derek Davies, cabinet member for the Built Environment, said "localism doesn't mean the right to say 'no' all the time".

"Of course they must be consulted and it must be 'yes' for a very good reason, otherwise the developers take control of it," he said.

"Here, with a joint core strategy, we are in control and we will then say where are the right places - in consultation with the public."

Details of the joint planning document are due to be published in December ahead of public comment.

The official consultation takes place between 13 December and 12 February.

The final document is not expected to be signed off and sent to government until 2014.

Elsewhere in the county, plans for 6,000 new homes in the Forest of Dean have been sent to the government to examine and these could be signed off by the end of next year.

Cotswold District Council is also drawing up plans for new new housing, with options set to be put forward in 2012.

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