Housing plan for Bishops Cleeve area sparks court battle
Plans for more than 1,000 new homes in Gloucestershire are to to be challenged in the High Court.
Developers have been given planning permission for two developments - one at Homelands Farm, the second at Cleevelands, close to Bishops Cleeve.
The plans had been rejected by Tewkesbury Borough Council, but the developers appealed and a planning inspector said they could go ahead.
Earlier the council confirmed papers have been lodged with the court.
From council buildings to the courts this scenario is becoming a running theme.
With the government passing the powers to local councils to decide where to build homes our elected councillors are responsible for drawing up housing strategies for how many homes and where they should be located.
But councillors know it is never popular to approve the creation of a new housing estate in a green field, so while the squabbling goes on in council chambers no plans are in place.
That means it is "developer heaven" because all they have to do is appeal against the decision and as long as it is a "sustainable development" more often than not the government planning inspector will sign it off.
Councillor Derek Davies said a senior planning barrister had advised the authority that there is a "strong case" to challenge the secretary of state's decision.
"There is an overarching principle in planning that requires policy to be interpreted and applied in such a way that is consistent with the reasons behind that policy.
"We feel that the secretary of state has failed to apply this principle in this case," he added.
For more than a decade nearby residents have been fighting the development, saying it narrows the gap between Cleeve and Gotherington and that the local infrastructure cannot cope, although some do accept more "affordable" homes are needed in the area.
The two packages of land - one at Homelands Farm 2, the other at Cleevelands - could see about 1,000 new homes built alongside the 450 homes currently being put up at the site known as Homelands 1.
It is believed Tewkesbury Borough Council will argue the authority is working on a housing plan - which is not yet finished - and that the planning inspector should have given its draft proposals more thought before making his decision.
The village of Bishops Cleeve lies at the foot of Cleeve Hill, the highest point in the Cotswolds.