Gloucestershire

Cirencester Town Council objects to new houses proposal

Plans to build more than 3,300 homes around Cirencester have raised objections from the town council.

The proposals are included in a local plan put forward by Cotswold District Council, which is currently open for consultation.

It suggests putting 49% of the homes and most of the social housing in one place to the south of Cirencester.

The town council said it would be better to build smaller developments across the district.

It said building such a large number of homes in the Chesterton area would attract commuters and disadvantage young people in rural areas.

"It is known there is a demand and need for small amounts of housing in large and small villages," it added.

'Non-descript town'

The town council said Gloucestershire-wide studies suggested that large-scale housing in the south of the district would be occupied as much as 50% by newcomers to the area.

The authority also claimed the future growth, as planned, would turn Cirencester into "a non-descript, suburbanised, mid-sized town".

Cotswold District Council, however, said that studies had shown Cirencester to be the most sustainable area in district for development.

"The area to the south [at Chesterton] is suitable in planning terms, available for development and is of a sufficient scale to accommodate future growth requirements," it added.

The district council pointed out the area was considered acceptable, in principle, for large-scale development by an independent inspector at the last Local Plan inquiry in 2004.

It also said the Preferred Development Strategy would allow for affordable homes in sustainable rural communities across the district, but must focus on towns and larger villages where there were already development opportunities for at least 40 new homes.

To serve the development area near Chesterton, there are also plans for new roads and paths as well as local facilities such as shops, health care, schools and parks.

The consultation closes on Friday.

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