Work starts on controversial Gloucester housing estate

Image caption, Developers said they were building a community, not just houses

A turf-cutting ceremony has taken place to mark the start of work on a controversial housing development.

More than 1,700 homes are to be built in Hardwicke, on the border of Gloucester and Stroud.

The Hunts Grove development will include a primary school, supermarket, family-friendly pub and play area.

The scheme was examined by a public inquiry after concerns from some residents and politicians in both districts, but was eventually approved.

'Sports pitches'

The former Gloucester MP Parmjit Dhanda was concerned that people on the estate would pay taxes to Stroud District Council but use many of Gloucester's services.

The former MP for Stroud David Drew had also opposed the plans, saying new housing should be dispersed throughout the district, rather than concentrated in one place.

Just before the turf-cutting ceremony, John Terry, a senior executive for developers Crest Nicholson, said: "As the scheme develops, we're going to be providing some sports pitches, a place of worship, so we will be building a community.

"It's not simply a question of building some houses and doing a run, as it were. These are proper family homes, planned for a community."

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