Stroud and Stonehouse 'new town' plans get backing

Map showing Eastington on the left and Stonehouse on the right Image copyright Google
Image caption The new homes will be built between Eastington and Stonehouse

Plans for more than 1,000 new homes in Gloucestershire have been agreed in principle by councillors in Stroud.

The district council granted outline planning permission for the scheme, west of Stonehouse and Stroud, on Tuesday evening by eight votes to two.

Critics say the development will "overwhelm" the parish of Eastington - more than doubling the number of homes.

Developers say they are providing "much needed housing".

The site, close to the M5, is currently largely agricultural and those opposed to the plans have said the scheme will create a "dormitory town", cut off from Stonehouse by the railway line and heavily reliant on cars.

But the area had been earmarked for housing in Stroud's 2015 Local Plan - which sets out planning policy up to 2031.

Councillor Stephen Moore, chairman of development control, told BBC Radio Gloucestershire that the advice from the experts was that "journey times around there will actually be improved" because of measures planned for local roads.

But he added: "A large part of the plan has yet to be approved."

A spokesman for developers, Robert Hitchins Ltd, said they knew the plans were "controversial" but they wanted to work with locals to make the development "a real asset".

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