Tetbury set to be swamped with housing after losing fight against Highfield Farm and Berrells Road developments

First published in News

TETBURY has lost its fight against plans to build around 300 homes on greenfield land in the town.

Cotswold District Council refused applications for a 250 home estate at Highfield Farm and a 39 home estate near Berrells Road, both on greenfield land in Tetbury.

Today, the secretary of state for environment, food and rural affairs endorsed the planning inspectorate’s recommendation to overturn CDC’s refusals on both developments.

This follows on from a Planning Inspectorate decision in January to allow an appeal which paves the way to develop 50 houses on land at Kemble.

CDC leader Cllr Lynden Stowe was angry about the decision.

“This is another sad day for the Cotswolds. The Planning Inspectorate are behaving like a gang of gun-slinging outlaws in the Wild West and are totally ignoring local people.

“These decisions show a total disregard for the concept of localism and the views of the Tetbury community, both of which have been virtually ignored while favouring the developers. "

Cabinet member Cllr Barry Gibbs, one of the three ward members for Tetbury, said: “The community, parish and district councillors and other parties were united in opposition to these proposals, especially since there are approved brownfield options which have had universal acceptance in the town .

This controlled planning by the local councillors has been trampled over in this decision.

The government says it is committed to allow locally set housing targets, but in Tetbury – and in the case of Kemble too - we feel that decision-making has been taken out of our hands even when it is clear that, working with local residents, we are best placed to make judgements about future development in our own back yard.

"Tetbury is now faced with a potential of nearly 450 new houses - a 15 per cent increase in the population - and, in the case of the greenfield sites, without any contribution to the town's infrastructure or community facilities.”

Cllr Stowe added: "The Localism Act was meant to allow ordinary people to have a say in future development in their areas. Instead, all the emphasis has been placed on a national drive to find more space for housing even when there are valid objections to specific sites at the local level.

“Let’s be clear - it’s appeals inspectors and not elected Cotswold councillors who are allowing the Cotswolds to be concreted over. I have previously taken the matter up with our Member of Parliament, Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, and it looks like the appeal process completely ignores the views of local MPs too.

“The Council fully appreciates the requirement to meet local housing need, and we are working proactively to support communities while identifying and delivering new sites for housing. Through community-led planning initiatives and in negotiations with developers, Town and Parish councillors and residents, communities are securing improvements to services and facilities as a direct result of new development.

"In other words, we cannot be accused of NIMBYism – we realise that some change is inevitable but we are trying to manage this even though we are hindered on a daily basis by the mixed messages and 'U-turns' coming out of government."

Cllr Sue Jepson, cabinet member for planning, said: “We believe that a forthcoming objective assessment of our housing numbers should counteract the serious threat to the landscape and heritage of the Cotswolds stemming from unwanted development. This will also support the on-going work to set out the strategy for future development in the district over the next 20 years through a new Local Plan which is due to be published for consultation in a few months time.

“In the meantime, the Council will continue to support local communities participating in the planning process, and we will do our best to influence where future developments take place despite the significant setbacks we have experienced in Tetbury.”

CDC has engaged an independent housing expert to scrutinise its housing numbers. Technical modelling and data is being reviewed, including new evidence such as the latest census figures, with a report due in the next few weeks.

Comments (14)

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5:18pm Thu 14 Feb 13

Worcester Lad says...

I am so sad for you Tetbury,it will spoiled a lovely part of your town.I remember the green fields along Berrells Road containing cows.I used to play in the fields with my brother,my family lived in the road.So sad,so sad.
I am so sad for you Tetbury,it will spoiled a lovely part of your town.I remember the green fields along Berrells Road containing cows.I used to play in the fields with my brother,my family lived in the road.So sad,so sad. Worcester Lad
  • Score: 0

7:54pm Thu 14 Feb 13

Olly Cromwell says...

The Wilts & Glos should do some digging before repeating word for word a CDC press release.

Whilst the 3 Tory Cabinet Members named above huff and puff, wringing their hands and blaming their own Conservative led Government, the truth is they have let the whole of the Cotswolds down and left the gate open.

If a Local Planning strategy had been in place for the whole of the Cotswolds then large opportunistic developments from greedy developers would not be possible.These appeals win because there is no defence as CDC cannot point to a a strategic Plan and so direct the pan-handlers to those areas.

It's a lack of vision and a lack of leadership and it's the fault of these 3 muppets.They only have themselves to blame.

When is change a comin?
The Wilts & Glos should do some digging before repeating word for word a CDC press release. Whilst the 3 Tory Cabinet Members named above huff and puff, wringing their hands and blaming their own Conservative led Government, the truth is they have let the whole of the Cotswolds down and left the gate open. If a Local Planning strategy had been in place for the whole of the Cotswolds then large opportunistic developments from greedy developers would not be possible.These appeals win because there is no defence as CDC cannot point to a a strategic Plan and so direct the pan-handlers to those areas. It's a lack of vision and a lack of leadership and it's the fault of these 3 muppets.They only have themselves to blame. When is change a comin? Olly Cromwell
  • Score: 0

5:43pm Fri 15 Feb 13

George Loveless says...

Mr Cromwell eloquently says it as it is.

The Wilts & Glos should be put to shame for giving the political elite such lengthy column inches; without first establishing any facts. CDC’s press release, printed word of word, is a blatant pre-emptive political strike by these 3 Tory Cabinet Members in an attempt to distance themselves from any criticism of wasting tax payers money.

So, the Council Leader is “angry”. I can tell you, not as angry as us hard working Council Tax Payers.

These “muppets” have spent hundreds of thousands of pounds trying to defend the indefensible; appeal after appeal is lost by them. Yet arrogantly they blame others for their failure to plan, their lack of vision and their lack of proper leadership.

In the meantime, our kids can’t afford homes, our nurses and police officers can’t afford to live where they work. Businesses find it hard to recruit because the work force is forced to move out of the District. And our trades and building crafts decline.
All to protect a Manorial fiefdom for the rich and famous.

The press release is disingenuous and shows scant regard for honesty and transparency with the electorate.

“We raise the watchword, liberty. We will, we will, we will be free!"

GL
Mr Cromwell eloquently says it as it is. The Wilts & Glos should be put to shame for giving the political elite such lengthy column inches; without first establishing any facts. CDC’s press release, printed word of word, is a blatant pre-emptive political strike by these 3 Tory Cabinet Members in an attempt to distance themselves from any criticism of wasting tax payers money. So, the Council Leader is “angry”. I can tell you, not as angry as us hard working Council Tax Payers. These “muppets” have spent hundreds of thousands of pounds trying to defend the indefensible; appeal after appeal is lost by them. Yet arrogantly they blame others for their failure to plan, their lack of vision and their lack of proper leadership. In the meantime, our kids can’t afford homes, our nurses and police officers can’t afford to live where they work. Businesses find it hard to recruit because the work force is forced to move out of the District. And our trades and building crafts decline. All to protect a Manorial fiefdom for the rich and famous. The press release is disingenuous and shows scant regard for honesty and transparency with the electorate. “We raise the watchword, liberty. We will, we will, we will be free!" GL George Loveless
  • Score: 0

7:15pm Fri 15 Feb 13

Crispin Mount says...

The Wild West analogy was first used by Cllr Esmond Jenkins some years back about the Water Park.

Where Cllr Jenkins clearly plays the role of Shane we are still left wondering who is actually playing the role of Rufus Ryker and Jack Wilson?

We'll soon know.
The Wild West analogy was first used by Cllr Esmond Jenkins some years back about the Water Park. Where Cllr Jenkins clearly plays the role of Shane we are still left wondering who is actually playing the role of Rufus Ryker and Jack Wilson? We'll soon know. Crispin Mount
  • Score: 0

7:40pm Fri 15 Feb 13

GrumpyOleMan says...

The W&G won't put out the 'real' story on the website a week before they can print it.
I'll wait for Thursday, then maybe grumble.
The W&G won't put out the 'real' story on the website a week before they can print it. I'll wait for Thursday, then maybe grumble. GrumpyOleMan
  • Score: 0

10:19pm Fri 15 Feb 13

Don't tell him Pike says...

It is interesting to read that old chestnut of 'I can remember playing in those fields and there were cows etc etc'.
Yes I can remember lush green fields in Berrells Rd, I also remember the same with Charlton Rd, Chavenage Lane, Hampton St, I even remember Conygar before that estate went up. What people forget time and time again as they peruse their memories through rose tinted glasses is that where they used to live was once fields.
It seems that people want to do nothing but retain the status quo, they want somewhere to live but forget that the younger generations also need somewhere to live, and hopefully at an affordable price. I, like many of my peers have had to move away,Tetbury has effectively become 'old mens shoes', you don't stand a chance of getting in until they pop their clogs.
Care of older family members become increasingly difficult because there's nowhere to live or you have to travel some distance to do it.
It is always interesting to read when councillors throw teddy out of the bed and set upon a course of legal appeal after appeal, having played the legal game it takes guts to say enough is enough, of course when somebody else is picking up the tab it doesn't really matter, when it comes out of your own pocket, well that's a different matter.
It is interesting to read that old chestnut of 'I can remember playing in those fields and there were cows etc etc'. Yes I can remember lush green fields in Berrells Rd, I also remember the same with Charlton Rd, Chavenage Lane, Hampton St, I even remember Conygar before that estate went up. What people forget time and time again as they peruse their memories through rose tinted glasses is that where they used to live was once fields. It seems that people want to do nothing but retain the status quo, they want somewhere to live but forget that the younger generations also need somewhere to live, and hopefully at an affordable price. I, like many of my peers have had to move away,Tetbury has effectively become 'old mens shoes', you don't stand a chance of getting in until they pop their clogs. Care of older family members become increasingly difficult because there's nowhere to live or you have to travel some distance to do it. It is always interesting to read when councillors throw teddy out of the bed and set upon a course of legal appeal after appeal, having played the legal game it takes guts to say enough is enough, of course when somebody else is picking up the tab it doesn't really matter, when it comes out of your own pocket, well that's a different matter. Don't tell him Pike
  • Score: 0

10:13am Sun 17 Feb 13

Robert Jeanes says...

So, Councillor Stowe is not happy with new, much-needed real homes in a town the size of Tetbury? Volte-face springs to mind.

No tears or squeals were afforded for Fairford on whom his planners foisted an entire village of 145 multi-storey "luxury" second homes. The population increase which will supplement that of Fairford's 3200 and 4 years on is unmentionable subject shrouded in secrecy and obfuscation; it thus remains unreported. Plus 20% is unchallenged.

Tetbury was very lucky to have local councillors who voted against wholesale change for their town but they will now know that planning rules nowadays seem largely to favour developers. Take note that in our case, the same CDC even recommended and passed building this 'village' in the Coln flood plain!

Councillor Stowe's outpourings along with those of Councillor Jepson 'stemming unwanted development' in the Cotswolds - might best be taken with a large pinch of salt.
So, Councillor Stowe is not happy with new, much-needed real homes in a town the size of Tetbury? Volte-face springs to mind. No tears or squeals were afforded for Fairford on whom his planners foisted an entire village of 145 multi-storey "luxury" second homes. The population increase which will supplement that of Fairford's 3200 and 4 years on is unmentionable subject shrouded in secrecy and obfuscation; it thus remains unreported. Plus 20% is unchallenged. Tetbury was very lucky to have local councillors who voted against wholesale change for their town but they will now know that planning rules nowadays seem largely to favour developers. Take note that in our case, the same CDC even recommended and passed building this 'village' in the Coln flood plain! Councillor Stowe's outpourings along with those of Councillor Jepson 'stemming unwanted development' in the Cotswolds - might best be taken with a large pinch of salt. Robert Jeanes
  • Score: 0

10:36am Sun 17 Feb 13

Council Taxpayer says...

The problem with Cllr Stowe and his Cotswold Media Ltd cronies (Sue Jepson, quoted above, is among them) is that, for several years, they have had their eye off the ball, doling out holiday home planning consents to developers in the Water Park like jelly tots to infants.
Around 1,500 such consents were approved, not to meet the genuine housing needs of local families but to provide luxury weekend pads for well-heeled London bankers, hedge fund managers and non-domiciled foreigners who pay no UK tax.
While Cllr Stowe's Tory regime, which has already admitted that it is perceived as a bunch of "toffs legislating for toffs", was busy creating this milionaire's, uniform-guard-patrol
led, gated utopia, it totally neglected its duty to put a proper planning strategy in place.
As other commentators have noted, such gross negligence left the gate wide open for developers to descend like vultures on our towns and villages.
Cllr Stowe's publishing company, Cotswold Media, has admitted receiving advertising revenue from the Water Park holiday home developers. There is still a fog surrounding exactly how much.
In fact, Cllr Jepson, cabinet member for planning, was the lady who sold the advertising space, though Cllr Stowe, her boss at the publishing firm who is also her boss at CDC, explained that it was all above board, so that all right then.
Many true Conservatives in the Cotswolds have already abandoned the Stowe & Co brand of Toryism in disgust. It is certainly does not reflect David Cameron's rebranding of the party in a bid to ditch the "nasty" tag.
I am astounded that this disingenuous piece of Stowe whitewash was put out by the CDC press officer, Bob McNally, without the slightest attempt at balance.
The real story is that this is a case of incompetence by the CDC cabinet on which they have spent a fortune in taxpayers' cash fighting a hopeless cause. They were the ones who left the stable door open and their heads should now roll.
The problem with Cllr Stowe and his Cotswold Media Ltd cronies (Sue Jepson, quoted above, is among them) is that, for several years, they have had their eye off the ball, doling out holiday home planning consents to developers in the Water Park like jelly tots to infants. Around 1,500 such consents were approved, not to meet the genuine housing needs of local families but to provide luxury weekend pads for well-heeled London bankers, hedge fund managers and non-domiciled foreigners who pay no UK tax. While Cllr Stowe's Tory regime, which has already admitted that it is perceived as a bunch of "toffs legislating for toffs", was busy creating this milionaire's, uniform-guard-patrol led, gated utopia, it totally neglected its duty to put a proper planning strategy in place. As other commentators have noted, such gross negligence left the gate wide open for developers to descend like vultures on our towns and villages. Cllr Stowe's publishing company, Cotswold Media, has admitted receiving advertising revenue from the Water Park holiday home developers. There is still a fog surrounding exactly how much. In fact, Cllr Jepson, cabinet member for planning, was the lady who sold the advertising space, though Cllr Stowe, her boss at the publishing firm who is also her boss at CDC, explained that it was all above board, so that all right then. Many true Conservatives in the Cotswolds have already abandoned the Stowe & Co brand of Toryism in disgust. It is certainly does not reflect David Cameron's rebranding of the party in a bid to ditch the "nasty" tag. I am astounded that this disingenuous piece of Stowe whitewash was put out by the CDC press officer, Bob McNally, without the slightest attempt at balance. The real story is that this is a case of incompetence by the CDC cabinet on which they have spent a fortune in taxpayers' cash fighting a hopeless cause. They were the ones who left the stable door open and their heads should now roll. Council Taxpayer
  • Score: 0

7:31pm Sun 17 Feb 13

walterparkgate says...

You are attacking the wrong people Counciltax Payer, CDC Cabinet are resopnsible but not the Valepress triumvate, no, fault lies squarely in the Forward Planning empire, who charged with having a new Local Plan ready for 2010 they failed utterly and even now it is not ready, how can that happen.
Loyalty, to an underperforming Cabinet member and to a Forward Planning Empire that is not fit for purpose.
Planners cannot work effectively wthout the Policies that Forward Planning create and if this was Vale Press if a team failed to deliver they would be handed their P45s, so come on Lyndon, re shuffle the Cabinet and sack those under preforming officers
You are attacking the wrong people Counciltax Payer, CDC Cabinet are resopnsible but not the Valepress triumvate, no, fault lies squarely in the Forward Planning empire, who charged with having a new Local Plan ready for 2010 they failed utterly and even now it is not ready, how can that happen. Loyalty, to an underperforming Cabinet member and to a Forward Planning Empire that is not fit for purpose. Planners cannot work effectively wthout the Policies that Forward Planning create and if this was Vale Press if a team failed to deliver they would be handed their P45s, so come on Lyndon, re shuffle the Cabinet and sack those under preforming officers walterparkgate
  • Score: 0

9:52am Mon 18 Feb 13

JGH says...

Walterparkgate, you too may wish to sack your spellchecker.
Walterparkgate, you too may wish to sack your spellchecker. JGH
  • Score: 0

9:58am Mon 18 Feb 13

Council Taxpayer says...

Really Walter? The cabinet system concentrates all the power at CDC in the hands of eight senior councillors, three of whom form the Cotswold Media / Vale Press triumvirate. The rest of the Tory group act like a bunch of compliant sheep as far as I can see. So, sorry, the buck stops with Cllr Stowe and his cabinet chums.
Really Walter? The cabinet system concentrates all the power at CDC in the hands of eight senior councillors, three of whom form the Cotswold Media / Vale Press triumvirate. The rest of the Tory group act like a bunch of compliant sheep as far as I can see. So, sorry, the buck stops with Cllr Stowe and his cabinet chums. Council Taxpayer
  • Score: 0

2:21pm Wed 20 Feb 13

walterparkgate says...

Council Taxpayer, I just said that, more or less, sack the compliant sheep responsible for Forward Planning, reshuffle the Cabinet.
Council Taxpayer, I just said that, more or less, sack the compliant sheep responsible for Forward Planning, reshuffle the Cabinet. walterparkgate
  • Score: 0

5:21pm Wed 20 Feb 13

Olly Cromwell says...

Wally might call for Tory heads to roll on this blog but being the Tory Whip rather compromises him - don't cha fink?
Wally might call for Tory heads to roll on this blog but being the Tory Whip rather compromises him - don't cha fink? Olly Cromwell
  • Score: 0

10:01am Thu 21 Feb 13

Harry_Collier says...

The newcomers to Tetbury would be well advised to equip themselves with ex-army multi-terrain vehicles. The condition of many of Tetbury's roads would put a third-world country to shame.
The newcomers to Tetbury would be well advised to equip themselves with ex-army multi-terrain vehicles. The condition of many of Tetbury's roads would put a third-world country to shame. Harry_Collier
  • Score: 0

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