NEARLY a dozen new homes are to be built in the centre of Cirencester despite the district council refusing planning permission on more than one occasion.

Last week it emerged that Cotswold District Council’s lack of Local Plan was responsible for the Planning Inspectorate successfully appealing against its previous decision to refuse planning permission for nine new properties in Black Jack Street in Cirencester.

The council refused permission for the build twice, first in June 2012 on grounds that the development was not in keeping with the character of the area and again in December 2012 when members believed access to the site would pose a risk to pedestrians.

A report, put together by the Planning Inspectorate, said: “The provision of an area acknowledged to lack a five year supply of housing, coupled with the enhancement that would be brought to the conservation area...heavily outweighed the harm to the significance of the designated heritage asset affected that would be caused.”

This is not the first time that CDC has had its planning decision overturned, last year the Planning Inspectorate reversed the council’s decision not to permit 300 homes in Tetbury.

CDC fought the decision in the High Court but the appeal was quashed when the judge heard that the council was only capable of building 1,711 houses in the Cotswolds over the next five years.

During a debate in the House of Lords last week, the Lib Dem peer Lord Tyler accused Cotswold District Council of “dragging its heels” on producing a Local Plan.

Cllr Nick Parsons, CDC cabinet member for forward planning, said that the council hopes to publish its draft Local Plan for public consultation later in the year.