Developers behind Chesterton expansion in Cirencester seek local views

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Developers behind Chesterton expansion in Cirencester seek local views Developers behind Chesterton expansion in Cirencester seek local views

RESIDENTS in Cirencester are being given the opportunity to meet with architects to discuss controversial proposals that could bring more than 2,000 homes to the town over the next 17 years.

As part of Cotswold District Council’s Local Plan, which sets out the district’s housing requirements, up to 2,500 houses could be built on land to the south of Chesterton by 2031.

Next month a unique event will be held over a weekend where architects behind the project will meet with members of the community before drawing up their plans for the area.

Charles Campion, of John Thompson and Partners architecture firm, said that the land at Chesterton is being viewed as a clean slate.

“Every view is welcome and every view will be taken on board. We want as many people as possible to join in with the process,” he said.

“This is about people getting their voices heard at the earliest opportunity and we really want to encourage as much participation as possible.”

As part of the community planning weekend, residents will be able to accompany architects on a tour of the Chesterton site and ask any burning questions they may have.

Mr Campion insisted that the event is open to everyone in Cirencester, even those who have reacted negatively to the proposals.

“We are not trying to change people’s minds. We hope that people will come along and see the possibility of the site. At this stage, it’s about working with the local community,” he said.

Following the public workshop weekend, the John Thompson and Partners team will analyse the feedback and draw up a master plan for the new Chesterton neighbourhood.

This plan, which will include an artist’s impression of the site, will then be presented to the public on Wednesday, May 14.

News of the event has been well received by Chesterton ward member Cllr Margaret Rickman, who said it was vitally important people attend.

“I would urge all people to go to these meetings to find out the facts and to hear all the details of the project,” she said.

When the proposed Chesterton development was first announced in May 2013, it was met with largely negative views by the local community.

Writing at the time and on behalf of the Chesterton Community Project, Cllr Roly Hughes said: “The development of 2,500 homes on open farmland will, in our opinion, have a significant impact on the character of the town.”

He also drew attention to the fact that if the development goes ahead, the number of homes in Chesterton will increase from 1,600 to 4,100.

“Now surely this is far too many homes for such a small place,” he said.

The community planning weekend events will take place on Friday, May 9 and Saturday, May 10 at the Ashcroft Centre in Ashcroft Road.

Visit www.chestertoncirencester.co.uk for further information.

Comments (18)

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9:43am Thu 10 Apr 14

Fred Fred1 says...

Once it has been built on it can never be undone. Cirencester is meant to be surrounded by beautiful Cotswold Countryside not part of some pointless urban sprawl.

Given that most houses have more than one car - do we need another let's say 3,000 cars trying to fit into the towns car parks and roads? We don't have the schools, hospitals or other infrastructures required to make the jump in size.

Put simply this will be an irreversible act of destruction and is neither wanted nor needed.
Once it has been built on it can never be undone. Cirencester is meant to be surrounded by beautiful Cotswold Countryside not part of some pointless urban sprawl. Given that most houses have more than one car - do we need another let's say 3,000 cars trying to fit into the towns car parks and roads? We don't have the schools, hospitals or other infrastructures required to make the jump in size. Put simply this will be an irreversible act of destruction and is neither wanted nor needed. Fred Fred1
  • Score: 19

11:04am Thu 10 Apr 14

Olly Cromwell says...

This situation has arisen because Tory run Cotswold District Council has no Local development Plan for the District, and has proceeded to 'dump on Cirencester' in a desperate bid to hit DISTRICT wide housing targets.

Oh, some Tory landowning chums also sold the site to make this happen.

Fancy that !
This situation has arisen because Tory run Cotswold District Council has no Local development Plan for the District, and has proceeded to 'dump on Cirencester' in a desperate bid to hit DISTRICT wide housing targets. Oh, some Tory landowning chums also sold the site to make this happen. Fancy that ! Olly Cromwell
  • Score: 16

12:10pm Thu 10 Apr 14

Geoff66 says...

A wrong move for Cirencester and the wrong move for Chesterton.

Cirencester simply can't cope with this size of development, yet alone an expansion of this magnitude to its population, without firstly looking at the town's infrastructure, resources and amenities....which are already struggling to cope and meet growing needs and demands.

This isn't about doubling the size of Chesterton, this is about Cirencester creating a NEW Chesterton and a brand new ward.
A wrong move for Cirencester and the wrong move for Chesterton. Cirencester simply can't cope with this size of development, yet alone an expansion of this magnitude to its population, without firstly looking at the town's infrastructure, resources and amenities....which are already struggling to cope and meet growing needs and demands. This isn't about doubling the size of Chesterton, this is about Cirencester creating a NEW Chesterton and a brand new ward. Geoff66
  • Score: 14

12:10pm Thu 10 Apr 14

Geoff66 says...

A wrong move for Cirencester and the wrong move for Chesterton.

Cirencester simply can't cope with this size of development, yet alone an expansion of this magnitude to its population, without firstly looking at the town's infrastructure, resources and amenities....which are already struggling to cope and meet growing needs and demands.

This isn't about doubling the size of Chesterton, this is about Cirencester creating a NEW Chesterton and a brand new ward.
A wrong move for Cirencester and the wrong move for Chesterton. Cirencester simply can't cope with this size of development, yet alone an expansion of this magnitude to its population, without firstly looking at the town's infrastructure, resources and amenities....which are already struggling to cope and meet growing needs and demands. This isn't about doubling the size of Chesterton, this is about Cirencester creating a NEW Chesterton and a brand new ward. Geoff66
  • Score: 2

1:18pm Thu 10 Apr 14

Cotswold Lad says...

"Two thousand homes over 17 years" is just a crock of s*it - the developers will build as fast as they possibly can while the Govt's Help to Buy scheme is running. The picture of the site also reveals how it can be expanded to nudge up to the Kemble Road. The local people need to get their act together to stop this ruining the town.
"Two thousand homes over 17 years" is just a crock of s*it - the developers will build as fast as they possibly can while the Govt's Help to Buy scheme is running. The picture of the site also reveals how it can be expanded to nudge up to the Kemble Road. The local people need to get their act together to stop this ruining the town. Cotswold Lad
  • Score: 15

3:05pm Thu 10 Apr 14

Geoff66 says...

Since this development was raised, no one has been prepared to talk about how this development is to be accessed. I can't see a new entrance being allowed on the busy Tetbury Road, so that leaves either access through the existing Chesterton Farm road, I.e. through the existing estate, or failing that via Spratsgate Lane. This would make existing traffic congestion diabolical.
Lets no forget we could be talking about an additional 2500 - 5000 additional journeys being made at least twice everyday. Cirencester residents already know that traffic is a nightmare in this part of town. Surely cirencester's existing road network won't be able to cope, yet alone survive this expansion??
Since this development was raised, no one has been prepared to talk about how this development is to be accessed. I can't see a new entrance being allowed on the busy Tetbury Road, so that leaves either access through the existing Chesterton Farm road, I.e. through the existing estate, or failing that via Spratsgate Lane. This would make existing traffic congestion diabolical. Lets no forget we could be talking about an additional 2500 - 5000 additional journeys being made at least twice everyday. Cirencester residents already know that traffic is a nightmare in this part of town. Surely cirencester's existing road network won't be able to cope, yet alone survive this expansion?? Geoff66
  • Score: 14

4:05pm Thu 10 Apr 14

Jessica Rabbit says...

I agree with all the above.... This is not about adding to Chesterton, this is building an entire new community.. Cirencester town can not cope with this. If this were to go ahead then there would be a need for 2 new primary schools, a new secondary school, large supermarkets, large multistorey car parks.... Cirencester town will no longer be a market town... It will be more like Swindon! Perhaps CDC and CTC could spend the money on improving what Cirencester already has and restore it to something residents can be proud of.
I agree with all the above.... This is not about adding to Chesterton, this is building an entire new community.. Cirencester town can not cope with this. If this were to go ahead then there would be a need for 2 new primary schools, a new secondary school, large supermarkets, large multistorey car parks.... Cirencester town will no longer be a market town... It will be more like Swindon! Perhaps CDC and CTC could spend the money on improving what Cirencester already has and restore it to something residents can be proud of. Jessica Rabbit
  • Score: 13

4:12pm Thu 10 Apr 14

Fred Fred1 says...

Also where are these 2,500 households going to find employment?
Also where are these 2,500 households going to find employment? Fred Fred1
  • Score: 13

5:01pm Thu 10 Apr 14

Jessica Rabbit says...

In all the new buildings I mentioned above!! ha ha!!
In all the new buildings I mentioned above!! ha ha!! Jessica Rabbit
  • Score: 2

2:18am Fri 11 Apr 14

Alvin Sepert says...

Two thousand more houses for Ciren
That’s what the bureaucrats plan
A sea of new buildings and roadways
On what is unspoiled Farm Land.

Land opposite to the Ag College
Between there and Somerford Road
On southern edge of Cirencester
Chesterton Farm as it’s known

They’re holding a wide consultation
Friday Ninth. Saturday Tenth of May
In the Ashcroft Centre in Ciren
With a follow up on the Wednesday.

The want peoples views and their comments
About things that matter to them
Should the flats be in blocks of a dozen
Or maybe in clusters of Ten.

They’re seeking your views on the access,
And should they have through roads or not
To stop it becoming a rat run
At rush hour around nine o’clock.

They want your feedback on materials,
Would you like honeyed stone or red brick.
Wood or PVC Window framing
And glazing bars narrow or thick?

They’re seeking your views on the roofing
Would you prefer pan tiles or slats
Or maybe corrugated asbestos
Perhaps you think they should be thatched.

They canvass your views on the details.
The trivia of no account
But not on the things that concern us
Where they build, and of course the amount.

For bureaucracy has decided
The land down Chesterton way
Will be home to two thousand houses
And they’ll do it whatever we say.
Two thousand more houses for Ciren That’s what the bureaucrats plan A sea of new buildings and roadways On what is unspoiled Farm Land. Land opposite to the Ag College Between there and Somerford Road On southern edge of Cirencester Chesterton Farm as it’s known They’re holding a wide consultation Friday Ninth. Saturday Tenth of May In the Ashcroft Centre in Ciren With a follow up on the Wednesday. The want peoples views and their comments About things that matter to them Should the flats be in blocks of a dozen Or maybe in clusters of Ten. They’re seeking your views on the access, And should they have through roads or not To stop it becoming a rat run At rush hour around nine o’clock. They want your feedback on materials, Would you like honeyed stone or red brick. Wood or PVC Window framing And glazing bars narrow or thick? They’re seeking your views on the roofing Would you prefer pan tiles or slats Or maybe corrugated asbestos Perhaps you think they should be thatched. They canvass your views on the details. The trivia of no account But not on the things that concern us Where they build, and of course the amount. For bureaucracy has decided The land down Chesterton way Will be home to two thousand houses And they’ll do it whatever we say. Alvin Sepert
  • Score: -2

6:48am Fri 11 Apr 14

Supreme Chancellor Finis Valorum says...

Obviously more back handers about to be conveyed from developers to ………………..
............ (insert recipient here).

Thats the only way a development of this size will go ahead.
Obviously more back handers about to be conveyed from developers to ……………….. ............ (insert recipient here). Thats the only way a development of this size will go ahead. Supreme Chancellor Finis Valorum
  • Score: 6

6:48am Fri 11 Apr 14

Supreme Chancellor Finis Valorum says...

Obviously more back handers about to be conveyed from developers to ………………..
............ (insert recipient here).

Thats the only way a development of this size will go ahead.
Obviously more back handers about to be conveyed from developers to ……………….. ............ (insert recipient here). Thats the only way a development of this size will go ahead. Supreme Chancellor Finis Valorum
  • Score: 1

8:40am Fri 11 Apr 14

Iansky says...

Perhaps they will turn them into rented accommodation for the more well healed Aggie students!
Perhaps they will turn them into rented accommodation for the more well healed Aggie students! Iansky
  • Score: 3

1:45pm Fri 11 Apr 14

Moany Groan says...

Ok, I absolutely get it that people don't want these houses but how much do you think you are going to be listened to if you just spout 'no' in various guises? Come up with a well thought through alternative that doesn't just "dis" what is being proposed and who knows you might actually bring about some change for the better....
Ok, I absolutely get it that people don't want these houses but how much do you think you are going to be listened to if you just spout 'no' in various guises? Come up with a well thought through alternative that doesn't just "dis" what is being proposed and who knows you might actually bring about some change for the better.... Moany Groan
  • Score: 6

3:10pm Fri 11 Apr 14

Fred Fred1 says...

The tree planting that was carried out in 2000 (from memory?) all around this proposed housing estate to screen it from the road was no coincidence, the lack of local plan, the fact that Cirencester has already taken a huge number of new houses (many of which are still empty 3 years after completion even with 5% deposit deals). The large number of properties that are on the market. All of that stacks up to the fact that this has been pre-planned and agreed to years ago and quite simply Ciren DOES NOT NEED 2,500 new houses. Sometimes the people who care have to say enough is enough - it is up to the council to then look at alternatives not the population who voted them into look after their best interests.

Many suggestions are made - redevelop brownfield sites on Love Lane for commercial premises - & build more houses in town (it is called a town because it is defined as having a higher population than the countryside). There are many options that should happen well before irreversibly destroying countryside. The land out towards Siddington has been refused planning several times - this decision needs to be overturned too. Look outside the immediate area at other towns which have grown, lost their identities and absorbed villages.IT has an overall degenerating effect on the town - take Poundbury as a classic example.
The tree planting that was carried out in 2000 (from memory?) all around this proposed housing estate to screen it from the road was no coincidence, the lack of local plan, the fact that Cirencester has already taken a huge number of new houses (many of which are still empty 3 years after completion even with 5% deposit deals). The large number of properties that are on the market. All of that stacks up to the fact that this has been pre-planned and agreed to years ago and quite simply Ciren DOES NOT NEED 2,500 new houses. Sometimes the people who care have to say enough is enough - it is up to the council to then look at alternatives not the population who voted them into look after their best interests. Many suggestions are made - redevelop brownfield sites on Love Lane for commercial premises - & build more houses in town (it is called a town because it is defined as having a higher population than the countryside). There are many options that should happen well before irreversibly destroying countryside. The land out towards Siddington has been refused planning several times - this decision needs to be overturned too. Look outside the immediate area at other towns which have grown, lost their identities and absorbed villages.IT has an overall degenerating effect on the town - take Poundbury as a classic example. Fred Fred1
  • Score: 4

3:59pm Fri 11 Apr 14

Geoff66 says...

Jessica put it quite simply - Do we want Cirencester to turn into a Swindon? (well a small scale version at least). Swindon's multiple housing estates now ring the town, and mean that many a journey into the heart of Swindon, now involves a long and often what seems to be an endless journey through estate after estate.

I am not suggesting that we could, or should, be completing against Swindon, but what we may see increasing in Cirencester, is the desire of CDC and the perhaps even the Government, to build yet more and more housing and large scale estates on the fringes of the town, and possibly infilling the town and its suburbs and brown field sites, which would ultimately see Cirencester becoming one huge housing conurbation, with a Market Place at its heart.

Is this really an image that we wish to create, in order to basically just meet increasing national housing needs?

Like Swindon will we then see a multitude of "District Centres" being built to service these estates, which would provide a home for new shopping centres and food stores, as well as offering opportunities for retailers like M&S Home, Next and John Lewis, yet alone a multitude of DIY stores, to set themselves up in Cirencester? Let's not forget that CDC's and CTC's desire to see yet more and more housing in and around the town centre, and perhaps on sites like the Police Station, the Old Memorial Hospital and Old Bus Station sites, yet alone the TH White site, would mean that there will be no opportunities available to expand and diversify the town centre and its current retail mix.

Yes..... it is inevitable that Cirencester will have to grow, and i think most people accept that this is going to happen. However we need to be realistic about the size and the speed of this development and expansion, and have a proper and well thought out plan and strategy, which has been adopted by local residents, as well as plans and time scales on how this can be achieved. In addition, we also need plans in place to support this development and to enable the town to grow and meet ever increasing needs and demands of local residents, and those using the town as a both a work place and a place to shop and visit.

Currently, we have no decent regeneration plans in place, yet alone an agreed Local Plan, and the residents of Cirencester as a whole, have not been properly consulted on the long term future of Cirencester. All we have is the demand to increase housing, and meet the majority of the needs of the whole of the Cotswolds, (6,300 homes by 2031) because no one else wants, or is really prepared, to see their town or village being developed or spoilt with new housing.

Yes clearly Cirencester will need to grow, but how can we be expected to consult on potential plans, which do not form the basis of a long-term plan for Cirencester as a whole? Therefore, are we not just simply being asked to "jump the gun" and look at a potential development in Chesterton, with no clear way forward??

Sometimes perhaps it is better to wait, and have everything agreed and in place before we move forward with a new direction for Cirencester, which ultimately will have a significant and long term impact upon the very future and existence of Cirencester....the Heart of the Cotswolds.
Jessica put it quite simply - Do we want Cirencester to turn into a Swindon? (well a small scale version at least). Swindon's multiple housing estates now ring the town, and mean that many a journey into the heart of Swindon, now involves a long and often what seems to be an endless journey through estate after estate. I am not suggesting that we could, or should, be completing against Swindon, but what we may see increasing in Cirencester, is the desire of CDC and the perhaps even the Government, to build yet more and more housing and large scale estates on the fringes of the town, and possibly infilling the town and its suburbs and brown field sites, which would ultimately see Cirencester becoming one huge housing conurbation, with a Market Place at its heart. Is this really an image that we wish to create, in order to basically just meet increasing national housing needs? Like Swindon will we then see a multitude of "District Centres" being built to service these estates, which would provide a home for new shopping centres and food stores, as well as offering opportunities for retailers like M&S Home, Next and John Lewis, yet alone a multitude of DIY stores, to set themselves up in Cirencester? Let's not forget that CDC's and CTC's desire to see yet more and more housing in and around the town centre, and perhaps on sites like the Police Station, the Old Memorial Hospital and Old Bus Station sites, yet alone the TH White site, would mean that there will be no opportunities available to expand and diversify the town centre and its current retail mix. Yes..... it is inevitable that Cirencester will have to grow, and i think most people accept that this is going to happen. However we need to be realistic about the size and the speed of this development and expansion, and have a proper and well thought out plan and strategy, which has been adopted by local residents, as well as plans and time scales on how this can be achieved. In addition, we also need plans in place to support this development and to enable the town to grow and meet ever increasing needs and demands of local residents, and those using the town as a both a work place and a place to shop and visit. Currently, we have no decent regeneration plans in place, yet alone an agreed Local Plan, and the residents of Cirencester as a whole, have not been properly consulted on the long term future of Cirencester. All we have is the demand to increase housing, and meet the majority of the needs of the whole of the Cotswolds, (6,300 homes by 2031) because no one else wants, or is really prepared, to see their town or village being developed or spoilt with new housing. Yes clearly Cirencester will need to grow, but how can we be expected to consult on potential plans, which do not form the basis of a long-term plan for Cirencester as a whole? Therefore, are we not just simply being asked to "jump the gun" and look at a potential development in Chesterton, with no clear way forward?? Sometimes perhaps it is better to wait, and have everything agreed and in place before we move forward with a new direction for Cirencester, which ultimately will have a significant and long term impact upon the very future and existence of Cirencester....the Heart of the Cotswolds. Geoff66
  • Score: 5

7:44pm Fri 11 Apr 14

Crispin Mount says...

Cirencester should not be allowed to become a suburb of Chesterton !
Cirencester should not be allowed to become a suburb of Chesterton ! Crispin Mount
  • Score: 6

9:01pm Fri 11 Apr 14

Rex Cooper says...

I notice that the Standard have been noticeably reluctant to take a position on this. They're very active seeking out " pothole" and "dog bites man" stories and such trite but on the single most important issue that will affect Cirencester in a generation - hardly anything. Why don't they carry out one of the "surveys" they have deployed on less important matters.
They would find that opposition to this scheme is 99% in Cirencester and further out as well. In the absence of such support we are going to have to flex our muscles. They must not be allowed to believe that this is a done deal. We must stop this. Also we must not be armchair opponents. Find out which group to join. Go along on 9th - 10th to Ashcroft Centre and kick up a stink. Stop writing - get awkward
I notice that the Standard have been noticeably reluctant to take a position on this. They're very active seeking out " pothole" and "dog bites man" stories and such trite but on the single most important issue that will affect Cirencester in a generation - hardly anything. Why don't they carry out one of the "surveys" they have deployed on less important matters. They would find that opposition to this scheme is 99% in Cirencester and further out as well. In the absence of such support we are going to have to flex our muscles. They must not be allowed to believe that this is a done deal. We must stop this. Also we must not be armchair opponents. Find out which group to join. Go along on 9th - 10th to Ashcroft Centre and kick up a stink. Stop writing - get awkward Rex Cooper
  • Score: 8

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