THE Cotswolds Labour Party have stepped in to oppose the large-scale Bathurst development for 2,350 homes in Cirencester.

The political group on November 29 unanimously decided to support the campaign against the proposed development.

Members at the meeting expressed concerns that the plan for 2,350 new homes, equivalent to the number of homes in Tetbury in 2011, would bring increased congestion to Cirencester and pressure on existing services.

Terry Pomroy, Labour’s candidate in the Cirencester Park Ward at the last local election, said: “The development would attract new residents to the area not just provide housing for those already here and was far enough from the centre to generate more car traffic on our already congested town with its existing parking problems.”

He also raised the potential problem of increased traffic congestion on the already busy ring road which is already busy during evening and morning rush hours.

He said: “Many of those occupying the houses would be commuting to other towns given the lack of employment opportunities in The Cotswolds.”

Labour Party members expressed concern about the use of greenfield land for housing instead of looking to regenerate brownfield sites which have previously been developed, and called for a greater percentage of homes in any new developments to be affordable housing. 

The meeting heard that it has become all but impossible for the majority of young people to get on the housing ladder in our area.

At the 2017 General Election, Labour called for more jobs for young people and for affordable housing to be a priority to encourage the young to remain in The Cotswolds.

Mark Huband, Labour Party secretary and parliamentary candidate at the 2017 General Election, when he gained second place for the Party, said: “The planned development at Chesterton Farm fails to address the most urgent issues facing the people of The Cotswolds: not only will the high cost of the planned homes exclude the young and the less well-off who have the greatest need, it will also create added burdens on Cirencester’s infrastructure.

"One large development in one town will not meet the needs of The Cotswolds – at a time when young people are forced to leave an area which is way beyond their price bracket.

"If Cotswold District Council wants to improve the lives of Cotswolds people it will demand that the development is reduced in size in order to limit its impact on infrastructure and will demand that more of the planned homes are made affordable to those in most need.”