CIRENCESTER Town Council and Save our Cirencester (SOC) have had a last minute appeal to halt the Bathurst development at Chesterton, turned down.

Following the decision of Cotswold District Council (CDC) on January 16 to permit outline planning permission for 2,350 homes, both Cirencester Town Council and Mark Pratley, Chairman of SOC, wrote to the Secretary of State Sajid Javid.

Members of the public have also written and e-mailed Mr Javid over the past week in support of SOC.

They asked Mr Javid to intervene and make a holding direction to prevent the issue of the decision notice by CDC until the main modifications to the Local Plan have been made and consulted upon, and the planning inspector has concluded his examination and published his report.

However, Cirencester Town Council subsequently received a response from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government last Friday, stating: “While I carefully considered your request, I do not consider a holding direction is necessary or appropriate for this case.

“The necessity for the council to complete the negotiation of a complex legal agreement [the Section 106 agreements with Cotswold District Council and Gloucestershire County Council], should provide sufficient time for the Secretary of State to make his decision.”

“Should the circumstances later change, it will be possible to review the use of a holding direction.”

Despite the setback, SOC said it is now considering further options.

Jeremy Handel, a spokesman on behalf of Bathurst Development said: “We are keen to move forward and to work with the community and all stakeholders to deliver a scheme of the very highest quality.

“We don’t believe a holding direction is necessary as the planning consent cannot be issued until we have a signed S106 and this is still a few months away.

“We fully respect the enormous amount of hard work undertaken by SOC and the level of scrutiny this application has been through is unprecedented. We very much hope we can work with community as we begin to look even more closely at the design aspects to make sure we get it right.”