Dear Editor

ADOPTION of the Local Plan by CDC (Wilts and Glos Standard August 9) yet again locates many more new homes in Cirencester, yet again far more than its fair share for the District.

The 9,614 new homes in the plan greatly exceeds the 8,100 CDC states it needs. Since its inception in 1974 CDC has doubled the population of Cirencester from 10,000 to 20,000, and this latest plan exacerbates the problem.

Yet again Cirencester is required to take far more than its fair share of the housing obligation of the whole District. How many other Cotswold towns and villages have suffered from this planning bias over the last 44 years?

CDC have ignored Cirencester’s infrastructure problems including narrow streets unable to cope with increased peak time traffic, inadequate parking for both residents and visitors, and lack of public transport fit for the large town it has created. CDC councillors who live far from the town have ignored the concerns of many Cirencester residents expressed by Save our Cirencester.

CDC Officers and Councillors tell us that the developers will pay for many benefits for the town, but previously the benefits provided have been often limited to infrastructure essential to the developments such as roads and sewers.

There have been several developments where CDC have failed to hold developers to deliver on their undertakings, such as Kingshill Meadow, Upper Rissington and Fairford.

Yet for 2,350 homes at the remote Chesterton Farm, CDC deliberately chose not to require a financial bond to ensure that undertakings are delivered. Productive farmland will be lost for ever. This development was originally hailed as a “single strategic site” but it comprises at least three separate sites with no internal connecting roads. We await the promised benefits.

The Government’s New Homes Bonuses will be paid to CDC, but there is no guarantee that it will be spent in towns such as Cirencester, Fairford and Moreton where so much damage will be inflicted.

Is it not time to follow many other counties reducing three tiers of local government to two and completely abolish Cotswold District Council and its Planning Department altogether?

John Nicholas