THERE have been articles and a number of letters in this publication recently referring to the whitewash that has been the CDC/BDL planning process.

Much concern is raised, quite rightly, about the effect that the excessive number of dwellings, now agreed, will have on the town of Cirencester.

The original figure was excessive for one small market town but it has now been shown that the numbers are in excess of the original concept because other developments have been completed whilst council tax payers’ money has been used to ensure there could be no legal challenge to the policy.

Now that everyone, apart from the citizens, can sit back and congratulate each other on a job well done, we will come to the reality, 2350 dwellings by 2031!

The planning inspector believes this to be an impossibility but where is the demand?

Yes, ‘affordable homes’ are required but these break down into two elements; rented accommodation and young people trying to buy their first home.

Council figures show that the requirement for the former is not as great as the number planned; wrong location.

Doubtless, young families will still not be able to afford the latter, so what will happen?

A greater proportion of the more expensive houses will be built!

However, is there the market out there? Current developments around the town have either been halted, applications abandoned or building rate slowed.

What does this mean for the BDL development? I doubt the carbuncle will be complete by 2041, let alone 2031.

Much of the benefits for the town are time related, or at least dependent on a specific number of properties being completed/sold.

So, when is the town likely to see these benefits? Not until well after 2031 I’ll warrant.

In the meantime, the town will become a permanent building site with the additional commercial traffic and a steadily swelling traffic problem with no solutions in sight.

Another planning decision disaster along the lines of the Corn Hall (over-run by years) and Brewery Court (started after three years but now stalled).

By the time Chesterton is complete, the people responsible will be long retired and living in their country mansions or Caribbean hideaways far from the madding crowd!

Gordon Burley