FEARS have been raised about over-development in the Cotswolds after the government's new planning scheme comes into action.

As part of sweeping changes to the planning system revealed by the Government earlier this month, councils may have to use a new method for calculating the number of new homes it will need to build in the future.

Under draft laws, developers would be granted “automatic” permission to build homes and schools on “growth” sites.

Councillor Bob Hadley, Chair of Bourton-on-the-Water Parish Council said: "We have just had a massive development in the last five years of 300 houses in the village alone, with 360 in Upper Rissington who rely on us for their food and petrol. So we don't want to see anymore large developments. There isn't the infrastructure."

Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and green belt land would be protected from development, the government said.

Robert Jenrick, housing secretary said the government was “cutting red tape but no standard” and dismissed claims the reforms would lead to slums as “nonsense.”

Mr Jenrick had called the planning system “outdated and cumbersome” and its complexity had been a barrier to building homes.

In Blockley a group known as the Blockley Environment Action Group are concerned that areas of outstanding beauty (AONB) may not be protected.

A spokesman said: "80% of Cotswold District, including Blockley, lies within the Cotswold AONB and as a housing quota will be imposed there is a conundrum in whether, if quotas are to be met, all areas intended to be protected can be."

The group also say there are no transport or facility infrastructures to support large-scale suburban housing developments in Blockley.

In Stow-on-the-Wold, the Government changes collectively called ‘Planning for the Future’ will be discussed at the next town council meeting on Tuesday.

Acting deputy, Alun White said: "For a large part of the Cotswolds including Stow, we are in what is called a protected area.

Areas of outstanding natural beauty (AONB) will not be subject for suitability for widespread housing."

"It really needs clarification."

Cllr White said:"One other thing which is very welcome is the first homes initiative, which should make it possible for a lot of people to buy affordable housing."