REGARDING the Chesterton development, I would like to stress the following:

  • We fully appreciate and understand that planning for new homes is always an emotive issue.
  • Nobody should forget that there is a massive need for new homes in Cirencester and across the whole country – and this is the key driver.
  • The full council is being asked to permit the application subject to a number of caveats.  It is important to note that the vote and decision on September 26 does not grant planning permission.
  • One of the caveats is that a S106 legal agreement will need to be signed by both parties (Cotswold District Council and Bathurst Development Limited) by April 12, 2018. Planning consent cannot be granted until this document is agreed and signed. By this time, the outcome of the Local Plan will be known. It is therefore still very much in the control of Cotswold District Council whether or not final planning consent is issued.
  • Also, CDC’s officers have recommended that any new material concerns raised by the Inspector about Chesterton will mean that planning consent is not issued.
  • Ultimately the Secretary of State can decide whether the planning consent should be issued.
  • By making the resolution now, the Council is sending a clear message to the Inspector that that this site can technically be delivered – the whole application is available to him to make the best decision as to its soundness.
  • By agreeing with this recommendation, housing delivery will start sooner and help to meet local  housing needs and deliver much needed affordable homes for local people.
  • If this application is not determined, then the council and town are even more vulnerable to ad hoc applications being approved through the appeals system.  
  • On balance, greater benefits are derived from delivering one strategic allocation than via, say, 50 separate disjointed and uncoordinated developments coming forward of around 47 new homes each.
  • Piecemeal, unplanned development – especially via appeal – is the worst outcome for Cirencester and the district in the long run.   
  • We are 100 percent committed to delivering the very best scheme of the very highest quality possible.
  • The scheme represents an opportunity to deliver 10’s of millions of pounds of inward investment.


Political Developments & Intelligence, London