In 2013, maybe earlier, a decision was made to meet 76% of housing need in the Cotswold District to 2031 by developing a new town the size of Tetbury on the southern edge of Cirencester. Since this decision, the Council has done all it can to make the data fit the answer and to promote the development in the face of overwhelming reasoned opposition by the people of Cirencester.

Throughout the process of preparing the local plan the Council District Council has stated repeatedly that the Chesterton site was the only site available.

We now know this is not true.

Other sites were proposed during the local plan as identified in representations made during the local plan examination hearings. Of the top five sustainable sites, four are located to the east of Cirencester and two are assessed as being more sustainable than the Chesterton site. The Inspector asked why these sites were not considered in the local plan.

The Council’s reasons for not including these sites are:

  • a concern relating to coalescence with Preston (the proposed developments include substantial green buffers to avoid coalescence)
  • the Chesterton site is within walking distance of the town centre (it is not)
  • Council exercising it’s ‘judgement’ (which is not supported by evidence at the time or since) and the sites to the east of Cirencester are too big!

This is important because the Chesterton site requires significant and costly highway modifications to handle the huge increase in traffic generated by placing 76 per cent of the housing need in Cirencester.

Sites to the east of Cirencester would not need to modify the road
between the Tesco and Stroud roundabouts.

Gloucestershire Highways stated that there are 17 traffic movements west from the Stroud roundabout during the peak morning hour (Glos Highways, council meeting, September 26, 2017) and so traffic flow east to west must be low. Traffic from sites to the east of Cirencester would have direct access to the northsouth A429/A419 and close to the A417/A419 (T) bypass.

By Save Our Cirencester