SOC questions and responses

SOC QUESTIONS, AND RESPONSES

These are questions that SOC submitted to CDC seven working days before the Special Council Meeting on August 3rd 2018. However CDC declined to allow us to raise them at the meeting, and the responses below are what we received by email on the morning of the meeting.

Question 1

The inspector, William Fieldhouse, has recommended that CDC “Reduce the number of dwellings expected to be built on the Chesterton strategic site during the plan period from 2,350 to 1,800”. This is one of the Main Modifications suggested by the inspector “to make the Plan sound and/or legally compliant and capable of adoption.”

This is clearly a material issue arising from the Local Plan Examination which affects the council’s approval conditions of the Chesterton Development. Are the council going to uphold this modification? And if so, exactly what control mechanism is CDC going to put in place to prevent the developer building more than 1,800 dwellings during the plan period to 2031?

Response

The first sentence quoted above derives from the Non-Technical Summary of the Report on the Examination of the Cotswold District Local Plan 2011-2031. This summarises the Inspector’s consideration of whether there is a reasonable prospect that 2,350 dwellings will be completed on the Chesterton strategic site by 2031 and, if not, what a more realistic assumption would be. In his conclusion on this issue in the main body of the report, the Inspector says:

“177. There is a high probability that the strategic site will be developed, and it is likely that a total of around 2,350 dwellings will be built by the time that it is completed. However, on balance, I do not consider there to be a reasonable prospect that all of those dwellings will be completed on the site by 2031. In summary, the main reasons for this are that it is unlikely that development on the main part of the site will start as early as hoped, or that four housebuilders would operate at all times over a 9 year period and each deliver an average of 40 market and 17 affordable homes every year during that period. There are also at present some uncertainties about the amount of specialist residential accommodation, such as for students or the elderly, that will be built on the site.

178. I consider that it is reasonable to assume that 78 dwellings would be built on phase 1a by April 2021, and that development on the main part of the site would start around that date with approximately 1,700 further dwellings being completed by 2031 giving an overall total of around 1,800. This would represent an average delivery rate slightly above that achieved on strategic sites elsewhere in the country. This is justified by the strength of the local housing market and the fact that a high quality scheme that includes infrastructure provision and 30% affordable housing has been assessed as viable. It allows for periods when there may be four housebuilders each delivering a total of 50-60 market and affordable homes per year, other times when there would be fewer operators and/or lower outputs, and the possibility of specialist accommodation being provided on parts of the site.

179. In total, therefore, it is reasonable to assume that around 1,800 dwellings would be built on the strategic site in the plan period, and that 120 of those would be completed by 1 April 2022. This latter figure is based on 78 dwellings be completed on phase 1a, and 42 on the main part of the site in 2021/2022. The Plan should be modified accordingly.” [MM04 and MM13].

The Inspector does not at any point in his report recommend that a control mechanism should be used for restricting delivery of the site to 1,800 dwellings by 2031. Indeed, it is quite possible that more than 1,800 homes could be completed on the strategic site by 2031. The Inspector was simply testing whether there is a ‘reasonable prospect’ that 2,350 dwellings could be delivered on the site by 2031. 

In this regard it is relevant to note:

“167. “I am, therefore, satisfied that the strategic site south of Chesterton proposed in policy S2 is in a suitable location for housing development and that there is a reasonable prospect that it is available and could be developed during the plan period in a satisfactory manner having regard to the likely social, economic and environmental effects and mitigation measures required by the Plan. The allocation of the site in the Plan is, therefore, justified.”

The Council is being recommended to uphold all of the Inspector’s recommended Main Modifications in the version of the Local Plan that is being presented for adoption by Special Council on 3 August 2018. However, none of the Main Modifications are material considerations that affect the District Council’s approval conditions of the Chesterton Development.

Question 2

For the second time, the applicant has put back the original completion date of 12th April 2018 of the Section 106 Legal Agreements, this time until September 2018. Our question to the council is: What particular issues are causing the problems, resulting in these ongoing delays?

Response

An extension of time to 12th July 2018 was agreed with the applicant before the January Council meeting and this was set out in the resolution that Members voted on at that Council meeting. 

An extension of time for a further two months has recently been agreed as further time is required to complete the S106 Agreements. This is not due to fundamental disagreements which cannot be resolved but is simply due to the complexity of drafting the legal agreement, which will cover a range of obligations including affordable housing, self and custom build, open space, car parking and employment land. In addition, the applicant has engaged a consultant to undertake work regarding the Community Management Trust (CMT) which included public consultation with a range of stakeholders within the town. As a result of this process, the applicant was able to put forward a proposal for the CMT to the Council, but this was only received in the middle of June and is still under discussion. 

In addition to the S106 between the applicant and CDC, there is a separate agreement with the applicant and GCC.  Officers understand that work is progressing well on this legal agreement.

Question 3

At paragraph 22 of his report, the Inspector states “….. the plan-led system is intended to empower local people to shape their surroundings, and meaningful engagement with neighbourhoods, local organisations and business is essential. I would, therefore, encourage the Council to give careful consideration to the clearly heartfelt concerns of some local residents and interest groups”.  

Local residents and interests groups clearly believe that the Council failed to meaningfully engage with the local community.  What action has the Council already taken and what action does it intend to take to follow the Inspectors recommendations and consult meaningfully with local residents?

Response

The quote provided by Mr Buxton only includes part of paragraph 22.  The part of the paragraph that was omitted states: “… and to keep its SCI under review with the aim of ensuring that all practical steps are undertaken in the future to effectively engage with local communities, individuals and all other interested parties on future reviews of the Plan.  

The Council accepts the comments of the Inspector, and will act accordingly.

Question 4

The district is being denied badly needed affordable and social rented housing. Builds and permissions during the extended and late local plan development, and permission for Chesterton, will take housing supply well over the OAN. Yet at the same time the amount of affordable housing will be less than required, as highlighted by the Inspector. To make matters worse, new housing, including all affordable and social housing, will be limited to one single location in Cirencester.  Such a distortion is explained by a premature bias towards the strategic site which ignores the need for affordable housing to meet local needs throughout the district – a problem highlighted recently by the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England

What do the council propose to do to deal with this problem?

Response

The full OAN is neither a maximum figure nor a target.  National policy expects plans to “boost significantly the supply of housing” (Revised NPPF 59).  Having given due consideration to all of the evidence (including representations), the Inspector has concluded that a supply comprising 8,423 dwellings on identified sites (Local Plan Table 1) is a sound position.  This is just 23 dwellings over the OAN figure. The windfalls estimate (1,191 dwellings) does not relate to identified sites; however, it does provide sufficient flexibility to take account of possible changing circumstances that might otherwise lead to a potential supply shortfall.

Regarding ‘distortion’, it should be remembered that the Local Plan covers the period 2011-2031 and that significant development has already occurred beyond Cirencester in settlements such as Moreton-in-Marsh, Tetbury, Fairford and Upper Rissington.  To date, Cirencester has yielded under 25% (265 affordable units + 60 extra care flats) of the 1,235 affordable units delivered since April 2011.  Local affordable housing needs across the District clearly haven’t been ignored and, even allowing for 30% provision (of 1,800 over the Plan period) on the strategic site, there will not be a ‘distortion’ towards Cirencester.  The vast majority of affordable housing is delivered in association with open market housing developments and the proportion of affordable dwellings proposed in Local Plan Policy H2(3) is underpinned by evidence of viability. Evidence clearly indicates that the only realistic way of delivering more “badly needed affordable and social rented housing” is through the allocation of larger numbers of open market housing.  However, this would conflict with Mr Moylan’s concern that the housing supply has already exceeded the OAN.

Question 5

The emerging Local Plan could lead to nearly 1,600 affordable homes between 2015 and 2031, representing an average of 100 per year (Inspector’s Report, para 209).  The Council intended, in line with its policy, that 50% of the 2,350 homes at Cirencester would be affordable representing, 1,175 affordable homes.  This represents a significant proportion (73%) of the need.  This plan has failed because the number of affordable homes at Cirencester has fallen to 705 and the Inspect considers, at paragraph 207 of his report, that 157 homes per year is the best estimate of need.  The 705 homes exceed the need in Cirencester.  The shortfall in affordable homes delivered by the Plan is further exacerbated by the Council’s policy/course of conduct of granting permission to extend and increase the size of small homes in the District, further reducing the stock of affordable homes.  

What does the Council now intend to do to (1) provide affordable homes to meet the need identified in the Inspector’s Report, (2) ensure affordable homes are built across the District to meet need across the District, and (3) stop the reduction in stock of affordable homes.

(5A) What does the Council now intend to do to provide affordable homes to meet the need identified in the Inspector’s Report,

Response

The Local Plan contains a development strategy and housing policies to support the delivery of affordable and market housing. This provides a sound framework to provide affordable housing over the Plan period. Paragraphs 47 and 213 of the Inspector’s report provide a useful account of the Inspector’s considerations.

“47. I conclude later in this report that there is likely to be a need for at least an additional 157 affordable homes per year between 2015 and 2031. Due to the methodology used to calculate this figure, which is in line with that recommended in national guidance, there is no simple way of relating this to the DCLG 2014-based projections. However, there is no substantive evidence to indicate that the need for affordable homes is additional to the overall OAN, and as this takes account of considerations including the needs of particular groups and concealed households I do not consider this would be so. …”

“213. I have considered whether the development strategy, broad distribution of new housing across the district, and individual allocations are justified elsewhere in this report, and my findings on those issues are also generally relevant to the provision of affordable housing. There is certainly no need to identify further land to meet overall housing requirements, and to do so would be likely to have adverse environmental impacts.”

(5B) What does the Council now intend to do to ensure affordable homes are built across the District to meet need across the District,

Response

Similar to the above question, the Local Plan establishes a Development Strategy (DS1, DS2 and DS3 and illustrated on a diagrammatic map in section 2 of the Plan) and contains policies (H1, H2, H3 and H4) to support the delivery of additional affordable housing, for example, on rural exception sites.

The Local Plan covers the period 2011 to 2031 and, as such, a significant amount of development has already occurred in settlements such as Cirencester, Moreton-in-Marsh, Tetbury, Fairford and Upper Rissington. The Council’s response to question four provides additional information on the delivery of affordable housing since 2011.

The Inspector’s report provides a useful account of his considerations and judgement on the need to balance the delivery of new homes whilst protecting the environment. The following paragraphs, in particular, help to highlight this discussion:-

“214. Therefore, whilst the Plan is unlikely to ensure that all local housing needs will be met locally, I am satisfied that its overall approach to affordable housing provision is justified and consistent with national policy. That said, to be justified and effective, the Plan should contain a succinct explanation of how and where affordable housing is expected to be provided in the district over the plan period and the extent to which this is likely to meet needs overall and in particular locations [MM29].”

“215. Subject to the main modifications described above, policies H2, H3 and H4 are likely to be effective in ensuring that identified needs for affordable housing are met in the district to an extent that is justified and consistent with national policy.”

(5C) What does the Council now intend to do to stop the reduction in stock of affordable homes.

Response

The granting of planning permission for extensions to small homes in the district often applies to open market homes, which does not impact the level of affordable housing stock. Local Plan Policy H1 expects developers to provide a suitable mix and range of housing in terms of size to reflect local housing needs and demand in both market and affordable sectors. If, during the Plan period, there is a shortage of smaller homes as a result of a loss existing homes through extensions, the Council, through Policy H1, would expect applicants and developers to deliver smaller homes to meet this need.

Question 6
The Officer’s Report on Planning Application 16/00054/OUT, at paragraphs 8.2 and 8.11, states that the application site has significant or severe implications for the five year housing land supply.  The Inspector’s report at paragraph 189 states that the application site contributes 120 homes (4%) of the 2,959 housing land supply from 2017.  The Inspector also identifies, at paragraph 190, that 2,959 homes represent a 7.6 year housing land supply and the residual five-year housing land requirement is 1,959 to which the application site makes no contribution.  

Does the Council agree this statement in the Officer’s Report is misleading and, having considered the Inspector’s Report, will it reconsider Application 16/00054/OUT? 

Response

The Officer report was not misleading. Paragraph 8.16 clearly states that the Five-Year Housing Land Supply figure quoted in the report was taken from the May 2016 report and did not include Chesterton within the calculations. 

Question 7

Paragraph 8.29 of the Officer’s Report on Application 16/00054/OUT states that the application site can deliver 30% affordable homes (65% rented, 35% low cost) but is not viable at 50% (Council Policy) or 40% affordable homes.  At paragraph 8.30, the Officer’s Report advised Councillors not to increase the number of low cost homes as local and district need would be exceeded.  The Inspector, at paragraphs 208 and 209 of his report, estimates a need of 157 affordable homes for the period 2015 to 2031 against an emerging local plan (including the application site) which provides around 100 affordable homes a year.  

Does the Council agree this statement in the Officer’s Report is potentially misleading and, having considered the Inspector’s Report, will it reconsider Application 16/00054/OUT and its contribution? 

Response

Paragraph 8.30 has been misunderstood.  The reference to “low cost home ownership” refers to shared ownership and shared equity, and not socially rented properties; and Officers were advising Members not to increase this element and decrease the rented element of the affordable housing contribution. Officers were not advising Members not to seek a larger (i.e. the policy requirement) affordable contribution on the site.  The viability assessment set out that the proposed development could not deliver more than 30% affordable housing, with a 65:35 mix.

(END)

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April 2018 Statement

When the people of Cirencester learned about the plan to meet the Cotswolds housing needs by a mistaken policy to rely on one huge estate of 2350 houses they opposed its immense scale. Cirencester is a Cotswold market town with a wealth of history dating back to the Roman Empire. Its layout and design is characterful; its infrastructure is limited and not equipped to accommodate the huge scale of a proposed development for about 6000 people. Something less than half that size would avoid the town being overwhelmed and would still allow housing targets to be achieved.

SOC pic1

“Yes, we need more houses “

Nearly everyone in the town accepts that more houses are needed but believe that the plans are disproportionate and unfair. Along with the other compelling reasons to reduce its size we now need to explore a legal case. Funds are required.

Too many on one site

Cotswold District Council developed a local plan without any community involvement until it was virtually fully formed. in 2014 the plan was uncovered and put out for formal consultation. At the same time another consultation was initiated; the “ Bathurst” outline application, which itself is the major plank of the local plan. From way back in the 2000’s without public knowledge and with scant scrutiny the local plan and an application for a huge site were being progressed hand in hand. In 2014 the public were mightily confused by the council and the land owning developer launching two separate and complicated consultation exercises. There was overwhelming anger and concern at the idea of building 2350 houses on one single site in Cirencester. The prevailing view was “ too many – and in the wrong place” and there was a perception of collaboration between the Officers drawing up the local plan and the landowner/developer. 3000 people signed a petition that required the council for the first time to listen to public concerns.

The regulatory public consultation processes

During the last four years Save Our Cirencester have led a community supported campaign against the sheer scale of the strategic site. Cotswold District Council and the developer, Lord Bathurst, have been constantly reminded at public meetings, council meetings, articles and letters in national and local press, leaflets, radio and TV interviews, of public opposition to their plans Even so, the most effective way of being able to influence decision making was through the regulatory processes. Despite obvious confusion and duplication and a woefully inadequate online access system, thousands of comments opposing the local plan (and subsequently the outline application) were made by the public.

At the time of writing, the examination of the local plan ( EIP) has taken place (at which Save Our Cirencester and other parties gave evidence) but the Inspector has yet to finalise and publish his report.

In a highly unusual move the Council decided to resolve the application in advance of the Inspectors report. Their first attempt in a meeting on September 26   failed and the decision was deferred. To the hundreds of members of the public at the meeting the councilors appeared badly informed and unwilling, or unable, to make a decision. Eventually after a 12 hour meeting the councilors, many of whom made similar points to those made by the public, were led to believe that there was a matter, the bus access point, that could be used to defer the decision. At a second meeting in January, where advice given by a QC employed by the council featured strongly, a vote to approve the application by 17 votes to 9. With no foreknowledge of the QC’s presence, there was no one in the meeting to countervail the QC’s very influential interventions.

What reasons have people given for opposing the scale of the Bathurst development ?

Criticisms of the way the application has been handled

A lack of transparency and misleading statements by CDC.

Unreasonable promotion of the site by Officers and Councillors ignoring other viable sites

The number of houses would be two and a half times more than, and the highest of any town of, a similar size in the country

SOC pic2

 This single site will create a high level of severance caused by its inadequate access plans.

This severance is exacerbated by a trunk road dual carriageway separating the estate from the town.

Other smaller, better, closer and more sustainable sites were not properly assessed.

Instead, there was a premature focus on this tract of land, owned by Lord Bathurst, as far back as 2008 – but only known to the public in 2014 when the local plan was uncovered.

The objectively assessed need number for Cotswold District was established to be 8100 yet was increased for no apparent reason to 8400 homes.

As things stand in the plan period the forecast housing supply is 9600. That is 1200 more than needed. The council claim that this excess is strategically justified.

Yet the Inspector, in a surprising move, literally minutes before the application meeting was to start, requested that the number to be built in the plan period should be reduced by 550. The explanation given supports the view that the scale is too big.

Given the vexatious nature and harmful effects of the Chesterton development one has to question the Officers staunch and unbending support of a plan they had themselves conceived behind closed doors.

It is claimed that so-called improvements to the road network will be able to mitigate the effects of thousands more cars – going even further to predict that journey times will be shorter than without the development. This is nonsense.

The council have refused to accept that more cars on a road (which will now have ten sets of traffic lights and “at level” crossings) will make things much worse. They have hidden behind dubious data produced by Gloucestershire County Council.

Concerns about traffic-borne pollution have been dismissed despite new evidence on the threat to health, especially to young children.

Instead the council has relied on a DEFRA report which is 8 years out of date, which itself is based on 13 year old data.

The environmental impact assessment on which the local plan relies, and the application’s sustainability report, claims that benefits outweigh the harm to the town. This is patently not the case.

Nearly all the new infrastructure is directly required by or related to the development itself. In fact of the Section 106 items which number 39, only 5 can be considered to be of any benefit to Cirencester and the monetary value is worth less than £100,000 and probably considerably less. Moreover none of the S106 obligations are secured in any way against default.

Cirencester is unlikely to become a significant jobs provider. The new community will become a “dormitory” with its residents commuting out long distances to the major job centres. This will mean that the objective and NPPF requirement for inclusive communities will not happen.

The voting pattern on the application revealed a bias against the interests of Cirencester by all the councilors who live elsewhere. Such a remarkable vote suggests that planning considerations were secondary to self interests.

SOC pic3

In summary, Cirencester has little prospect of being able to assimilate the overwhelming burden of people, traffic and demands on its infrastructure without significant harm

Why do we need help ?

The local plan process and Bathurst application was lengthy and complex and the planning authority and the applicant employed the professional services of experts in many fields to support their case and rebut objections. Those campaigning against the massive scale of Chesterton had no such assistance. Yet we were sustained by the firm belief that what was being proposed was inherently wrong. The conduct of the process, the attitude of the council and the growing conviction and valid objections reinforced our campaign. From what we learned and experienced during our campaign it appeared that that the policy was flawed from its inception and that the process was deficient. We want the decision on Chesterton to be overturned. We are also very concerned that S106 obligations, involving tens of millions of pounds over many years may be reneged upon. We also believe that the council has not negotiated in the best interests of the town. To pursue this we need to raise funds to pay for legal advice to tell us whether we have a viable case in law in these matters.

The legal help required

We require a solicitor to review the local plan and the outline application and representations and objections made.

The solicitor will consolidate evidence and prepare a document pack for a barrister.

The barrister will then be able to advise whether or not there is a prospect of a legal challenge and the route such a challenge should take. Advice will be sought on making a late challenge to the local plan main modifications and also highlight whether the community should have S106 concerns.

The costs of the above will be £5200. The benefits of this first stage will be real clarity as to whether the community has done all it reasonably can to represent the wishes of the community to resist the scale of the Bathurst development. Depending on the outcome of this first step there may be further funds for professional and legal advice required to progress legal action.

 

Open letter to CDC Monitoring Officer 23/02/2018

Following dissatisfaction with the conduct of the recent Chesterton Development planning procedure by Cotswold District Council, SOC has submitted the following complaint.  We will advise you of the Council’s response in due course.

 

From : Save Our Cirencester

 

Open Letter to the Monitoring Officer at Cotswold District Council

 

“23rd February 2018

Dear Ms Bhavna Patel,

 

Special Council Meeting 16th January 2018

 

Save Our Cirencester has received many expressions of concern from the community with regard to the participation of certain members in the meeting to determine the BDL planning application 16/00054/OUT on 16th January 2018. We wish to raise a formal complaint with regard to the following three matters:

 

  1. Two councillors, namely Cllr Shaun Parsons and Cllr Tony Berry, who had been specifically challenged at the beginning of the meeting over their membership of the Bull Club, were allowed to debate and vote. The President of the Bull Club is the applicant, Earl Bathurst, and the its Secretary is Edward Allsop, Earl Bathurst’s former agent and, until 22nd December 2017, also a Director of Bathurst Developments Ltd. Councillors Shaun Parsons and Tony Berry have a clear conflict of interest, and, in allowing those councillors to vote, CDC breached its own constitution (Section E5 8.1).

 

  1. Cllr Nicholas Parsons (Deputy Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Forward Planning) failed to declare, at the appropriate time, his membership of the Bull Club when influencing policy on the district’s housing distribution and formulating Bathurst’s Chesterton land as the sole strategic site within the draft Local Plan.

 

  1. Cllr Richard Morgan (Conservative councillor elected on 23rd November 2017) has no interests registered in the public domain (as of 22nd February 2018). CDC’s rules state that the personal register of interests has to be lodged within 28 days of being elected. Also, there is no evidence on the Member Questionnaire matrix that the mandated 1-to-1 interview with this councillor took place before his participation in the Special Council Meeting on 16th January 2018. Additionally, he did not attend the September Special Council Meeting. Cllr Morgan should therefore have been disqualified from participation and voting.

 

Save Our Cirencester ask that, within the next 5 working days, you investigate these matters and inform us of the procedure that will be followed during the investigation.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Save Our Cirencester”

SOC update -Town Council meeting next week AND C.D.C. consultation

Cirencester Town Council Meeting Tuesday 19th July at 7pm

 

You may wish to attend next Tuesday’s Cirencester Town Council Meeting as there are some very interesting items on the agenda. The meeting starts at 7pm and is at Bingham House, Dyer Street , Cirencester.

 

https://saveourcirencester.files.wordpress.com/2016/07/0567b-agendaforthe12thjuly.pdf

 

The agenda can be read by following the link above. We wish to draw your attention to the following items in the agenda:

 

16. JOINT CORPORATE AND PLANNING GROUP UPDATE To receive, for information, an update relating to the work of the Joint Corporate and Planning Group in considering evidence and preparing a draft response for Council in respect of the Chesterton South Outline Planning Application.

 

18. COTSWOLD DISTRICT COUNCIL EMERGING LOCAL PLAN REG.19 CONSULTATION 18.1 To consider and approve the draft response to the Reg. 19 consultation. 18.2 To delegate authority to the CEO, in consultation with the Chairman of the Council and Lead Member for Planning, to finalise the response ahead of the closing date of Monday, 8th August 2016.

 

IMPORTANT NOTE: There will be a public consultation event relating to the Reg. 19 consultation and design code, including an update relating to the work of the joint corporate and planning group, at Bingham House, Dyer Street on Thursday 21st July at 4pm, hosted by Andrew Tubb and Andrea Pellegram.

 

We would urge you to attend these events and share your views with our town council.

 

CDC Local Plan Reg 19 Consultation

 

Please make sure your responses to the CDC Reg 19 consultation are submitted before the closing date of 8th August. All responses to this current consultation will be made available to the Local Plan Inspector. If you wish to reiterate points you have made before that have not been resolved then do so.

 

Please share this email with friends and neighbours.

“Wake Up Cirencester” – look what is in store for our town !

 

 

Do you know about Cotswold District Council’s plan to allocate the majority of the Cotswold district’s new houses for the next 15 years to Cirencester ?

  • 80% of the Cotswold District is designated as AONB
  • This means that 100% of the district’s housing need has to be squeezed onto the remaining 20% of land
  • Shouldn’t this make the Cotswold District a special case with regard to planning rules ?

The ruling CDC Cabinet has recently been expanded from 5 to 7 members, yet Cirencester still has no representation on it. 

  • There is no-one looking after the interests of Cirencester on this ruling decision making body
  • Is that fair?

The Chesterton Farm site belongs to the Bathurst Estate. They have submitted an application to build 2,350 houses on the 120 hectare site.

  • Major high pressure gas pipelines, originally located in open countryside for safety reasons, run across the site
  • Thames Water point out that the existing water supply is insufficient to meet the demands of the proposed development. A suggested solution will use energy to pump water to the site
  • Thames Water has also confirmed that a new sewer will be needed all the way to the Shorncote Treatment Works
  • Much of the site has been found to be undevelopable; the 2,350 houses will now be squeezed into less than half the original space
  • The site is too far from the town centre for most to contemplate walking; car use will be the preferred means of transport, our roads will become jammed

Do you know what 2,350 houses looks like?  

  • It is six times the size of the Kingshill North development.
  • It is the equivalent to the whole of Tetbury, the second biggest town in the district

Cirencester is being allocated more new houses than any other town of its size in the whole of the country.

  • CDC have allocated Cirencester 17 new houses per 100 existing residents, as opposed to an average of 7 elsewhere in the country
  • Cirencester is to get two and a half times the average
  • Is that fair?

The Bathurst Outline Planning Application appears to be under-reporting a number of very important aspects.

The site is classed by Natural England (and others) as “best and most versatile agricultural land, much of it ALC Grades 2 and 3a. The Bathurst application dismisses it as the poorer Grades 3b and 4

  • A technical appendix to the Ecological Baseline Report showed a map dated Oct 2009 indicating six species-rich hedgerows in the middle third of the site. However in the Ecological Baseline Part 8 for 2015, all those same hedgerows were classed as species-poor

You can read more of the reasons against 2,350 houses on this site on our page in previous issues of Cirencester Scene online:

http://www.cirencester-scene.co.uk/online_magazine.html

Cirencester is too small to take a development of this enormity.

SOC are fighting to significantly reduce the number of houses on the Chesterton site.

Everyone must act now and object to this extraordinary planning application. Cirencester needs houses. It does not need a dormitory appendage like this.

Object to the application (reference number 16/00054/OUT) at:

 www.tinyurl.com/BathurstOPA

It is not too late.

  

Twitter-      https://twitter.com/SaveCirencester

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/Save-Our-Cirencester-186529714847099/

Email us –   saveourcirencester@outlook.com

 

News from Council Meeting / Come to SOC Drop-in

Fellow residents of Cirencester

CDC voted on Local Plan on 17th May – the vote was split on political/geographical grounds

There’s still a way to go – we fight on

Determination of the Bathurst application will be in September at the earliest

SOC requests call in

The Local Plan examination is scheduled for next year

SOC drop-in session on Wednesday 8th June

Cirencester needs YOU.

Come and chat with us on Wednesday 8th June 6-9pm at The Crown, West Market Place, Cirencester (downstairs in the Denman room)

Spread the word – we are all in this together.

SOC

 

Twitter-       https://twitter.com/SaveCirencester

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/Save-Our-Cirencester-186529714847099/

Email us –   saveourcirencester@outlook.com

IMPORTANT CDC MEETING – next Tuesday (17th May) at 10am

The next CDC full council meeting is a very important one – they are going to look at the draft submission version (Reg 19) of the Local Plan before it goes out for public consultation. This is the LAST consultation before the Plan is submitted for inspection and approval (or not).

Save Our Cirencester members have tabled 10 vital questions on behalf of Cirencester’s residents. Written answers will be circulated at the meeting and, more importantly, each questioner gets the opportunity to ask a supplementary question at the meeting – which should be answered by the councillor concerned on the spot.

Not easy for them – but potentially very interesting for the public!

The agenda (and our questions) can be read by following this link:

 http://www.cmis.cotswold.gov.uk/cmis5/Meetings/tabid/73/ctl/ViewMeetingPublic/mid/410/Meeting/4328/Committee/879/SelectedTab/Documents/Default.aspx

Tuesday 17th May, starting at 10am at the CDC Council Chamber, Trinity Road , Cirencester , GL7 1PX

Please be there to support us at this meeting.

Placards and banners acceptable outside the Council Chamber from 9.30 onwards, if you wish. It is beneficial to us if a dignified and ‘professional’ approach is adopted inside the council chamber.

Bring a friend.

Share this email.

Spread the word.

 

Thank you.

The SOC team.

 Website –    https://saveourcirencester.wordpress.com/

Twitter-       https://twitter.com/SaveCirencester

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/Save-Our-Cirencester-186529714847099/

Email us –   saveourcirencester@outlook.com