DURING a visit to Stroud this week Prime Minister David Cameron said how ‘taken’ he was with Laurie Lee’s Cider with Rosie.

Mr Cameron was talking during a visit to the Renishaw factory in Woodchester where he spoke with staff at the company about a number of local and national issues.

Next month will mark 100 years since the birth of Laurie Lee, whose famous novel which immortalised the Slad Valley, has struck a chord in the hearts and minds of many a literary fan.

When asked about the book the Prime Minister said: "I was very taken with Cider with Rosie it is a very special book about a very special part of the world."

Recently that ‘special part of the world’ has come under threat to developers who want to build 112 home in Laurie Lee’s valley.

When the original application was submitted last year by developers Gladman, Stroud Distrcict Council received 1,500 objections to the plans to build 112 houses on Baxter’s Field.

The application was unanimously turned down by Stroud District Council, however an appeal was lodged by the developers and now the decision will be made by a planning inspector after a public inquiry which is due to start at SDC’s council offices in Ebley Mill on Tuesday, May 20.

Campaigners against the plans, and similar applications in the Stroud district, claim the recent National Planning Policy Framework guidelines are to blame as they are ‘more favourable towards developers’.

This has enabled developers to submit applications for desirable greenfield sights.

During his visit to the district the Prime Minister also responded to comments made last month when a life-long Conservative voter from Horsley asked planning minister Nick Boles to apologise to Stroud MP Neil Carmichael for ‘costing him his seat’ in next year’s general election.

Mr Boles, who is parliamentary under secretary of state for planning, was meeting residents from Leonard Stanley to discuss the National Planning Policy Framework and its implications in the Stroud district.

Mr Cameron stressed the importance for local authorities to put a local plan in place.

"When planning authorities start bringing in local plans we can get rid of the old Labour top down system and have local authorities making the decisions.

The Prime Minister also stressed that when a local authority is gauging a planning application it is ‘able to look at pre-existing plans and pre-existing policies’ when making its decision.