PLANS to build 112 homes and a park in sight of the setting for Cider With Rosie are now in the hands of an independent planning inspector following a public inquiry.
The two-week planning inquiry into the proposed development at Baxter’s Field concluded at the council chamber in Ebley Mill today, Tuesday, following developer Gladman’s decision to appeal Stroud District Council’s decision to unanimously refuse the application.
It attracted strong opposition with campaigners claiming the development was unnecessary and would spoil views of the Slad Valley – immortalised by Laurie Lee in Cider With Rosie.
Cllr Molly Scott Cato’s (Green, Valley) statement read out at the inquiry referenced the importance of Lee to her ward, Stroud and literary lovers across the world.
“The council has received letters of objection from as far afield as Sweden, France, Switzerland, New Zealand, Australia, Mexico, Nepal, Japan and the Philippines.”
Gladman’s legal team argued at the inquiry about the connection between the appeal site and the novel, claiming that it is not clear what part of the Slad Valley he was referring to in his writing.
Other interested parties raised concerns about the width of the footpaths in Summer Street which on occasion have resulted in pedestrians crossing in the road, while resident Val Kirby addressed the current panic over housing need by stating that it should not lead to ‘ill-informed decisions’.
SDC should have a decision within eight weeks.