LAURIE LEE’S Slad Valley has been saved a day after the same developers had been given the green light to build 150 homes in Leonard Stanley - three miles away.
Plans to build 112 homes and a park in sight of the setting of Cider With Rosie have been dismissed by an inspector following an inquiry into the proposed development at Baxter’s Field.
The application was unanimously turned down by Stroud District Council however an appeal was then lodged by the developer Gladman’s in an attempt to overturn the decision.
Yesterday , Tuesday, planning inspector John Chase officially dismissed the appeal on the basis that the scheme would be contrary to Local Plan policies and that the adverse impacts to the character and beauty of the countryside would not outweigh the benefits.
The decision comes just one day after the same developers were awarded permission to build 150 homes in Leonard Stanley. Planning inspector David Nicholson upheld the appeal lodged by Gladman after the application was also unanimously refused by SDC.
Mr Nicholson concluded that the scheme planned for Mankley Field would “amount to sustainable development and that at the time of the inquiry the council could not demonstrate a five year housing land supply.”
During the inquiry Gladman’s representatives argued that Stroud District Council was unable to prove it had a sufficient land supply, due to the fact that it does not have a local plan in place.
Stroud MP Neil Carmichael shared his disappointment with the Mankley Field decision but agreed that if Stroud had a local plan in place then the development would never have been allowed.
“Without that plan we are vulnerable to this sort of development and we are now in a very difficult decision with Mankley Field,” said Mr Carmichael.
Mankley Field Action Group chairman Diane Odell expressed her disappointment with the decision which has come nearly two years since the campaign to stop the development began.
“It is just unbelievable. We have basically been sacrificed for Baxter’s Field,” said Mrs Odell.
“However in a way I’m not surprised as the whole thing is geared to local communities having no say at all. Ultimately you just cannot oppose money and it has become all that counts in the country.”
District councillors for the Stanleys Stephen Lydon and Nigel Studdert-Kennedy both questioned what this decision means for local democracy.
A Gladman spokesman said: “We are pleased that the inspector accepted our case on the sustainability of the scheme and that he also recognised the benefits which flow from providing much needed new housing for people.”
In relation to Baxter’s Field the spokesman said it was reviewing the decision.