IN a bitter sweet twist this week our beautiful Slad Valley was saved from the developers and Laurie Lee’s setting for his famous novel Cider With Rosie could once again retreat into the Gloucestershire countryside.
But the sacrificial lamb in the process was Mankley Field where just hours earlier the green light was given to the same developers to go ahead with plans to build 150 homes.
After two years of tirelessly campaigning against this development, protestors were left devastated as the decisions came through on Monday and Tuesday in quick succession.
And what a fine mess we seem to have got ourselves into over development in small part of the county.
Earlier this year Stroud District Council
was rapped across the knuckles for not having all its ducks in a row when it came to housing needs for the area.
We don’t have a Local Plan in place which some would say leaves us extremely vulnerable to the sort of activity we have just witnessed.
And there are those who say that a Local Plan would not have made a jot of difference.
House building is a hot potato. We need homes and of course we need affordable homes, there is no question about that.
But the problem is no-one wants a huge housing development on their doorstep when they feel they are already surrounded on all sides and we are all desperate to hang on to our green spaces wherever possible.
So where do we go from here?
To say we live in a democracy is a little hard to swallow when the gigantum efforts of the Mankley Fields protestors have been ignored and discarded, as they have.
Does this mean where housing is concerned we just have to put up and shut up?