RESIDENTS have banded together to fight plans for 17 homes on a greenfield site in Nailsworth.

Cheltenham-based Newland Homes has revealed plans for a mix of two, three and four-bedroom homes on 3.5 acres north of Pike Lane in Newmarket. Five will be affordable homes for those with a local connection.

Last Tuesday, July 29, the firm held a consultation event also attended by Nailsworth architects David Austin & Associates, which has produced the designs.

Newland says the development has been designed to fit into the rural setting.

A spokesman added: “The proposals are in a sustainable and especially attractive location, a short walk to the heart of Nailsworth, providing an opportunity to deliver a sensitive scheme of much-needed homes.

“A large proportion of the development area is to be set aside as new park space, orchards and green space. The proposals will meld well into the surrounding pattern of homes.

“We will now work with our consultants in evaluating feedback responses from the public consultation process and will be seeking to respond where possible.”

However, the plans are bitterly opposed by residents.

Around 70 turned out on Saturday to show their opposition.

They issued the following statement: “The majority of local residents are against the plans on the basis that: "Pike Lane cannot sustain any more traffic.

"Traffic from Newmarket and Shortwood coming into Nailsworth is already at capacity - the town centre would be subjected to yet more cars and vehicles coming in and out.

"Large developers should not be building on green spaces that are cherished by the local community and visitors alike. These areas are what makes Nailsworth the popular town it is - it was voted one of the top places in the country for the way it is now, not for what it could be. It is worth remembering this." Nailsworth Town Council was due to discuss the plans yesterday, Tuesday. See for more on this article.

Resident Philip Willmott, whose home in Shortwood Road overlooks the site, also opposed the development.

Mr Willmott, a builder who specialises in the conservation of historic properties, also questioned the accuracy of the size of Pike Lane as shown on the plans at the consultation event which he attended.

"The top of Pike Lane is very narrow and steep and this would be the main access to the site," he said. "You have to back up and down to allow cars to pass.

"I noticed that on the drawings, it was massively out of scale and looked as if you could easily pass cars.”

Matthew Austin, from David Austin & Associates, replied: “The drawings were not at the detailed stage but were based on Ordnance Survey information. This was a presentation outlining the intention of what might be done to provide 17 new homes in the context of local character and the aims to provide green space and maintain the views through and across the site.

“The scheme is at the design stage, and Tuesday’s meeting was to enable people to discuss the project on the site, rather than the detail of the road access. If people thought the drawings showed a representation, that was certainly not deliberate.”