By Saul Cooke-Black

A CONTROVERSIAL plan to build on farm land in Leonard Stanley has sparked anger among dozens of residents in the area.

Developers Terra Strategic have submitted a planning application to build 44 homes and a 30 place day nursery on land currently used for grazing near Bath Road between The Grange and Seven Waters.

Following a parish council meeting, residents opposed to the development have formed the Greenstiles Action Group – and around 40 campaigners attended the group’s first meeting on Wednesday, July 15.

Simon Stroud, who has lived in Leonard Stanley for 27 years, said: “When you increase a village by thirty per cent, which is what this proposal will do, it then stops becoming a village.

“We recognise there is a housing shortage in the country but this area already has enough provision and the right mix of affordable and other types of housing.

“The infrastructure is just not there to support this development.”

Campaigners have expressed concern that the development presents a threat to wildlife and would diminish the natural scenery and landscape.

Mr Stroud added: “As well as affecting the landscape it would also exasperate the traffic problems which we already have.

“There are four routes out of Leonard Stanley and on each of these routes there is only enough room for single cars to pass.

“The speed of traffic on the main Bath Road to Frocester is also very fast and if this is allowed to go ahead it would be a huge problem.”

Mark Booth, managing director of Solihull-based Terra Strategic, said: “The planning inspectorate has found that Leonard Stanley is a sustainable village for further growth.

“There are positives, including the employment opportunities, which the village would benefit from.

“We have made amendments to the original plan, including moving plots away from the grade two listed building on Bath Road and adding additional parking.

“I do not think that this development would significantly affect the village.”

To view the application search for application number s.15/1417/OUT on the Stroud District Council website.

Objections to the application must be made by August 5.