CAMPAIGNERS and developers have set out robust arguments for and against the proposed development of 150 new homes in Minchinhampton.

Developer Archstone Land Ltd has submitted an application for the houses at Glebe Farm and Tobacconist Farm, 45 of which would be affordable properties.

The plan includes land for a new doctor’s surgery, a public open space for a community orchard or allotments and a series of financial contributions.

But community group Save Glebe Farm says the area does not have the infrastructure to support such an expansion and that the public is firmly opposed to the plans.

The group has seen a large show of support since its formation in early November and is now encouraging all residents in the parish to object to the application online.

“We have already seen 250 objections, and we know there are more to come,” said Phil Raby-Smith, chairman of Save Glebe Farm ‘s umbrella organisation Protect Our Space.

“We know the public is pretty much unanimously opposed to this development because in over three weeks we haven’t seen a single comment in favour.

“I think this accurately reflects the consensus among parishioners.

“A large development like this which would irreversibly change the landscape of Minchinhampton could only ever be justified if it has the support of the community.

“And we are trying to prove that is certainly not the case.”

Mr Raby-Smith said traffic issues had been a problem as long as he could remember.

“It doesn’t take a lot to clog them up and cause chaos around rush hour,” he added. “This is already a problem that gets residents up in arms and hundreds of additional cars would only make this issue worse.

“And from school places to parking spaces, Minchinhampton does not have the infrastructure to support another 150 houses.”

He also argued the greenfield site is outside Minchinhampton’s settlement boundary and that development would spoil an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

“While we understand that development brings economic benefits, but it has to be in the context of a planning framework and properly reflect the views of the community,” he added.

“And this development does neither.

“We’re not against all development,” he stressed, “but we are opposed to piecemeal, opportunistic and predatory developments such as this.”

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But the developer Archstone put forward a different argument.

It said the planning application had been “the culmination of some five years of engagement with the Parish Council, Stroud District Council, the Cotswold AONB Board and the community.”

Archstone added that the land at Glebe Farm had been recognised as the ‘best location’ for new homes in the town.

Of these, 45 would be affordable dwellings and a further 84 would be four-bedroom houses.

“This planning application is also a rare opportunity to provide an affordable site for a much improved modern surgery for the town,” it said in a statement.

“The existing Minchinhampton surgery building is very limited and the Practice has been looking for an alternative site for many years.

“Other community benefits include large areas of flexible public open space which could be available for local clubs subject to further discussions.”

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It said that the proposals would give an economic boost to the town and include an ‘exceptional’ package of contributions towards improvements to infrastructure.

These would include £200,000 towards proposed works to the town centre to ‘improve traffic flows, safety and formalise parking’.

A further £590,000 would be given towards the expansion of the primary school and £420,000 towards secondary education.

There would also be a donation of £29,000 towards library services and £29,800 towards the management of Rodborough Common Special Area of Conservation.

The developers also pledged to contribute towards current community projects such as the purchase of Box Woods and to fit out the new rugby clubhouse.

But Save Glebe Farm have questioned whether Minchinhampton’s community would actually see any benefits from these promised donations.

Save Glebe Farm spokesperson Simon Kettle said the proposed contribution to Minchinhampton Primary School was ‘highly misleading’.

“There is no process to ensure that this funding would reach Minchinhampton Academy, as the money actually goes to the county council for them to spend wherever in the county they decide,” he said.

“And with the burden of hundreds of additional cars on the road, the developers have commissioned their own plan for highway improvements.

“The changes to the centre of Minchinhampton will cut parking spaces and reduce the width of roads, affecting buses, which already have difficulty turning around the narrow streets.

“Despite the town taking the burden on its infrastructure to support 150 new houses and despite the permanent loss of green fields, we have no guarantees that developers’ money will flow back into the community.

“Other than setting aside some land for a potential doctors’ surgery – with no guarantee that NHS budget can be secured to build it – the developers are only doing what they are obliged to do by law.

“The developers talk as if they are being generous to the local community but the figures speak for themselves.”

A consultation process is now underway.

The group is currently creating a petition to ask the community about its views.

To find out more please visit:

The Facebook page is and twitter is @protectourspace