A MAJOR update has been announced about plans to build 76 homes near the M5 in a suburb in the Stroud district. 

Colethrop Farm Limited wanted permission to build the new houses on land at Hunts Grove near Hardwicke.

The proposals, which form part of the fourth phase of the Hunts Grove development, also included creating retail space at the farmhouse.

Stroud News and Journal:

Under these plans - which were rejected last night, Tuesday, - part of the application site to the south would have been retained as allotment space, albeit as a reduced area.

The developers had proposed to compensate for this by providing more allotment area on the south side of the M5 and outside the Hunts Grove development area.

Hunts Grove Parish Council supported the proposals but expressed concerns that the scheme may not be delivered in full.

Stroud News and Journal:

Speaking at last night’s (January 17) Stroud District Council development control committee, parish vice chairman Demelza Turner-Wilkes said the area will grow from 2,500 to 7,500 residents and they need facilities.

“It’s simple for us.

"If it’s a choice between allotments in one place or having a heart our village, we choose having a heart,” she said.

“By that we mean to retain the farmhouse as a community asset.

“This is our only chance. 

"Every bit of space in Hunts Grove is accounted for, we can’t fix this later.”

Colin Danks, planning agent speaking on behalf of the developers, called on the committee to approve the proposals.

He said the proposals were community, environmental and sustainability led. 

Mr Danks detailed the extent of public engagement the developer has had with residents over the past two years.

“This is an exemplary scheme," he said. 

"The proposals are sustainably led, being carbon efficient with their air source heat pumps, electric car charging, thermal efficient building fabric, reducing the cost of living bills.”

The plans also included 30 per cent affordable housing, Mr Danks told the committee.

Councillors Haydn Jones (C, Berkeley Vale) and Mark Ryder (C, Hardwicke) saw the benefits of the scheme and proposed granting planning permission.

However, this was rejected by five votes to four. 

Officers had recommended refusal due to the loss of ecological habitats, allotments and the lack of agreement over developer contributions for affordable housing, schools and libraries.