Gloucester joint core strategy hits snag over strategic allocation

A joint core strategy for a group of councils in the South West has suffered a setback after councillors at one of the authorities refused to back an inspector's modification that would insert a strategic allocation of at least 750 homes in their district into the plan.

Countryside near Twigworth (picture: Philip Halling, Geograph)
Countryside near Twigworth (picture: Philip Halling, Geograph)

Councillors at Tewkesbury Borough Council considered inspector Elizabeth Ord's proposed main modifications to the Gloucester, Cheltenham and Tewkesbury joint core strategy at a meeting last week.

At the meeting, members were asked to approve the inspector's main modifications for consultation. But members deferred making a decision on the modifications, deciding instead that officers should come back to them with a plan that did not contain an allocation for Twigworth in it. A council spokesman said that members were concerned over flood risk.

The inspector's interim report had recommended that a site at Twigworth, to the north of Gloucester, should be allocated for housing-led development of at least 750 homes, with further capacity to be investigated by the joint core strategy authorities. The report to members stated that 1,363 homes could be delivered on the site.

Mike Dawson, chief executive of Tewkesbury Borough Council, said: "This is a significant amendment to the main modifications proposed at council and Tewkesbury Borough Council will work with its partners, Cheltenham borough and Gloucester city councils to determine a way forward for the Joint Core Strategy."

The change would need to be passed by both Cheltenham and Gloucester councils, which have already endorsed the inspector's modifications.

Ord's interim report, published in May, advised the three authorities to increase their housing target for the years to 2031 by more than 3,000 homes to take account of job creation projections and to safeguard the delivery of affordable housing.

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