Hunts Grove, Stroud District

Three week 'called-in' inquiry into a proposed urban extension on an allocated greenfield site to the south of Gloucester comprising up to 1,750 homes together with substantial office/business development, community facilities and ancillary infrastructure. Although Stroud District Council as local planning authority supported the proposals, and notwithstanding the site's allocation in the Local Plan and its endorsement in the draft RSS for the South West, Gloucester City Council and the two local MPs intervened in opposition. They contended that the site was not suitable for an urban extension on the grounds (i) that it was less sustainable than sites to the north of Gloucester and (ii) that it would prejudice the policy objective of regenerating vacant and under-used brownfield sites within Gloucester City. The validity of these two contentions was the primary focus of the inquiry. On 11th July 2008, in accordance with the Inspector’s recommendation, the Secretary of State allowed the appeal and granted planning permission for the scheme. Rhodri Price Lewis QC and Charles Banner appeared for the applicants, Crest Nicholson Strategic Projects and St Modwen Properties plc, instructed by RPS Planning.

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