Gloucestershire County Council along with Tory councillors at Cheltenham, Gloucester & Tewkesbury have spent 3 months secretly planning 6000 houses to be built on green fields around Cheltenham & Gloucester.

Liberal Democrats have gained a copy of the councils bid for “Growth Point Status” which commits the councils to fast-track development of a huge urban sprawl including 6000 houses and massive concrete transport infrastructure. The document reveals that the councils have already secretly been working with a developer consortium to plan the building of thousands of houses on green fields.

The Tory councillors have done a complete U-turn on their previous opposition to building on green fields.

County Cllr Jeremy Hilton, Liberal Democrat leader on the County Council said: “We are shocked to learn that Tory councillors have ignored everything they have previously said about not building on green fields. This document they have sent to the Government asking for a financial sweetener to support fast-track house building includes building on green fields around Cheltenham and on the flood plain North of Gloucester. The Tories are trying to pretend this is not a big deal. The bid document they have kept secret does a u-turn on all their previous commitments to keeping green fields between Gloucester & Cheltenham. These developments will put at risk the urban regeneration of Gloucester City and the development of Cheltenham Town Centre, warnings about the risk to city regeneration are being ignored.”

The document the councils have submitted to the Government is for “Growth Point” status. This is a Government scheme to fast-track housing developments. The document commits the councils to accelerating the development of urban extensions to the North of Gloucester & North West of Cheltenham. The extra housing will require huge transport infrastructure. This includes a new Cheltenham North-West Distributor road extended to Bishop’s Cleeve.

Cllr Steve Jordan, Liberal Democrat leader on Cheltenham Borough Council, said: “I am amazed that the Tory councillors have reversed their commitment not to build on the green fields around Gloucester and Cheltenham. This is a bid to accelerate housing developments which Tory councillors had always claimed they were against. This makes no sense from a strategic planning point of view. The work on Cheltenham Town Centre should be completed and new houses built on brownfield sites rather than covering green fields in concrete.”