Developer's vision reveals impact of Starvehall homes
THIS is an artist's impression of how the development at Starvehall Farm will look.
The picture, by developers Nash, has been released after the plans were passed by councillors at Cheltenham Borough Council last week.
It gives an idea of plot sizes, and road layouts.
It came as planners were criticised for not listening to residents affected by new developments.
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Campaigners hit out at those tasked with deciding the applications.
Hundreds had protested about the proposals in Prestbury amid fears the area's infrastructure would not be able to cope with the 300 new homes.
But councillors were warned by planning officers that, if the application was turned down, it would probably be passed on appeal – costing the authority thousands of pounds in taxpayers' money.
Ann Barradell-Black, leader of Peps-Net (Protecting the Environment of Prestbury and Southam Network), said the decision flew in the face of localism – the Government driven move to ensure the voice of residents were heeded in any planning applications.
She said: "The key thing about this decision is it proves how hollow the promises of localism are. There was a mass of objections from residents and yet it had no impact at all on the decision.
"But the strength of feeling did not seem to have the effect that we had hoped in this case.
"In the case of Starvehall Farm, it seems councillors decided that there was no point in fighting it.
"It is a judgement that had to be made but it is devastating for people living around there.
"We are finding smarter ways of getting our voices heard.
"For the rest of us, it really shows how much more work needs to be done to make sure the voice of citizens is heard."
Her fears have been shared by Leckhampton councillor Ian Bickerton (LD), where residents are fighting plans for 1,300 homes along with a new primary school, open space the size of 16 football pitches, a GP surgery, shops and allotments.
He said: "How did taking the recreation ground make this better for future generations in Prestbury? Hundreds wrote in to object and plead with the council to save more of the green space and bring back the sports pitches.
"As a council we need to show more respect and basic human kindness."
Councillor Andrew McKinlay (Up Hatherley, LD) was on the planning committee which passed the application.
He said: "It is always very difficult when we have a conflict between what people on the ground want and what planning policy is."