Gloucestershire housing plans could 'disintegrate'
CITY leaders are seeking urgent talks with their Cheltenham counterparts over fears an agreement on the county's housing plan could "disintegrate".
And they batted down an idea to build a new "eco-town" at Highnam because it's come forward far too soon.
Cheltenham Borough Council is considering data which could mean only 18,600 homes would be built by 2031 in Cheltenham, Gloucester and Tewkesbury.
On Thursday night the full Gloucester City Council meeting heard concerns it could throw a more likely figure of 28,500 homes in the Joint Core Strategy into doubt.
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Meanwhile a Liberal Democrat resolution to protect the greenbelt, stop the city and Cheltenham joining, and prevent building on land which floods by building a "small eco-town at Highnam" was defeated.
Coun Jeremy Hilton (LD, Kingsholm and Wotton), said 4,000 homes at Highnam would benefit Gloucester in many ways.
"New homes should not be built on land that floods," he said.
"Officers should consider an eco-town at Highnam. We are talking about 4,000 houses near Longlevens at the moment, that would be a flood risk. We could build a town at Highnam, it would not impact on Gloucester because it's out of the flood plain."
Coun Mary Smith (L, Matson and Robinswood) said: "We are looking at numbers and Councillor Hilton comes up with a plan of where the houses should go – it's just bizarre. This is totally premature.
"None of us want to build on the greenbelt but we have to recognise that some areas are not very good and maybe can be built on but not the good bits."
Council leader Paul James (C, Longlevens) said amendments to the administration's resolutions on the JCS were late because of the uncertainty at Cheltenham Borough Council.
"We had to try and work out what's going on in Cheltenham," he said. "The picture is not clear and affects our decisions. Cheltenham Borough Council's behaviour at the last meeting puts us at a great deal of risk."