IT COULD be goodbye to the greenbelt as more than 6,000 new homes are built on the outskirts of Gloucester over the next 18 years.
Councils have revealed their housing blueprint which sets out where 33,449 houses will be built across the city, Cheltenham and Tewkesbury, in the period until 2031.
Almost 19,000 of those are already earmarked or in the pipeline, leaving around 15,000 to be allocated.
Nine new sites across the area have been identifiedwhere thousands of the houses will be built and all four of Gloucester’s are currently designated as greenbelt land.
Just over 3,000 homes will be built on land between Innsworth and Twigworth while 1,548 will be built on a large parcel of land alongside the A417 at Brockworth.
Meanwhile, land next to Gloucestershire Airport in Churchdown will take 845 new homes and land either side of the A40 on the approach to the Elmbridge Court roundabout will have 639.
It means the total number of new homes for Gloucester will be 6,107.
And that is on top of the 7,654 homes which have already been built, committed to or earmarked for potential development since 2011 in and around the city.
The plans are likely to prompt accusations that Gloucester will effectively be joined with its surrounding villages if the planned developments go ahead.
However, Julian Wain, chief executive of Gloucester City Council, said the location of the new sites represents the best way forward.
He said: “These are proposed urban extensions that are in the right place, are sustainable and will go towards meeting Gloucester’s housing needs.
“Councillors and, if approved, the public are now being asked to take a view.”
The 33,449 homes will help support 21,800 new jobs across the region in the same period and the Joint Core Strategy (JCS) document also sets aside 205 acres of land specifically for business use.
Councillors at all three authorities will be asked to agree to the contents of the JCS when they meet at the start of September.
Once the blueprint is rubberstamped it will then go out to consultation with the public.
Council bosses are expecting a passionate response to the document which will change the face of the three areas dramatically.
Tewkesbury Borough Council chief executive Mike Dawson is happy to admit the plan will be “controversial”.
He said: “It is important we get this right. If we do not there are implications for the people that live here, for the economy and for the people that are going to live here in the future.
“We are trying to take a planned approach to meet the needs of our communities going forward.
“It is a very, very important document and that is why it is so controversial.”
WHAT IS THE JCS?
It is a document that sets out how many houses will need to be built across Gloucester, Cheltenham and Tewkesbury between 2011 and 2031. It also sets out where all of these houses will be built as well as setting aside land to be used for business. Cheltenham and Tewkesbury borough councils and Gloucester City Council are working together on the planning blueprint. The document will define where developers will be allowed to build while also protecting other areas from development. Without having the JCS in place, developers will be able to try their hand and try and build wherever they want. The JCS offers protection against a “planning free for all”. It is based on independent evidence which has taken months to gather, looking at things like how many houses will be needed in the future and population growth. It has to comply with very strict government guidelines, for example, a housing plan which is too cautious and doesn’t provide enough homes is likely to fail the government’s test. Councils are legally required to have a valid housing plan.
33,449 new homes to be built across Gloucester, Cheltenham and Tewkesbury between 2011 and 2031.
Nine major new development sites where 15,000 homes will be built, the rest, 18,500, have already been built, planned or earmarked.
New homes to support 21,800 new jobs across the three areas up to 2031.
205 acres of land set aside on new sites for business use.
Urban areas will account for 55 per cent of the housing while the remaining 45 per cent will be largely built on green belt land.
Cheltenham and Gloucester will take the bulk of the new homes.
Nine new sites will occupy 1,777 acres, 1,320 acres of which is currently greenbelt.
74 per cent of the new sites are currently designated as greenbelt.
Population across the three areas will increase by 59,400 people between 2011 and 2031.
6,107 homes will be built across four new sites in Churchdown, Brockworth, Innsworth and Twigworth.
JUST under 20 per cent of greenbelt land across Gloucester, Tewkesbury and Cheltenham will be lost and earmarked for development by the joint core strategy.
There is currently 18,264 acres of green belt across the three areas but the JCS will see 3,543 acres, the equivalent of more than 2,000 football pitches, released.
That includes six of the nine new strategic sites which are currently greenbelt as well as two other large parcels of land on the outskirts of Cheltenham.
These two pieces of land, one at Elmstone Hardwicke and the other around the Hayden Water Reclamation Works near GCHQ, will be protected from development between 2011 and 2031.
However, after 2031 the two sites are likely to be first in line for new homes to meet any future housing need.
WHAT HAS ALREADY BEEN BUILT?
Just shy of 19,000 of the 33,449 houses that will be built between 2011 and 2031 are already in the pipeline.
These are houses that have been built, received planning permission or that have been earmarked for potential development since 2011. They are spread out across Gloucester, Cheltenham and Tewkesbury.
Gloucester: 7,654 homes
Cheltenham: 4,400 homes
Tewkesbury borough: 6,464 homes - includes 2,740 homes in rural areas, like two sites identified in the village of Shurdington.
Total homes already in the pipeline: 18,518
ALL three councils have to agree to the contents of the Joint Core Strategy before it is sent out for consultation with the general public.
The authorities are due to meet to discuss the plans at the start of September and assuming the document is rubberstamped a period of consultation will start on Tuesday, October 15.
However, should any one of the councils demand changes be made to the JCS this could delay the entire process because the other partner councils would have to sign off any amendments made.
If consultation does start in October it will run for six weeks until Monday, November 25.
Members of the public are being encouraged to give feedback on the plans.
Questions that will be asked include if people agree that urban extension to Cheltenham and Gloucester is the best way forward and if the nine major new sites are the right ones.
Should people disagree with any of the locations of the sites they will have the opportunity to suggest alternatives.
To have your say, visit www.gct-jcs.org where full details of the consultation can be found and comments can be made.