Green belt land earmarked for hundreds of homes at Twigworth has been removed from a controversial housing plan.
Cheltenham, Tewkesbury and Gloucester councils have reduced the number of homes to be built across the region between 2011 and 2031 from 33,200 to 30,500.
As a result proposals to build more than 3,000 homes on green belt land at Twigworth and Innsworth have been amended to remove the Twigworth half of the site.
Land earmarked for almost 800 homes at Chargrove Lane in Up Hatherley haave also been removed from the JCS plan.
Campaigners have been calling for the three councils working on the housing plan, called the joint core strategy, to make changes to try to stop development on the countryside. And while changes have been made and two large green belt sites have been saved from development, the reduction in housing numbers is unlikely to be significant enough to appease many critics of the plan.
Calls to reduce the number of homes earmarked for the fields off Shurdington Road in Leckhampton appear to have fallen on deaf ears with the councils actually deciding to increase the number of houses destined for the land.
Leckhampton had been highlighted to take 1,075 new homes but in the updated version of the JCS it will take 1,124.
A proposal to take land to the south of Cheltenham Racecourse out of the green belt has also been withdrawn in the latest version of the plan.
As well as removing two sites from the plan the councils have also tinkered with the number of houses allocated for each of the remaining seven strategic sites.
Changes have been based on consultation responses, discussions with stakeholders and through undertaking a more in depth analysis of the evidence, the councils have said.
Andrew North, chairman of the strategy programme board, said: “We have been working extremely hard to ensure the feedback from the last consultation and the latest evidence available is incorporated, where appropriate, into this version of the Joint Core Strategy, which is now the version that we as officers feel is ready to be presented to the Planning Inspectorate.
“Clearly this version of the plan has removed two sites and this was following a meeting involving councillors from the three councils at which it was agreed that if the objectively assessed need can, with sound reasons, be reduced, then there is the flexibility to remove certain green belt sites.”
The final version of the strategy is due to be discussed by each of the three councils at meetings on April 7, 8 and 9. If all three vote in favour of the plan it will then be presented to the public, probably in the summer.
To find out more visit Gloucester Joint Core Strategy
Changes made to the joint core strategy, how the final version differs from the draft:
Innsworth: 1,250 homes (Twigworth half of development scrapped, was earmarked for 3,075 homes)
North Churchdown: 532 homes (down from 845)
South Churchdown: 868 homes (up from 639)
North Brockworth: 1,500 homes (down from 1,548)
North West Cheltenham: 4,785 homes (down from 4,829)
South Cheltenham Leckhampton: 1,124 homes (up from 1,075)
MOD site at Ashchurch (pictured): 2,125 homes (same as originally planned)
Total number of new homes to be built on new strategic sites: 12,184
Number of houses already in the pipeline: 18,885
Total number of planned houses 2011-2031: 31,069 (slightly more than target of 30,500 – will allow councils some flexibility on how many homes are built on sites)