Stroud planners tether balloons at proposed development

The balloons
Image caption Each balloon is 3ft (0.9m) in diameter

Five helium-filled balloons are being used to help experts assess plans for a new housing estate in Gloucestershire.

Planning officers at Stroud District Council inflated the balloons on Thursday to judge the potential impact of 48 new homes at Wades Farm, Stroud.

Phillip Skill, head of planning, said it was a "cheap" way to assess the building heights and "get a visual feel" for the scale of the proposals.

Barratt Homes said the plans would tackle a shortage of family homes.

Each yellow balloon is 3ft (0.9m) in diameter and was tethered at the roof height of the proposed houses.

The plans for the Cotswold development, which is in a designated area of outstanding natural beauty (AONB), will be decided upon at a meeting later this summer.

Residents with a view on the application were being encouraged to take photos from where they live while the balloons were in place and email them to the local authority.

'Encourage wildlife'

In a statement Barratt Homes said: "The 48 homes will be predominantly detached homes with half of the land becoming public open space.

"As part of the plans Barratt is proposing much needed allotments and play spaces.

"There will also be wild flower meadows and a community orchard which will encourage wildlife and enhance biodiversity in this area."

Elaine Barwell, from the Save Slad and Uplands from Development action group, said more than 600 letters of objection had been sent in to the council.

"A lot of people have been incredibly interested in this and so far I haven't had anyone say they agree with the proposal," she said.

On Saturday the group will be campaigning for the second time in Stroud since the consultation period began.

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