Plans for homes near Cheltenham racecourse get go-ahead

Outline plans for up to 380 houses and flats near Cheltenham racecourse have been approved by the borough council's planning committee.

The plans for the Starvehall Farm site and Prestbury Playing Fields, which faced strong opposition from residents, were voted through by 10 votes to four.

Concerns included heavy traffic on a new link road, and loss of open space.

But Gloucestershire County Council, which owns the land, has said the plans reflect local views.

'Disappointed and distressed'

Councillor Bernard Fisher, who voted in favour, said it was not an easy decision to make.

But he said: "I didn't think the opposition had a strong enough case if Gloucestershire County Council, who are making the proposal, took us to appeal."

Cheltenham Borough Council had received more than 200 objections to the plans.

Prestbury Parish Council had said it was "disappointed and distressed" by them.

Councillor Fisher dismissed the objection that the land had been used for recreation for more than two decades, saying: "It hasn't been used for sport for a number of years."

He added that the link road would only be used by buses and bicycles.

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