COMMENT: Box Road development - a sign of things to come?

PLANNING for developments, big or small, is a major and long lasting balancing act for all parties involved.

This tight rope has become all the more harder to cross with a new National Policy Framework being introduced last year, setting out new regulations and priorities for developers, local authorities and the Planning Inspectorate.

So it is not surprising that claims of irregularity are being made, including the one from Stroud District Council on the Box Road development.

This framework, some would argue, is making it harder for local authorities like Stroud District Council to defend themselves against “predatory developers” as Cllr Dennis Andrewartha called them.

The proximity to the M5 and the Cam and Dursley Railway Station means Cam is prime location for developers and numerous applications are going through the planning process all the time.

Of course people need somewhere to live. There is a housing crisis and house prices continue to rise. However every local authority should do its utmost to ensure that homes are appropriate in size, number and, not least of all, character and looks.

With every planning application there are objectors and varying reasons for objecting but in this case the inspector ruled that the need for housing overruled many of these objections.

If the High Court allows the planning proposal to go ahead, does this mean that all similar developments will get the go ahead, regardless of the objections to it?

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