A PLANNING inspector has given the go-ahead to build 48 homes in a village on the edge of the Cotswolds sparking fears “everything in Tewkesbury Borough is up for grabs”.

Rainier Developments Limited and the Gilder Family have won their appeal against Tewkesbury Borough Council’s refusal to grant planning permission to develop almost 10-acre field in Alderton near Winchcombe.

Their outline proposals, which includes the demolition of 16 St Margaret’s Drive, could provide a mix of one to four bedroom homes.

The scheme was met with strong opposition from villagers and the parish council.

And borough planners had turned down the scheme for reasons including its rural site, the impact it would have on the Cotswold area of outstanding natural beauty and fears newcomers would harm the social and economic wellbeing of the village.

But a planning inspector has now granted permission due to the lack of a five-year housing land supply.

They felt the adverse impacts of granting planning permission would not significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits of the proposed development.

The borough council had said in the case that it had 6.68 years worth of housing land supply while the developers say the council has a shortfall of 1,660 homes and their position is actually 2.27 years.

However, the inspector said the main reason for this difference is centred around whether the borough council should include within its supply the houses within its jurisdiction which are allocated to serve the needs of Gloucester and Cheltenham.

They said, in the decision notice issued on June 26, that a five-year supply could not be demonstrated and the borough’s supply is somewhere between 2.27 years and 3.32 years.

Councillor Jim Mason (C, Winchcombe) said the decision will have a huge impact on the village. And he also fears the inspector’s comments could lead to more speculative developments.

“We are constantly being told by officers that we do have a five year housing land supply. For an appeal inspector to suddenly turn around and say we haven’t is quite devastating.

“Of course, it opens the door to speculative development. It’s going to be interesting to see whether the council challenges the decision.

“The Government comes up with a number of homes they expect you to build. You come up with a plan and yet it’s overridden and everything is sort of up for grabs.

“Alderton has risen by roughly 50 percent. It’s gone from about 200 houses before this all started and, in recent years, it’s had over 100 homes built. All won on appeal.”