19 April 2024
MP formally objects to excessive number of houses proposed in Moreton-in-Marsh

Sir Geoffrey visited Clair Mowbray, the new Director of the Fire College, and was delighted to hear about their plans to expand with a consequent increase in employment from the present 200 up to maybe 350.

However, this will in no way be sufficient to provide additional employment for the proposed 1500 or so houses for the town in the Cotswold District Council’s Local Plan Update Consultation. It has to be assumed that this number of houses will be built for people commuting elsewhere.

Furthermore, an increase of this size will require very significant improvements to the infrastructure serving the town. The gridlock of traffic could become worse than that of Stow-on-the-Wold with all the environmental damage that entails, and flooding exacerbated.

Moreton also already has a significant sewage problem, particularly with the open flood alleviation area around Primrose Court where storm water is discharged, effectively creating an open sewer. Excess discharges into the River Evenlode are unacceptable and until the capacity of the sewage treatment works in the town is considerably upgraded, which Thames Water have not scheduled until 2028, the pollution of the river is bound to get worse.

Although the proposals do include provision for a new Primary School on the Fire College site, more significantly, the number of pupils generated from these houses are likely to lead to a requirement for a new secondary school which will be extremely expensive.

It is unlikely therefore that these developments will generate sufficient money to pay for the proposed relief road which only does half a job in that it does not link the A44 to the A429 south.

Bearing all this in mind, Sir Geoffrey made the following comment:

"I absolutely understand the grave concern of many residents about this scale of development. I have therefore written to formally ask the Cotswold District Council to reconsider these proposals which are disproportionally large compared to other towns in the district."