The new Liberal Democrat council leader of Tewkesbury Borough Council has announced a ‘gateway review’ of the development

Plans for a 10,000-home garden town near Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire, have been put on “temporary pause” a month after local elections saw the Conservative councillors lose overall control of the local authority.

Newly-elected leader of Tewkesbury Borough Council, the Liberal Democrat councillor Richard Stanley, said the council had agreed to “take stock” of the garden town project by holding a “gateway review”, the findings of which will be shared “within a matter of weeks”.

The 10,195-home Tewkesbury Garden Town is planned for 100 hectares of land near to Ashchurch, east of Tewkesbury town centre. The project was awarded ‘garden town’ status as part of the government’s Garden Communities project in 2019.

News of the “pause” follows last month’s local elections which saw the Conservatives lose overall control of Tewkesbury Borough Council. The Liberal Democrats gained eight seats, with independent candidates and the Green Party also gaining seats, leaving the council with no single party in control.

Richard Stanley

Liberal Democrat councillor for Tewkesbury Borough Council Richard Stanley

Stanley has called reports in local media that Conservative councillors feared the delay would affect the borough’s five year housing supply “misinformation”.

“Having a five-year housing land supply is a government requirement, and a shortfall can result in unwanted and piecemeal development,” Stanley said in a statement.

“This is why it’s really important that we clarify any misleading claims and misinformation – our review will have no impact on our five-year housing land supply whatsoever.   

He added: “What the review will do, however, is ensure that we take stock of the situation with the garden town. As leader of the council, it is really important to me that we listen to the concerns of the communities we represent. 

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“We want to work with our communities, landowners and developers to deliver the best possible outcome for our area. We are now awaiting the reviews findings before we make an informed and pragmatic assessment of the situation.” 

 Tewkesbury Council’s chief executive, Alistair Cunningham, said in a statement: “A gateway review of a major programme is best practice, and an important way for us to check if it is delivering in line with our aims and objectives.

“Importantly, this temporary pause will not lead to a setback in the programme. In fact, it will strengthen the council’s approach and ensure it aligns with the new council’s priorities.”