A CONTROVERSIAL housing development is set to go before the planning committee tonight.

The application is to build 74 homes on land off Hyde Road, which is currently home to a number of football pitches used by the Kingsdown Sports Centre.

These pitches would be relocated to green space next to the A419 and near existing sports pitches.

The application drew dozens of objections from residents unhappy about a number of issues including the layout and loss of green space.

As a result the application has been called in to the planning committee. Council officers have drawn up a report recommending that the application is accepted.

Coun Joe Tray (Lab, Penhill and Upper Stratton), who is not on the committee, will be opposing the application.

He said: “I will be urging the members to reject this application.

“This is the third planning application for housing development on land off Hyde Road in as many years and this time the development is planned on used green open space.

“So I will be opposing this application on the grounds the area is already contributing to the borough’s housing needs from the developments that have already been agreed, that public open space will be lost and because it will lead to more traffic on a road that was never designed for the number of vehicles that will be driving on it in the future.

“The planning report does acknowledge all of these issues and it even admits that the surrounding area of the site has a shortfall of open space and that this development will only exacerbate this shortfall.

“But despite this the planning report believes these grounds are not enough to reject the planning application. I disagree and think we should take a stand and stop this overdevelopment of Hyde Road and Stratton, which doesn’t have the infrastructure to cope with this scale of housing.”

The officers’ report concludes that while there is a short-fall of green space in the area, the benefits of the proposal outweigh any costs. On top on that, they say the developers have changed the layout from the original application to deal with these issue.

The report says: “The proposed replacement pitches, which would be subject to a community use agreement, offer an improved facility and this is considered to outweigh the loss of the existing playing pitches. “Residents have raised a number of concerns in relation to the proposal, however, following discussions between the applicant and officers the revised layout is considered acceptable in terms of its design and appearance and impact upon residential amenity.”