PLANS to build 107 homes on land near Cheltenham town centre have been blasted as "unimaginative" and "disappointing" by the town's architectural guardians.
Cheltenham Civic Society has launched the broadside in the direction of Taylor Wimpey's proposals for the Travis Perkins site, in Gloucester Road, which have been formally submitted to the borough council.
John Henry, chairman of the society's planning forum, which comments on all important applications in the town, said such an important site warranted something better.
He said: "The opportunity to create something really impressive on this significant town centre site has been lost.
"Both the layout and the design are unimaginative and very standard.
"We're not against a high density of housing at the site. But the design of the majority of the homes reflects that of the properties in Gloucester Road – not a style we feel should necessarily be replicated. Overall we just feel that there is a chance of something so much better here and are disappointed with plans as they stand."
Taylor Wimpey's plans consist of a range of two bedroom flats, flats over garages and three or four bed family homes. Travis Perkins would move to a new base on the vacant Bonella Works site in Tewkesbury Road as part of the proposal.
However, the firm's relocation would hinge on the housing proposal going ahead.
The Civic Society was much more positive about plans for the Bonella Works site.
Mr Henry said: "We quite liked the design. Given our concern to enhance the Tewkesbury Road approach to Cheltenham whenever possible we think it important that trees should be retained and enhanced on the Tewkesbury Road frontage.
"This is an important gateway into Cheltenham and the current Bonella Works site has looked fairly sorry for quite a long time, so this would be a considerable improvement."
Taylor Wimpey defended the Gloucester Road plans.
On the planning application it said: "The vision for the development is to provide a high quality environment where people will aspire to, and be proud, to live in."
A decision on the housing plans will be made by April 25.