If you’ve been there, you’ll know it’s hardly an exaggeration to say that building 150 new houses at the entrance to the Slad Valley near Stroud in Gloucestershire would be one of the most vandalistic actions that could be committed in the whole of rural England. Not just because it is an incomparable Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty but also because it was immortalised by Laurie Lee in Cider with Rosie.

Yet that’s what may happen. Despite the application having just been rejected the developers have promptly reacted to the fact that their initial archaeological survey was considered insufficient by putting in lots more trenches.

Only “a bit of pottery” had been found reckons their spokesman – speaking pure Tarmacese perhaps, for how many times have you heard a developer say “Wow, this place is an archaeological treasure house, we’ll clear off and build elsewhere”? In any case, doesn’t the value or otherwise of a Roman site (that we all know will only be preserved by record at best) rather miss the point? What about the Slad Valley and what about Cider with Rosie? Are they up for sacrifice under the new planning system? It seems so.