Inquiry next week into 200 homes

By ID Friday 17 January 2014 Updated: 17/01 09:52

A PLANNING inquiry to examine the decision to turn down plans to build 200 homes on land in Webheath is set to take place next week.

Members of Webheath Action Group will attempt to defend councillors’ decision to refuse permission to Barratt Homes and Taylor Wimpey to build on land off Pumphouse Lane, despite Redditch Borough Council announcing it does not intend to offer any evidence in support of the original refusal.

The two day hearing takes place at the Town Hall on Tuesday and Wednesday (January 21 and 22).

The council’s planning committee ignored planning officers recommendation to approve the proposal and instead turned it down highlighting concerns about traffic, infrastructure and highways contributions.

But Worcestershire County Council has since resolved the issue about highways and after taking advice from lawyers and planning consultants preparing the borough council’s case, officers have been told there is no evidence to support concerns about traffic and infrastructure. The council were warned they were likely to lose the appeal and continuing to defend it could cost taxpayers £100,000.

A spokesman for WAG said: “We are appalled to have been abandoned by both councils to defend alone the original planning decision made by our democratically elected local representatives. By not defending this appeal, councillors are sending the message to any developer wishing to build on the green fields of Redditch that they may be able to overturn the original planning committee decision just by making financial threats.

“On behalf of the residents of Webheath, WAG are not prepared to allow this to happen, here in Redditch.”

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