THE battling champion of Webheath, Dave Rose, has quit Redditch.
Mr Rose, the former chairman of Webheath Action Group, had been at the forefront of the campaign against building 3,400 new homes by the semi-rural part of town.
And he admits that losing the battle against the planning inspector earlier this year was part of the reason for his going.
“We’re moving near Evesham to be nearer our son, and the garden here is getting a bit too big for me to cope with, but to be honest it does my head in living here.
“We’re half a mile away from the Church Road development and you can still hear the lorries revving and all the piling going on, and that’s before they build the 400 houses opposite where I am in Crumpfields Lane.
“I thought if we don’t get out now, it’s going to be ten years before we can move.”
The heart of the matter lies back in 2015 when after the planning inspector told Redditch Borough Council its plans were flawed it ‘re-scored’ the areas under consideration for development with the score in favour of development at Webheath almost doubling in its favour.
“The inspector picked up on the point that the council seemed to be amost fixing the suitability of Webheath but didn’t have the courage of his convictions to follow it through,” said Mr Rose.
“In the end the council spent a fortune on barristers and won the day.
“As a result they’re desecrating what once was a very peaceful semi rural part of Webheath.”
He also took aim at the developers and the plans for 2,800 homes in the neighbouring village Bentley which will butt on to Redditch.
“You have ‘Garden Villages’ where they’re spending tens of millions on infrastructure and here there will be no infrastructure and the council is letting them get away with it.
“We all know there is a desperate shortage of homes in this country but the local authority seems to have forgotten the needs of the community and is letting the developers to put up the sort of homes they want to build.”
County Councillor Robin Lunn (Lab, Redditch North) who also campaigned alongside Webheath Action Group, paid tribute to Mr Rose: “He did an excellent job as chairman and without him Webheath would have had more houses and sooner too.
“He was always well informed, knew and understood what he was talking about and did sterling work.”