26th Sep, 2020

Traveller site plan deferred - Redditch to give its views on the application

Ross Crawford 20th Feb, 2020

PROPOSALS to rubber stamp a traveller encampment between Redditch and Studley have been put on hold.

The part retrospective application for a ‘residential caravan site for two pitches for occupation by Gypsy Traveller Family with associated hard standing, package treatment plant, utility blocks, storage sheds and dog runs’ was due to be heard by Stratford District Council planners on Wednesday evening.

Despite being in the Green Belt, something Stratford has pledged to protect, the development had been earmarked for approval by officers.

However due to illness an insufficient number of Councillors – a quorum – couldn’t be present to make a decision.

The news has been welcomed by Redditch Borough Council which, but for a chance meeting, didn’t realise the planning application was due to be heard.

As a neighbouring authority Stratford should have informed Redditch but had failed to do so.

Councillor Matt Dormer, the Leader of Redditch Borough Council, said: “I’m glad this part retrospective application has been put on hold.

“It now gives my officers the opportunity to give correct representation prior to it being heard again.”

Coun Dormer (Con, West) only discovered the application was due to be heard when he attended Tuesday night’s meeting on Studley Parish Council (February 18) as a member of the public.

He realised Redditch hadn’t been contacted and made the point to Stratford District Council.

Studley Parish Council has long objected to the development particularly as it went against the District’s own core strategy of development in the Green Belt and maintaining the separation between Redditch and Studley.

They also warned that were the site be given the go-ahead it would set a dangerous precedent for the rest of Stratford District laying it wide open to further development in the Green Belt.

Stratford officers had recommended approval of the site on a ‘temporary’ basis claiming that some landscaping would reduce its visual impact.

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