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New fight over bid to build 50 homes
5:10pm Monday 7th October 2013 in News
ANGRY residents are readying themselves for another fight against plans to build 50 homes on their doorstep.
Welland Residents Action Group (WRAG), has been lobbying against plans by Kler Developments to build 50 new homes at Lawn Farm – a site owned by Welland Parish and Malvern Hills District Councillor Roger Cousins.
The application was thrown out by the district council in February but the developer has now appealed, meaning a final decision over the controversial proposal will be in the hands of a planning inspector.
WRAG members are concerned that a successful appeal would lead not only to 50 unwanted homes but open the floodgates for as many as 120 houses on the 30-acre site.
They fear a planning inspector may overrule the decision by local planners – as happened recently when a development of 44 homes in Tenbury was allowed on appeal despite being rejected by Malvern Hills District Council.
They are now dipping into their own pockets for a “fighting fund” to secure the services of a top barrister.
This could end up costing them £10,000.
WRAG chairman Alan Madsen said: “We are prepared to fight this and we are putting our money where our mouths are.
“Communities cannot sit back and do nothing.
“A dangerous and uncertain future for our rural heritage lies ahead and be in no doubt that if this appeal is allowed then it will set a precedent for all of our villages in South Worcestershire.”
He said his group is not prepared to stand by and watch inspectors and developers “ride roughshod” over local planning decisions.
“The residents of Welland don’t want this, the parish council unanimously voted against it, the district council has unanimously voted against it but still they are pressing ahead with an appeal.
“It seems planning inspectors are riding roughshod over the decisions of our democratically elected councillors.
“Inspectors are taking decisions which are subjective, inconsistent, disregard the views of our democratically elected councillors and treat the Localism Act and emerging local plans in an a la carte and cavalier fashion.”
Coun Cousins said it would “not be appropriate” for him to comment on the matter due to his position on the district council.
The planning appeal is to take place in December.
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