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88 homes appeal shelved

Posted on February 20 2012 at 3:22:25

Barnt Green fields

Hopes of a successful legal challenge to approval for 88 homes on the green fields behind The Barnt Green Inn have been dashed.

Barnt Green Parish Council sought legal opinion in the wake of Bromsgrove District Council’s decision to allow Banner Homes to build on the site.

But the council has decided the chances of success would not warrant the expense of the challenge.

Coun Susan Whitehand told The Village: “The Parish has taken legal advice as there have been a number of irregularities in the way in which Bromsgrove District Council has dealt with the application. 

“These might be pursued in court (at considerable expense) but it is highly unlikely that this would lead to a refusal of the planning permission. 

“The Parish Council is now in discussion with the developer to try to minimise the damage caused by the development.”

The proposal had been for the newly formed Barnt Green Association to take on the task of raising funds from residents if there had been a chance of a successful challenge.

Coun Whitehand voiced the parish’s frustration with a planning process that was allowing to go ahead a major development that hardly anyone wants.

“Despite allowing Barnt Green Parish Council, their urban design consultant, and residents 30 minutes to present their case against the development of this site [at the January 9 planning committee meeting] there was no attempt to address the points raised and virtually no discussion – other than to say that there were no reasons for refusal. 

“Perversely the following application to be heard, also in Barnt Green, was refused on the grounds that it ‘would have a detrimental impact on the character and visual amenity of the area’.

“It is difficult to imagine a development that is more out of character than that proposed adjacent to Barnt Green Inn,” said Coun Whitehand.

“The District’s own Conservation Officer had expressed serious concern about the development.

“Whilst acknowledging that the site might take some development, she said it should be at no more than 10 to the hectare (namely no more than 48 houses on the site) in order to protect the listed building, the Conservation Area and the adjacent Lickey Hills, designated locally as an Area of Great Landscape Value. “

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