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Planners refuse housing scheme on Hopwood green belt land
12:20pm Wednesday 8th January 2014 in News
A CONTROVERSIAL application to build new homes in green belt land in Hopwood was thrown out by Bromsgrove planners on Monday, (January 6).
The applicant, Cawdor Capital Hopwood Ltd and Morris Homes Ltd, applied for planning permission for the homes to be built on the east side of Redditch Road in Smedley Crooke Place.
The proposed development, seeking full planning permission, was for 21 homes - seven being affordable homes while the remaining 14 would be for sale on the open market.
A decision on the scheme was deferred at a meeting of Bromsgrove District Council's planning committee last November, when members asked for officers to further investigate the site's status.
There was confusion as to whether the site was brownfield land as some areas of the land was covered in rubble.
But at the latest planning meeting, held on January 6, officers reported the site had been established to be in the green belt. Members were told they needed to consider whether the development was appropriate and whether very special circumstances existed, which outweighed any harm caused to the green belt.
Officers had concluded that the proposed scheme would represent inappropriate development, and recommended it for refusal.
A Hopwood residents association spokesman told committee members they would have no faith in elected members, if the committee went against the recommendation.
But a spokesman for the developers said the site was deliverable, sustainable, and available for development.
Hagley councillor Chris Scurrell said the site was clearly in the green belt, while Sidemoor councillor Edward Murray was critical of the amount of rubble he said had been dumped.
Tardebigge councillor Peter Whittaker said: "There are no special circumstances, so I can see no reason for this application to succeed."
When the vote was taken all 12 members on the committee voted unanimously to refuse the application.
• An application for a proposed new six bedroom detached dwelling, with an additional bedroom, dressing room and bathroom within roof space, also went before Bromsgrove planners at the meeting.
The application for the scheme, on land on the northern side of Plymouth Road in Barnt Green, had been requested to be considered by the committee by Linthurst councillor Kit Taylor.
Nearby residents had raised concerns with the scheme saying it was out of character with the area, and there would be a loss of privacy.
Marlbrook councillor John Ruck said he did not feel the proposal was going to benefit the area, but Councillor Whittaker said he could see no other alternative than to grant the application.
The application was given the green light after a majority of seven to five voted in favour.
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