Planning appeal could cost Stratford District Council more than £145,000

AN appeal by developers against the refusal of their applications to build 350 new homes in Alcester, could end up costing Stratford District Council in excess of £145,000 despite the council’s decision not to fight the developers.

Stratford District Council’s planning committee originally went against advice from planning officers, refusing to grant permission to two developments by Bloor Homes, J S Bloor, Gallagher Estates, and Pettifer Developments on land to the north and south of Allimore Lane in the north west of the town.

Committee members paid a visit to the site and agreed that the sound levels created by the nearby bypass were intolerable in a development as large as the one proposed. The development was also considered to be unsustainable in terms of the pressures it would put on local employment and the community due to its size and because of how it could impact on the character of Alcester.

However the developers were unhappy with the decision, and when they decided to take it through the appeals process with the Planning Inspectorate, Stratford District Council announced that it would not be defending its decision, effectively putting up no opposition to the development.

Despite that decision, it was revealed at a recent meeting of Alcester Town Council, that Stratford District Council is still being asked for £145,000 from Bloor Homes as costs for its role in the appeal.

Prior to the planning inspectorate’s inquiry in December, district councillor Ian Fradgley had raised the question of costs being incurred by Stratford District Council in fighting planning appeals at a meeting of the council, at which point the chair of the regulatory committee, Councillor Chris Williams gave a figure of £3,000 incurred so far in the appeal.

Overall last year the council had spent more than £400,000 defending planning appeals.

A spokesman for Stratford district Council, said: “Provision has been made within the service budgets to reflect the appeals being fought this year and next and this has no influence on future planning decisions, each planning application is considered on its own merits and the same goes for appeals which are also subject to legal advice.”

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