Complaints about last minute changes put Baxter's Field appeal on hold
AN APPEAL against Stroud District Council’s decision to refuse planning permission for 140 new homes in the Slad Valley has been put on hold.
The planning inspector due to hear the appeal has opted to suspend the start of the inquiry in light of complaints from the authority and campaigners about changes made by the developer to the plans - which attracted more than 1,000 objections in their original form.
Cheshire-based Gladman saw its application for 140 homes at Baxter’s Field off Summer Street unanimously rejected by SDC’s development control committee in April.
The firm appealed but then submitted a revised scheme, which was initially accepted by the planning inspector.
Following an outcry from campaigners and a letter of objection from SDC, the inspector has agreed to delay the beginning of the inquiry so residents can be properly consulted about the new plans, in which the number of homes has been reduced to 112.
"We felt that such significant changes warranted it coming back to the council to consult with the community on what was effectively a new application, rather than for the developer to undertake its own consultation and report back to the inspectorate," said SDC’s head of planning Phil Skill.
"Our ideal position remains that Gladman should bring back a fresh application for the council and local people to consider.
"That keeps decision making local by allowing local people and local representatives to decide what is best for the local community."
Phil Coysh, of Slad Valley Action Group, which is opposing the development, also called for the modified plans to be re-examined by SDC.
“We really believe that the appellant should return to the council with a new application for its amended scheme,” he said.
“It seems to us to be most undemocratic that the elected representatives of the council’s development control committee should not have a say in the amended plan before the appellants take it to appeal."
Members of SVAG are holding a public meeting to discuss the new plans and the appeal at Stroud Congregational Church Hall in Bedford Street on Thursday, September 26 at 7pm.
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