September 25th, 2016

Developers head to the High Court after Inspector upholds Whitford Road decision

Developers head to the High Court after Inspector upholds Whitford Road decision Developers head to the High Court after Inspector upholds Whitford Road decision
Updated: 10:37 am, Sep 17, 2015

AN APPEAL challenging the refusal of the Whitford Road planning application for 490  homes has been submitted to the High Court.

Catesby Estates Ltd and Miller Homes revealed the announcement on Tuesday (September 15).

David Morris, Catesby Estates’ planning director, said they were very disappointed with the outcome of the appeal and were particularly concerned the planning inspector had not ‘appeared’ to have erred in law when coming to his decision.

He added they had all along sought to deliver a development in accordance with guidance from both the Bromsgrove District Council and, in the case of the highway solution, Worcestershire County Council.

Mr Morris said the decision to challenge the inspector had been taken to ensure any ‘misinterpretations’ did not constrain the scope of solutions when looking to solve highway issues.

“We intend to continue this strategy and we will work closely with the local authority, relevant stakeholders and members of the local community to ensure such a solution is found at a local level,” he added.

“We very much hope the two councils adopt the approach previously suggested by Coun Luke Mallett, agreeing between themselves and with us a revised and realistic highways approach which would allow delivery of the site, which forms a fundamental part of the district council’s new local plan, as soon as possible.”

Coun Mallett said the latest decision by the developers to take their case to the High Court really ‘smacks of desperation’.

“If they really believed there was a road solution they would not be arguing with the legal process but bringing forward an alternate plan,” he added.

“The reality is the two councils have overseen a catastrophic failure to plan for road infrastructure over more than a decade.”

Coun Mallett said they had left Bromsgrove with plans to develop thousands of houses and no viable plan to deal with the traffic.

He added the bottom line was the councils needed to go back to the drawing board and recognise that for more than ten years they had failed to plan for growth and as a result left Bromsgrove with an unsustainable and undeliverable draft local plan.

Rox Dixon, Whitford Vale Voice’s chairman, said he was particularly surprised because both developments in Perryfields Road and Whitford Road, totalling some 2,000 homes or so, could only be viable if the road structure in the west of Bromsgrove was sufficiently robust.

“We know it isn’t because the traffic on the existing roads is already at capacity,” he added.

“The only solution is to build a bypass by the west of the town.

“Whitford Vale Voice has no problem with them building houses in either of those roads, the big problem is the homes would not be adequately served by the current road infrastructure.”