October 1st, 2016

Relief for residents as Whitford case rejected

Relief for residents as Whitford case rejected Relief for residents as Whitford case rejected
Traffic queues at Fox Lane
Updated: 2:59 pm, Mar 24, 2016

CAMPAIGNERS battling to prevent over-development on land off Whitford Road in Bromsgrove have breathed a sigh of relief after a judicial review of the controversial planning application was dismissed.

The case was presented at a hearing at the Administrative Court in Birmingham on February 18 and was thrown out by Mrs Justice Patterson who dismissed all of Catesby Estates’ claims at the Royal Courts of Justice last Thursday.

The hearing was requested by the developer after its plan to build 490 homes on Whitford Road was rejected.

Catesby Estates’ legal counsel claimed the Planning Inspector made basic legal errors, misunderstood information and acted unfairly against them.

Residents fighting to prevent the development have always argued it would bring more traffic to an already congested area and the plans were thrown out in August 2014, after initially being up for approval.

The developer then headed for the High Court in September last year in a bid to get the decision overturned.

Chairman of the Whitford Vale Voice action group Roy Dixon welcomed this latest decision and reiterated calls for a Western Bypass to be built to provide the area with some much-needed infrastructure to support any development there in the future.

“Once again, the views of local people have been successfully represented.

“I am delighted and hope Worcestershire Highways will consider the building of a bypass in the west of the town before any further housing expansion is considered in the Whitford area.”

Local councillor Luke Mallett, who has campaigned against the Whitford development since his election in 2011, said: “This judgement marks the latest victory for common sense and for the local community.

“Whitford Vale Voice have stood up against the councils and big developers and have again been successful on behalf of local people.

“Both councils now need to think long and hard about this judgement and what it means for their Local Plan aspiration to build thousands of houses on the west of the town with the already congested road networks.”

Bromsgrove MP Sajid Javid said: “First of all I would like to pay tribute to Roy Dixon’s leadership of the Whitford Vale campaign – he is an asset to his local community.

“Many constituents raised strong concerns with me about the proposal, which I put directly to the Planning Inspector.

“The High Court’s decision is therefore very welcome. I know this will be a huge relief for residents.”