Planning row rumbles on in Broadway

First published in News

A CAMPAIGN group against over development in the Cotswold village of Broadway has hit out at a decision made by the local planning authority and is calling for it to be returned to council.

The Save Broadway Campaign, which aims to restrict development in the village, said it was disappointed with a decision made by Wychavon District Council's planning committee to approve proposals for 13 houses at Kingsdale Court and five dwellings on land in Springfield Lane.

They are now calling for the decision to approve the five homes to be returned to the committee after members voted three times before a decision was made.

Steve Williams, who is part of the campaign group, said guidelines and a recent decision at court in Mevagissey, should have strengthened the protection of Areas of Natural Beauty (AONB).

"The bar has been raised high and an extraordinary reason for development in AONB must now be identified, each application to be scrutinised on a case-by-case basis," he said.

"Most of Broadway falls into the AONB category. Where it does not, for example in Springfield Lane, Wychavon established a Conservation Area around its environs to protect its history as an old drovers’ road.

"Despite this, at last month’s planning committee, Wychavon ignored its own rules to give planning permission for five new houses in this designated conservation area, the committee being asked to vote three times before approval was passed."

Now the campaign group has written to the authority expressing their concern at the handling of the vote, and requesting the Springfield Lane proposed development be returned to the committee.

Dr Thomas Bloch, who lives in Springfield Lane, said the voting was a "shambles".

"The statement clearly says conservation will be achieved by refusing development that results in loss of open spaces, trees, boundary features and ancient ridge and furrow grassland.

"It goes on to state that sawn modern Cotswold stone is too regular to be used in conservation settings and disapproves of wooden fencing panels. It requires new builds to observe building lines and plot arrangements in order to fit in.

"This application to build has broken every single one of these rules."

Giorgio Framalicco, head of housing and planning at Wychavon said the application was in fact being considered for a second time due to the matters presented by the Mevagissey case.

He said: "The Planning Committee was well aware of all the planning matters related to the case before them when they granted planning permission for the development.

"The committee had previously approved the development at a meeting in late 2013 but the proposal came before members again given the matters presented by the Mevagissey case."

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