Joy for residents as Catshill homes plan is thrown out

By Carl Jackson 01/06 Updated: 01/06 19:53

RESIDENTS in Catshill have expressed their delight at the decision by Bromsgrove District Council's Planning Committee to throw out controversial plans to build 80 homes in the area.

At the planning meeting on Monday (May 28), members cited the scheme's 'poor design and layout' as the reasons for turning it down.

Imir Frazer, from the Catshill Marshes Action Group, represented around 70 residents when she spoke at the meeting to raise a host of issues.

She described the affordable housing as 'cheap' looking, claiming it resembled an estate built in the 1960s.

"We were delighted the planning committee saw the same design shortcomings and refused permission.

"We know it's going to come back, but hopefully with revised plans," she added.

Other concerns raised by residents included the proposed homes' close proximity to existing properties, increased traffic levels, potential damage to woodland and wildlife and risks of flooding.

Planning committee vice-chairman John Ruck said: "Its amazing that we put that back.

"Bromsgrove is a country town and we want development that is in keeping with that.

"This could have been good, but it was very ordinary.

"We do need the housing, so, hopefully, the developers will have a second look and realign with the council's view of it."

Developers Cala Homes expressed its 'extreme dissapointment' and confirmed it would appeal the decision.

A spokeman said: "We are particularly disappointed that the members of the planning committee were advised that they could not defer the decision, and therefore chose to refuse our application, denying us the opportunity to work with the council on the design and layout of the new homes and the development."

He added the committee's decision would delay the company's £4million investment in Catshill and the creation of some 150 jobs in the construction of the new properties, and of twice that number in the supply chain.

"It will also delay the provision of much-needed housing, including 32 affordable units, in Bromsgrove, which has a recognised shortage of all types of new homes."

Residents have also now applied for village green status with Worcestershire County Council (WCC), confident it meets the strict criteria. If approved, the status would prohibit any development on the land.

The council's chief legal officer will now decide whether to accept, refuse or hold a public inquiry into the matter.

A WCC spokesman said: "Public notice of the application has been published by the county council and it is open to any member of the public to make representations to us about it."

The Commons Act 2006 states anyone can lodge an application to register land as a Town or Village Green, regardless of who owns it.

Cala refuted the land had been used as a village green and vowed to 'vigorously' oppose the application.

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