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By Carl Jackson Thursday 06 December 2012 Updated: 07/12 00:17
COUNCIL chiefs made a last minute decision to delay a verdict on plans to build 175 homes in Hagley to the dismay of thousands of residents expecting a conclusion to the saga.
More than 60 people turned up to the meeting of Bromsgrove District Council's planning committee on Monday (December 3) only to be told at the door the item had been pulled from the agenda hours earlier.
Francesca Evans, spokeswoman for the Hagley Residents Action Group, which had fiercely opposed the development of land at Kidderminster Road, hit out at the council.
"I think it was a bit shoddy they didn't let us know, all it would have taken was a quick e-mail.
"It would have saved 60 people coming out only to be met with little information." she said.
The mum-of-two said people had rearranged their day in order to attend the meeting, including her husband who had gone in to work two hours early.
"It took me 40 minutes to get there. I was completely annoyed. The council don't seem to value their own time and don't value the time of others." added Mrs Evans.
Ruth Bamford, the head of planning and regeneration for the council, made an announcement during the meeting, saying the council had received a letter regarding a legal matter on the issue at around 1pm that day.
She added the item was removed from the agenda in orders so the council could respond to letter in a 'timely manner'.
A council spokesman confirmed the letter was sent from Hagley Parish Council.
"It's possible to make comments on a planning application right up until committee.
"It will be considered as soon as possible," he added.
It is now expected a decision will be made on the proposal at the next planning committee meeting in January.
An officer's report prepared on the issue had recommended the plans be approved.
Mrs Evans said she was 'despondent' but not totally surprised, and was optimistic the delay could work in the residents' favour.
"There is a small ray of hope.
"It looks like they are taking is more seriously."
She added everything would be done by the residents to ensure they came out fighting at the next meeting.
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