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By Tristan Harris Monday 07 January 2013 Updated: 11/01 10:58
MEMBERS of the Hagley Residents Action Group (HRAG) have said they are considering applying for a judicial review into the decision by Bromsgrove District Council to give a controversial housing plan the go ahead.
There were angry scenes at the Council House, Burcot Lane, on Monday (January 7) when the committee voted ten for and two against approving the proposal by CALA Homes, for 175 properties in the village.
More than 100 residents, along with local councillors, packed into the chamber for the hearing which lasted more than an hour-and-a-half and featured seven speakers.
Among the objections highlighted by residents were the impact the development would have on air quality, the increased amount of traffic, road safety issues at what would become a six-exit roundabout and the ‘inadequate’ and ‘already over-subscribed’ local amenities, such as education provision and places at doctors’ surgeries.
HRAG member Fran Evans, who has written to MP Sajid Javid, said many felt the judicial review was the only option they had left to get something done.
“If and when this six-arm roundabout is created, I challenge members of the planning committee to come down with their children or grandchildren and cross the roads, even with the crossings that are being planned.”
HRAG members have also hit out at the amount of housing planned for the village.
They claimed Hagley only had six per cent of the population of Bromsgrove District, but was being asked to take 20 per cent of the housing allocation.
Rachel Jenkins, who spoke on the night, labelled the decision ‘shocking’ and said throughout the planning process, residents did not feel they had been listened to.
Coun Steven Colella said he was extremely disappointed and criticised the way the site had been dealt with in a ‘piecemeal’ way.
He added the site should have been considered as a whole, rather than as a number of different applications, and that way, it could be decided where was best to put the housing and where was best to put amenities.
“All that the community has gained from this development is a bus shelter and cycle racks.
“And, if there was an application that should have been turned down on highways issues, this was it,” he said.
Darren Humphreys, regional managing director for CALA Homes Midlands, said welcomed the planning committee’s decision and said the development would bring some much-needed housing to the area, including affordable homes.
“We do appreciate the concerns of some local residents about the impact of the development in the area and we have listened and responded to those concerns during the period of public consultation.
“We will continue to engage with the local community as we put together the detail of the scheme and are planning a series of workshops to enable local people and parish councillors the opportunity to have their say on the kind of development they would like to see moving forward.”
He added the company was more than happy to answer any specific questions residents had and a dedicated e-mail address - firstname.lastname@example.org - had been set up for them to be sent to.
For more on the Hagley Residents Action Group, and to read the letter to Mr Javid in full, visit www.hagleyresidents.co.uk.
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