By Tristan Harris Tuesday 05 March 2013 Updated: 06/03 14:09
THE OUTLINE planning application to build 178 houses on Bleak House Farm in Wythall has been given the green light.
The proposal for the development was approved by seven votes to two at the meeting of Bromsgrove District Council's planning committee on Monday (March 4).
More than 60 residents had gathered at the Council House, Burcot Lane, and there were angry scenes when the decision was made.
Speaking about the plans during the meeting, Terry Coney from the Wythall South Residents' Action Group (WSRAG), said the housing density was too high for the area, public transport was poor and it would put undue pressure on local services and amenities, including the already oversubscribed local schools and medical surgeries.
He also expressed highways concerns about the increased amount of traffic and pedestrian safety on both Station Road and Gorsey Lane.
Stephen Peters, the chairman of Wythall Parish Council's planning committee, said although Bleak House was considered a sustainable location, development on it was not sustainable.
"In a nutshell, our concerns are for the quality of life for the current residents and the future ones," he added.
Speaking for the applicant Gallagher Estates, Andrew Shipley, said the proposals addressed Bromsgrove's need for housing, including affordable properties.
He added the developers had held public exhibitions and meetings with Bromsgrove District Council, Wythall Parish Council and WSRAG.
Officers pointed out the site had been earmarked as an Area for Development Restraint (ADR) for the last ten years and had been included in the local plan as a sustainable and suitable area for building.
They also dismissed claims there was insufficient capacity at the schools and said the Hollywood Surgery had three spare consulting rooms that could take extra patients.
The Highways Officer added that, although the transport data had been supplied by Gallagher, it had been verified.
He said the conditions relating to road and footpath improvements, which had been agreed with the developers, had led to no objections being raised by Worcestershire Highways or the Highways Agency.
Mr Coney said the committee had shown no regard for local residents who felt they had not been listened to and were frustrated and disappointed the application had gone through.
"They did not take into consideration that the cumulative effect of previous applications had put tremendous pressure on the infrastructure of Wythall South."
He added members of the WSRAG would be getting together next week.
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