By Tristan Harris Tuesday 10 September 2013 Updated: 12/09 14:02
THE CONTROVERSIAL application for 14 new homes on the site of the former Meadows First School was given full planning approval on Monday (September 9).
The planning committee voted seven to two in favour of the development and officers now have delegated powers to officers to give it the green light after September 26, when the consultation period expires.
That is subject to no new planning issues which have a bearing on the application being brought before the council before then.
Campaigners, both prior to the meeting and through speakers on the night, had called on the committee to defer the application until after that date.
They argued the majority of the consultation period for the proposal, which had an entrance close to the new Meadows and Parkside School site, fell during the summer holidays and that meant parents, governors and school staff were unaware of it.
But the applicant said the plans were available from June and it had contacted the headteacher and governors.
It was also stated opposition from parents had already been voiced and points had already been made.
Resident Alan Mitchell urged committee members to 'think of the safety of the children'.
And Coun Chris Bloore, who also spoke on the night, criticised the timing of the consultation period and said the area had been a nightmare traffic-wise since the creation of the mini-roundabout.
He argued that situation would be made worse by this development and most of the opposition to the application had been about the position of the entrance to the site.
David Onions, speaking on behalf of applicant Stuart Dudley, said the very carefully and sensibly designed development, centred around the old Victorian school building, was perfectly placed, close to the town centre and amenities.
He added the homes would be ideal for first time buyers and those looking to downsize.
And it was revealed, through an update on the night, that £20,000 towards local play facilities and £15,782 towards education provision would be contributed by the developer through a Section 106 agreement.
The Victorian building on the site will be retained and house the majority of the one and two-bedroom accommodation and the modern extensions, labelled 'unsympathetic' in the report, will be demolished to make way for the building of the rest of the homes.
Several committee members praised the developers for the retention of the Victorian building and because it would create much-needed smaller homes.
Coun Rod Laight said: "This is a vital development for small units, which the district is desperate for."
Anyone wanting to make a comment before September 26 can log onto http://appuview.bromsgrove.gov.uk/online-applications/ and type 'Meadows' into the search box.
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