Whitford Road proposal turned down

By Beth Sharp Friday 15 August 2014 Updated: 20/08 00:59

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Buy photos » Coun Luke Mallet and Roy Dixon happy with the planning committee's decision. Picture by Beth Sharp.

A CONTROVERSIAL proposal to build hundreds of new homes off Whitford Road has been rejected, much to the delight of residents.

Outline planning permission for the 490 home application, put forward by Catesby Estates Ltd and Miller Homes Ltd, was turned down at a planning meeting last night (Thursday).

Although officers recommended the application should be approved, the planning committee chose to back Coun Peter Whittaker's fears about the severe impact it would have on the area.

His main concern involved the planned closure of Whitford Road, which would see traffic diverted through the town centre with a knock-on effect to people living on the new estate and in the Millfields area.

Campaigners, including the Whitford Vale Voice group, also said they were worried the infrastructure improvements were not sufficient in an area which is already gridlocked during rush hours.

Coun Luke Mallet, who has also thrown his weight behind the campaign, said for ten years Worcestershire Highways had given no thought to how the road infrastructure in Bromsgrove needed major development.

"The planning committee have clearly made the right decision in turning this application down flat on highways grounds," he said.

"Despite months of asking, neither the developers or our county highways officers could provide evidence to support their claims there is no problem with the roads.

"It defies belief that highways experts could think a scheme that potentially diverts thousands of cars per day into the town centre and closed one of our three north, south routes through Bromsgrove could be a good thing.

"It is likely the developers will now consider an appeal - myself and my fellow Labour councillor Margaret Buxton will continue this campaign and will stand along side the community and Whitford Vale Voice in fighting these damaging proposals.

"This refusal leaves big questions for county highways to answer."

Roy Dixon, Whitford Vale Voice's chairman, said he felt relieved the committee had listened to their concerns.

"In affect it (the campaign) has been going on a year and half - there have been three people involved and the work load has been heavy.

"Although it is a relief to get it all over and bring it to a successful conclusion, on the first day after a good result I am wondering what on earth to do with myself."

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