ALCESTER Town Councillors have expressed their extreme disappointment at a decision by Stratford District Council to offer no opposition to a planning appeal by developers over the Allimore Lane sites.
Two outline planning applications to build up to 350 houses on sites to the north and south of Allimore Lane, were supported by planning officers at the district council, but they came under vocal opposition from community groups and Alcester Town Council, and were both rejected by the district council’s planning committee.
The developers, JS Bloor, Gallagher Estates, and Pettifer Developments, have since lodged an appeal against both decisions.
However Alcester Town Council has since received a copy of a letter from Stratford District Council’s planning manager to the Planning Inspectorate stating that the council won’t be defending the planning committee’s decision.
The letter states: “The council has taken the decision that the four reasons for refusal will not be defended at the forthcoming public inquiry, due to open on 26 November.”
Alcester mayor, Mark Cargill, said: “This is a huge disappointment to Alcester Town Council, the residents and associations who have fought this application successfully so far. Alcester Town Council wish to assure their residents that they will continue to work with all the associated parties including the developers to ensure the best interests of the town are constantly in the forefront of the minds of all concerned.”
The decision effectively means that no opposition will be put forward at the appeal in November, and the developers are likely to be granted planning permission.
District councillor Mike Gittus, voted against the development as a member of the planning committee. He said: “I’ve never been against new development in Alcester. I’m disappointed that we haven’t been able to come to an agreement with the developers with regard to the size and implications of these developments. I’ve supported 300 houses on this site. I supported that because for over 20 years that site has been designated as a development area, but I’m disappointed it’s 350 because I would have liked it to be 300.
“I’m also disappointed that at this stage we haven’t been able to reach a satisfactory conclusion about the types of services and green open spaces that the developers can supply for Alcester.”