September 23rd, 2016

Campaigners battling against homes plan

Updated: 3:40 pm, May 12, 2015

CAMPAIGNERS battling against plans to build 400 new homes on land off Crumpfields Lane in Webheath are counting down the days until the planning inspector hears their case – and are busy gathering ammunition to fight their corner.

Members of the Webheath Action Group have long argued that, although they have no objections to new homes nearby – 200 have already been approved – another 400 is excessive, especially when combined with the 2,800 planned for nearby Bentley.

Instead they argue that a site at Bordesley, closer to Redditch town centre, Birmingham and the motorway network, is a more suitable location for a large development.

Furthermore spokesman Dave Rose said that a revised document called for by the planning inspector appeared to weigh the dice even more heavily in favour of building at Webheath.

“Back in September the inspector told the council that their case was flawed and asked them to remedy it.” he said.

“The council went off and revised it, but they also re-scored the varies areas under consideration for the development.

“The result was that in the space of four months between the old document and the new the score in favour of Webheath went from 16 to 30 – almost double.

“How did they manage that?” he said.

“In some cases, where previously Webheath had scored a -2 it’s changed to a zero, yet nothing has changed.

“We’ve done our own independent scoring and we reckon Webheath should be 12, not 16 and definitely not 30.

“It all appears rather peculiar.”

A spokesperson for Redditch borough council said: “We will consider all comments as part of the consultation process. However we would like to clarify that, as advised by the council’s consultants, Appendix D, which scores the sites, has been reworked giving all sites a broader range of scoring either positively or negatively.

“This scoring referred to is only one element that gets considered when making allocations in a local plan.”

The planning inspector is due to hear the case on June 23 with a result expected within two months.