REDDITCH MP Karen Lumley is to seek a meeting with the government’s planning minister following news that a development of 3,400 homes at Foxlydiate, Webheath and Bentley has been given the green light by a planning inspector.
The news has rocked local residents who have fought a long and costly campaign against the proposals put forward by the combined planning departments of Redditch and Bromsgrove councils.
They are particularly angry that the inspector, Simon Hetherington, appears to have disregarded alternative and better placed sites at Brockhill East and Bordesley, despite lengthy deliberations and two inquiries.
“I am very disappointed at hearing this,” said Mrs Lumley, who, together with Bromsgrove MP Sajid Javid, the Business Secretary, had written to the inspector expressing her views prior to a planning inquiry earlier this year.
“I will certainly be writing to the planning inspector again and seeking a meeting with the minister responsible for planning.
“I think that area is totally unsuitable for this level of development.
“There is no infrastructure and Brockhill and Bordesley are far more central.”
Malcolm Glaister chairman of Bentley Area Action Group added: “For all the words of the planning inspector over the last three years where he has been critical of the council it does seem quite surprising that he has essentially accepted pretty well in total everything the councils had asked for.
“He is totally disagreeing with the recommendation of Bordesley, totally disagreeing with both members of Parliament.”
David Rose, chairman of Webheath Action Group said: “This is the worst possible news for the residents of Webheath and Bentley. This is a baffling decision and will be a tragedy for our communities.”
Despite the inspector’s recommendation, which goes before Bromsgrove district council’s cabinet meeting on July 6 for approval and Redditch borough council’s executive committee on July 12, there is still hope for campaigners if the MPs can press the minister to have the matter reconsidered.