September 28th, 2016

Villages are no soft touch on local plan

Villages are no soft touch on local plan Villages are no soft touch on local plan

THE combined villages of Studley, Sambourne and Mappleborough Green are awaiting a decision which could further damage Redditch’s Local Plan 4.

The plan projects the housing needs of the borough up to 2030 and is already under examination from planning inspector Michael Hetherington following objections from local communities in Webheath and the Bentley area – the proposed locations of 3,400 new homes.

However the three Warwickshire villages also challenged the plan, accusing Redditch of effectively ‘barrier busting’ by outlining land along the A435 as possible locations for future housing needs.

“Perhaps they thought we were a much softer touch than the communities of Webheath and Bordesley – there are no votes for Redditch over here,” said Councillor Paul Beaman, chairman of Studley parish council.

The three villages say the Redditch plan is ‘fundamentally flawed from a sustainability perspective’.

“Our collective belief is that RBC has failed to properly and effectively consult with all the signatories on matters of sustainability and where they have informed us of their proposals they have paid no regard to the legitimate sustainability concerns that have been raised,” say the parishes.

“We are waiting for the ministerial department to respond under the Sustainability Communities Act to see if they agree that the Redditch plan is not fit for purpose,” said Coun Beaman.

Members of the parish council recently received a presentation on creating a Neighbourhood Development Plan, a tool which would carry more weight than the parish plan and would provide greater control and protection over development in and around the village.

Coun Beaman said that it would again be beneficial for all concerned if Sambourne and Mappleborough Green were involved in its formation.

“Now that we share district councillors it would make sense to align our local neighbourhood plans as it would give them more of a steer at district level,” he said.