Woodland to be bulldozed for 236 houses after planning application approved - The Redditch Standard

Woodland to be bulldozed for 236 houses after planning application approved

Redditch Editorial 24th Nov, 2022   0

A WOODLAND separating the A435 Birmingham Road from Winyates Green is set to be bulldozed to make way for 236 homes.

The controversial application for the properties off Far Moor Lane was approved on Wednesday.

The poplar tree plantation site was designated as an area for development in Redditch’s 2017 Local Plan 4, but was met with hundreds of objections from residents concerned about the environment damage it could cause.

Planning officers previously recommended the application for approval due to measures developer Morris Homes had put in place to mitigate environmental damage.

But at Wednesday’s meeting when it was given the green light, councillors and members of the public raised concerns for the felling of trees and biodiversity.

Coun Emma Marshall, substituting for Coun Brandon Clayton, voted against the approval of the plans.

She said it should never have been on the plan in the first place.

“We have changed as a nation since 2017 and as a town we have declared a climate emergency and recently approved a carbon reduction strategy.

“I am pro new homes but they should be build on the appropriate brownfield sites.

“Our housing quota has changed since the 2017 plan, so we don’t actually need these houses.”

She vowed to look closely at the planning process to ensure brownfield sites were prioritised for development and ‘this issue would not happen again’.

Coun David Thain labelled the approval ‘disappointing’ and added: “This will further damage what little green credibility the council has left.”

Following objections from both Warwickshire County Council and the Worcestershire Wildlife Trust, the extent of proposed biodiversity enhancements on the development have been increased.

These include the retention and improvement of more of the northern ditch course, the creation of additional wetland swales and ditches, combing the two man-made stagnant ponds in to a single natural pond, the retention and creation of more native woodland and a community orchard.

Planning Committee Chair Coun Michael Chalk said the the decision was a difficult one.

“My heart is telling me one thing, obviously the environment and biodiversity are important, but as chair of a planning committee we need to look at what is in front of us.

“We’re being asked to approve an application for a number of needed properties on a site which, whether we like it or not, is in our local plan.

“None of the objections I heard related to our local plan or the policies that are in there, we have to vote with our heads not our hearts.”


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