TENACIOUS residents are gearing up for another David and Goliath-style battle with housing developers who have re-submitted controversial plans for 75 homes on neighbouring land – for the third time.
Bellway Homes’ latest attempt at securing planning permission for the housing estate on The Longshoot in Nuneaton, comes just a few months after the developers lost an appeal against the decision by Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council.
At the government inspector’s appeal hearing in June, it was concluded that NBBC planning committee had been right not to pass the development despite it being supported by council officers.
The report read: “The development would make inadequate provision for infrastructure and other provisions. As a result, it would not achieve the environmental and social objectives of sustainable development identified in paragraph 8 of the Framework.”
Despite this, exactly the same plans have been resubmitted by Bellway.
St Nicolas Park resident and one of the campaign leaders, Jo Johnson, said: “Residents are appalled that the building developers can submit yet another application with very similar design and no further amendment back to the local authority for third time.
“I am so disappointed that this can be allowed to happen. The inspector’s inquest was very difficult as Bellway tried to claim costs against our residents. We still went ahead and shared our local knowledge but felt very intimidated by the level of questioning and cross-examination by Bellway’s legal team.”
She added: “To have gone through all of that stress, but be successful in our quest to have sustainable development, and then only to be back to square one, is just absurd, and I fully expect our planning committee and council planning officers to pay heed to the Secretary of State’s conclusions.”
Residents are also angered by the threat posed by these plans for a country park on the land – something which had been welcomed by the community.
There are also fears of inadequate infrastructure and negative impacts on local wildlife and the environment including, according to residents, developers’ ‘misleading claims’ that there would be zero impact on the town’s pollution.
Mrs Johnson said: “This is the main road into Nuneaton town from the development so there will be an impact on the environment. The developers seem to be spouting data which couldn’t be substantiated.”
She added: “Plus there is evidence of families being moved onto phase 1 & 2 with no access to school places in primary school, leaving children having to rely on a local authority taxi service to get to schools miles away.
Another local resident said: “It is ridiculous that a developer can just keep submitting applications without significant changes when previous applications have been turned down twice and this decision is supported by a building inspector. I am particularly concerned about the local bat population which is regularly seen nesting and feeding in the area of the development.”
Councillor Keith Kondakor said: “This application has been rejected twice by the borough planning committee and once by a government planning inspector. Bellway has refused to meet with residents. They could at least adjust the proposals to widen the green spaces, add proper sustainable drainage to defend the existing properties and keep the ground levels close to that of the existing fields.
“I hope the wider community will support those most impacted and ask planners to reject this poorly designed application for a third time.“
The initial application for Phase 3 came in May 2018 and is part of a larger development which started in 2011.
Nuneaton MP Marcus Jones failed to comment.
The plans can be viewed on NBBC website at: www.nuneatonandbedworth.gov.uk (Planning reference number 036873) or by visiting the Town Hall in Nuneaton.
Comments must be sent to: Planning@nuneatonandbedwroth.gov.uk before Feb 13th 2020.