Committee told no grounds to refuse Clifton-upon-Teme homes application

Worcester News: The application is for 30 homes in Clifton-upon-Teme, near Worcester The application is for 30 homes in Clifton-upon-Teme, near Worcester

A CONTENTIOUS planning application for 30 homes in a village near Worcester looks set to go ahead despite massive opposition.

The application, by developers Miller Homes, for land south of Hope Lane, Clifton-upon-Teme, was discussed at a meeting of Malvern Hills district council’s northern area development management committee.

Members were told villagers were so opposed to the plans they had teamed up with landowner Brockhill Estates to offer an alternative of 15 homes at two separate locations in the village.

But planning officers said the Hope Lane site had been allocated for housing in the South Worcestershire Development Plan (SWDP), while the other two had not, and if the application was refused then it was almost certain it would be approved on appeal.

Chairman of Clifton Parish Council, Bernard Pound, said the council approving the Miller Homes application over the scheme proposed by Brockhill Estates would be “the exact opposite of localism”.

Throwing his support be-hind the two alternative plans, Coun Philip Grove said it was important to listen to the views of residents.

“I can’t say this is one I can support when I know there are two more coming through which are considerably better,” he said.

But the council’s development control manager Duncan Rudge said the decision must be taken in isolation.

“It is not a beauty contest,” he said.

“You’re not looking for the best site – you’re looking for an acceptable site.

“Whatever decision you make today does not influence another site. You cannot say it’s not sustainable – that would not last 10 minutes in front of a planning inspector.”

Coun Paul Swinburn said he understood residents’ concerns but did not feel confident the council could reasonably refuse the application.

“I have looked closely at the application and I regret to say I can find no firm planning grounds for refusal,” he said.

Members voted against ref-using the application by two votes to nine, with one abstention and voted to delegate the decision to the cou-ncil’s planning department by ten votes to one, with two abstentions, to cries of dismay from the public gallery.

Comments (7)

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5:38pm Tue 10 Dec 13

PrivateSi says...

2, separate small groups of houses has to better than 1 large estate - ESPECIALLY in a village...
2, separate small groups of houses has to better than 1 large estate - ESPECIALLY in a village... PrivateSi

8:41pm Tue 10 Dec 13

Casmal says...

“You’re not looking for the best site – you’re looking for an acceptable site.". Well, doesn't that say it all! That is exactly the philosphy behind the SWDP: never mind what would be best for the area, let's just go with whatever options the developers put forward. Far easier thst way. That, presumably, is why the two smaller sites were not included in the SWDP - had they had interest on the larger site from Miller homes already, so it was easier to go with that, than explore alternatives, such as the two smaller sites, which had at that time attracted ni interest from developers? Or are Miller Homes offering a greater cash incentive to the Council than Brockhill Estates - or both?

Interesting we have a split in the Tory ranks......elections must be looming....
“You’re not looking for the best site – you’re looking for an acceptable site.". Well, doesn't that say it all! That is exactly the philosphy behind the SWDP: never mind what would be best for the area, let's just go with whatever options the developers put forward. Far easier thst way. That, presumably, is why the two smaller sites were not included in the SWDP - had they had interest on the larger site from Miller homes already, so it was easier to go with that, than explore alternatives, such as the two smaller sites, which had at that time attracted ni interest from developers? Or are Miller Homes offering a greater cash incentive to the Council than Brockhill Estates - or both? Interesting we have a split in the Tory ranks......elections must be looming.... Casmal

9:23pm Tue 10 Dec 13

sarah and her chickens says...

So Councillors are now saying that sites choosen under the swdp are not as suitable as they thought. Great brilliant news. Shame they did not listen at the time. Too late now. No swdp in place no five year housing supply. No wonder the tories are turning on each other in an attempt to hold their seats at the next election.
But the Tories voted through the swdp. No escaping that.
So Councillors are now saying that sites choosen under the swdp are not as suitable as they thought. Great brilliant news. Shame they did not listen at the time. Too late now. No swdp in place no five year housing supply. No wonder the tories are turning on each other in an attempt to hold their seats at the next election. But the Tories voted through the swdp. No escaping that. sarah and her chickens

10:09pm Tue 10 Dec 13

paulchandbrush says...

Delegate to Planning Dept why bother with electing Councillors.
Delegate to Planning Dept why bother with electing Councillors. paulchandbrush

12:17pm Thu 12 Dec 13

chrism says...

Casmal wrote:
“You’re not looking for the best site – you’re looking for an acceptable site.". Well, doesn't that say it all! That is exactly the philosphy behind the SWDP: never mind what would be best for the area, let's just go with whatever options the developers put forward. Far easier thst way. That, presumably, is why the two smaller sites were not included in the SWDP - had they had interest on the larger site from Miller homes already, so it was easier to go with that, than explore alternatives, such as the two smaller sites, which had at that time attracted ni interest from developers? Or are Miller Homes offering a greater cash incentive to the Council than Brockhill Estates - or both?

Interesting we have a split in the Tory ranks......elections must be looming....
The issue is not that this is the philosophy behind the SWDP, but that this is the philosophy behind the NPPF and indeed the whole planning system in this country at the moment. The suggestion in the NPPF that development should be plan based and based on localism is quite laughable when the reality is exactly the opposite. Given the change in rules and scrapping of regional development plans resulted in a sudden need for new local plans, one option would have been to put planning applications which didn't comply with any emerging local plan on hold. Instead the rules are based on the idea of house building kick starting the economy so approving anything which is reasonable, plan or no plan - totally ignoring the fact that it isn't lack of land with planning permission which is preventing more building as developers are already sitting on a bank of plenty of that.

The whole thing stinks - but this is a central government issue, not a local government one. Whether or not this site is in the SWDP is actually an irrelevance at the moment - if there are no valid planning grounds for refusal then it would have been approved anyway given the lack of a 5 year land supply.
[quote][p][bold]Casmal[/bold] wrote: “You’re not looking for the best site – you’re looking for an acceptable site.". Well, doesn't that say it all! That is exactly the philosphy behind the SWDP: never mind what would be best for the area, let's just go with whatever options the developers put forward. Far easier thst way. That, presumably, is why the two smaller sites were not included in the SWDP - had they had interest on the larger site from Miller homes already, so it was easier to go with that, than explore alternatives, such as the two smaller sites, which had at that time attracted ni interest from developers? Or are Miller Homes offering a greater cash incentive to the Council than Brockhill Estates - or both? Interesting we have a split in the Tory ranks......elections must be looming....[/p][/quote]The issue is not that this is the philosophy behind the SWDP, but that this is the philosophy behind the NPPF and indeed the whole planning system in this country at the moment. The suggestion in the NPPF that development should be plan based and based on localism is quite laughable when the reality is exactly the opposite. Given the change in rules and scrapping of regional development plans resulted in a sudden need for new local plans, one option would have been to put planning applications which didn't comply with any emerging local plan on hold. Instead the rules are based on the idea of house building kick starting the economy so approving anything which is reasonable, plan or no plan - totally ignoring the fact that it isn't lack of land with planning permission which is preventing more building as developers are already sitting on a bank of plenty of that. The whole thing stinks - but this is a central government issue, not a local government one. Whether or not this site is in the SWDP is actually an irrelevance at the moment - if there are no valid planning grounds for refusal then it would have been approved anyway given the lack of a 5 year land supply. chrism

12:19pm Thu 12 Dec 13

chrism says...

...when Duncan Rudge says it is not a beauty contest he is spot on - no consideration is made of any other applications at a planning appeal (which is the context in which all applications have to be considered at the moment).
...when Duncan Rudge says it is not a beauty contest he is spot on - no consideration is made of any other applications at a planning appeal (which is the context in which all applications have to be considered at the moment). chrism

9:06pm Thu 12 Dec 13

Casmal says...

chrism wrote:
Casmal wrote:
“You’re not looking for the best site – you’re looking for an acceptable site.". Well, doesn't that say it all! That is exactly the philosphy behind the SWDP: never mind what would be best for the area, let's just go with whatever options the developers put forward. Far easier thst way. That, presumably, is why the two smaller sites were not included in the SWDP - had they had interest on the larger site from Miller homes already, so it was easier to go with that, than explore alternatives, such as the two smaller sites, which had at that time attracted ni interest from developers? Or are Miller Homes offering a greater cash incentive to the Council than Brockhill Estates - or both?

Interesting we have a split in the Tory ranks......elections must be looming....
The issue is not that this is the philosophy behind the SWDP, but that this is the philosophy behind the NPPF and indeed the whole planning system in this country at the moment. The suggestion in the NPPF that development should be plan based and based on localism is quite laughable when the reality is exactly the opposite. Given the change in rules and scrapping of regional development plans resulted in a sudden need for new local plans, one option would have been to put planning applications which didn't comply with any emerging local plan on hold. Instead the rules are based on the idea of house building kick starting the economy so approving anything which is reasonable, plan or no plan - totally ignoring the fact that it isn't lack of land with planning permission which is preventing more building as developers are already sitting on a bank of plenty of that.

The whole thing stinks - but this is a central government issue, not a local government one. Whether or not this site is in the SWDP is actually an irrelevance at the moment - if there are no valid planning grounds for refusal then it would have been approved anyway given the lack of a 5 year land supply.
Whilst I agree that the national policy has a lot to answer for, there is a lot that local politicians could and should have done to safeguard our landscape: they could and should have had a five yr. land supply in place - there is no excuse for not having one: they could and should have taken notice of residents' views in the consultation process over the SWDP rather than going for the easy options proposed by the developers. Had they done both of these Malvern would have been in a stronger position to reject unsuitable and inappropriate planning applications.

To blame the national situation entirely for all that is wrong in Malvern is the easy way out, but it is not credible. Local politicians have failed us miserably.
[quote][p][bold]chrism[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Casmal[/bold] wrote: “You’re not looking for the best site – you’re looking for an acceptable site.". Well, doesn't that say it all! That is exactly the philosphy behind the SWDP: never mind what would be best for the area, let's just go with whatever options the developers put forward. Far easier thst way. That, presumably, is why the two smaller sites were not included in the SWDP - had they had interest on the larger site from Miller homes already, so it was easier to go with that, than explore alternatives, such as the two smaller sites, which had at that time attracted ni interest from developers? Or are Miller Homes offering a greater cash incentive to the Council than Brockhill Estates - or both? Interesting we have a split in the Tory ranks......elections must be looming....[/p][/quote]The issue is not that this is the philosophy behind the SWDP, but that this is the philosophy behind the NPPF and indeed the whole planning system in this country at the moment. The suggestion in the NPPF that development should be plan based and based on localism is quite laughable when the reality is exactly the opposite. Given the change in rules and scrapping of regional development plans resulted in a sudden need for new local plans, one option would have been to put planning applications which didn't comply with any emerging local plan on hold. Instead the rules are based on the idea of house building kick starting the economy so approving anything which is reasonable, plan or no plan - totally ignoring the fact that it isn't lack of land with planning permission which is preventing more building as developers are already sitting on a bank of plenty of that. The whole thing stinks - but this is a central government issue, not a local government one. Whether or not this site is in the SWDP is actually an irrelevance at the moment - if there are no valid planning grounds for refusal then it would have been approved anyway given the lack of a 5 year land supply.[/p][/quote]Whilst I agree that the national policy has a lot to answer for, there is a lot that local politicians could and should have done to safeguard our landscape: they could and should have had a five yr. land supply in place - there is no excuse for not having one: they could and should have taken notice of residents' views in the consultation process over the SWDP rather than going for the easy options proposed by the developers. Had they done both of these Malvern would have been in a stronger position to reject unsuitable and inappropriate planning applications. To blame the national situation entirely for all that is wrong in Malvern is the easy way out, but it is not credible. Local politicians have failed us miserably. Casmal

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