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New homes get the go-ahead in Fernhill Heath despite a legal battle
1:38pm Friday 23rd May 2014 in News
THE green light has been given to planners seeking to build 120 homes in Fernhill Heath after it narrowly got the go ahead from councillors.
The plans to build the new housing estate on land off Dilmore Lane in Fernhill Heath near Worcester by Taylor Wimpey UK split Wychavon District Council's planning committee on Thursday leaving the chairman to cast the deciding vote.
People spoke both for and against the new development, which is on a site approved for new homes in the emerging South Worcestershire Development Plan.
But the main concerns raised surrounded access issues, which are currently the centre of a legal discussion.
Clare Shinner, clerk of North Claines Parish Council, said they were worried the access to the site was not actually in the control of the highways department and was therefore not sustainable, deliverable or safe.
Douglas Godwin, spoke on behalf of the neighbouring land owners, and advised the council his clients would be seeking a judicial review if the plans went ahead.
But Mark Sitch, who represented Taylor Wimpey, said: "This is not a new site, it has been the subject of extensive consultations during the South Worcestershire Development Plan."
Despite his attempts at reassurance councillors were wary to press on with the application.
Cllr Tony Miller, local member, raised further concerns about the access and the safety of roads leading to the development site where there have been some "pretty bad accidents".
Echoing his concerns was Cllr Tom Noyes, who said: "This application on the face of it looks fine but unfortunately I going to have to recommend refusal subject to the ownership of the land."
And Cllr Reg Jakeman added: "I am caught between two stables which way to go, I feel until the highway situation is resolved it's pointless to put this through."
However other members said they would not refuse the proposal over a legal issue.
Cllr Adrian Darby said: "I think we can go ahead with outline approval at this stage because the ownership issue is not a planning matter. If the ownership can't be resolved this planning application will not come into action."
The voting on the application was split equally and chairman Cllr Linda Robinson took the casting vote in favour of the proposal, reassuring local residents nothing would go ahead until legal matters were settled.
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