4 Jun 2008

Hunts Grove to go-ahead

Yesterday I learnt via a journalist with the WDP that Hunts Grove developments are to go-ahead. They quoted me here - see here and here for more of what I said previously.

Newspaper: the old headline which could have been a reality if this development had not been accepted

Basically the independent planning inspector has reported in favour of the planned 1750-home development at Hardwicke. This is an endorsement of the Council's planning process. As the Inspector herself said, “it is clear that the Hunts Grove development would accord with all relevant national, regional and local planning policies and it would provide a high quality, sustainable environment for its residents and workers.”

The development will also provide 525 much needed affordable new homes and one of the greenest developments in terms of the housing.

The development became controversial after action by two MPs resulted in the planning application being ‘called in’ and submitted to an inquiry costing SDC taxpayers approximately £100,000. I have been critical of this move by the MPs as the proposals had been voted on and accepted unanimously by councillors on SDC. However as I've noted before I have some sympathy with David Drews argument but they don't stack up in reality (see here some comments) - what is really needed is a look at the whole imbalance of housing in the country - it is crazy to pull down homes up north yet SE and SW are under so much pressure - but that is an argument for another day.

The report does at least lift the threat of large scale development on many sites in the Five Valleys and the Vale for the foreseeable future. Though the development can now theoretically go ahead, it may be subject to phasing as a result of regeneration of the ‘railway triangle’ in Gloucester. A final decision from the Secretary of State is expected in early July.

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