'Case against green-belt homes stronger after refusal'

Published on: 07 Jun 2013

Campaigners fighting a bid to build up to 100 homes on green belt land in Saltford say a decision to recommend refusal of the proposals by B&NES councillors will strengthen their case – despite the decision being taken out of the authority’s hands.

Developer Crest Nicholson is taking its proposals for the site off Manor Road to an independent planning inspector for a verdict on the grounds of “non-determination” by B&NES. An inquiry is due to be held in August.

After the verdict at the council's planning committee meeting, Councillor Mathew Blankley (Cons, Saltford) said: “This outcome has strengthened our case in calling on the planning inspector to reject this opportunistic application, by demonstrating that a democratic body has given a resounding ‘no’.”

Meanwhile, members of Saltford Environment Group have been putting together a case they plan to present to the inquiry.

A spokesperson said: “While acknowledging the importance that the Government attaches to house building as a driver of national economic recovery, we will refer to the Government’s stated commitment to protect the green belt and make the case that green belt boundaries must be decided by local authorities as part of the democratic Local Plan process rather than by developers’ willingness and ability to build there.

“Reference will also be made to villagers’ concerns about this inappropriate development and the Government’s policy statements on localism. Accordingly we will ask the inspector to dismiss the appeal.”

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