Gravityscan Badge Rolleston homes fight taken to secretary of state — Alrewas Neighbourhood Plan

Rolleston homes fight taken to secretary of state

Adapted from an article written by LAURA HAMMOND

COMMUNITY groups battling proposals to erect 100 homes on a former school playing field have vowed to take their fight right to the top, in a campaign thought to be the first of its kind.

Rolleston Parish Council and the College Fields Action Group (CFAG) have long been against the plans by Burton and South Derbyshire College to build on the field of the former Forest of Needwood Secondary School because of highways issues and the fact the site was widely opposed by residents in the neighbourhood development plan.

But as the controversial scheme is now up for approval by planners, the groups have taken steps to push the application higher – writing to secretary of state Eric Pickles to ask him to review it under the calling in procedure. They say planners are not taking account of the neighbourhood plan, which has been forged under Mr Pickle’s Localism Act and is mere weeks away from completion.

Simon Anderson, CFAG chairman, said: “The people of Rolleston have been very clear and consistent with what they are looking for in the community and what they would like to see as an end result.

“There’s been so much work that people have done and they have been really passionate about using what many people believe the Government put forward to give people the ability to decide at local level how their community grows.

The developer's proposals are due to go before East Staffordshire Borough Council’s planning board on Monday October 21 2013. If they are approved, it renders much of the neighbourhood plan immaterial, despite the fact it is a UK frontrunner in the Government-backed scheme.

The Parish Council have applied to the Secretary of State for the College Fields application to be called in under Section 79 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990. This will ensure that the planning decision is made following a full review of all facts including the strong evidence available through the neighbourhood plan created for Rolleston by the people of Rolleston.

A spokesperson for the Parish Council said "Although it has not yet been confirmed that our case has been accepted, we are confident that the application meets the criteria as should the College Fields planning application be permitted it would conflict with National Policies set out in the National Planning Policy Framework and DCLG guidelines. It would also fundamentally undermine confidence in the NHP process and the Localism Act 2011".

The application will still be considered by the ESBC Planning Committee on 21st October who will be urged to defer the decision until the NHD plan has completed it's examination. Should the planning committee choose to ignore this appeal and permit the development, the decision cannot be rubber stamped until the National Planning Policy Casework Unit have considered the case. Ultimately any decision made by the committee could be overruled by the Secretary of State.

A call for support has also gone out to Burton MP Andrew Griffiths and Staffordshire county councillor Bob Fraser.

In a report due to go before councillors on Monday, planners say the development is sustainable and raises no concerns for the amenity of nearby residents.

They point out that money raised from the development will be used towards education provision at the college, based in Burton town centre, adding: “Whilst there will clearly be some adverse impacts from this scheme, and there is significant objection from neighbours, the benefits of the proposal weigh heavily in support of the application. On balance, the benefits of the scheme outweigh any specific concerns raised in relation to the proposal.”

A total of 325 objections were received from Rolleston residents, and several from statutory bodies.

via Rolleston homes fight taken to secretary of state | Burton News & Staffordshire Newspaper | Burton On Trent Local Newspaper Headlines | Daily Mail.

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