10th Dec, 2016

Campaign group delight after plans for 200 homes in Bidford turned down

Stratford Editorial 8th Oct, 2015 Updated: 28th Oct, 2016

CAMPAIGNERS are celebrating after plans to build 200 homes in Bidford were turned down for the second time.

The proposal by Miller Homes to build on land at Waterloo Road was unanimously rejected by members of Stratford District Council’s planning committee back in March.

They argued the development was too large, there were insufficient financial contributions from developers for services, and it would lead to increased traffic congestion in the village.

Developers opted to appeal the decision and members of campaign group Bidford Residents Against Development (BRAD) were left stunned when a second application was submitted in August for the same number of homes in the same area.

Officers had recommended the plans be given the green light subject to a number of conditions and developer contributions, but members of the authority’s planning committed voted to reject the scheme at a meeting on Wednesday evening (October 7).

BRAD spokeswoman Rachel Thompson said the group was delighted with the outcome.

She told The Observer: “Had this development gone ahead, Bidford would have received triple its 20 year housing allocation in just four years without the key infrastructure to support it. Healthcare and education would also have been severely compromised.

“The fact this was a re-submission of an identical application left councillors baffled – Bidford was, and remains, an unsustainable place to build.

“Our services have actually weakened since the unanimous rejection of the previous Miller Homes application due to the closure of Bidford bridge, which has put retail in the village under strain.

“Sadly this is not quite the end of the battle as we will be facing Miller Homes’ appeal of the previous application, which will go to a public inquiry in February 2016, but we will continue to fight tooth and nail against this unsustainable development.”

The tactic of submitting two identical planning applications at the same time – a process known as ‘twin tracking’ – was employed by Bloor Homes, which was looking to build 40 homes on adjacent land at Jackson’s Meadow.

The plans were rejected twice by Stratford District Council – once in March and again in September – but are also the subject of an upcoming appeal.