PLANS to knock down a Stratford Town Trust-owned building and build five homes have been rejected.
Bosses were hoping to develop a 1.5acre parcel of land behind 7 Benson Road but members of Stratford District Council’s planning committee went against officers’ advice – refusing planning permission at a meeting this week.
The trust spent £615,000 buying the property and surrounding land in January 2013 as a potential access route to
Rowley Fields. Two years later, the charity announced proposals to put 7.8 acres of the land bordering Welcombe Hills on the market.
But after strong opposition, the trust pulled the plug on plans to sell the land to developers and said it was committed to keeping the land for recreational use.
Chief executive of Stratford Town Trust, Helen Munro, admitted she was deeply disappointed with the decision but confirmed trustees would be considering how best to move forward.
She added: “Stratford Town Trust has been entirely open about its intentions for the small parcel of land, which has been fenced off from 2008 and not used by the public since then.
“The trust has invested significant time in ensuring any development would be in keeping and limited to a maximum of five properties.
“We want to assure the community the trust remains committed to retaining all of the neighbouring land at Rowley Fields for recreation and continues to work closely with the Friends of Rowley Fields and other community groups.
“The trust works to support other charities, as well as organisations, schools and individuals across Stratford and money raised through the sale and development of an asset such as Benson Road would be re-invested – as per our legal obligation – so the income would support and enhance our grant-giving capacity forever.”