CAMPAIGNERS in Bidford breathed a collective sigh of relief after plans for 275 homes were refused by councillors.
There was standing room only during the planning committee meeting, which lasted almost five hours on Wednesday evening (March 11).
And two further applications on the agenda – for 40 homes at Jacksons Meadow in Bidford and 60 homes on land off Station Road in neighbouring Salford Priors – had to be deferred because of the length of time it was taking to consider each application.
Campaign group Bidford Residents Against Development had previously expressed fears the village could be completely transformed if three applications – totalling 315 homes – were given the go-ahead.
They had also raised concerns there would be insufficient infrastructure to support the new housing developments, which had all been recommended for approval by officers on Stratford District Council.
Developers were hoping to build 200 homes on land off Waterloo Road while plans were in the pipeline for around 75 homes at Marriage Hill Nurseries on Salford Road.
But despite officers’ advice, members of the authority’s planning committee unanimously refused the two planning applications earmarked for the village although these decisions could be appealed.
Meanwhile plans for a solar farm in Claverdon – roughly the size of 16 football pitches – were also turned down at the meeting.
Developers Berty 003 claimed the 7.5MW site at Park Farm on Church Road would provide renewable energy to around 1,300 homes each year, and be mostly screened from view.
But the proposals divided villagers with some arguing the farm – made up of around 29,000 panels – on greenbelt land would be a massive eyesore.
Having carried out a site visit, members of the planning committee followed officers’ recommendations and rejected the application.
And a controversial scheme to build 100 homes at Knights Lane in Tiddington was also refused by councillors during the evening.
The deferred applications are expected to be considered at a meeting next week.