ANGRY villagers in Tiddington are fighting to remove a protected field from a list of ‘reserve’ housing sites.
Stratford District Council (SDC) has included the field off Hamilton Road in its Site Allocation Plan as an area for potential development.
The reserve list has been drawn up to accompany the Core Strategy planning document – which outlines future development in the district until 2031 and includes 14,600 new homes.
The latest document allows a cushion of a further 3,000 homes to protect against shortfalls and from developers putting forward plans for ‘speculative’ sites.
But residents say the inclusion of the field goes against the Stratford Neighborhood Plan (SNP) – a document which allows residents a greater say on future development in an area.
The SNP includes a limited number of development sites in the village but not the field which is citied as an orchard, woodland and open space to be enjoyed by the community.
Residents said the reserve proposals undermined the SNP just months after the four-year long effort of some 20 organisations to complete it – wasting time and money.
A village association spokesperson said: “The residents of Tiddington are devastated to learn that Stratford District Council has ridden rough shod over the commitments it made in the published SNP.
“The SNP is a legally binding document, to be considered alongside the Core Strategy, so we are surprised that designated community land in Tiddington is a legitimate inclusion in the Site Allocation Plan.
“The children and community of Tiddington deserve more from its district council.
“It would be a blow for democracy if the SNP is disregarded by the district council in its ongoing housing policy development.
We ask that the SNP is respected and that Tiddington is removed from the list of reserve sites in the Site Allocation Plan.”
The association also criticised the council for holding the public consultation, which ends today, over the summer holidays.
SDC planning spokesman Coun Daren Pemberton said it was not possible to exclude areas with Neighbourhood Plans to create the reserve list which was a requirement of the Core Strategy.
He said: “The reserve site list is exactly that. The requirement to have a reserve list was established by the planning inspector when the Core Strategy was approved and is not, in any way, intended to promote additional housing by SDC.
“It is not possible to identify sufficient potentially deliverable sites in the reserve list by excluding communities with a current Neighbourhood Development Plan. It must be stressed, however, that there is no current identified need for additional housing nor have any of the triggers for releasing any reserve sites come into play.”