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Appeal is lodged over green belt homes plan
6:00pm Wednesday 25th September 2013 in News
THE fight over plans to build 750 homes on green belt land in Bowers Gifford is set to continue after an appeal was lodged.
Aberdeen Asset Management, which bought the land for Nottinghamshire County Council’s pension fund, has appealed on the grounds Basildon Council failed to determine the application in a set time limit.
The firm paid £4million for the land, off Pound Lane, which was earmarked for a housing estate, shops, a school and health centre.
However, members of Basildon Council’s planning committee, rejected the proposals, even though an appeal had already been lodged, claiming the council had taken too long to decide on the plans.
Ed Crockett from Aberdeen Asset Management, said: “Planning regulations required the application to have been determined by June 10. The application was made on February 15 and as the application had not been progressed to a decision some seven months later, an appeal was lodged to the planning inspectorate for non determination.”
The plans were rejected last Tuesday after more than 100 residents turned out to lobby against the proposal, which they claimed would destroy wildlife and their village community.
The pension fund managers said they and developers Meridian Strategic Land would now respond to issues made by Basildon Council in refusing the application, which included not coming up with adequate plans for the school, health centre, affordable housing or sports facilities.
Campaigners from the Bowers Gifford and North Benfleet Residents Association said that even by July, Meridian hadn’t responded to some of the questions Basildon Council had asked.
Basildon Council said it was aware of the timelines, but wasn’t told about the appeal ahead of the meeting. They reassured residents that the early appeal didn’t nullify the planning refusal.
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