Update 25 January 2015
I am pleased to say that we won this appeal. The planning inspector said development would harm the setting, character and appearance of the Oldbury Conservation Area. These were the main reasons the South Planning Committee rejected the proposal. The inspector said:
The contribution that the proposed development would make towards addressing any undersupply of housing would not outweigh the harm that the scheme would cause to the Conservation Area and its setting and, thus, it would not be the sustainable development.
The inspector refused the developer’s application for costs. He said:
The Council’s reason for refusal is explicit and made with reference to policy. It was expanded upon in the Council’s Statement and at the Hearing, where a robust, considered, evidenced and articulate defence of it was made.
Some while ago, a Ludlow resident asked me: “How does Shropshire Council work?” I’ll add to that another question: “What do councillors do?” I’ve been trying to shed light on both these questions through this blog. Some of the work I have to do as a councillor is quite unexpected.
Shortly after 10am yesterday, I was presenting the case for Shropshire Council at a planning appeal hearing. I hadn’t expected to be there.
When I was elected, I was keen to be appointed to the South Planning Committee. I have settled in really well on that committee. That is hardly a surprise as I have written about planning and environmental matters for more than a decade. But I never once thought that I would be leading for the council at a planning hearing.
Back in June, the South Planning Committee unanimously rejected an outline application for housing on the border of Oldbury Conservation Area on the outskirts of Bridgnorth. For technical reasons, the application came back before us in July. We threw it out again without dissention. A slightly different version of the application was presented to the committee in November. We were resolute. Out it went. Continue reading “Life as a councillor – defending Oldbury (updated)”