Plans for community housing scheme in Norton Lindsey rejected for being in the 'wrong place'

The group behind the ten-house project in Norton Lindsey were urged to try again if flooding concerns could be overcome and if they could convince neighbours to support them

Thursday, 4th March 2021, 4:00 pm

Plans for a community housing scheme described as a nice idea but in the wrong place have been rejected by councillors.

But the group behind the ten-house project in Norton Lindsey were urged to try again if flooding concerns could be overcome and if they could convince neighbours to support them.

Claverdon Community Land Trust had drawn up the scheme on a farmer’s field off Brick Kiln Close but the fact that the plot was two miles from facilities in the centre of Claverdon was a reason planning officers recommended refusal at the meeting of Stratford District Council’s planning committee on Wednesday (March 3).

Plans for a community housing scheme described as a nice idea but in the wrong place have been rejected by councillors.

Claverdon Parish Council supported the scheme and chairman Cllr Simon Lawton rejected the argument that the houses would be too remote.

He said: “We were astonished with the recommendation after over 18 months of what we understood were positive discussions with your planning officers.

“It is, in effect, a bespoke development for the parish. Everyone in our parish needs a car as there is no public transport. This is the only deliverable site available.”

But the planning committee heard that the neighbouring parish councils in Wolverton and Norton Lindsey had objected along with a number of neighbours.

Cllr Stuart Easterbrook, chairman of Wolverton Parish Council, said: “This development is in the wrong location and has the wrong housing mix. There is a need for ten dwellings but in Claverdon, not elsewhere.

“Surface water is also an issue from the field where the development is proposed - it flooded houses last summer and we believe this development will make matters worse.”

Stratford District Council’s planning expert Dale Barker explained that outline planning permission could only be granted if councillors were satisfied that the site could be drained but tests on the land could not be carried out over the last few months because the ground had been so boggy.

Cllr Tony Dixon (Con, Tanworth) said: “If there was support from Norton Lindsey Parish Council for this I might think again but I do not see this being community-led by the people that it will most impact - the residents of Norton Lindsey.

"If there were some letters of support that would also help me to be in favour of the application.

“Nice idea but wrong place I’m afraid in my view unless it had the support of the residents of Norton Lindsey.”

And Cllr Matt Jennings (Con, Henley) added: “I don’t think there’s enough information. It’s been going on for 18 months but it's a shame they didn't spend another six months getting it right.

"At the moment it’s not quite there.”