Labour councillors have hit out at weaknesses in the planning system as further details of a £7 million housing development in Moorside come to the Council for consideration.
Proposals for 23 homes near Haven Lane were rejected by the Planning Committee in 2016, before the decision was overturned by the national Planning Inspectorate, fining the local authority £35,000.
With planning permission granted, the fine details have now been submitted for approval, despite serious concerns remaining from residents and Labour councillors about the proposals. There are issues with drainage, traffic calming, CO2, and the proximity of one proposed home in particular to another existing property.
Cllr Angela Cosgrove said: “I helped secure a motion to defer the plans so the developers could look again at some of the issues raised by residents.
“The planning system is weighed heavily in favour of developers, and, despite what local Tories have tried to suggest, the site doesn’t have the protection of green belt.
“The reality is the Conservatives are making it easier and easier for developers to build what they like, and local councillors and communities are having any ability to resist, or work with developers to improve the plans, taken away from them.”
Angela’s ward colleague, former Mayor Cllr Ginny Alexander, added: “We’ll continue to do everything we can to fix the issues with this development. We can’t overturn the Inspectorate’s decision to allow the development, but I am writing to Cube to set out residents’ concerns and ask them to rethink. It’s very disappointing that they haven’t made the changes that would reflect the community’s wishes.
“We need more good quality homes, but they have to be appropriate to the area. The Government seem determined to take all power out of the local authority’s hands and give it to their developer friends.”
“We’ll also be writing to Conservative Councillor Beth Sharp asking her to intervene with party colleagues to change the unfair system that allows this to happen.”