Developer hits out at decision on Bishop's Cleeve homes plan
A COUNCIL decision to fight plans for 450 new homes in Bishop's Cleeve has been criticised as short-sighted.
Those behind the proposals say councillors will have to answer to people in desperate need of a new and affordable homes because of the area's housing shortage.
The criticism comes after Tewkesbury Borough Council announced it would be taking its battle against 1,000 new houses to the High Court.
Planning bosses at the local authority rejected plans for 450 new houses at Homelands and 550 at Cleevelands.
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But the Secretary of State overturned the decision on appeal because of the council's lack of housing planned for the borough over the next five years.
Jonathan Orton, spokesman for Comparo Limited, which wants to build at the Homelands Farm site, said: "Given the immediate and proven need for more housing in the borough, particularly affordable housing, this is a disappointing and short-sighted response.
"Some 200 households applied for the 11 affordable homes in the first phase of the development there and this stage will see 180 affordable homes delivered.
"What are councillors going to say to the countless families who did not obtain a home in Homelands phase 1 or elsewhere in the area? Tell them to wait until local politics has run its course?
"Comparo's intention has always been to start on site as soon as full permission was given. The High Court challenge means more delay."
Figures show there are 1,702 households on the waiting list in Tewkesbury borough and a planning inquiry said there was a shortfall of 2,469 houses.
The council, which will employ a barrister to represent it at the High Court in January, is working on a housing document which will dictate where homes should be built.
Councillor Derek Davies, the council's lead member for built environment said the need to provide housing should be done through a plan-led process.
Once a judgement has been passed, a recommendation will be made to the Secretary of State who will decide whether the plans should be examined again.