Developers resubmit rejected plan to build on sports pitches

Published date: 27 January 2014 |
Published by: Staff reporter
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A PLAN to build 142 homes on playing fields in Chester which was rejected by councillors has been resubmitted less than 24 hours after an appeal against the decision was refused.

Jersey-based Bark Street Investments Ltd have resubmitted their plan to build 142 homes on land off Clifton Drive which was refused by Cheshire West and Chester’s strategic planning committee in June last year.

The developers appealed against the decision to the planning inspectorate but the appeal was thrown out last Thursday.

The planning inspectorate upheld the committee’s decision to refuse the development due to loss of four football pitches and one rugby pitch and major concerns over traffic chaos and flooding.

But Bark Street Investments Ltd have now resubmitted an identicial plan within 24 hours of the appeal decision going against them.

At the time of going to press, no one from Satnam Planning Services, the agent for Bark Street Investment Ltd, was available for comment.

But Blacon councillors Carolyn Graham, Reggie Jones and Marie Nelson slammed the decision in a joint statement saying it was “unacceptable”.

The statement read: “The plans for a housing development on the Clifton Drive playing fields have now been stopped by the Planning Inspector who listened to the appeal in November. The main issue for this was ‘weight’ given to the loss of playing fields should it go ahead and he has decided against the loss of those pitches. The costs of this appeal will be paid by the council.

“To learn this application has been resubmitted today is astounding. We clearly haven't seen the detail of the new application yet so can't comment on the specifics but the principle of building on playing fields remains the same – so this seems a bizarre action by the developers.

“We would hope that Paul Graham and his colleagues in the Chester and District Football League will continue to campaign with us and residents against this inappropriate development, and we will in fact be actively campaigning for this land to be used by the community again in the meantime.

“I would also say that the fact that it is local taxpayers who pick up the tab for appeals of this nature is something that government urgently needs to address. Whilst we need growth in the UK, this situation where the balance seems to be so skewed in favour of developers is, I think, unacceptable.”

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