Send us news, start your message Cheshire News and your send photos and videos to 80360
Fury after CWAC reverses decision on Davenham homes
FURIOUS villagers branded councillors ‘appalling and disgraceful’ after they said no to housing plans then changed their minds.
Davenham residents breathed a sigh of relief when Cheshire West and Chester Council’s (CWAC) planning committee rejected proposals for 36 houses off Green Lane.
But their celebrations were shortlived as planning officers told the committee that the plans were ‘ticking all the boxes’ and asked councillors how they could defend a refusal at an appeal.
A second vote was called and this time the plans were given the green light.
Fiona Edwards, CWAC’s chief planning officer, told councillors: “It’s my job to defend the council against costs for appeal where we cannot substantiate grounds for refusal.
“This is sustainable and it’s ticking all the boxes for affordable housing, open space, public art and education.
“How can a refusal be substantiated by your officers at appeal?”
After the second vote was passed residents told the committee they were a disgrace and the process was a waste of time.
One resident said: “You made the right decision then went back on it because it’s too expensive.
“It’s appalling and disgraceful.”
The planning committee heard from resident Nigel Goward, parish council chairman Clr Tony Sellers and ward CWAC councillor Elton Watson, who all stressed objections to the plans.
These included the impact on traffic and congestion in the village, especially in the narrow one-way system of Green Lane, the impact on the drainage systems and on the already full village school, as well as the erosion of a traditional village by building in green buffers.
Clr Sellers said: “Villages are a beautiful part of England and once lost they are never to be recovered.
“We believe this unacceptably eats into the boundary that maintains character and retains urban sprawl.”
The committee also heard from John Suckley, planning agent for Bloor Homes, who said that residents’ concerns had been addressed in the application, plans were sustainable and Davenham was a suitable location.
He stressed that the statutory consultees had raised no objections.
Clr Eveleigh Moore Dutton, planning committee member, said: “It’s most disappointing that there doesn’t seem to be any benefit to the wider village.
“But I can see that it’s very difficult to oppose this, we need sound planning grounds, so it causes us some problems.”