Government Overturns Council Objections to Candlet Rd Development
Christchurch Land and Estates have been granted permission by Whitehall to build an estate of 560 homes on farm land at Gulpher Rd/ Candlet Rd between the old golf range and the Grove woodland, making a mockery of local planning agreements and flying in the face of years of protest by community groups.
Two years ago there was jubilation as SCDC threw out the development application on Cowpasture Farm saying it would do ‘significant harm’ to the landscape and that this harm would outweigh the economic benefits that Christchurch were suggesting. There was also obvious problems with additional traffic on an already busy access into Felixstowe and a strain on local recourses to consider.
In the appeal the developer argued that the council had miscalculated their housing provision for the next 5 years, and unfortunately housing minister Sajid Javid agreed with them. He has gone on record as saying he believes the housing rules should be relaxed to allow more building in desirable parts of the county – and wants to review housing quotas for councils – so his decision is really no surprise.
Tony Fryatt, Head of Planning at SCDC, called the decision ‘hugely disappointing’ and reiterated that the council had already ear marked enough sites to fulfil their housing quota. Once again the government are not interested in local needs or views.
Felixstowe Town councillor Kimberly Williams is now urging residents to write to SCDC through their local district councillor to ask them to start a judicial review on the grounds that the appeal decision failed to take into account the facts that demonstrate SCDC has the five year housing supply needed.
This also is in line with the newly agreed Action Plan for the town which seeks to preserve the countryside around, and Candlet Rd as a natural boundary.
Once this land is lost – it will be lost for ever – and may well be the thin end of the wedge to opening up the rest of our beautiful countryside to development.
It may do no good in the long run – but if we do not stand up and make our views known this may be the last chance to protest against this development that is just too big for our peninsula to cope with.