Anger over decision to allow appeal for 50 homes at Top Farm, Kemble
A DECISION to allow a planning appeal that could see up to 50 homes built in Kemble has been met with fury.
Although Cotswold District Council refused the outline application by Kemble Farms Ltd to build 50 homes in the south west of the village, the company lodged an appeal claiming the council had not issued a notice of the decision within the set period.
Following a three-day inquiry in November, planning inspector Keith Manning announced last week the appeal had been permitted.
The decision prompted a furious reaction by local councillors, with CDC cabinet member for planing Cllr Sue Jepson (Con, Campden-Vale) saying it showed a “total disregard for localism” and arguing the Cotswolds was being used to meet a national need for housing with no regard for local needs.
“We are having unacceptable new development imposed on us,” she said. “Decision-making is being taken out of our hands.”
Although Mr Manning said he recognised the amount of homes as "significant", he said in his 36-page decision that he felt the development: "represents sustainable development in a sustainable location".
He also said he did not believe the development would put strain on roads around the village or the surrounding environment or landscape.
Kemble and Ewen Parish Council had campaigned against the development and presented a survey at the appeal showing more than 83 per cent of residents did not want it to go ahead.
Parish Council chairman Roger Pettit described the decision as "a major disappointment".
"The Parish Council and many local residents with the guidance of our legal counsel made every possible effort to represent the view of the majority but it would seem that ‘localism’ counts for little when the chips are down," he said.
"We shall now have to be equally focused in ensuring that the conditions of the development are rigorously followed to make the best of an extraordinary decision."
Kemble Farms chairman Colin Rank said he was "very pleased" by the decision.
"Developments that have taken place in the village since the 1960s have really made it what it is today," he said. "They have added to its character and I’m confident this will do the same."
Although Kemble Farms had applied for costs against CDC, arguing it had acted "unreasonably", none were awarded.