AN APPLICATION for 120 homes in Fairford has been approved after it was sent back to Cotswold District Council’s planning committee for reconsideration today (Wednesday).
Kensington and Edinburgh Estates submitted an application for 120 homes on London Road in Fairford last year but it was refused in January 2014’s planning meeting by members of the committee.
It was refused on the grounds that the sewerage system would not have sufficient capacity for residents of the 120 homes and that Thames Water had not supplied enough information on how the system would be improved.
However, the application was bought back to the planning committee on February 12 in respect of an outline application which had been approved for a number of homes in Bourton-on-the-Water, where Thames Water had said it was able to carry out work to improve the system.
A large majority of Fairford residents, as well as Fairford Town Council, were against the development planned for land adjacent to the town’s football club.
A staggering 165 letters of objection were received. At today’s meeting county councillor for Fairford Ray Theodoulou said he was “totally bewildered” that the application had been returned to the committee after it was refused last month.
“Every time it rains the pumps in the town are overwhelmed. The only solution is to replace them but I don’t see anything in the application about this,” he said.
“This application should be rejected until the pumps are replaced.”
Simon Hoare from Kensington and Edinburgh said he absolutely recognised there needed to be sewerage work done in Fairford.
“But if you refuse this application today, there will stay be problems in the town,” he said.
After the meeting, district councillor for Fairford Mark Wardle said he thought the final decision was a poor one.
“There were sufficient reasons for refusal and the council should have had the courage of its convictions and if needs be opted to revisit it,” he said.
The final vote came to a tie with seven members of the committee for the application and seven against. Chairman of the committee Robin Hughes had the final say.
He said: “I have great sympathy for the people of Fairford but under the circumstances I am going to vote in favour of this application.”