19-home development on Elstub Lane opposite Cam Woodfield Infant and Junior schools held off
TWO schools in Cam have narrowly avoided seeing a housing development constructed in front of them but planning officers believe an appeal would be "indefensible".
An application for 19 homes at Elstub Lane, opposite Cam Woodfield Infant and Junior schools, was refused by Stroud District councillors by a vote of seven for and five against the refusal.
The application had received 25 letters of objection from residents, including MP Neil Carmichael, as well as a petition of 86 signatures from parents at the school concerned with the already congested road.
Mike Glen, of Field Lane, adjacent to the site, spoke out at the meeting on Tuesday, March 12, and was critical of Gloucestershire Highways for approving the "unsympathetic application".
"It will be very dangerous, particularly for children. Most of the objectors are parents of children going to that school," he said.
"Surely the incomplete assessment is not to be accepted blindly just to get these houses?"
Cllr David Drew (Lab, Farmhill and Paganhill) said: "If we do not defend it we might as well give up now.
"Anyone who knows Cam Woodfield School will know that this will be a disaster for the school. It will be even more chaotic and it will be dangerous."
However planning officers at the development control committee meeting at Ebley Mill showed little confidence of defending the application if it was to be appealed.
Before the vote, planning officer John Longmuir suggested it would be "indefensible" and fellow officer Darryl Rogers advised caution because Gloucestershire Highways had not raised it as an issue.
"We would somehow need to substantiate these decisions," he said.
"We have no evidence from highways to support such a decision, there has to be identifiable harm from the settlement. The evidence is not there to do that."
Design and planning director of Newland Homes Jeremy Drew claimed at the meeting that £1.85million would be spent in the area if the application went ahead and they were "very likely" to appeal.
"This isn’t an appeal they would be able to defend, to the cost of the council," he said after the meeting.
"We have been on site with our highways consultant and the school teacher to see the issues and we did not see the "chaos".
"We have already said we are not at all opposed to discussing what we should do to improve the highways but it is difficult when highway officers do not actually consider there to be an issue."