Nuneaton greenbelt saved as appeal over 700 houses on the A5 refused

The planning appeal for the huge development was refused
-Credit: (Image: Planning application)

Greenbelt land in Nuneaton has been saved as a developer's appeal for permission to build 700 homes has been refused. Richborough Estates Limited appealed to an independent planning inspector to overturn a decision made by Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council.

The council had refused to give outline planning permission for up to 700 residential dwellings including a new access roundabout, with associated parking, access roads, public open space on land adjacent to the A5 and Higham Lane. This was on a number of grounds , which included the impact they said the development would have on the local highway network.

It led to the developer launching an appeal prompting an inquiry at the Town Hall by an independent planning inspector. The results of that inquiry have now been revealed - and it was in the council's favour.

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It means the decision to refuse the application stands. In a statement, councillor Rob Roze, cabinet member for planning and enforcement, said: “Planning permission was refused by the council in May 2023. A planning appeal against this decision was submitted to the Planning Inspectorate.

"This was considered by a Planning Inspector appointed by the Secretary of State at a public inquiry which was held over 9 days. The Inspector considered a range of issues including compliance with the development plan, meeting housing needs, highway capacity and safety, and landscape impact.

"They ultimately concluded that the development would result in very substantial harm caused by severe highway impacts on the local road network. The benefits of the proposed development did not outweigh this harm.

"The appeal was therefore dismissed, and planning permission has been refused in line with the decision made by the council.”

The news has also been welcomed by the opposing Conservatives who, when still in power at the Town Hall, fought the planning appeal. The Tories have said that the new Borough Plan, which was reviewed under their rule, should help to prevent similar applications once approved.

Councillor Richard Smith, shadow cabinet member for planning and enforcement, said: "This is a great result for the residents of the borough and sends a clear signal to developers that Conservatives will always stand firm to protect our green belt from inappropriate development."

More appeals

But it is not the only planning appeal that the borough council has had to contest. There are two others - both lodged by Gladman. One is in regards to the Town Hall's decision to refuse planning permission for up to 700 homes on land off Weddington Road.

The other was in regards to Town Hall's decision not to allow 500 homes to be built on Poplar Farm on the Longshoot. Two separate planning inquiries had to be held into these appeals.

The results of these have yet to be revealed.

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