July 12, 2017
Brent Knoll council defends itself amid uproar over 14 new homes

Brent Knoll Parish Council has this week defended its "correct and democratic" process and said all decisions have been "taken in good faith" amid a debate about controversial plans for 14 new homes in the village.

Coln Developments hopes to build 14 commercial homes on a site besides the A38 near to the junction with Brent Street - and the plans were discussed at a heated Parish Council meeting last week where residents called for a referendum, as we reported here.

Owen Cullwick, Clerk of the Parish Council, told "The Parish Council in Brent Knoll were invited to make any comments to a slightly amended planning application on the 5th July."

"The application previously commented on in March proposed the erection of 14 dwellings on a site adjoining the A38. As this site is identified as a P4 in local planning guidelines it requires a developer to provide a community benefit before the application can be considered by the District Planning authority."

"The developer in this application is aware of the long-standing problems at this notorious junction at Brent Street and therefore has proposed a scheme of improvements aimed at making the junction safer for all users."

"The County Council has been asked on a number of occasions to consider investing in such improvements but have always rejected on the basis of the considerable cost involved. They have also stated that there has so far not been a fatality."

"At the latest meeting the Parish Council were only asked to consider some relatively minor changes to the site for the houses and which included small changes to road layout and landscaping these were requested to the developer as part of the proposed housing element of the application. The Parish Council therefore took the view that the appropriate response was to make no observations."

"Those who object to the application must accept that the Parish Council has no say or control in what the County decide to do with regard to the road improvements it is purely their decision on the viability of the Scheme. As for the lack of affordable housing this is being offered as part of another small development providing the current discussions and planning process is completed."

"In summary this Parish Council believe that the process that they have followed throughout this application is correct and democratic and all decisions taken in good faith. At no time has The Parish Council been subject to bribes. It has simply sought to take the opportunity to solve a long standing issue in one part of the village."

It comes after a packed July meeting of the Brent Knoll Parish Council where parishioners spoke out about the plans.

The residents say they are planning to pursue the option of a Parish Poll – enabling them to demonstrate to the Parish Council and the planning authorities whether the community supports the idea of allowing a commercial development in return for a traffic lights formula.


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