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Concern over housing at Berry Close sees huge turnout by Great Bowden residents

September 2, 2015 9:47 PM

It was standing room only as residents of Great Bowden packed out the local village hall to voice concern over a potential housing application rumoured to be scheduled for submission later this year.

Around 130 residents packed the hall in Great Bowden, to the point where there was standing room only, where they heard Cllr Phil Knowles ‎call for residents not to complete the building consultants' questions in the consultation document delivered to local homes and to prepare to fight the subsequent planning application regarding Berry Close should it arrse.

Cllr Knowles also called on residents to urgently support the parish council in the preparation of a neighbourhood plan.

"The consultative questionnaire is very carefully structured. The residents' answers to the prepared questions could possibly form part of the submissions from the developer in respect of any future application. I suggested to the meeting that residents should avoid answering the questions marking the reply 'the land is not suitable for development' and the support for my proposal was very clear. It was unanimous.

"The real fight will begin if and when an application comes to the planning authority. The meeting made it clear, they are up for the fight and the residents attending made it very clear. They intend to fight to stop any building on the land off Berry Close"

Cllr Knowles pledged to back the residents and was supported by fellow ward councillors Sarah Hill and Barry Chapman, who joined him on the platform.

Phil Knowles also urged residents to back the parish council in their quest to prepare a neighbourhood plan.

"It's a very important document but in reality it could take up to two years to complete the processes involved. The sooner the process begins the better."

The meeting concluded with Cllr Knowles thanking parish council chair Paul Claxton and his team for organising the meeting. He said that as soon as any planning application is received a second meeting would be called to share the details with residents and that planning officers from the planning authority would also be invited to come along.