10:22 Monday 09 December 2013

Campaigners defiant in the face of 100-home appeal

Written byLAURA HAMMOND

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CAMPAIGNERS fighting a foiled development in Rolleston have said they remain resolute in their cause, despite the fact the developer has submitted an appeal.

Planners refused permission for Burton and South Derbyshire College (BSDC) to erect 100 homes on former school fields in the village, as they backed the community-led neighbourhood development plan, which is against the proposal.

The developer has now lodged an appeal against the decision, but those opposed to the plan are defiant, saying they believe they have the law on their side.

Simon Anderson, chairman of the College Fields Action Group, said: “Thousands of hours of local people’s time, government money and the passion of a community to make a difference to where they live and work really should not be ignored.

“The planning committee made the correct decision in giving our neighbourhood plan the protection the law provides for a plan such as ours.”

The neighbourhood plan does not comply with the emerging local plan compiled by East Staffordshire Borough Council, but members of the authority’s planning committee decided that as it was more advanced, it held more weight than the council’s unadopted work.

One of the key points made in the document, which is now awaiting adoption through referendum, is that this site, off Forest School Street, is not a desirable one for the community.

People living in the area say it is unsustainable and would cause severe traffic issues on the narrow roads proposed for access.

However, highways bosses said it met national standards and should be allowed.

Proceeds from the development were due to fund new facilities for BSDC’s campus in Burton town centre.

The Mail attempted to contact Peter Diffey, agent for the college, but he had not responded when the newspaper went to press.

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