Residents group go head-to-head with developers over Blunts Farm (From East London and West Essex Guardian Series)
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A decision will be made over Blunts Farm before the end of the year after a planning appeal hearing was held today
A residents’ group slammed plans to develop on green belt land in Theydon Bois at a planning appeal this morning.
People from the village aired their views over the future of Blunts Farm, arguing that Epping Forest District Council’s decision to refuse permission should stand.
Representatives from TBAG were adamant that the land is not suitable for housing.
Mark Swan was refused permission to destroy agricultural buildings and build on the site in July last year.
Thomas Hill QC representing developer argued that the four houses will actually free up more green belt land than exists on the site at present, and make the site more attractive.
He said: “The proposed hard standing will be a reduction of around 40 percent on the site.
“Taking it away is positive for the green belt.
“To say that they are not particularly attractive buildings is a gross understatement.
The developer’s representatives also argued that Theydon Bois is more rural edge, than rural and therefore should not be seen as a scenic spot in need of protection.
Councillor John Philip hotly disputed this.
He said: “People in Theydon Bois are surrounded by countryside.
“Areas at the edge of the M6 are certainly rural and they are at the side of a honking great motorway.”
Mr Philip also described how important the area is to astrology societies because the village has only a handful of street lights.
Dr Warren has lived in the village for 33 years.
He said: “Even if it was in a sustainable location, which I content it is not, the land is not suitable.
“The buildings may not be that attractive but they are the type that can be expect in a rural area.”
Should permission for the “fairly large” homes be granted, the developer will offer £100k to Epping Forest District Council for the provision of affordable homes in the area.
A decision will be made by the planning inspectorate before Christmas.
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