Update on planning committee hearing on Mill housing applications. All agreed that the critical aspect of these applications was to ensure that the Mill itself is demolished and it is the Parish Council’s view after consultation that some form of protection is set up so that the green field developments cannot proceed unless the Mill itself has been removed. It was made clear by the developer that without the additional two Greenfields that the demolition and redevelopment of the mill site would not be economically viable.
Parish chair Sue Lintern made a very good presentation to the panel after these applications were called in by Cllr Colin Sampson, supported most eloquently by Cllr. Kit Hesketh-Harvey, arguing for an approval of the application with stringent conditions attached.
The panel was very supportive of the concerns of Stoke Ferry regarding this proposed development but in the absence of a completed Neighbourhood Plan, which the Parish Council is working on, would have been duty bound to accept the planners recommended acceptance of this outline application. It was decided to hold off the final decision in order to allow the developers and planners to consult in a constructive, two-way dialogue with the parish council.
Cllr Martin Storey highlighted the history of disappointment rightly felt by the village as previous developments have not been completed as agreed and the village, in spite of the large number of listed buildings here, has a large number of incomplete and seemingly abandoned sites.
I accept the delay is not the best outcome for the village, but we must remember that the vital thing is to ensure that it is demolished as a required part of the housing development.
For the sake of balance, we should also note that development will generate a large S106 payment ( i.e. a mandatory expenditure to support the community to be carried out by the Borough Council) as well as Community Infrastructure payments that will be applied by the Parish council for the well being of the entire village.
So well done your elected representatives, they have fought hard to retain control of this development!
Councillor Tom Ryves