Sadly Ottershaw East Application Approved
Unfortunately the council approved the application to turn our valued green space into a dense housing development. The application did not comply with multiple points in local and government guidelines but the planning officers batted this away with the catch all that they should consider efficient use of land even though the higher densities had been achieved according to the requirement in the local plan. The BRAG team tried very hard but the council were determined to get this through. It was voted against by our ward councillors and 2 others but the vast majority of councillors approved.
Highlights include SCC Councillor Jonathan Hulley pointing out that the application did not comply with guidelines that require parking courts and bays to be broken up. The officers reply was that Vistry simply refused to take notice of the officers advice! (so that's ok then) The other highlight was when Carl Mann our ward councillor pointed out that the Officers Report stated that 3 story buildings should not be adjacent to properties on Brox Road and yet a 3 story property was placed behind 151 Brox Road. The reply (with much verbal gymnastics) was that it was not adjacent to the Brox Road property because it was facing onto the Main Street of the development. Sort of like your car is not parked adjacent to your property if it faces the main road.
Apparently the development was "landscape led" without evidence to support this bizarre statement because we know the street and house layout was settled way before the green landscaping was added. One of the councillors pointed out that the NPPF states that all streets should be treelined. The officer reply was that that it doesn't say "must" only "should" so this can be ignored. The NPPF also states that councils "should" ensure efficient use of land not "must" ensure, however this did not stop the officers quoting the land efficiency excuse every time some non-compliance with design guidelines was pointed out.
We will be writing to the Head of planning asking him to explain these inconsistencies but meanwhile, if you would like to see the video of the planning meeting please see here. You may have to move the time cursor on the clip back because somehow the link takes you into halfway through the meeting