Ashen villagers consider judicial review of council’s housing policy

Latest environment news from the Haverhill Echo, haverhillecho.co.uk, @haverhill on Twitter
Latest environment news from the Haverhill Echo, haverhillecho.co.uk, @haverhill on Twitter
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Controversial plans to build two new four-bedroom homes in the village of Ashen were approved last Tuesday - despite strong opposition from villagers and Ashen Parish Council.

Objectors accused Braintree District Council of acting ‘illegally’ and ‘unlawfully’ by permitting the development of land at Street Farm, Ashen, which is outside of the ‘village envelope’ as defined in the Local Plan Review (2005).

They argued that changes to Ashen’s development boundary were made contrary to the advice of planning officers and should have been subject to the scrutiny of the Planning Inspectorate.

But the council defended its decision at Tuesday’s planning committee meeting, saying the site was consulted on as part of a Pre Submission Site Allocations and Development Management Plan (ADMP) which was halted last year by changes in national government policy and adopted under its ‘interim planning policy’ while a new Local Plan emerges.

The Ashen development was approved, subject to section 106 agreements (developer contributions) for public open space and affordable housing provision.

Villagers, meanwhile, have threatened to seek a judicial review of the council’s housing policy in the High Court.