DEVELOPMENT proposals that ‘ignore’ a village neighbourhood plan are a ‘travesty’, according to the chairman of a neighbourhood plan group.
Josef Ransley, chairman of the Kirdford parish group, has condemned the actions of Cascade Rural Housing Solutions Ltd.
Already designated as land for a new village hall and recreation ground, the area is the subject of a second bid for private and affordable housing.
Mr Ransley said: “It is a travesty that a developer should choose, against all the core principles of planning policy, to ignore a community that has worked for two years to establish a development plan for its village to grow sustainably for the next 15 years.
“For this developer not to consult with the parish council or the district planning and housing department before submitting their application shows a lack of consideration for people, places and community that is incomprehensible, contrary to all the government’s criteria in its localism and growth agenda. It sets aside common courtesy and good sense.
“The application has come as a complete surprise, and we only hope that district will reach the same conclusions as us.
“However, we are trying to approach this issue sensibly as a parish council and on planning terms.
“We feel that the developers are complete opportunists, so this is a real test for neighbourhood plans.
“The upsetting thing is that we have a plan in place for growth that is sustainable and deliverable.
“We have consulted widely with landowners, developers and social housing providers, set up a community land trust to raise capital so we can work in conjunction with partners to deliver our projects.
“Our published neighbourhood development plan shows a positive attitude to growth in what has been a relatively deprived area.
“The area that Cascade has chosen for this development is a critical part of the community for producing future growth.
“We have asked the developers to come to the public meeting so we can hear what they have to say.”
Kirdford parish council will meet to discuss the application tonight, at Kirdford Parish Hall, from 7pm.