KINVER residents have reacted with anger after South Staffordshire councillors went against their own officers to approve a major retirement development in Stone Lane.
District councillors granted outline planning permission this week for developers McCarthy and Stone to create 38 apartments on the previous Lowes garage site.
Former Kinver Parish Council chairman Julian Hall admitted to being very surprised at the decision and said: "The District Council have let down the people of Kinver. They've not taken into account the well being of residents.
"The development is over-large and there's not sufficient parking."
Kinver resident Charles Sadler - one of the driving forces behind this week's successful Kinfayre - described the decision as a "disaster" and added: "I don't think there's a need for these types of developments and I've not met anyone who's in favour of it.
"Both the parish council and South Staffordshire's own officers recommended refusal. In fact people were vehemently opposed to it and you do ask the question - 'why do they employ planning officers' if they are then going to go against them?
"They've actually been in breach of their own core strategy as South Staffordshire has always resisted major development in the past
"What we really need in Kinver is starter homes for kids and youngsters."
Council officers claimed the development would have a detrimental impact on the street scene, provide loss of an employment site and would not be in keeping with the scale and character of neighbouring properties.
But McCarthy and Stone argued the development would boost the village's economy and create jobs - during construction and when the scheme is complete through the employment of a house manager and on-going maintenance staff.
Darren Humphreys, regional managing director for McCarthy & Stone, said afterwards: "We are delighted with the committee’s decision which resolved to approve our application for much-needed retirement living apartments in Kinver that will regenerate this brownfield site.
"Our high-quality proposals will improve the appearance of this part of Stone Lane whilst contributing to local housing needs and boosting the local economy, as residents of retirement living schemes tend to shop locally on a daily basis.”