Get involved! Send your photos, video, news & views by texting SB NEWS to 80360 or e-mail us
Hagley campaigners turn up the heat on MP after losing Cala Homes battle
10:00am Thursday 17th January 2013 in Local
HAGLEY protestors are turning up the heat on their MP after losing their battle against a controversial housing development.
Following a vote by Tory-led Bromsgrove District Council to approve plans for 175 homes on a site on Kidderminster Road, Hagley Action Group is demanding answers on why their arguments were rejected.
The group has written to Bromsgrove's Conservative MP Sajid Javid insisting on his support and help after they say they were "kicked in the teeth" by local democracy.
In the letter, campaign leader Francesca Evans, said: "I voted for your party because I am passionate about local issues and being able to influence the things that matter to me - my community, my kids schools, our local health and safety."
She is demanding and explanation from the MP of the Localism Act 2011, which promises to "give local communities more control over housing and planning decisions."
Francesca Evans told Mr Javid: "I feel completely betrayed because this was the only policy quite frankly I understood and believed in - this is what stood out.
"You stood outside my son's primary school giving out flyers about this very issue. I know you believe you have supported us but an open letter to the local press is not enough to win Hagley voters onto your side."
Sajid Javid said: "The depth of local opposition to Cala Homes’ proposal is very clear to me, and I know how long and hard Hagley residents have fought this development.
"In representing their views, I have done all that I can to make sure that my constituents’ concerns have been aired and considered robustly at all stages of the application process.
"I have repeatedly made the points that residents have raised with me to the district council. I have conveyed these views and concerns, along with my own, to the relevant officials in order to emphasize the depth of local opposition to Cala Homes’ proposal.
"The Localism Act means that planning decisions are taken at the lowest level possible, rather than being imposed from the top down. This, though, does not mean that residents and individuals now have the direct power themselves to accept or reject planning applications.
"Concerns over local services in Hagley are, of course, entirely reasonable and legitimate. I have discussed this issue with officials and the leaders of both Bromsgrove District Council and Worcestershire County Council on numerous occasions, and I have been assured that supply will meet demand.
"I have contacted both BDC and WCC for further information to reassure me and others that additional demand on local services will be satisfied.”