Villagers pack out hall to oppose new homes plan

The meeting in Great Bowden last night (Thursday)
The meeting in Great Bowden last night (Thursday)

Residents are being urged not to fill in questionnaires from a property developer wanting to build houses in their village.

Around 120 people packed out a meeting in Great Bowden village hall to voice their concerns over possible plans for 70 more houses in the village.

Redrow Homes, which is building the 141-home Rockingham View estate off Glebe Road in Little Bowden, has sent letters and a questionnaire to 500 residents in Great Bowden explaining its intentions for a site off Station Road and Berry Close in the village.

But at Thursday night’s meeting Cllr Phil Knowles ‎called for residents not to complete the building consultants’ questions in the consultation document delivered to local homes and to prepare to fight the subsequent planning application for Berry Close should it arise.

He said: “The consultative questionnaire is very professional structured. The residents’ answers to the prepared questions could possibly form part of the submissions from the developer in respect of any future application.

“I suggested to the meeting that residents should avoid answering the questions marking the reply ‘the land is not suitable for development’ and the support for my proposal was very clear. It was unanimous.

“The real fight will begin if and when an application comes to the planning authority. The meeting made it clear, they are up for the fight and the residents attending made it very clear. They intend to fight to stop any building on the land off Berry Close”

Cllr Knowles pledged to back the residents and was supported by fellow ward councillors Sarah Hill and Barry Chapman who joined him on the platform.

Cllr Knowles also urged residents to back the parish council in its quest to prepare a Neighbourhood Plan.

He said: “It’s a very important document but in reality it could take up to two years to complete the processes involved. The sooner the process begins the better’