Developer blasted for advertising new homes after an application to build them was refused

A “PRESUMPTIVE” developer has been blasted for promoting new homes to prospective buyers – despite having a planning application to build them rejected just three weeks ago.

A proposal by Bellway Homes to build 14 houses at the old You’re Furnished site in Cambridge Road, Stansted Mountfitchet, was refused by Uttlesford District Council at the end of last month.

But it has not stopped the firm from advertising the “exciting” housing development on its website, including pictures of Stansted Mountfitchet and a shot of the Backs in Cambridge – perhaps a confused reference to the homes being planned for Cambridge Road.

It has led district councillor for Stansted South, Alan Dean, to criticise the developer and reignited the row about a “secret list of fast-track housing sites” he believes were drawn up by Uttlesford last summer.

In a post on his blog, Cllr Dean wrote: “Why is Bellway Homes so confident that it can offer homes for sale on what to most people would seem flimsy ground?

“There is evidence which suggests that UDC not only encouraged the landowner to apply for planning permission but that the council may have given the developer a clear sign planning permission would be granted.”

Cllr Dean plans to investigate what he called a “disturbing situation” and has written to planning officers to establish the facts.

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He also vowed to bring the issue up in a discussion with UDC’s legal officer Mike Perry, with a view to the possibility of launching an investigative inquiry.

A spokesman for Bellway Homes told the Reporter the firm had advertised the development because it was “confident” of obtaining planning permission when a revised proposal is submitted shortly.

“We market developments on our website which we are confident will receive planning permission – it is nothing unsual and is actually normal practice,” he said.

A UDC spokesman said the site had been identified for potential housing in the parish council’s plan, published last year. “The district council currently cannot show that there is enough land available for housing and it has been encouraging applications for suitable sites.

“The planning committee however assesses each proposal on its merits when it decides the application.”