Newport says no to new homes

Chairman and Clerk of Newport Parish Council, Andrew Yarwood and Christine Griffiths in White Ditch

Chairman and Clerk of Newport Parish Council, Andrew Yarwood and Christine Griffiths in White Ditch Lane where 15 new homes were proposed. - Credit: Archant

A plan to build 15 homes in Newport along a single track road with blind bends has been quashed by the High Court in London. Newport Parish Council challenged the planning permission granted by Uttlesford District Council to developer Ford-Wells, who proposed to build the houses in a field off White Ditch Lane.

The road is a by-way with no footpaths. Though the parish council has conceded that the lane could be widened outside the part where the houses were planned, the narrow entrance to the road, near the blind bends, is bordered on each side by existing houses who own the land right up to the road.

On Thursday, (July 30) the court quashed the planning permission and ordered Uttlesford District Council to pay most of the costs: £2,650 out of total fees of £2,900. The decision was the result of a judicial review sought by the parish council.

Parish council chairman, Councillor Andrew Yarwood told the Reporter: “It is not even a road, it is a by-way with no pavement. There is no safe refuge for pedestrians.

“The road is unsuitable and inadequate. Uttlesford had previously refused permission for the homes on one side of the lane but allowed an application for the same number of homes on the other side. We studied the plans and decided that this wasn’t consistent.

“We sought legal advice because in planning decisions, the parish council is a consultee. We were concerned about spending public money but we were advised that the district council would be responsible for most of the fees and this is what happened.”

He added: “Uttlesford don’t take account of the whole picture. Planning permission has been granted piecemeal for 200 homes and that is more than enough for the village. Only 20 have been started but that exceeds the need. We have opposed all the applications. We are concerned about the infrastructure and the demand for houses. One is not proven and the other is not given.”