Villagers are voicing their opposition to new homes in the green belt saying they are not needed.
About 60 Guilden Sutton residents descended on the church hall to express their objection to plans by MCI Developments Ltd and the Plus Dane Group for 14 affordable homes and four market homes on fields off School Lane.
Chester MP Stephen Mosley, who attended the session along with parish and ward councillors, told the audience the green belt plot counted as an exemptions site because most of the housing would be affordable and the market housing was only allowed to fund the cheaper homes.
The other condition was that local need had to be demonstrated but he explained that ‘local’ was not defined in the legislation. Many people expressed scepticism about whether such need existed.
Parish council clerk David Norbury told the meeting: “The majority of people who responded to a housing needs survey said they did not wish to see a small development of affordable housing in the village. That mirrors the consultation on the parish plan, now 2008, and it certainly mirrors the views of the majority of people who have attended probably three public meetings now. People do not wish to see development in Guilden Sutton.”
Ward councillor Stuart Parker, who attended with his wife and fellow ward member Margaret Parker, argues against the scheme but has been told it will be recommended for approval by the planning officer because of identified need.
He said: “What he was saying to me is that all the conditions that come through, all the surveys that have been done lead to the fact that unfortunately he would have very little choice but to approve it.”
Mr Mosley said: “This is where you need the evidence. You need those numbers to show what the actual housing list is for the local village and the wider area so you can put that evidence forward and say ‘look the case that’s been put forward doesn’t stack up and the case the developers are putting forward should be turned down’.”
One female resident, who was greeted with applause, said: “At the end of the day this is the green belt and you shouldn’t be building on it irrespective of anything else and you as the parish council should be standing up for that.”
Guilden Sutton Parish Council will hold a special meeting on Tuesday at 7.30pm in the village hall to decide its position on the planning application.