COUNCILLORS are furious at permission for access to land where up to 2,000 homes are proposed.
The issue has arisen on land on Green Lane, Great Sutton, where the application was made by the trustees of the Hooton Estate.
Ledsham and Manor councillor Gareth Anderson (Con) raised concerns including flood risk, surface water and ‘destruction’ of a hedgerow.
An application for the removal of part of the hedgerow was approved retrospectively in March this year.
Objector June Reed of Sutton New Hall Farm, Ledsham Road, Little Sutton, argues the access is not needed or wanted as she has been a tenant of the farm for 20 years and has easy access to all the fields on the holding.
For the trustees, chartered surveyors Fisher German told planning officers the land has no separate vehicular access and the work would allow the field to continue to be used for agricultural purposes.
Planning officers explained that, although the land was the subject of a planning application for up to 2,000 homes, there was no suggestion the access would be used in connection with that development.
Cllr Anderson told the committee the access was referred to in the ‘other application’ as an access point.
“I think there is an attempt here to subvert our planning process,” he said.
After development planning manager Fiona Edwards reminded councillors ‘you are not looking at an application that may come before you at some point in the future’ the access was approved.
Following the meeting, Cllr Anderson said: “The farmer did not want this gate, as Mrs Reed’s objection demonstrates and it is nothing more than an attempt by Redrow and the landowner to subvert the planning process.
“Whatever Redrow think they are doing, this decision will have no bearing on the decision over their 2,000-house monstrosity.”
Cllr Ben Powell (Lab, St Paul’s) added: “Given that this part of Green Lane has not previously been an agricultural access and that no evidence is available to suggest that it will be used for agricultural activities now, it is a fair question to ask why this application has been submitted.
“If this is an attempt to subvert the planning process the council should take an extremely dim view indeed.”