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Flats rejection "a victory for common sense"

September 9, 2010 12:00 AM
In Brentwood Weekly News
Cllr Karen Chilvers at the site of the proposed flats

Cllr Karen Chilvers at the site of the proposed flats

CONTROVERSIAL plans for dozens of new flats have been refused by planning chiefs.

Councillors sitting on Brentwood Council's planning committee have thrown out a proposal to build 71 flats at the corner of St James Road and Station Approach, in Brentwood.

Delighted campaigners called the decision a victory for common sense.

House builder Taylor Wimpey wanted to build a seven-storey building on the patch of land.

The campaign was launched in June, because councillors and residents felt the plan would add too much pressure to the area, on top of the 400 new homes at the nearby Base estate in Rollason Way.

Karen Chilvers, Liberal Democrat councillor for the Brentwood West ward, who has spearheaded a campaign against the proposal said: "I am delighted the planning committee voted very strongly against this development, which would have brought chaos to the St James Road and Rollason Way area.

"It is a common sense victory for those who live in and around the area and are fed up with the over-development of this site."

The councillor also praised residents for their campaigning efforts which included signing petitions, letter writing and putting up signs in windows.

She said: "The residents were great. They did a lot and generally made a huge fuss, and they were listened to."

If approved, there would have been 32 one-bedroom flats and 39 two-bedroom flats, as well as 40 car parking spaces.

Some 25 of the flats would be affordable housing for council tenants.

However, planning officers said the plot was seen as an important site for new work-related developments, which would be lost if homes were built.

They also said the plans did not include enough communal space for residents and not enough provision for bicycles and motorbike storage.