Blackheath Huntsman development protesters 'delighted' planning permission refused

Huntsman campaigners are 'delighted' planning permission has been refused

Protesters against the Huntsman development in October 2012

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Campaigners battling for four years against a Blackheath development with ‘dangerous’ road access are "delighted" planning permission has been refused.

A planning inspector ruled against the Huntsman housing application which would build 131 homes on an old sports ground following an appeal from developer Derreb Ltd.

News Shopper: Blackheath Cator Estate unites against Huntsman housing project 'danger' road

Inspector Paul Dobsen agreed with residents and Greenwich Council that access on the western side of the Cator Estate would be unsafe for pedestrians.

In his appeal decision document, Mr Dobsen said: "I think it would pose significant risks particularly for pedestrians, including unaccompanied children.

"In my judgement, there would be a significant risk of collisions or other accidents occurring."

The council joined the position of amenity groups Blackheath Park Conservation Group (BPCG), the Blackheath Society, and Blackheath Cator Estates Residents Limited’s over the site's road safety in September last year.

BPCG coordinator Chris Holland said: "As far as I can tell, everybody is pretty much delighted by it.

"It is very good news. I think it validates the campaign we have fought for about four years.

"The council came on side belatedly and their efforts and the objectors’ efforts validate the position of the objectors all along.

"So I think it is a very good result and it is an endorsement of planning by community consent."

He added that residents were not against future development on the site and would be keen to talk to the developers about a design which fitted with the Kidbrooke supplementary plan.

The Blackheath Society and Blackheath Cator Estate Residents Ltd added: "[We] welcome the inspector's decision to dismiss the appeal to build on the Huntsman site adjoining the Cator Estate.

"In particular they are pleased that the Inspector decided against any vehicle access from the west of the site onto the Cator estate roads as he agreed with us that this would create an unsafe junction and that it would fail to integrate the site properly with the new Kidbrooke development to the east."

A Derreb Limited spokesman said: "Derreb Limited have considered the inspector’s comments on its scheme prepared by its architects Messrs Rolfe Judd for the Huntsman field.
“The inspector stated that development of the site will put this ‘long vacant site to beneficial use’, and recommended the removal of one house and that vehicular access be from the east, rather than the west.

“Messrs Rolfe Judd are now making these amendments, so that the re-application for planning consent may be promptly made.

"Messrs Rolfe Judd and Derreb Limited look forward to working with the council officers, on the re-application so that homes and jobs may be expeditiously created for local people.”

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