Statement from the Chair of Harrold Centre Management Committee regarding a proposal for development on the land behind the Centre.
McCann Homes approached the Centre with this proposed development the overview of which has now been widely circulated. The committee had a range of views from serious reservations through to outright opposition, but its unanimous view was that it was not appropriate, at this stage, to deny the developers the opportunity to present their outline proposal to the Parish Council. Had we denied access at this stage, we could rightly have been charged with undemocratically preventing something the villagers might want without even asking them.
I therefore wrote to McCann agreeing that they could present to the Parish Council but stating that we would only consider offering up the required access providing that any proposal was approved by the Parish Council and residents of Harrold and that they addressed a number of safety and traffic-related concerns.
I should also point out that, as this proposal is outside of the Development Plan, it would only be allowed in special circumstances: the relevant planning regulation (Clause 7S) means there is a very high bar to cross before any proposal even gets to first base. Including:
- The proposal must respond to an identified community need (criterion vi)
- In addition to this there must be evidence of identifiable community support as well as Parish Council support (criterion vii). It is expected that pre-application consultation will be carried out with the local community to provide evidence of community support as part of the application submission.
The proposal is therefore now where it democratically should be – being presented initially to the Parish Council (Wednesday 13th October @ 19:30 in the Centre); the developers will then have to consider whether they wish to make a formal planning application.
I hope you agree that we have acted with integrity and common sense
Chair: Harrold Centre Management Committee