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Despite being submitted in April 2015 the Bowes Gate Road application (15/1666N) has only recently been granted consent at the end of September this year. I had thought this had already gone through despite the massive opposition to its location. The application was made by the Rural Housing Trust and will result in 4 socially rentable properties and 4 intermediate affordable properties (shared equity) plus 3 ‘market’ houses. Again the affordable housing is 2 bedded (6 dwellings) and 2 three bedded properties. No single bedded dwellings.
The Neighbourhood Plan (BNP) was nearly completed by the time of the initial application and some reference is made to it in the documentation. Given the lack of a local plan, the BNP would not have carried much weight if the application had gone to appeal. Despite opposition from the Parish Council and many local residents 2 years and 6 months later the proposal is given the go ahead.
One feature of the debate over this application is the inclusion of a particular comment in the ‘community involvement’ document. The applicant claims:
General support for development within Lower Bunbury as opposed to Higher Bunbury
This sort of comment with vague references to consultation and no hard numbers is potentially divisive. This was seen by many in Upper Bunbury as not reflecting their views adequately and being overly influenced by the comments of a large number of people from Lower Bunbury. A large questionnaire produced by the Upper Bunbury Action Group made clear the opposition of that part of the village to the project.