The prospective Hall End Road development in Wootton that community leaders including Cllr John Wheeler fought hard against, has been formally rejected by the Planning Inspectorate. This good news came on Thursday 17 September. Cllr Wheeler who was constantly at the front of battling this development said “I am glad that the Planning Inspectorate have agreed with the decision to refuse permission for the Hall End Development, it was clear that this development was not suitable for the area and the correct decision has been made for the people of Wootton”
He also added “I would again like to thank the residents of Wootton for their continuous support in the long fight against these proposals and the Parish Council for their constant support and for providing a planning professional who were a great help in achieving a just outcome”
Despite the good outcome, there is however, large question marks over how the application was not instantly rejected by Bedford Council. A lack of coherence between the planning department and Councillors led to the planning committee submitting evidence after the appeals stage, which should have been available during the original application, because of this the Planning Inspectorate ruled that Bedford Council must now pay costs to the developer.
Cllr Graeme Coombes a expressed his frustrations at how the Council have handled this matter “The failure to lead on this matter by the Council has led to amateurish, costly mistakes which will now have to be paid for by the residents of Bedford. Simply put this all because of a lack of trust from Council officers towards local Councillors who have been ignored when expressing local problems with planning applications.”