Call for more powers to be handed to "environmental watchdogs" after eight-year planning saga – Cheshire Live

Posted: April 11, 2021 at 5:50 am

More planning powers should be handed to environmental watchdogs to prevent development in high-risk flood areas, according to a Chester campaign group.

The warning follows the decision this week to allow 142 homes to be built on the former Chester College playing fields on Sealand Road, concluding an eight-year planning saga.

Now, Reg Barritt of Chester Community Voice UK, has called for changes to be made.

He told the Local Democracy Reporting Service: We ask, why are UK developers still planning and being allowed to build more homes in high-risk flood areas when we know that the situation is only going to get worse because of the climate emergency?

Our Government and local planners need to rethink where and how we build homes, [and we need to give] more powers to environmental watchdogs to keep developers in check, and to invest more in preventing flooding from happening.

Damage caused by such storms as Ciara and Dennis is becoming increasingly frequent and is proof of the case against such development, [which] has left many residents counting the cost of that policy and raised concerns over plans to build more.

The Sealand Road decision on Tuesday (April 6) came after Cheshire West and Chester Councils planning committee felt they could not find a planning reason to refuse it but Cllr Gina Lewis said morally, I do not feel I can support this.

Her view was seemingly shared by several other councillors, as five voted to approve the bid, one voted against, and five chose to abstain.

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Call for more powers to be handed to "environmental watchdogs" after eight-year planning saga - Cheshire Live

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