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DEVELOPMENT DISPUTE: Resident brands councillors as “disingenuous” over comments made about Maple Cross warehouse plans

 Published on: 6th October 2022   |   By: Bryn Holmes   |   Category: Uncategorized

A resident of Maple Cross has hit out at two of his local councillors over comments they made concerning the ongoing warehouse developments in the village.

In June earlier this year, an application for two warehouses to be built on former Green Belt land was granted by the planning inspectorate on appeal.

This has proved to be a controversial decision in the village, with many residents expressing opposition to the plans and further ones for more warehouses which are still in limbo.

When contacted for comment on the matter, Maple Cross councillor Phil Williams told RICKYnews: “It is unfortunate that a majority of councillors voted in 2021 to include the site for employment use in the Local Plan, and that, more or less, sealed its fate, making it difficult for the three local Lib Dem district councillors to mount a decisive opposition, although we fought against it as much as we could.”

Cllr Raj Khiroya also stated his opposition to the development.

However, a resident of Maple Cross, David Sansom, has stated his belief that both Cllrs Williams and Khiroya are partly at fault, as minutes from the council meeting where the Local Plan was voted on show both of them voted in favour of the plan, despite the Maple Cross land being on it for employment use.

Speaking to RICKYnews, Mr Sansom said: “As residents didn’t want this application to go through, for them to say they’ve done everything they can to fight it, I think is disingenuous.”

When contacted for a comment, Cllr Williams replied: “This application has caused a lot of local feeling, and rightly so.

We have tried our hardest to get this application turned down and the developer has taken the council to appeal on two occasions, winning at the second attempt.

The appeal which allowed the application to go through, which Cllr Khiroya attended every day of, is run by a government body which the council has no influence over.

At the Full Council meeting held at Watersmeet in May 2021, Cllr Phil Williams spoke out against the acceptance of the Local Plan. Cllrs Williams, Khiroya and Trevett did not support the Local Plan going through as recommended. Every other Cllr present voted to support the recommendation, including the Conservative Group.

Cllr Phil Williams also organised an on-line petition and along with Maple Cross residents presented the petition of almost 1,000 signatures to Council Officers opposing the warehouse application.”

Cllr Khiroya has also been contacted for comment.

Photo Credit: C4 Projects

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