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Pennwood development: South Staffs 'call in' decision is potential death-knell for housing plan

October 13, 2019 2:14 PM
By Nick Machnik-Foster

Pennwood development: South Staffs 'call in' decision is potential death-knell for housing plan

Wolverhampton Liberal Democrat campaigner Nick Machnik-Foster has said the Seven Cornfields development scheme is facing it's potential death-knell.

This comes after South Staffordshire councillors 'called in' the decision. This is when councillors try to challenge decisions made by their authority. The party are now urging Dudley and Wolverhampton Council to join them and call in the decision too.

In an email to Nick from Barratt Plc they say: 'We have had an initial look at the document and, whilst not definitive in either the scale or location of new development, our first impression is that there is little in the Council's 'preferred option' to support major development on the South Staffs element of Pennwood Farm. We will, of course, need to undertake a more detailed review so as to come to a view on the merit of continuing to promote the South Staffs element of the initial proposition.'

This news comes after 6,300 people have signed a petition created by Liberal Democrat campaigner Nick Machnik-Foster against the plans. Campaigners have revealed that they plan to try and garner 15,000 names to the petition with 5,000 signatures each in Wolverhampton, Dudley and South Staffordshire.

Commenting on the news, Liberal Democrat campaigner Nick Machnik-Foster said:

"This awful development is facing it's death-knell. I promised the community that we would strain every sinew to oppose these plans and today is a major win for our campaign.

"But we cannot be complacent. We must keep up the pressure. And make sure this plan is consigned to the bin forever.

"It is now up to the other councils is call this terrible plan in and my message to the developers is drop this proposal before you throw good money after bad."

Ends

Notes to editors - The email sent to Nick by the developers is below.

Date: Wed, Oct 9, 2019 at 4:05 PM +0100

Subject: South Staffs - Spatial Housing Strategy

To: "Nick Machnik-Foster" <nickmachnik@sky.com>

Nick

In case you haven't seen, South Staffs' 'Spatial Housing Strategy' has emerged into the public domain as part of the agenda for an Overview & Scrutiny committee meeting tomorrow.

We anticipated that something would emerge before Christmas, but we were under the impression that officers had 'delegated' approval to publish it. The document appears to have been 'called in' for consideration by councillors before publication, which may or may not be due to recent events.

https://services.sstaffs.gov.uk/cmis/Meetings/tabid/70/ctl/ViewMeetingPublic/mid/397/Meeting/822/Committee/7/SelectedTab/Documents/Default.aspx

We have had an initial look at the document and, whilst not definitive in either the scale or location of new development, our first impression is that there is little in the Council's 'preferred option' to support major development on the South Staffs element of Pennwood Farm. We will, of course, need to undertake a more detailed review so as to come to a view on the merit of continuing to promote the South Staffs element of the initial proposition.

Regards