Permission had already been given for three homes to be built on the Daventry Road plot where the popular Tarsus Hotel and Restaurant had stood for 40 years but the latest [June 8] planning committee of Stratford District Council agreed to a new four-property scheme.
Six members of the public had objected to the plans saying neighbouring properties would be affected and the development would impact on highway safety and lead to a loss of trees and vegetation.
Southam Town Council also objected and Cllr Andrew Walster spoke at the meeting. He said: “The town council is supportive in principle of development at this site even though it is outside of the development boundary as it is currently, and has been for a number of years, an eyesore at the entrance of our town.
“We know that all of the public representations are objections on grounds of overdevelopment and a number of these objectors have said they support the existing approved application for three houses.
“The question being asked by residents and town councillors is why, therefore, are four houses acceptable. No viability arguments have been made by the applicant to suggest that the site is not viable therefore the only conclusion that your town council and residents can draw is that this is an increase in houses to increase the profit level for the developer. This is therefore pure over-development for profit.”
Cllr Andy Crump (Con, Southam South) said he considered the new application to be development by stealth and explained that a plan for five houses had been thrown out at appeal.
He said: “The combined scale, height and massing of proposed dwellings and associated buildings appear to dominate and are highly visible in the streetscene.”
But members of the planning committee disagreed and voted by seven votes to two to approve the latest scheme.
Cllr Matt Jennings (Con, Henley) said he was struggling to see how the plans would lead to the overdevelopment of the site while committee chairman Cllr Peter Richards (Con, Snitterfield) explained that viability was nothing to do with the planning committee.