Three 'rebel' Tories vote against controversial housing document
Conservative councillors go against party lines, saying they 'can't support' document
THREE Conservative councillors rebelled against their own party by voting against the controversial housing sites plan at last week’s meeting.
Emma Webster, Anthony Chadley and Tony Linden, who are all elected to the Birch Copse ward, said they couldn’t support the document because of the volume of objection from residents.
Ms Webster said: “The residents in my ward are passionate, hard-working people, old and young, rich and poor, all proud of the community in which they live.
“They are not anti-development full stop, they are just anti the wrong kind of development in the wrong place without the right infrastructure.”
Ms Webster then went on to pay tribute to the residents’ response to the initial public consultation, saying that there had been 5,190 individual responses and a petition containing 2,236 signatures.
During last summer three campaign groups were also set up to oppose the sites that were listed in the DPD – Save Pincents Hill, Love Tilehurst and Keep Tilehurst Green.
Ms Webster said it was good that two sites in the ward had been rejected, but added that her frustrations lay with the three remaining sites, two at Stoneham’s Farm and one at Clements Mead.
She said that she felt the sites were inappropriate and that many of the technical arguments raised by residents during consultation had not been adequately addressed.
During the meeting she said: “It is with a heavy heart that I will be voting this evening against both eastern urban spacial area and also the development plan document.
“While I don’t dispute council needs to have a development plan document to prevent developers wanting to build everywhere, I believe it has to be the right document.
“One which contains the sites I have already spoken about within eastern urban area is one I simply cannot support.”