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Controversial plans halted following survey

The land is located to the rear of 7 Benson Road, Stratford-upon-Avon.
The land is located to the rear of 7 Benson Road, Stratford-upon-Avon.

CONTROVERSIAL plans to develop a part of Benson Road in Stratford-upon-Avon have been abandoned by Stratford Town Trust following a survey of its members.

The decision means that a house at 7 Benson Road — bought by the trust a few years ago for £615,000 for the purposes of demolition — will now be marketed for sale in the new year.

Proposals by the trust to sell off the site and demolish the property so five new homes could be built there caused uproar when first revealed over three years ago.

There was also outrage over the trust’s plans to sell off part of neighbouring Rowley Fields — on the lower slopes of Welcombe Hills — so 80 homes could be built on it.

This idea was eventually dropped altogether because of the storm of opposition it generated.

However, the trust ploughed on with its proposals for Benson Road despite the criticism, until its application to develop the site was rejected last summer by a Stratford District Council planning committee.

Nevertheless the trust was still contemplating appealing against that refusal until such a course of action was overwhelmingly rejected by the recent survey of its membership. No fewer than 74 per cent of those who responded voted against the idea.

The trust will also endorse the designation of Rowley Fields as open green space as identified in Stratford’s draft neighbourhood plan.

Justin Williams, the trust’s chief executive, said: “The board of trustees has listened and now acted following input from the community and its membership.

“The town trust would again like to thank all those who took the time to provide their opinion in the survey. We look forward to engaging with our membership further in the New Year.”

The trust said the property at 7 Benson Road would now be marketed for sale in 2017.

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