GOVERNMENT planning chiefs will step in to decide on whether to allow a controversial housing development on farm land in Bewdley.

The Planning Inspectorate has confirmed that an appeal submitted by Gladman Developments against Wyre Forest District Council for non-determination of their application is valid.

This means the inspectorate will make the decision on whether or not to approve the plan to build 195 houses on farm land off The Lakes Road in Bewdley.

Legal officers are now preparing their case for the appeal while angry residents, who opposed the proposal and set up the Bewdley Says No To Gladman campaign group in response, have vowed to fight on.

Last month, The Shuttle revealed how Gladman had slapped in the non-determination appeal against the authority.

But council planners said they were left frustrated by the move as Gladman had been submitted additional information for officers to consider during the past few months.

Gladman have previously declined to comment on their plans and the appeal but, in their literature to neighbouring residents and businesses, have stated that there is a need for more housing in Bewdley, with 59 of the properties being affordable homes.

Mike Parker, Wyre Forest District Council corporate director for prosperity and place said: “The Council has received formal notification from the Planning Inspectorate that the appeal is now valid.

“We are now formally notifying all those who made representations against the application.

“The next step will be to seek a resolution to assist in the preparation of the appeal case. This is likely to be heard at the Planning Committee in June.”

Rod Stanczyszyn, chairman of Bewdley Says No to Gladman, said: "It's no surprise Gladman has asked for its inappropriate application to be sent to the Planning Inspectorate through a non-determination appeal process - they've done the same in dozens of locations in the past.

"The determination period was actually extended to accommodate late submissions made by Gladman, which have turned out to be nonsense and disadvantageous to the people of Bewdley.

"Bewdley Says No to Gladman believes the additional proposals from Gladman were prompted by the wonderful response of local residents and the huge number of objections to the application.

“Now we are asking for people to give more support than ever before to help us fight this campaign.

"This is the point at which donations towards the cost of legal representation are vital - please give whatever you can via the BSNTG website Every pound will help."‎