GOVERNMENT planners will decide the fate of Bewdley farm land earmarked for housing in October.

The Planning Inspectorate has informed Wyre Forest District Council of when it will hold a hearing to determine the application by property speculator Gladman Developments to build 195 houses on land off The Lakes Road.

It will be held on October 24, at the authority’s HQ on Finepoint Way in Kidderminster, and is anticipated to last eight days.

The hearing has come about after Gladman successfully lodged an appeal for non-determination against the council, meaning the final decision will be taken by Whitehall.

This was despite Gladman submitting additional information for consideration by officers during the process.

Gladman argues that there is a need for more housing in Bewdley and have a commitment to ensure 59 of the properties would be affordable homes.

But their plans were met with fierce opposition, with worried residents setting up the campaign group ‘Bewdley Says No to Gladman’. They have been backed by Wyre Forest MP Mark Garnier.

Wyre Forest District Council planners have also said they would have refused the application on the grounds that the authority already has a five year plan for deliverable housing across the district and that there would be an adverse impact on air quality, the landscape and wildlife.

Group chairman Rod Stanczyszyn said: “We remain focused on our opposition to Gladman's original application and the appeal which we understand has been scheduled for October.

“We are convinced that the proposed development, on an area of high landscape value, is inappropriate and would be unsustainable in every way.

“The planning officer's report and recommendation for refusal, in effect, vindicates our campaign and we hope and expect Wyre Forest District Council planning committee to resolve to fight the appeal.

“While BSNTG is determined to save the rural footpath, the glorious open views, the green fields and to protect Bewdley and its community from additional traffic chaos, air, noise and light pollution, we are also concerned that Gladman, and companies of their ilk, are attempting to dictate and thwart democratic planning policy in many districts across the UK.

“This is a national issue which requires Parliamentary scrutiny."