Timber Grove – Since 2012

The application for Timber Grove has been ‘knocking about’ since 2012. With the latest incarnation of the plan coming forward in January 2018. Those who aren’t familiar with the application can find more details here.

In January, the development committee unanimously voted for refusal for many reasons, but in essence because the application didn’t meet with all of the concerns of the members.

Last week, members received a letter from the assistant director, Matthew Thomas, advising that he was using ‘his power’ to bring the application back to committee.

Tonight the same report was presented to the committee with an addendum. The committee members were largely the same, however since last meeting it was discovered that the developer would contribute to a play space (Cllr Steptoe was keen on some sort of equipment for older children), in our opinion pointless as the council have proved by shifting costs to the parishes they don’t have or intend to have the budgets to maintain play equipment. Also identified was a paltry sum of £30k towards health care (we don’t think that £30k will cover the cost of 83 households NHS needs) – so the queue for the doctors will be getting longer!

Cllr Christine Mason put forward numerous points that the report didn’t address such as affordable housing, crossing, walking routes, drainage during construction, construction management plan etc – Cllr Christine Mason proposed to defer the application until all these issues were sorted out.

Our Lib Dem Councillor Newport, raised the issue with the crossing (or lack of) for London Road. Highlighting that it will be difficult and near impossible to ‘assist’ the type of residents that may occupy the home, along the London Rd on the north side, so a crossing is vital. Also that there were no safe walking or cycling routes – ignored AGAIN by the officers who just don’t want to address these concerns.

A vote was taken on deferring the application – all opposition members voted to defer, however, Cllr Steptoe had the opinion that all these issues could be sorted out through conditions, and his group duly voted against deferring the application.

We hear the same old rhetoric recently from both Cllr Ward & Cllr Sperring that they supported an ‘infrastructure first’ approach to development. This development will deliver NONE – Well done, perhaps they forgot to mention that in their group meetings!

Clearly, the Conservatives are continuing to NOT listen to residents and will build anywhere there is room to put in housing regardless of infrastructure. Cllr Steptoe defiantly took the opportunity to propose approval…..

If you were in any doubt about how well your Councillors represent you, then a visit to the development committee is a must see.

How they voted


  • Cllr Neil Hookway (UKIP)
  • Cllr Chris Stanley (Lib Dem)
  • Cllr Stuart Wilson (Green)
  • Cllr John Mason (Ind)
  • Cllr Christine Mason (Ind)
  • Cllr James Newport (Lib Dem)


  • Cllr Mike Steptoe (Con)
  • Cllr David Merrick (Con)
  • Cllr Bob Milne (Con)
  • Cllr John Griffin (Con)
  • Cllr Lorraine Shaw (Con)
  • Cllr Simon Smith (Con)
  • Cllr Arthur Williams (Con)