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Bailey Drive development delay: government decision "within two weeks"
LET’S GET GOING: The new riverside development in Christchurch, is still waiting for final approval from the Secretary of State
THE developer of a multi-million-pound riverside development and supermarket in Christchurch hopes the “unwelcome delay” to its scheme will soon be over.
Bournemouth-based developer Quantum was given the go-ahead last year for the proposal at Bailey Drive, off Barrack Road.
It included a supermarket, affordable housing, a health and fitness facility, children’s play park and open spaces and was one of three proposals for supermarkets in the town.
Once given the go-ahead, Quantum’s application was sent to the Secretary of State, Eric Pickles, as planning authorities have to inform the Secretary of State when they approve applications for certain types of brand-new developments.
But three months later, with no decision either way from Mr Pickles, Christchurch MP Chris Chope, raised the matter in the House of Commons.
Mr Chope asked when Mr Pickles expected to decide whether to call in the application and was told the Secretary was aware of the “considerable” level of public interest, and a decision could be expected in the next two weeks.
David Hines, chief executive of Quantum said: “We were very encouraged to hear of the effort being made by Chris Chope to try and find out why the Bailey Drive mixed use development appears to be held up, particularly as the application received unanimous support from the planning committee on October 23.
“We do feel it would be very unusual for the Secretary of State to try and block Bailey Drive, which will create over 400 jobs, community facilities and also much-needed affordable homes – especially as the proposal was granted twice at two separate planning committee meetings and has attracted massive support from the local community, which was great.
“The Localism Bill was brought in by this government to allow local people to take local decisions; therefore we cannot see any reason why the government will not allow Localism to perform its function in this instance.
“Once again, may we thank everyone for their continued support and patience with the project and we remain hopeful that this unwelcome delay will soon be resolved and that we can proceed with delivering what will be a great asset for Christchurch.”
Plans for a supermarket at Meteor Retail Park in Somerford were approved in December.
Developers Brookhouse also had their application sent to the Secretary of State and are still awaiting a response.
The rejected scheme for a Morrisons supermarket at Beagle Technology in Stony Lane has been appealed with a hearing due to take place in the next few months.