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Heritage Quarter plans thrown out on a single vote

PUBLISHED: 12:08 22 September 2010

Campaigners against the regeneration of the Heritage Quarter celebrate success in the Three Daws pub

Campaigners against the regeneration of the Heritage Quarter celebrate success in the Three Daws pub

Archant

Rapturous applause greeted the assembled cast of councillors at the Woodville Halls theatre as a single vote saw the controversial plan for a £120 million regeneration of the Heritage Quarter rejected

After more than three hours of heated debate in front of a 350 strong crowd on September 20 board members elected to reject a proposal to support the application by five to four, with Mr Craske failing to cast his potentially deciding vote.

The scheme included 400 flats, a hotel, new shops and 1,000 underground parking spaces.

Many campaigners against the project are members of pressure group Urban Gravesham. Its vice chairman Martin McKay was delighted with the result, claiming thousands of residents were against the plan.

He said: “We weren’t at all sure how it would go and it certainly was an evening of drama. It does restore your faith in the democratic system that the council has listened to us and acted accordingly.”

The project, which was split into a detailed plan for the Eastern Quarter, around Queen Street, and outline plans for the Western Quarter, centred around St George’s Church, which were first submitted by developers Edinburgh House in 2008.

Conservative leader of the council Mike Snelling and Labour Party leader John Burden spoke in favour of the application.

Mr Snelling said: “I have made my personal position on this issue clear from the start but the democratic process and the independent planning process has produced a decision. Clearly there is a financial danger for the borough council here because even just picking up our own costs were we to have to fight an appeal from Edinburgh House could be extremely expensive. Until we know what Edinburgh House intends there is a shadow of uncertainty over the regeneration of the town.”

Tony Quayle, Managing Director of Edinburgh House said the group would be considering its options.

To read the full story see the September 23 Edition

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