Council wins land sale fight
By James HoreA COUNCIL has won its fight to stop a firm selling off parcels of conservation land for development. The Profitable Plot Company has been offering the land, next to the A12 in West Bergholt, with the potential for investors to make a huge profit should planning permission be granted.
By James Hore
A COUNCIL has won its fight to stop a firm selling off parcels of conservation land for development.
The Profitable Plot Company has been offering the land, next to the A12 in West Bergholt, with the potential for investors to make a huge profit should planning permission be granted.
But residents were concerned the parcels of land could have been bought by travellers, who could then develop the site without permission.
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The land was divided into hundreds of individual plots and advertised for sale on the internet with the Profitable Plot Company describing the location as “the perfect choice for people looking to purchase pre-developed land”.
Colchester Borough Council contacted the Government, which has agreed “evidence of a real and specific threat has been provided”.
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It made an order - an article four direction - that removed the “permitted development rights”.
The council has now written to people whom it believed bought a plot on the site to warn them of the new restrictions and to tell them it was “highly unlikely” that any planning application would be successful in the near future.
Richard Gower, the council's portfolio holder for planning and transportation, said: “I am delighted we have been given approval to impose this restriction on the site involved.
“This conservation area has clearly become a target for speculative land deals over the internet and it is our job as local planning authority to protect these sites when we feel they are at risk.”
A statement from the council added: “The plots are for sale for between £12,000 and £28,000, but there is little prospect of the plots being allocated for residential development by planners for the foreseeable future.”
The Profitable Plots Company declined to comment yesterday.