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Furious villagers march against controversial housing estate
8:00am Wednesday 26th September 2012 in News
Outrage: Furious Hagley villagers stormed Lord Cobham’s estate as part of a protest against plans for a controversial new housing estate in the village.
MORE than 500 furious villagers stormed Lord Cobham's estate to protest against plans for a controversial new housing estate in Hagley.
Protesters of all ages joined the march on Hagley Hall on Saturday, (September 22), to show their anger towards the proposal to build houses on land previously owned by the peer, who is believed to be away in Norway.
Developer Cala Homes are behind the application to build 175 houses between Stourbridge Road and Kidderminster Road.
The crowd, holding banners and placards, booed and blew whistles then shouted “Down with the Cobhams” as they marched from Hagley Community Centre to the hall.
But on reaching the hall campaigners weren’t able to deliver a letter to the peer as originally intended.
Campaigner Fran Evans said: “We could not believe the turn out.
“People are outraged and this march showed the strength of feeling.
“How can one person (Lord Cobham) have the right to change the lives of so many?
“Bromsgrove District Council has neglected its duty towards residents; it is up to them to protect vulnerable villages from coming under target.
“People are saying if this development is allowed, they will move from Hagley.”
Residents are opposing the development on a number of grounds.
Among them is the safety concerns for village youngsters, due to more cars on the road, pollution, and the pressure on class numbers at local schools.
Fran added: “My child already has 32 in his class - teachers could have even bigger classes.”
More than 2,000 people have signed a petition against the plans, and written letters to Bromsgrove councillors urging them to refuse the application when it comes before them.
Cala Homes managing director Darren Humphreys said they had listened to the concerns of residents, and argues the development would provide significant benefits for the village.
Lord Cobham has previously said he is not surprised by opposition to a development on the land, but argues he has to find ways to fund his estate.