A PLANNING inspector has decided an appeal for a 110-home development in Lawford should be a public inquiry rather than a hearing.

Inspector Tom Gilbert-Woolridge has been appointed to determine the planning appeal by Gladman Developments for the estate on land off Grange Road.

Hundreds of residents have objected to the plans.

The appeal was due to be determined at a planning hearing on December 11 - but the inspector has had a change of mind.

Mr Gilbert-Woolridge said: “Given the extent of local interest, the number and nature of representations and Gladman’s request to provide rebuttal statements, the appeal would best be dealt with as a public inquiry rather than a hearing”.

Gladman announced that it would ‘rebut’ the objections from Lawford Tye Action Group, particularly those relating to highways, archaeology and biodiversity. The group is opposed to Gladman’s proposal to build on Lawford Tye Field near Grange Road.

John Hall, one of the ten members, said: “We have provided well researched facts and evidence to the inspector which show there will be severe traffic chaos and road safety concerns if any more houses are built in Lawford without major improvements to the railway crossing.”

He also said there is a Neolithic ancient monument on the field and 27 biodiversity priority species.

There is no date set yet for the public inquiry.

Gladman has been contacted for a comment.