A DISTRICT councillor has resigned for ‘personal and health’ reasons following months of missed meetings.
Tory Will Redman, who has been on the authority since 2011, stepped down from his Lindridge ward seat last Wednesday (April 3) and had only attended three full council meetings in the last 12 months.
On the same day he resigned, a controversial planning application he had submitted to keep two caravans on his land was refused by the council’s Northern Area Development Management Control (NADMC) committee. Mr Redman was also a member of the NADMC, but has not been present at any of the committee’s meeting since July last year.
Mr Redman’s planning application came after residents complained about him in May 2011 for keeping several caravans on his land, which he claimed he needed for seasonal agricultural workers to stay in for the benefit of his hop-growing business.
Residents had branded the units an ‘eyesore’ and said people were semi-living in the caravans throughout the year for motorbike scrambling events held on the land by Mr Redman.
Neighbours also alleged the temporary occupiers behaved anti-socially reporting them to the police for threatening actions as well as submitting a noise disturbance complaint to Worcestershire Regulatory Services. One resident declared he would move house if the caravans were permitted on the land.
Dean Kinsella, council planning officer, said there was an ‘extensive history’ of discussions between Mr Redman and planning officers about possible unauthorised caravans on his site.
As a result he applied to house nine of the units on his land which he later reduced to two.
Council leader David Hughes who sits on the NADMC committee, said he had spoken to Mr Redman on Wednesday, and called for the matter to be deferred in light of his current state of health.
However following an 11th hour update at the meeting it emerged Mr Redman admitted he no longer grew hops at the site and now required the caravans for storage.
Coun Gill Farmer on the committee, said she was very familiar with the situation.
“There have been many caravans there for many years. They are an eyesore. They were used for five to six weeks of the year to service people who collected the hops.
“The rest of the time they were abandoned. Mr Redman has ceased growing hops and his need to have caravans has gone.
“I can’t think what an earth this is all about. There is simply no need for any caravans to be there at all now.”
A by-election for the Lindridge ward will now take place on May 22, at the same time as the European Parliament elections.