East Jerusalem District Council bosses today turned down an outline planning application for 3000 new ‘executive family homes’ to be built on former farming land on the West Bank. Rejecting the application council boss Cllr Mahmood Abbas said: ‘as council leaders we were worried about the loss of visual amenity to local people and the pressure it would put on local roads and schools. We are committed to keeping the green belt intact at all costs’.
However, Cllr Abbas wouldn’t reject the proposals out of hand much to the dismay of campaigners. He urged the developers to rethink their plans, allowing for a greater mix of affordable housing and the provision of a wind turbine to make the development more environmentally sustainable. ‘If they could only include a small playground in their plans for the kiddies to play in I’m sure we could see our way to approval on resubmisison’ he said.