Land of beauty....where 200 homes are planned

Worcester News: Sunset on parade: the view over Middle Battenhall, in Worcester Sunset on parade: the view over Middle Battenhall, in Worcester

PLANS for a multi-million pound 200-home estate in Worcester have been submitted to the city council - despite the land not being earmarked for development.

Miller Homes has signalled intentions to develop Middle Battenhall Farm, an historic old mediaeval fishpond complex, by handing in a planning application.

But it comes despite the fields, off Redhill Lane, not being pencilled in for development in the South Worcestershire Development Plan (SWDP), the county’s housing blueprint.

The SWDP, which contains provision for 23,200 homes, is currently being revised after inspector Roger Clews said it isn’t enough.

That leaves sites like Middle Battenhall Farm vulnerable, with fears the city council could refuse Miller Homes’ scheme but be defeated on appeal.

The fields are popular with dog walkers and are considered extremely valuable by residents in the area.

Your Worcester News first revealed how the developer was considering the plan one year ago, and has spent the last few months trying to persuade people.

Susan MacDonald, 51, who lives in Whittington, said: “That area should be left as it is, there’s no question.

“I can see why a developer might like it because it’s close to the M5 but it’s part of the character - once we lose it, it’s gone forever.”

Councillor Marc Bayliss, who represents the area on the county council, said: “It’s a terrible idea.

“It’s one of the few large green areas left in Worcester and is a valuable vista, there’s an ancient scheduled monument there and even the old farms have historic value.

“The site was rejected as part of the SWDP and there were good reasons for that.”

Miller Homes says the planning application is an outline one, and if it gets approval it intends to draw up details for a “mix” of property sizes.

It says affordable homes will form part of the final plan, and that in response to concerns a signal controlled junction will be created for access to the complex next to the New College.

It also plans to create an interpretation board to alert people to the mediaeval fishponds, and draw up a management plan for the green land just behind the new proposed houses.

A spokesman said: “This would be development on land that provides a sustainable urban extension.”

Comments (18)

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1:36pm Fri 3 Jan 14

mrwrighty says...

This should be rejected, period.
This should be rejected, period. mrwrighty

1:47pm Fri 3 Jan 14

Roger5 says...

Local councils need to present all the various proposals affecting the Broomhall and Norton area for consideration as a whole, otherwise local residents are going to be bamboozled! Malvern Hills DC have just notified that St Modwen Developments have also applied to build up to 255 dwellings on land
'north of Taylors Lane, south of and part north of A4440 Broomhall Way'
Plans and drawings can be viewed at MHDC The LIbrary in Graham Road Monday to Friday 9:00 to 5:30
How on earth can these applications be looked at piecemeal when each impacts on the other and all will impact on local amenities, road congestion, doctors' surgeries, schools etc etc.
Let democracy actually take place for goodness sake! Has common sense left these local authorities?
Local councils need to present all the various proposals affecting the Broomhall and Norton area for consideration as a whole, otherwise local residents are going to be bamboozled! Malvern Hills DC have just notified that St Modwen Developments have also applied to build up to 255 dwellings on land 'north of Taylors Lane, south of and part north of A4440 Broomhall Way' Plans and drawings can be viewed at MHDC The LIbrary in Graham Road Monday to Friday 9:00 to 5:30 How on earth can these applications be looked at piecemeal when each impacts on the other and all will impact on local amenities, road congestion, doctors' surgeries, schools etc etc. Let democracy actually take place for goodness sake! Has common sense left these local authorities? Roger5

1:52pm Fri 3 Jan 14

skychip says...

Perhaps the infrastructure could be sorted out before total gridlock reigns in the city with thousands of extra houses in the pipeline.
Perhaps the infrastructure could be sorted out before total gridlock reigns in the city with thousands of extra houses in the pipeline. skychip

1:56pm Fri 3 Jan 14

Hwicce says...

Well this is what you get when you oppose all the efforts to get the SWDP agreed - a free for all.

I hope all the nay-sayers are feeling ashamed of themselves.
Well this is what you get when you oppose all the efforts to get the SWDP agreed - a free for all. I hope all the nay-sayers are feeling ashamed of themselves. Hwicce

2:48pm Fri 3 Jan 14

themooman says...

yea, that area is a dump anyway - the more houses the better!
yea, that area is a dump anyway - the more houses the better! themooman

3:18pm Fri 3 Jan 14

LibraGirl01 says...

May I put some thoughts forward?

Firstly, I believe it is not so much a question of has common sense deserted the local councils - I believe that a number of development applications are granted DESPITE local opposition through sheer greed. It is very clear that councils get a sort of 'backhander' from developers - in the form of extra
infrastructure such as local highway constuction, lighting, community centre faculties and even a school if it is required to service the additional families.

I am disquietened to hear of two items in particular. One is that MHDC is intending to grant the application for development at Powick DESPITE the opposition of the local faithful ratepayers whom they will be kicking in the teeth.

Secondly, regarding the Broomhall proposals - I have heard that developers are not required to pay a landowner for any land that will specifically be the site of the required social housing element of their development. If this is true, how on earth is such cavalier behaviour acceptable- if true, this is absolutely disgraceful and unjust.
May I put some thoughts forward? Firstly, I believe it is not so much a question of has common sense deserted the local councils - I believe that a number of development applications are granted DESPITE local opposition through sheer greed. It is very clear that councils get a sort of 'backhander' from developers - in the form of extra infrastructure such as local highway constuction, lighting, community centre faculties and even a school if it is required to service the additional families. I am disquietened to hear of two items in particular. One is that MHDC is intending to grant the application for development at Powick DESPITE the opposition of the local faithful ratepayers whom they will be kicking in the teeth. Secondly, regarding the Broomhall proposals - I have heard that developers are not required to pay a landowner for any land that will specifically be the site of the required social housing element of their development. If this is true, how on earth is such cavalier behaviour acceptable- if true, this is absolutely disgraceful and unjust. LibraGirl01

5:10pm Fri 3 Jan 14

dropkick55 says...

Same as Gwillams Voted 15 to 2 for wrecking Bevere conservation area.
But then Gwillams and Tory chums put that through without regard of the people that live here!
Same as Gwillams Voted 15 to 2 for wrecking Bevere conservation area. But then Gwillams and Tory chums put that through without regard of the people that live here! dropkick55

12:04am Sat 4 Jan 14

Jabbadad says...

They are all playing the game that this government are allowing with the new planning laws. And don't forget the years and huge ammounts of money that have gone into furture planning / building requirements, all done in the public domain.
So Councillors such as Marc Bayliss who are pontificating to ward voters where after his poitical awakening / desertion, he was parachuted into a safe Tory seat, should be telling his government about the injusticies that are happenning, and could they also mention the assault on the older people who are having their care and services decimated by his government.
And I am assured that even with compulsary purchase of any land or property the owners will be compensated, perhaps not the huge ammounts that they could negoiate themselves, but not taken for free. And this developement of Battenhall Farm has not just popped up it's been dicussed for some years now.
And while I understand those who wish to defend the open spaces and views which will affect them, the only way to control open views and building is to buy the land yourselves, since what has been in the past is sadly ending. We live on an island and while our politicians, for use of a word, fail to address that we are now on record the most crowded country in Europe, they still do not address imigration. All our politicians are overpaid when it comes to being representative of we the people of Great Brittain. They all (not just David Barlow) must have a European Agenda.
They are all playing the game that this government are allowing with the new planning laws. And don't forget the years and huge ammounts of money that have gone into furture planning / building requirements, all done in the public domain. So Councillors such as Marc Bayliss who are pontificating to ward voters where after his poitical awakening / desertion, he was parachuted into a safe Tory seat, should be telling his government about the injusticies that are happenning, and could they also mention the assault on the older people who are having their care and services decimated by his government. And I am assured that even with compulsary purchase of any land or property the owners will be compensated, perhaps not the huge ammounts that they could negoiate themselves, but not taken for free. And this developement of Battenhall Farm has not just popped up it's been dicussed for some years now. And while I understand those who wish to defend the open spaces and views which will affect them, the only way to control open views and building is to buy the land yourselves, since what has been in the past is sadly ending. We live on an island and while our politicians, for use of a word, fail to address that we are now on record the most crowded country in Europe, they still do not address imigration. All our politicians are overpaid when it comes to being representative of we the people of Great Brittain. They all (not just David Barlow) must have a European Agenda. Jabbadad

12:08pm Sat 4 Jan 14

imustbeoldiwearacap says...

There is no question that the nation needs to build more houses! The cost of a house is now out of reach of many (first time homes being snapped up by separating couples). Developers have land banks that they are just waiting to build on, and as Hwicce says previously, if the SWDP had been agreed then Millers would have built on their land bank within the SWDP. To be honest I've always thought that this particular plot was a logical place for new homes - given it's bounded by Whittington and Cookbarrow roads, and its' proximity to St Peters!
There is no question that the nation needs to build more houses! The cost of a house is now out of reach of many (first time homes being snapped up by separating couples). Developers have land banks that they are just waiting to build on, and as Hwicce says previously, if the SWDP had been agreed then Millers would have built on their land bank within the SWDP. To be honest I've always thought that this particular plot was a logical place for new homes - given it's bounded by Whittington and Cookbarrow roads, and its' proximity to St Peters! imustbeoldiwearacap

3:05pm Sat 4 Jan 14

denon says...

Just remember it isn't the Council who are applying for planning permission , it is agents and developers acting often for some local people who have sold options on their land. To blame the Councils is like blaming the magistratesfor the crimes committed by the people who are up in front of them.
Just remember it isn't the Council who are applying for planning permission , it is agents and developers acting often for some local people who have sold options on their land. To blame the Councils is like blaming the magistratesfor the crimes committed by the people who are up in front of them. denon

3:05pm Sat 4 Jan 14

yamoto says...

more homes,brings more people to our city,more money for our local economy, but how about better roads to take all this extra traffic. until we get a northen bypass how can we progress.
more homes,brings more people to our city,more money for our local economy, but how about better roads to take all this extra traffic. until we get a northen bypass how can we progress. yamoto

3:40pm Sat 4 Jan 14

drbeat says...

mrwrighty wrote:
This should be rejected, period.
Chances is are that where you're living was once a "Land of beauty" until they built your home and others on top of it.

So what do we do with this land people? Let the NIMBYs dogs poo on it or put it to good use by building homes on it?

Jobs and homes or a glorified dogs' toilet? That's the real choice.
[quote][p][bold]mrwrighty[/bold] wrote: This should be rejected, period.[/p][/quote]Chances is are that where you're living was once a "Land of beauty" until they built your home and others on top of it. So what do we do with this land people? Let the NIMBYs dogs poo on it or put it to good use by building homes on it? Jobs and homes or a glorified dogs' toilet? That's the real choice. drbeat

4:58pm Sat 4 Jan 14

dropkick55 says...

Well you will vote conservative!
Well you will vote conservative! dropkick55

5:49pm Sat 4 Jan 14

3thinker says...

Its Eric Pickles and the Government that has created this mess. Their ill advised New PLanning Framework makes it much easier for developers to develop what they want, where they want. Its often difficult for local councils and their much depleted planning departments to resist.
Ironic really when it was packaged as part of the Government's so called "Localism' agenda.
Fortunately some of the local MPs have woken up to the problem and are already lobbying for change nationally.
I see some local Conservative councillors are already starting to blame Labour locally for a mess of their own Government's making.
The honest thing Cllr Bayliss and his chums should be doing is joining with local MPs to point out the damage the Government's New Planning Framework is doing.
Its Eric Pickles and the Government that has created this mess. Their ill advised New PLanning Framework makes it much easier for developers to develop what they want, where they want. Its often difficult for local councils and their much depleted planning departments to resist. Ironic really when it was packaged as part of the Government's so called "Localism' agenda. Fortunately some of the local MPs have woken up to the problem and are already lobbying for change nationally. I see some local Conservative councillors are already starting to blame Labour locally for a mess of their own Government's making. The honest thing Cllr Bayliss and his chums should be doing is joining with local MPs to point out the damage the Government's New Planning Framework is doing. 3thinker

9:26pm Sat 4 Jan 14

chrism says...

Hwicce wrote:
Well this is what you get when you oppose all the efforts to get the SWDP agreed - a free for all.

I hope all the nay-sayers are feeling ashamed of themselves.
Except none of the opposition to the SWDP has made any difference to the timescale. None of the opposition from members of the public that is - opposition from developers (who want more houses for some reason) is currently delaying it. The SWDP was passed by the full councils over a year ago - supposedly the last time it is to require approval from any democratically elected body - and supposed to be in place by now. None of those objecting have made any difference to that - nor to any of the previous delays - so I'm not quite sure why you're blaming them. Probably better to look at those behind the SWDP who've done such a poor job that it still doesn't carry any weight at planning appeals years after it should have been in place.

Oh, and not to forget the current government's "localism" policy of which the NPPF is supposedly part. The driving principle behind which is apparently to boost the economy through building housing, ignoring the fact that it's not the lack of planning permission which is preventing developers building houses on the land bank they already have (a lot of which would help far more to provide affordable housing than the current speculative applications which are mostly about lining people's pockets).
[quote][p][bold]Hwicce[/bold] wrote: Well this is what you get when you oppose all the efforts to get the SWDP agreed - a free for all. I hope all the nay-sayers are feeling ashamed of themselves.[/p][/quote]Except none of the opposition to the SWDP has made any difference to the timescale. None of the opposition from members of the public that is - opposition from developers (who want more houses for some reason) is currently delaying it. The SWDP was passed by the full councils over a year ago - supposedly the last time it is to require approval from any democratically elected body - and supposed to be in place by now. None of those objecting have made any difference to that - nor to any of the previous delays - so I'm not quite sure why you're blaming them. Probably better to look at those behind the SWDP who've done such a poor job that it still doesn't carry any weight at planning appeals years after it should have been in place. Oh, and not to forget the current government's "localism" policy of which the NPPF is supposedly part. The driving principle behind which is apparently to boost the economy through building housing, ignoring the fact that it's not the lack of planning permission which is preventing developers building houses on the land bank they already have (a lot of which would help far more to provide affordable housing than the current speculative applications which are mostly about lining people's pockets). chrism

10:35pm Sat 4 Jan 14

3thinker says...

Hwicce wrote:
Well this is what you get when you oppose all the efforts to get the SWDP agreed - a free for all.

I hope all the nay-sayers are feeling ashamed of themselves.
This is what the Government intended to happen when they introduced the New National Planning Policy Framework and all but got rid of what plans were already in place. Create a local planning 'void' to enable developers to get what they want and get local 'compliance' through a few community 'sweeteners' from the New Homes Bonus.
Even the local Conservative MPs seem to have now realised the problem and are lobbying for change nationally.
[quote][p][bold]Hwicce[/bold] wrote: Well this is what you get when you oppose all the efforts to get the SWDP agreed - a free for all. I hope all the nay-sayers are feeling ashamed of themselves.[/p][/quote]This is what the Government intended to happen when they introduced the New National Planning Policy Framework and all but got rid of what plans were already in place. Create a local planning 'void' to enable developers to get what they want and get local 'compliance' through a few community 'sweeteners' from the New Homes Bonus. Even the local Conservative MPs seem to have now realised the problem and are lobbying for change nationally. 3thinker

10:42am Sun 5 Jan 14

Jabbadad says...

I recall that there was extensive coverage in this paper when Malvern were defending their own borders which stalled the SWDP, and we saw Simon Geraghty appealing to them and other objectors to support this scheme since the Tory Government were insisting that some conclusion must come, if not they (the government) would impose their own plans. So whilst these objectors were objecting they were light in bringing other satisfactory proposals to the table. NIMBYISM is not a plan or defence, but a wish or dream for some.
Without any question there are not enough houses in this country to satisfy the current polulation numbers, and with continued New Labour style, uncontrolled imigration this will rapidly increase bringing with it objections and distress to all sides. Since we know that our planners still plan for the past decade in terms of requirments and are seen as being reactive, not proactive. That is why we still build / design infrastructure which is outdated almost upon completion.
I recall that there was extensive coverage in this paper when Malvern were defending their own borders which stalled the SWDP, and we saw Simon Geraghty appealing to them and other objectors to support this scheme since the Tory Government were insisting that some conclusion must come, if not they (the government) would impose their own plans. So whilst these objectors were objecting they were light in bringing other satisfactory proposals to the table. NIMBYISM is not a plan or defence, but a wish or dream for some. Without any question there are not enough houses in this country to satisfy the current polulation numbers, and with continued New Labour style, uncontrolled imigration this will rapidly increase bringing with it objections and distress to all sides. Since we know that our planners still plan for the past decade in terms of requirments and are seen as being reactive, not proactive. That is why we still build / design infrastructure which is outdated almost upon completion. Jabbadad

2:19pm Sun 5 Jan 14

Bufton Tufton says...

Nimbys ! We have got our nice houses ( which were also new once ) but we don't want any one else to have homes too. Anyway, we need this land to walk our dogs although we would never publicly admit that one of our objections is that the new development might include ( horror of horrors ) social housing for the rural poor. There might even be young families with children !
Nimbys ! We have got our nice houses ( which were also new once ) but we don't want any one else to have homes too. Anyway, we need this land to walk our dogs although we would never publicly admit that one of our objections is that the new development might include ( horror of horrors ) social housing for the rural poor. There might even be young families with children ! Bufton Tufton

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