Get involved! Send your photos, video, news & views by texting WN NEWS to 80360 or e-mail us
Housing protest group filling up its war chest
CONCERNED residents are putting their money where their mouth is in a bid to stop a housing development that would “smash their estate to pieces”.
Bovis Homes wants to build 45 new homes near the Crown pub, Powick, close to the main A449 Malvern to Worcester Road.
Its planning application was thrown out by Malvern Hills District Council in August – to cheers from local people – but the developer is now appealing that decision.
A planning inquiry is scheduled to take place at the Council House in Avenue Road, Malvern, from Tuesday to Friday, November 12-15, and residents say they are determined to do all they can to ensure the inspector does not allow the development.
A residents meeting has been called at 6.30pm tomorrow in Powick Parish Hall and a fighting fund has also been launched to raise the £9,000 cost of seeking independent advice from an expert highways engineer and planning barrister.
More than £5,000 has already been raised in the week since the fund was launched.
The residents say that cul-de-sac Russell Close, which would be used by construction vehicles and eventually as the main access for the new homes, was never designed for that level of homes or traffic and that children’s safety would be put at risk.
They also argue that the local primary school is already full to capacity and that the development cannot be seen as sustainable as there are no local shops within walking distance – meaning people will have to get in their cars. Sarah Beard, of Russell Close, said construction vehicles would have to be “contortionists” to navigate down Russell Close, which is just 4.8 metres wide.
“It is one thing to build an estate from scratch and with the correct design but it is a horror story to come in 15 years later and smash it to pieces,” she said. “The experts we have employed are well-regarded professionals and they completely share our concerns.
“The fact residents have been willing to dig so deep into their own pockets to fund this fight shows how earnest they are about it.”In its appeal, Bovis Homes says its plan meets the criteria for “sustainable development” set out in the Government’s National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).
It says that as the South Worcestershire Development Plan (SWDP) has not yet been formally agreed, it is the national document that the planning inspector should consider when making their decision. Bovis also cites a recent planning application for 44 homes in Tenbury that was refused by Malvern Hills but allowed on appeal.