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Powick residents in bid to beat housing plan
DETERMINED residents have amassed a war chest of almost £10,000 to fight controversial housing plans.
Bovis Homes wants to build 45 new homes near the Crown pub, Powick, close to the A449 road to Malvern.
Although its planning application was rejected by Malvern Hills District Council in August, the developer is now heading to appeal in a bid to have that ruling overturned.
People living near the proposed building site have fought the plans every step of the way.
As well as forming a residents’ group and holding several public meetings they launched a “fighting fund” that raised £9,930 in just three-and-a-half weeks.
Sarah Beard, of Russell Close, said the cash is being used to appoint their own highways engineer and planning barrister to fight their corner at the upcoming appeal.
“To raise that amount of money in such a short amount of time is fantastic and to me it just shows how strongly the residents feel that they do not want this,” she said. “We are hopeful that having those experts on our side will provide us with the ammunition we need to fight this.”
At the planning inquiry, scheduled to run from Tuesday to Friday, November 12 to 15, at Callow End Village Hall, near Worcester, residents will argue that the development is not sustainable as the local primary school is full to capacity and there are no shops within walking distance.
They also fear for the safety of children and pedestrians in Russell Close – which would become the main access for the development – if first construction traffic and then an influx of extra cars were to arrive.
Mrs Beard said: “It would be very dangerous and also cause traffic chaos if this goes ahead and there are some 80 extra cars a day coming out on to the main road at a traffic light that only holds for less than one minute at best.”
Despite residents’ concerns, the appeal by Bovis says its plan meets the criteria for ‘sustainable development’ as set out in the National Planning Policy Framework.
But Mrs Beard hopes residents will do all they can to convince the inspector otherwise and that “common sense will prevail”.
She is urging people to attend the inquiry. “It is important that as many residents as possible turn up and show the strength of feeling about this application,” she said.
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