Village welcomes homes plan despite safety fears

A VILLAGE is to welcome 100 new homes despite fears over the safety of the access route to the site.

Councillors described driving through the junction of Stonepit Lane and the A422 in Inkberrow, near Worcester, close to where the houses will be built, as “taking your life into your own hands”.

Residents and Councillor Audrey Steel, the ward member, raised concerns about the junction, saying if the proposal was approved new signage must be put in place.

She said: “I have found this application a really difficult one to assess in terms of what the villagers want. There is much to favour in the proposal.

“My prime concerns are highways. Do we have to wait for a serious accident before action is taken at this junction?

“This is a very large scheme for a village of our size so we must get it right.”

Coun Jo Sandalls added: “This is a junction I know very well. You really take your life into your own hands.

“The visibility to the left is very bad. The reason there have been no accidents is because you use this junction at your peril.”

Parish Coun John Leeson spoke against approval of proposals until a full highways safety audit had been carried out but said the parish council did recognise the need for growth in Inkberrow.

The outline application, by Inkberrow Consortium, also received praise for being a mix of affordable and market cost houses and bungalows, with between one and five bedrooms built at a preferred site in the South Worcestershire Development Plan.

Dr Robert Wickham, supporting the plans, promised deliverability of houses suitable for young and elderly people and families, adding as a preferred site on the emerging SWDP, it would be better for them to release this site than any others.

Coun Judy Pearce said she was pleased with much of what she had heard about smaller and mixed homes but wanted to be sure it was delivered.

Wychavon District Council planning committee was assured by planners money paid by the developers would be spent locally, additional signage would be put in place, the mix of homes promised could be tied down and the homes should begin being built within two and a half years.

The application was approved by all councillors present for the entire debate.

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