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Droitwich in danger of losing its identity, says town council
12:30pm Tuesday 19th February 2013 in News
DROITWICH Spa is in danger of losing its distinctive identity due to the threat of future housing developments, according to the town council.
Droitwich Spa Town Council’s planning committee chairman, Councillor Roy Murphy, has taken the step of highlighting the issue in a letter to housing minister Nick Boles. It reveals the council’s fears about the impact of southward expansion.
In the letter to the MP, Coun Murphy said: “On behalf of Droitwich Spa Town Council, I wish to draw your urgent attention to the severe local concerns regarding the on-going pressure from developers, and in particular for housing proposals to the south of the town.
“The town council considers that over-expansion to the southern areas will lead to Droitwich Spa losing its distinctive character and that the town’s infrastructure will fail to deal with extra numbers.”
He also said that he feels such applications are premature in the light of the emerging South Worcestershire Development Plan (SWDP) and that much uncertainty about planning policy has arisen following the abolition of the regional planning framework via the Localism Act.
He added: “It seems that developers are taking advantage of the current situation and it would now appear that planning inspectors give priority to the issue of land supply, rather than other planning issues and the social and environmental consequences.
“Droitwich is deluged under the spate of permissions for development well in excess of the numbers envisaged in the days of the Regional Spatial Strategy.
“This town is not alone in being subjected to these pressures and Central Government must rethink the dilemma they have created for local councils.
“Our council is bombarded by requests from residents fearful of damage to their environment due to the threats from developers to the town’s infrastructure and character.
“These sentiments are felt across the entire town and not only by people directly affected.”