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Councillors have concerns and action group is formed
MORE concerns have been raised about plans to build up to 200 homes on the site of a mediaeval fishpond.
Miller Homes intends to develop the Middle Battenhall Farm site, which lies between Whittington Road and Battenhall, off Red Hill Lane, Worcester.
Three options are being explored, with development earmarked for the northern part of the site, while the open land in the southern section could ultimately be handed to an asset management company or community trust. However, fears about pollution, traffic, flooding and loss of open green space were raised at a meeting of St Peter’s Parish Council.
Marc Bayliss, deputy leader of Worcester City Council, said the site was not included in the South Worcestershire Development Plan (SWDP), the blueprint for where 23,000 homes should be built up until 2030.
He said: “We have been through a very long and extensive process over the SWDP. We believe we have the right number of houses in south Worcestershire. This site was not part of it.”
Parish councillor Pam Clayton said: “There are so many worrying aspects already, I don’t think I could support it.”
A spokesman for Miller Homes said the northern part of the site was a “sustainable location for development on the southern urban fringe of the city of Worcester”.
The spokesman said: “The proposal benefits from being able to locate up to 200 new homes in close proximity to existing services and facilities.
“The site is a sustainable location and avoids the need to release green belt land for housing around Worcester. This concurs with the view of the planning inspector in relation to the previous local plan.
“The proposals will also secure the long-term management and enhancement of the green infrastructure, scheduled monument and strategic open space on the remainder of the site.”
Protesters have formed the Middle Battenhall Farm Land Action Group, saying the land is an area of natural beauty with far-reaching views across the city.
A formal planning application is yet to be submitted.
For details on the development, visit middlebattenhallfarm.co. uk. For details about the action group, visit mbflag.co.uk.