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'Super village' for edge of city
PLANS can today be revealed for a new ‘super village’ west of Worcester city centre - including 800 homes, a school, restaurants, shops and businesses.
A planning application has been submitted to create a new multi-million pound village north of the A44 Bromyard Road, next to Dines Green.
Under the proposal, 60 hectares of farm land in Lower Broadheath would be transformed.
- An 800-property estate, of which 320 will be affordable homes, and a primary school
- A health centre, including doctors’ surgery
- A 26,000 sq metre employment zone, including offices for rent
- A shopping centre containing restaurants, pubs, takeaways and retail units for other businesses, including financial services
- Changing rooms, a pavilion and acres of open green space, with a children’s playground and sports pitches
The grand plan, which planning chiefs are calling an “urban extension” of west Worcester, also includes car access either from the A44 Bromyard or Oldbury Road either side of the fields.
The project is the work of Hallam Land Management, a consultancy company which will hand the site to developers to build on.
It comes three years after Bloor Homes decided to voluntarily withdraw a planning application to build on the land due to the scale of public objection.
Simon Jones, a planning officer at Malvern Hills District Council, which will decide upon the new bid, said: “It butts up to Dines Green and is right on the edge of the city boundaries.
“It’s a very large site of completely undeveloped farm land which is why we’ve called it Worcester west.”
Under the South Worcestershire Development Plan (SWDP), a housing blueprint for between now and 2030, the site is earmarked for 975 properties.
But battlelines have already been drawn with community leaders, who say they fear it will impact badly on St John’s and leave people “trapped in their own homes”.
In 2010 Bloor Homes wanted to build 3,950 homes in the area, including part of the same site, but voluntarily backed down amid fears it would reduce the prized green buffer zone between Worcester and Malvern.
A document by Hallam Land Management says it wants to build “an attractive and sustainable” new village.
It says will be “well connected to services and facilities in Worcester” and create a”desirable new community” for aspirational people.
It also talks about building a series of bus shelters on the site and diverting bus routes to it, to encourage use of public transport.
FEARS FOR THE IMPACT ON THE ‘VILLAGE IN THE CITY’
COMMUNITY leaders say they fear the development will worsen congestion and impact on St John’s - known for decades as the ‘village in the city’.
People living in Lower Broadheath, where the site sits, also say they are concerned about the green land between Malvern and Worcester reducing.
Councillor Richard Udall, who represents St John’s on the city and county councils, said: “We are talking about a huge loss of architectural land, which is not good for a start.
“But my biggest concern is the infrastructure - west Worcester cannot cope with more vehicles.
“Unless something happens with that people will be trapped in their own homes, I am incredibly concerned.”
Meanwhile, residents in Lower Broadheath have called it “frightening” for the village.
Adrian Parry, who sits on Lower Broadheath Parish Council, said: “They want to put a development bigger than the whole of Lower Broadheath right on the end of the village.
“One appreciates we need more houses in this country but something like this is frightening for the village, we’ve only got around 300 homes as it is.
“I don’t like the idea of this many, my biggest concern would be the traffic - there isn’t the jobs in Worcester for this many people.
“They’d end up commuting to Birmingham, Gloucester and Cheltenham for work - the village is already used as a rat-run.”
Paul Simmonds, vice-chairman of Lower Broadheath Parish Council, said: “There has been resistance to development of that area, but some people are prepared to accept it as long as there’s no more on top of this.
“The SWDP proposes 975 homes on the site though, so I am expecting a further planning application from another developer at some point.”
It is now out to public consultation until Thursday September 19 - to have your say visit malvernhills.gov.uk and search for planning application 13/01049/OUT.
The company has submitted an outline planning application, and if it is approved will then be tasked with handing in a final, detailed one before work can start.
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