Plans for 92 homes in Malvern given the green light

Worcester News: Paul Jackson 15.08.13
Malvern

Pickersleigh Grove, Malvern. Proposed development. (3604154) Paul Jackson 15.08.13 Malvern Pickersleigh Grove, Malvern. Proposed development. (3604154)

CONTROVERSIAL plans to to build 92 flats on green space in Malvern after pulling down iconic post-war houses have been given the go ahead.

The £11.8 million scheme for Pickersleigh Grove in Malvern by Festival Housing was approved at a planning meeting in the town on Wednesday. The mixed scheme, 55 per cent of which comprises affordable housing, will include 41 open market units, 19 units for shared ownership and 32 rented units. Planning officer Anthony Young said the 12 original buildings (48 units), which date to just after World War Two, had a design life of 25 years and should have been pulled down in 1970. He said there was a surplus of places at Grove Primary School and new homes would help fill them by bringing more people to the area. Grade II listed boundary posts will be maintained and veteran oaks will form part of the scheme. He said all those who lived in the old houses would be rehomed.

Mr Young said: "The benefits of the scheme outweigh the harms." Duncan Smith, head of new business and initiatives at Festival, said the public and the local school has been consulted about the 'affordable housing led regeneration project' and the existing homes were defective under the housing act. He said heating bills in the new unit would be less than £1,000 a year compared to more than £1,900 in the existing, energy inefficient homes. Festival would have to invest £1.5 million to improve the fuel efficiency of the existing homes and a further £500,000 if they developed structural problems.

But objectors have expressed concern about the loss of green space and a potential 'domino effect' in which other land could be lost.

In an impassioned plea Bob Tilley, chairman of Malvern Civic Society, said the houses should be insulated and saved. He said: "Please do not build on this field. Its important value as green infrastructure within Malvern – inside built up Malvern – is clearly stated, proven and accepted. The SWDP says no development of open green urban space should be permitted. No development of open green urban space – full stop. No development - period.

"The Civic Society and many, many residents are not just concerned with the houses on this field. They are concerned with the message this will give to the owners of the several neighbouring fields (that they can be built upon).

"How can you approve this application? Approval here will set a clear precedent. 'Houses are welcome. Come and build'."

Cllr John Raine said he had mixed feelings about the development and expressed concern about the loss of a "precious green lung". He said he hoped the shell of one of the homes could be preserved in a museum as a "historic piece of architecture" if permission was granted.

Cllr Roger Hall-Jones, who refused to support the application, said there was now precious little of this ancient meadowland left which 200 years ago stretched to the walls of Malvern Priory. He said: "If you're going to have nice views of the Hills it means the development can be seen from the Hills. We want to avoid that."

Cllr Melanie Baker said the existing houses were "cold, damp and cramped" and she would not want to live there. She said she understood concern about the meadowland but most of the time this particular field was soggy.

Comments (8)

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4:20pm Thu 23 Jan 14

New Kid on the Block says...

If this is ancient unimproved meadowland it is a very rare habitat and should be protected.
So what if the field is often soggy; that doesn't make any less valuable in habitat terms.
If this is ancient unimproved meadowland it is a very rare habitat and should be protected. So what if the field is often soggy; that doesn't make any less valuable in habitat terms. New Kid on the Block

9:02am Fri 24 Jan 14

sugarlump says...

selling England by the ;pound
selling England by the ;pound sugarlump

11:51am Fri 24 Jan 14

skychip says...

We won't have any green space left here in this county before too long. Seems as though planners are passing every planning application that arrives on their desks - it seems as though the developers are running the show these days.
We won't have any green space left here in this county before too long. Seems as though planners are passing every planning application that arrives on their desks - it seems as though the developers are running the show these days. skychip

8:51am Sat 25 Jan 14

BadgerMash says...

We urgently need truly affordable rented housing for local people. Almost half of this housing is going to be sold off at the vastly inflated prices still being supported by government policy, much of it will go to in-comers, making overcrowding in Malvern worse and doing nothing to address our intrinsic housing problem. It is also very sad that houses with gardens are being replaced by flats with none. Al new housing in Malvern should be truly affordable rented housing for local people.
We urgently need truly affordable rented housing for local people. Almost half of this housing is going to be sold off at the vastly inflated prices still being supported by government policy, much of it will go to in-comers, making overcrowding in Malvern worse and doing nothing to address our intrinsic housing problem. It is also very sad that houses with gardens are being replaced by flats with none. Al new housing in Malvern should be truly affordable rented housing for local people. BadgerMash

7:22pm Sat 25 Jan 14

Andy-Apache says...

Good grief! A soggy field! Whatever next, a muddy farm track? Disgraceful, why do we tolerate this? Quick, concrete it over and tarmac that track, so Ms Baker and her easily-bought ilk dont have to get their Gucci stilettos dirty!

It's truly sickening that the countryside is being destroyed in the name of the lie that there is no housing so a few greedy b@stards can line their pockets to pay the mortgage on their, no doubt idyllic field surrounded pad.
Good grief! A soggy field! Whatever next, a muddy farm track? Disgraceful, why do we tolerate this? Quick, concrete it over and tarmac that track, so Ms Baker and her easily-bought ilk dont have to get their Gucci stilettos dirty! It's truly sickening that the countryside is being destroyed in the name of the lie that there is no housing so a few greedy b@stards can line their pockets to pay the mortgage on their, no doubt idyllic field surrounded pad. Andy-Apache

8:39pm Sat 25 Jan 14

Geoffery1966 says...

I believed the succession of Governments that said that they would not build on Green field sites. Lying Barstuards
The ruination of the beauty that was once Malvern and the wildlife that will be lost forever will be the legacy of theses morons.
Stop the population of the country increasing and stop building these eyesores everywhere. The infrastructure of drainage and flooding is already at breaking point.
grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr
rrrrrrrrrrrrrr
I believed the succession of Governments that said that they would not build on Green field sites. Lying Barstuards The ruination of the beauty that was once Malvern and the wildlife that will be lost forever will be the legacy of theses morons. Stop the population of the country increasing and stop building these eyesores everywhere. The infrastructure of drainage and flooding is already at breaking point. grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr rrrrrrrrrrrrrr Geoffery1966

1:39pm Tue 28 Jan 14

brooksider says...

The Malvern Nimbys strike again.
They oppose every development within Malvern yet encourage large scale developments on the edge of Worcester.
The Malvern Nimbys strike again. They oppose every development within Malvern yet encourage large scale developments on the edge of Worcester. brooksider

10:57am Mon 10 Feb 14

Giorgos says...

Yet another example of MHDC listening to the wishes of the local people!

To all developers, come to Malvern and put in your planning applications now. You will not be opposed. MHDC needs to protect the jobs of its leadership and its planning department. If your planning application is not approved by the regional planning committee, don't worry our planning department can get this overturned for you; you won't even have to go to appeal.
Yet another example of MHDC listening to the wishes of the local people! To all developers, come to Malvern and put in your planning applications now. You will not be opposed. MHDC needs to protect the jobs of its leadership and its planning department. If your planning application is not approved by the regional planning committee, don't worry our planning department can get this overturned for you; you won't even have to go to appeal. Giorgos

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