Access to proposed housing development in Poolbrook splits opinion

Worcester News: Access to proposed housing development splits opinion Access to proposed housing development splits opinion

ACCESS to an unpopular proposed development site at Poolbrook proved to be a thorny issue when they split a planning committee.

Developer W J Bullock has submitted two different planning applications to build up to 63 dwellings, of which 40 per cent would be affordable housing, on farmland between the existing Brook Farm Estate and the sewage works off Mill Lane.

New access off Guarlford Road, using the Mill Lane entrance, was approved by Malvern Hills District Council's southern area development management committee by nine votes to four, with two abstentions.

However, the application for access off Charlock Road will be referred to the council's planning committee after votes for both approval and refusal were thrown out when councillors could not find an adequate reason to turn it down on planning matters.

Cllr Melanie Baker pointed to residents' concerns over flooding, loss of wildlife and habitat, access and safety for pedestrians but backed the plan and called for "more robust" conditions to address these issues along with more detailed descriptions from the developer.

"We find ourselves without a five year housing plan, so there is no point turning down applications on the basis that the inspector might agree with us this one time."

Cllr Baker added: "It is likely it will happen, so we should maximise the benefits for the wider community."

Nicholas Dean, of the Poolbrook Residents Action Group, said there were a number of reasons to oppose the plan, especially as the council has found the site unsuitable for development twice.

"Nothing has changed - it was unsuitable then and it is unsuitable now."

Mr Dean, who also called for six neighbouring roads at risk of flooding to be named on the planning conditions, added: "The site will flood and this will flood us. Do you want to be responsible for that?"

Speaking about the Guarlford Road access, cllr Clive Smith said: "I think this is the lesser of two evils because of the access."

However, cllr Roger Hall-Jones was concerned about the possible loss of an ancient and beautiful entrance to the town.

"I am getting a little anxious we are trying to urbanise it. I see no reason why this development should lead to further urbanisation of this area of Malvern."

Comments (2)

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12:27pm Fri 21 Feb 14

Andy-Apache says...

I might be mistaken, but isn't this the same Melanie Baker who was fine with the idea of wildlife being wiped out near Hayslan fields because 'the fields are often wet'?

Interested to know why the change of heart...
I might be mistaken, but isn't this the same Melanie Baker who was fine with the idea of wildlife being wiped out near Hayslan fields because 'the fields are often wet'? Interested to know why the change of heart... Andy-Apache
  • Score: 0

10:39pm Fri 21 Feb 14

sarah and her chickens says...

Yes. The same Melanie. I sat through the 3 hour planning farce. The gazette reporters version is somewhat mild. They debated pointlessly for 2 hours . Voted against approval. Then 5minutes later voted against refusal. The Chair had no clue what he was doing and they pointlessly then referred it to another commitee which will pass it as it is Conservative controlled. The keystone cops came to mind.
Personally I think Cllr Baker had her speech written for her.
At least when they build 92 houses with no bus stop on Hayslan she will be able to walk her dog on tarmac instead of just a muddy field.
Yes. The same Melanie. I sat through the 3 hour planning farce. The gazette reporters version is somewhat mild. They debated pointlessly for 2 hours . Voted against approval. Then 5minutes later voted against refusal. The Chair had no clue what he was doing and they pointlessly then referred it to another commitee which will pass it as it is Conservative controlled. The keystone cops came to mind. Personally I think Cllr Baker had her speech written for her. At least when they build 92 houses with no bus stop on Hayslan she will be able to walk her dog on tarmac instead of just a muddy field. sarah and her chickens
  • Score: 0

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