A CONTROVERSIAL plan to build 18 new homes off a busy Worcester road has been approved.

The application to build 13 two-bed homes, three one-bedroom flats and two two-bedroom flats in a two-storey block at land to the rear of 67 Martley Road were voted through by four votes to two, with three abstentions, at a meeting of Worcester City Council’s planning committee on Thursday, April 24.

Earlier this week your Worcester News reported residents living near the site were up in arms about the proposal, saying the entrance to the site would put lives at risk.

Speaking at the meeting at Worcester’s Guildhall, resident Peter Hill said he and his neighbours had serious concerns about the impact on traffic and parking in the area, where the main road is already lined with cars at all times.

“This application is assuming this is an urban area,” he said. “It is not.

“Parking is a major, major issue to the local community.

“St John’s is one big parking area.”

The meeting also heard drivers were regularly recorded exceeding the 30 mph limit on the busy road.

By architect Andy Hames, representing applicants Worcester Community Housing and UK Construction, said the application for the land, a former waste tip which currently houses a number of caravans, had been made in accordance with planning guidelines.

Asked if any concerns had been raised around the closeness of a development – which is near to a small shopping precinct home to a Tesco Express and a few other small shops – to a large electricity pylon currently on the site said it was not considered an issue.

“There is nothing that tells us that living directly under a pylon is any danger at all,” he said.

Speaking in support of residents, ward member for St Clements Cllr Chris Mitchell described the proposed access to the development as “dangerous” and pleaded with the committee to reject the application.

“This committee is elected to make decision for the good of the city,” he said.

“While an application may tick all the boxes, you need to make a tough decision around the qualitative elements, not just the quantitative issues.

“As elected members you have little value if you effectively rubber-stamp recommendations by officers.

“It’s not ‘is an application bad enough to reject’ – it’s ‘is it good enough to approve’.”

Members agreed to approve the plans, to angry shouts of dismay from the public gallery, on the condition officers review the access to the site to see if it can be made safer.