Get involved! Send your photos, video, news & views by texting WN NEWS to 80360 or e-mail us
Parishes urged to draw up own homes proposals
2:00pm Tuesday 25th September 2012 in News
PARISHES could draw up with their own plans where to build new homes in a bid to wrestle back more control from developers, according to an MP.
Harriett Baldwin, the MP for West Worcestershire, said she would back any villages and parishes which opt to draft their own neighbourhood plans.
These plans would form part of the larger South Worcestershire Development Plan – where a consultation has just ended.
However, neighbourhood plans will not solve all parishes’ problems and currently there is not enough time for parishes to start the process from scratch – including having a parish vote – and have it ready for inclusion in the SWDP.
Residents’ concerns have risen in villages across Wychavon and Malvern Hills because house builders are putting in for permission to build homes, knowing that in many cases they will get permission on appeal.
This is because both Malvern Hills and Wychavon district councils cannot show they meet a government set housing target – although Wychavon say the target has been unfairly set.
Neighbourhood plans only vary where the sites of identified housing (contained in the SWDP) could go, or where even more housing could be built.
Mrs Baldwin said the plans give parishes the power to say where they want their allocated homes though.
She has written to the government asking for more time for the plans to be brought in.
And she has written to the SWDP planners, asking they try and help get as many neighbourhood plans in by year’s end.
She said: “Worcester, Wychavon and Malvern Hills councils are rightly working hard to develop the SWDP overall plan.
“The SWDP consultation has ended but in many cases villages have not had time to draw up an alternative.
“I am passionate about localism and it should be down to villages where they want development to occur.
“For some smaller parishes, if they can complete the whole process by Christmas, planners should be able to reflect the changes in the overall SWDP.”
She acknowledged councils were on “a tight timetable”.