I can’t see U-turn over housing plan – Malvern leader

Worcester News: I can’t see U-turn over housing plan – Malvern leader I can’t see U-turn over housing plan – Malvern leader

HOPES that Malvern Hills politicians will perform a U-turn and save a housing masterplan for south Worcestershire have been dismissed by their leader.

Malvern Hills District Council (MHDC) stunned its partners Worcester City and Wychavon on Tuesday evening by voting to send the South Worcestershire Development Plan (SWDP) back to the drawing board.

Yesterday both Worcester and Wychavon spoke of a faint hope the SWDP could be saved when the three councils go to simultaneous votes on December 10.

Simon Geraghty, Worcester City Council leader, said: “I hope over the last couple of days it has got into people’s minds what position we would be in without a plan.

“We have to be clear this is the second chance, and after that there is no chance. It is this plan or no plan, so although the indications are far from good you don’t know what could happen.”

But MHDC leader David Hughes, fresh out of an all-day meeting of the Joint Advisory Panel (JAP) overseeing the development plan, said that was unrealistic.

“I cannot see that the SWDP will come before the council again as stands,” he said.

“That would contradict the motions passed this week and if it did come in that form it would undoubtedly by rejected.”

Calling the JAP meeting “quite constructive under the circumstances”, he said members had been finalising all the main SWDP policies and “non-contentious” housing allocations.

Everything agreed and endorsed by JAP will be “put on the shelf” for use as and when needed by the councils for their own plans.

Investigation of alternative housing allocations in Malvern Hills will start early next week.

This process means Coun Hughes cannot guarantee Malvern’s plan will be ready for submission before March, when councils without a recognised plan will be at the mercy of the new National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).

That concerns West Worcestershire MP Harriett Baldwin, whose constituency takes in both Malvern Hills and Wychavon.

“I think it is an extremely high risk decision that has been taken (by Malvern Hills),” she said. “I champion localism and believe local people should decide where the best sites are for housing.

“But I think it would be irresponsible of our councillors to fail to deliver any plan by March.

“Otherwise there is a very strong chance of developers getting planning permission in places we really don’t want them to. I completely understand why Wychavon feels that it needs to produce its own plan.”

Coun Hughes, meanwhile, insists he remains the man to lead MHDC.

“I think what I have done with the plan up until now has been absolutely right. I am now being instructed by the council to take on board their additional recommendations.

“That is what I shall do and I shall do it with the minimum of collateral damage.”

Comments (7)

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1:21pm Fri 16 Nov 12

More Tea Vicar says...

Drop the Plan,

It's utter nonsense, and nothing to do with local needs.

If the politicians were so sure it stood up to scrutiny and had popular support, they would have made a better job of the consultation and allowed votes.

Unfortunately, the main parties are united in stupidity when it comes to urban sprawl.

And today's low by-election, with its low turnout, is a good indicator of the low esteem in which politicians and parties are held.
Drop the Plan, It's utter nonsense, and nothing to do with local needs. If the politicians were so sure it stood up to scrutiny and had popular support, they would have made a better job of the consultation and allowed votes. Unfortunately, the main parties are united in stupidity when it comes to urban sprawl. And today's low by-election, with its low turnout, is a good indicator of the low esteem in which politicians and parties are held. More Tea Vicar

2:58pm Fri 16 Nov 12

Andy-Apache says...

Hear hear!

This is about shedding populace from cities. I honestly cannot see any requirement for thousands of new homes in Malvern, and don't understand why, if there is a shortage of housing somewhere else, why Malvern should have to pay for it with loss of green space. It's a very communist outlook to suggest that because cities are full, everywhere else should be ruined to the same level.

This is beside the point that there is no new employment in Malvern, so the new influx (aside from those who don't understand the concept of birth control and now need a free house) will need to travel - probably to Worcester and the M5 via the already overburdened A4440 to get to their place of work.

To those who say the developers will build industrial parks too, and improve the road network, I say you're deluded. Look at Malvern Vale, and the promised business park which has now quietly been dropped in favour of more profitable housing.
Hear hear! This is about shedding populace from cities. I honestly cannot see any requirement for thousands of new homes in Malvern, and don't understand why, if there is a shortage of housing somewhere else, why Malvern should have to pay for it with loss of green space. It's a very communist outlook to suggest that because cities are full, everywhere else should be ruined to the same level. This is beside the point that there is no new employment in Malvern, so the new influx (aside from those who don't understand the concept of birth control and now need a free house) will need to travel - probably to Worcester and the M5 via the already overburdened A4440 to get to their place of work. To those who say the developers will build industrial parks too, and improve the road network, I say you're deluded. Look at Malvern Vale, and the promised business park which has now quietly been dropped in favour of more profitable housing. Andy-Apache

3:35pm Fri 16 Nov 12

chrism says...

Maybe if Harriet really champions localism she should speak to her party leaders and get them to relax the new planning laws so that councils who are making the best efforts to but the best possible plan in place don't have these problems. This whole problem wasn't started by local councillors, but by central government with its so called localism policy which is actually anything but.
Maybe if Harriet really champions localism she should speak to her party leaders and get them to relax the new planning laws so that councils who are making the best efforts to but the best possible plan in place don't have these problems. This whole problem wasn't started by local councillors, but by central government with its so called localism policy which is actually anything but. chrism

4:55pm Fri 16 Nov 12

Casmal says...

Yes, come on Harriet, let's see what you are really made of. You made some pertinent comments - constructive criticisms of the SWDP, now support the people of Malvern in their efforts to ensure that future building in Malvern is in the best interests of ALL residents - present and future, as well as visitors. One which ensures our roads are not gridlocked and where there is proper provision for the health, education and other essential needs.
Yes, come on Harriet, let's see what you are really made of. You made some pertinent comments - constructive criticisms of the SWDP, now support the people of Malvern in their efforts to ensure that future building in Malvern is in the best interests of ALL residents - present and future, as well as visitors. One which ensures our roads are not gridlocked and where there is proper provision for the health, education and other essential needs. Casmal

7:57pm Fri 16 Nov 12

skychip says...

Having just driven over a practically stationary Southern Link earlier don't think we can cope with extra houses being built with the potential of thousands more cars on the road
Having just driven over a practically stationary Southern Link earlier don't think we can cope with extra houses being built with the potential of thousands more cars on the road skychip

1:25pm Sat 17 Nov 12

Allan Whitehead says...

Ever since we established our illustrious coalition government, they have been introducing certain types of legislation, which some council are helping along because they are unable to, or are in league with our coalition hierarchy of government. Councils should have their own development plan in place and ensure that County Council are made fully aware of what any local plans contain. I am of the opinion that Malvern Hills District Council, have not made any provision for any such development plans. Reading many of the comments made from various quarter. It would appear that if these last minute meetings are unable to come to some suitable agreement (there will no doubt be some “Not in My Back Yard ism” signed and sealed prior to March 2013 then the developers will have a free hand. Quote “As it stands, Worcester City Council, Malvern Hills District Council and Wychavon District Council are set to jointly agree the current version of the SWDP at simultaneous council meetings late in November, or early December.” Un Quote, will it ever happen.
Ever since we established our illustrious coalition government, they have been introducing certain types of legislation, which some council are helping along because they are unable to, or are in league with our coalition hierarchy of government. Councils should have their own development plan in place and ensure that County Council are made fully aware of what any local plans contain. I am of the opinion that Malvern Hills District Council, have not made any provision for any such development plans. Reading many of the comments made from various quarter. It would appear that if these last minute meetings are unable to come to some suitable agreement (there will no doubt be some “Not in My Back Yard ism” signed and sealed prior to March 2013 then the developers will have a free hand. Quote “As it stands, Worcester City Council, Malvern Hills District Council and Wychavon District Council are set to jointly agree the current version of the SWDP at simultaneous council meetings late in November, or early December.” Un Quote, will it ever happen. Allan Whitehead

9:11am Mon 19 Nov 12

mayall8808 says...

Why waste anymore time on this rubbish? move on throw it out, it is ill concieved and was this situation was always going to happen.
Why waste anymore time on this rubbish? move on throw it out, it is ill concieved and was this situation was always going to happen. mayall8808

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