THERE will be 49 affordable homes built on a small Powick estate after Government inspectors overturned Malvern Hills District Council’s decision to throw out the controversial plans.
Fortis Living had its appeal approved after planning chiefs gave the thumbs down to the application to develop on the land at Winsmore in February.
At the time of refusal, the district council’s officers slammed the project for ‘failing to deliver high-quality design and integrating with the character of the surrounding area’.
However Government inspector Debbie Moore said in her appeal report the development would actually be of an ‘appropriate scale and type’ and offer high-quality design.
“It would create a positive sense of place, whilst also respecting the key features of the site and its surroundings in accordance with the South Worcestershire Development Plan,” she said.
West Mercia Police also raised concerns about the potential increase in crime regarding the pathway adjacent to plot 37 which may allow access to the back of new houses.
But Mrs Moore stated the concerns over this alleged problem could be solved by securing the pathway when the boundaries were drawn up.
“I have also considered the similar point about access through the development to the public right of way to the west and whether this would become an escape route for criminals,” she said.
“I have no information on levels of crime in the area and there is very limited evidence to support this claim.”
Simon Vick, assistant director of growth and development at Fortis Living, welcomed the appeal decision and added the firm was looking forward to delivering the ‘much-needed’ new homes.
The controversial plans had been pushed all the way by resident Felicity Williams, who launched the Winsmore Action Group because she feared the lives of children would be put at risk due to the increase in traffic 49 new homes would bring.
Speaking to the Observer Mrs Williams said she was disappointed the appeal had been successful, adding the village would be forced to ‘accept change quickly’.
However, she understood there was a need for social housing in the area.
“We would not have set up this action group if we did not feel there were important elements to be considered as to how safe the access through Winsmore was going to be.
“The access road was far from ideal and if it could have been put in a different place there would have been hardly any complaints.
“Our only hope now is that children will think twice before dashing out into the road,” she added.
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