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1st Jul, 2022

Councillor's plan for homes stirs opposition

Malvern Editorial 29th Oct, 2014 Updated: 20th Oct, 2016

THE LEADER of Malvern Hills District Council is still hoping to build homes on his own land despite concerns over safety at the site being raised by development experts.

Planning policy officers on the council, alongside those at Wychavon and Worcester, have formally rejected Clay Green Farm in Alfrick from the latest draft of the South Worcestershire Development Plan – which will determine housebuilding in Malvern until 2030.

But Coun David Hughes is yet to withdraw his application for 21 properties on the land, which he submitted in June.

Planning officers stated the proposed access to the site for vehicles would be unsafe for pedestrians, particularly children and elderly people. They also concluded the junction on to Folly Road would be unsuitable for the estimated level of traffic generated by the new homes.

The officers also said the village’s ability to sustain such a development was ‘very poor’ particularly because the public transport in the area was ‘very limited’ or ‘non-existent’.

They stated the proposal would ‘urbanise’ Alfrick and calculated that Clay Green Farm was too far away from shops and services in the village.

Concern for the impact on ‘historic environment’ in the area was also stated as a reason for rejection.

The proposal has caused unrest among locals ever since it was first submitted to Alfrick and Lusley Parish Council earlier this year.

In recent weeks a resident action group has formed purely to oppose the plans, attracting more than 20 members so far.

They have gone to the length of hiring a planning consultant and the parish council has also held talks with a highways engineer to scrutinise the proposals.

Dave Flanagan, a member of the Alfrick and Lusley Residents’ Group, said: “We are gobsmacked at how our own councillor can act so blatantly against the wishes and interests of the villagers in putting his own financial interest above his friends, neighbours and constituents.

“We remain hopeful that there may be sufficient councillors with values left on the planning committees to send a message to the electorate that we are not alone, that selflessness and integrity do matter at MHDC.

“There is a very firm and growing determination among many, many people all across Malvern Hills that if councillors won’t stand with us they will not be councillors much longer.”

Worcester based firm PRP Consultants which is handling the application on behalf of Coun Hughes, was unable to respond by the time the Observer went to print.

A district council spokeswoman confirmed the development proposal was likely to be decided by the end of the year.

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