CHIEFS at Kempsey Parish Council have called on Malvern Hills District Council to approve plans for a housing development which comes with a ‘much-needed’ and ‘vital’ community centre and sports pitches.
The parish council has pledged its support to Taylor Wimpey’s 113-home application and the sporting provisions.
Around 40 per cent of the homes will be affordable and members of the community, including sports clubs, have joined calls for the district council to approve the scheme even though its officers have advised refusal.
Developers Taylor Wimpey submitted the proposals in October 2016 and the site was included in the Kempsey Neighbourhood Plan.
It was supported by a ‘massive majority’ in a village referendum in October last year.
Coun Trevor Geens, chairman of Kempsey Parish Council, said: “Over 900 people said they agreed with our neighbourhood plan and wanted to see this application approved to deliver the new community centre and sports fields.
“It is vital the views of local people are taken on board.
“There are no other options for us to get these much-needed community centre and sports facilities.
“We urge Malvern Hills District Council to listen to the people of Kempsey and give this planning application the go ahead as there is already £1.8million potentially available in section 106 money to invest in open space funding.”
Kempsey Parish Council and Taylor Wimpey say the recommendation ‘goes against local democracy’.
The parish council’s neighbourhood plan was formally adopted by Malvern Hills District Council before Christmas, getting the backing of 92 per cent of respondents.
Zain Sharif, secretary of Kempsey Cricket Club, said the sports pitches and centre were vitally important for the residents, their children and future generations as they would encourage competitive sports, fitness and ultimately health and well-being.
“It will also provide a proud focal point for the community in general,” he said.
Ed Bradford, chairman of Kempsey Tennis Club, said the new development would encourage more people from the area to get active while Andy Dallow, chairman of Kempsey Colts FC, added the new pitches would secure the club’s future for years to come.
He urged the district council ‘to do the right thing’.
What do you think about the sporting facilities in Kempsey? Should the plan be approved? Email your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org or write to the address on page 8.