THE LIBERAL Democratic Parliamentary candidate for Malvern has warned the town’s ‘green lung’ is under threat from development.
Dennis Wharton, candidate for West Worcestershire, has said it should be a priority to safeguard green spaces in the area and has backed residents’ calls to reject plans to build 150 homes on Hayslan Fields.
The 15-acre site is protected as part of the emerging South Worcestershire Development Plan until 2030 but land agents GVA Grimley are said to be trying to change the current status of the land by submitting a formal objection to the three district councils in South Worcestershire.
Mr Wharton said: “It goes without saying we need to build more houses.
“But it is important to also protect green space within communities and any proposals to build on it must take into account the views of residents in the community. It is about getting the right balance.
“It is becoming increasingly difficult to get on to the housing ladder, especially for first time buyers. Prices are already out of reach for many and because we are already faced with a severe nationwide housing shortage this will only cause prices to rise further and make
buying a house impossible.”
In November last year residents submitted a 1,500-strong petition in objection to any development, but Mr Wharton admitted he got a ‘mixed reaction’ when he went and spoke to people in the area.
“Some were totally against any form of development and some were open minded,” he added.
“Any proposals to build on land will almost certainly face some opposition, especially if the land is green belt, because the area is already built up or in an area of natural beauty.
“Existing brownfield sites should always be considered for development first, as well as the views of the community.”