CONTROVERSIAL plans to build a multi-use games area in a Malvern village have been thrown out by planning officers.
Lower Broadheath Parish Council’s application to build a MUGA on an area of grassland at the corner of Frenchlands Lane and Martley Road (B4204) has been refused by Malvern Hills District Council due to the ‘significant’ visual impact it would have on the surrounding area.
The decision notice stated the parish council had also failed take into account the impact the MUGA would have on Christ Church which lies adjacent to Frenchlands Lane.
“The setting would become significantly less rural to the south and west of the church due to the visibility of the high fencing and large area of asphalt,” said planning officer Hayley Jones.
She added the harm to the grassland would be substantial and not outweighed by the benefit to residents.
“The application site is also distinctly separate from the from the built-up area to the north-east of Martley Road and would appear unrelated to it.
“The development could not be absorbed withing the surrounding landscape without having a significant adverse landscape and visual impact.”
The rejection of the plans will be welcomed by residents who had expressed their concerns over the safety of children throughout the consultation process.
They feared that not only pupils of Broadheath CE Primary and Pre-School, but children in general could be put in danger when crossing the B4204 to get to the games area.
Jason Bloomer, who has lived at Sailors Bank for almost 18 years, said: “I can categorically state this stretch of road presents a real hazard to anyone crossing it.
“The daily volume of traffic is heavy and the B4204 is a very popular road and race track for motorbikes with it being wide and straight.”
Philip and Karen Hill, also of Sailors Bank, said: “The siting of a community games area in this position means primary school children and other users would have to cross the B4204 in an area of staggered crossroad to get to it.
“They would have to cross on the brow of a hill where despite the 30mph speed limit, average speeds are in excess of 40mph meaning many vehicles are travelling faster than that.”
In January last year, figures obtained by West Mercia’s Safer Roads Partnership team showed 3,400 cars were travelling daily along the B4204 with the vehicle activated sign on Sailors Bank picking up recorded speeds as high as 60mph.
The Observer approached Lower Broadheath Parish Council for a comment but they did not respond by the time we went to print.
* WHAT do you think? Were planners right to throw out the MUGA plans? Are more areas and things to do needed for children and young people in Malvern? Or maybe you think everything is fine as it is. Email your views to email@example.com or write to us at the address on page eight.