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Mud, noise and lorries stir fury at 'bomb site'

Malvern Editorial 7th Jan, 2015 Updated: 20th Oct, 2016

VILLAGERS have claimed builders have turned their quiet, peaceful estate into a ‘bomb site’.

Residents living in Powick have become fed up with the noise, mess and disruption to everyday life caused by large construction vehicles travelling to a development site for 45 homes behind Russell Close.

They said HGVs going up and down their road, sometimes reversing long distances, have made it dangerous for pedestrians and children, cause traffic congestion and have caked the streets in mud.

A house had to be knocked down to create the temporary access to the site which has been branded ‘unsuitable’ by residents.

The Bovis Homes’ development has been contentious ever since it was earmarked prompting residents to form the Byron’s Wood Community Group.

Malvern Hills District Council refused planning permission but the decision was overturned on appeal by a Government planning inspector despite the residents stumping up £10,000 to mount a legal challenge.

District Coun Tom Wells, who represents Powick, said: “My frustration has turned to anger at Bovis’ utter contempt for the conditions they should be adhering to.

“Russell Close was never designed for this. There is no designated pathway and a lot of shared space between motorists, pedestrians and cyclists.

“It has become an utter war zone now. It is a bomb site. Residents have had enough of the day to day impact.”

Coun Wells also argued the district council, Worcestershire County Council and police had all ‘passed the buck’ when it came to regulating the building operation.

But in December members of the BWCG met with representatives from each body and as a result wheel washing and large vehicles reversing will be monitored more closely. The district council has also issued an enforcement notice to ensure operating times are adhered to.

County Highways chiefs have however deemed the site access acceptable despite the concerns.

A Bovis spokesman said: “We are aware of residents’ concerns over the work at Powick and we are working hard with our contractors to assess and address these concerns as we move towards the completion of the first of the 45 new homes at the development.”

Coun Wells said the developer was making ‘some effort’ but there are fears the current problems are only the tip of the iceberg with further housebuilding expected.

In December the council was on the verge of approving a development for 61 homes at nearby Hospital Lane, only for it to be deferred due to concerns over asbestos under the field, which is a former landfill site.

Coun Wells added: “There were four pages worth of conditions with that one. You are thinking to yourself what a waste of time when there has been such a flagrant disregard on the opposite of the road.”

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