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4th Jul, 2022

New housing battle for Kempsey residents

Malvern Editorial 14th Jan, 2015 Updated: 20th Oct, 2016

A VILLAGE already ‘overburdened’ with unwanted housing has avoided even more development, for now.

Two proposals for more than 100 properties between them were discussed by planners at Malvern Hills District Council last Wednesday (January 7) and although neither was approved, residents fear it is not the end of the matter.

The Northern Area Development Management Committee refused permission for 75 homes off Post Office Lane then later that night they deferred a bid for 31 properties at Kings Hill to request the developer, Lioncourt Homes, provide more information on certain areas of the plans.

Residents made impassioned pleas for the committee to reject the proposals on the night.

John Michael, from Kempsey Parish Council, argued the village was originally only designated for 144 homes but said planning approval for other unwanted applications would see the total amount of properties rise to 330.

He said: “Kempsey has done more than its fair share in shouldering the burden of housing developments.

“Enough is enough unless you wish to see Kempsey obliterated and merely become a dormitory suburb of Worcester with no heart or sense of community.

When speaking against the Kings Hill plan he added: “Kempsey has had enough and feels it is always treated as an unloved and unwanted part of Malvern Hills District Council area because we are the wrong side of the river and get treated with contempt.”

Council planning officers had recommended both applications be approved citing the council was failing its targets to provide enough housing in Malvern.

Duncan Rudge, development control manager at the council, said the homes were required to meet district need rather than the immediate need in Kempsey.

The committee rejected the Post Office Lane bid mainly due to concerns it would generate too much traffic on the road.

A spokeswoman for the developer, David Wilson Homes, said: “The primary concern is highway safety but there is no safety problem on Post Office Lane. It is safe.

“There is no doubt this is a sustainable development.

“We are well aware of the concerns of local people and have addressed these views.”

After the decisions Mr Michael told the Observer the outcomes were better than he had expected but warned residents had only ‘won the battle, but not the war’.

The Kings Hill application will come before the committee at a later date while residents expect David Wilson Homes to appeal the refusal decision for Post Office Lane

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