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SWDP blueprint shows sites for new homes

Malvern Editorial 25th Sep, 2014 Updated: 20th Oct, 2016

THE LOCATION of hundreds more homes to be built in Malvern Hills in the next 16 years has been revealed.

The latest draft of the South Worcestershire Development Plan (SWDP) has now been published which includes an increase of Malvern’s housing allocation from 4,900 to 5,900.

A dozen new sites have been identified in the town areas of Malvern, Upton and Tenbury totalling 558 properties and the large plots at QinetiQ and Newland, already earmarked for development, have had their allocation increased to 300 and 800 respectively.

Further housing has also been identified in rural parts of the district.

Once rubber stamped by the Government, the SWDP will guide development In Malvern, Wychavon and Worcester until 2030.

In total 8,590 properties have been proposed in Malvern Hills district including 2,150 homes at Temple Laughern which will serve as an urban extension to Worcester.

Wychavon will also be taking on 1,000 fewer homes to meet Malvern’s unmet housing need as part of the new plan, originally they were asked to take 1,350 but now they must only build 350.

The new calculations have come after a Government Planning Inspectorate called for 28,370 to be built in south Worcestershire during the period instead of the 23,200 originally put forward. 

The latest proposals will go to Full Council in Malvern on Tuesday (September 30) and if the plans are approved by all three councils they will go out to public consultation.

Coun Melanie Baker, responsible for planning and housing at MHDC, said: “We have to find a balance between building much-needed homes and protecting our communities, the plan will put the three councils and councillors back in the driving seat and the consultation will allow residents to have their say on how the recommended housing uplift is addressed.

“It’s essential that we positively move forward with the plan so councillors will have the power to start closing the door on inappropriate development.”

But opposition group leaders have reacted angrily to the latest development.

Democratic leader Julian Roskams reiterated that his group called for housing to be spread throughout the district to ease pressure on Malvern’s infrastructure rather than focus on town areas.

“Nothing in the revised plan has caused me to change my view that we have taken the wrong approach,” he added.

Tom Wells, Lib Dem leader, said he was greatly concerned about the impact on the roads extensions to the QinetiQ and Newland sites would have.

He added: “It is impossible not to express my anger at the appalling ineptitude of those politicians in charge of the district council. Their inability to deal with this sooner has left us all at the mercy of speculative large scale housing applications on unsuitable land.”

Ron Harris, leader of the Malvern Link Forum group opposed to earmarked development at Lower Howsell Road, urged residents to attend Tuesday’s meeting and demonstrate public feeling over the plans.

The debate will take place at the Bank House Hotel in Bransford at 6.30pm.

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