22nd Oct, 2020

Villagers launch pledge fund to ward developers off beauty spot

Malvern Editorial 4th Apr, 2015 Updated: 20th Oct, 2016

A PLEDGE fund aimed at fighting a potential appeal for a major development in Upper Welland has been set up by determined village residents.

Kler Group had plans to build 95 homes on an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) on Upper Welland Road but the application was thrown out by the district council.

But with fears the developers will appeal the decision, Upper Welland Action Group (UWAG) has launched the fund, with a £10,000 target, to ensure legal and technical experts are available to fight its corner.

Andy Pitt, chair of UWAG, told The Observer residents found themselves in a ‘David and Goliath situation’ but there was no other option but to try and rake in the funds.

“We are at risk of stumbling into an environmentally unsustainable car-dependent urban sprawl where the distinctiveness of our towns and villages are lost,” he said.

“The very character of the Malvern Hills, its surroundings and AONB are being irreversibly sacrificed.

“The cumulative effect of these developments will be the death of Malvern by a thousand cuts.

“The Victorians left us a beautiful and unique Malvern, what will our legacy to future generations be?”

About £5,000 has been raised so far for the potential appeal, which has to be lodged before August.

“Why build in an area where the only facilities are a small Victorian school which is already at capacity and a bus service which, because of the steep hill, in effect only operates one way?” Mr Pitt added.

“It is not just another green field site it is productive agricultural land adjacent to ancient woodland and is physically part of the unique AONB forming Malvern’s foothills and is thus prominent in the view from the ridge.

“The Malverns are one of the most visited districts in Worcestershire, tourism provides much needed local jobs and substantial income creating a strong, healthy, vibrant local economy.

“All the aspects of this rural environment will disappear.”

The Observer approached Kler Group, but the company was unable to issue a response by the time we went to press.

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