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Villagers again have to fight homes plan
2:00pm Sunday 3rd February 2013 in News
A DEVELOPER is pressing ahead with contentious plans to build 45 new homes in Powick.
Bovis Homes has submitted a planning application to build the houses on land next to The Crown pub, despite opposition from residents and the fact the site has been deleted from the emerging South Worcestershire Development Plan (SWDP) – a blueprint pinning down where development should take place.
The 2.7 hectare site was included in early versions of the SWDP.
However, it was strongly opposed locally, with resident group Protest Powick Greenfield (PPG) calling its inclusion “outrageous”, and removed before the final SWDP draft was approved in December. But the SWDP still has to receive government approval before it can be formally adopted and Bovis says it should only be given “limited weight”.
In its application it also says existing local plans are out of date and Malvern Hills does not have a five-year land supply, so the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), introduced last year, should be used to determine what is appropriate.
Planning agent Green Planning Solutions says in these circumstances, permission should be granted unless any adverse impacts can be shown to “significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits”.
The PPG’s opposition centres on a belief that growth in Powick has outstripped all other similar-sized villages in Worcestershire over the last 15 years and that Powick has no need for more housing.
Concerns have also been expressed over traffic and access issues.
District and county councillor Tom Wells organised a residents’ meeting at Powick Parish Hall on Sunday evening.
He said he wanted to be sure local people understood the planning process and what they could do to be part of it.
“The idea of 45 houses bolted on that site is quite clearly one that concerns a large number of people,” he said.
“I will be doing my very best to represent the views and interests of local residents.”
Powick Parish Council’s planning committee will be meeting to debate the plans on Wednesday.
Planning committee chairman Coun Colin Phillips said they were expecting a lot of residents at the meeting and had already set aside extra time for public participation.
“There is obviously a lot of opposition to that particular development,” he said.
Both councillors Phillips and Wells believe Worcestershire could see a trend of developers seeking permission for sites not in the SWDP before the document is formally adopted.
“I have a feeling we could see quite a few applications like this in the period before the new plan comes into force,” said Coun Phillips.