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Housing war hots up
9:00am Sunday 10th March 2013 in News
HOUSING wars are hotting up in Upton-upon-Severn.
Residents have formed an action group to fight plans for houses they feel are being dumped on their doorsteps, while a shock bid to up one of two controversial development sites from 44 homes to 75 was launched but fell flat.
Members of the town council’s housing working group called an extraordinary meeting to propose increasing the number of homes that could be built at Milestone Farm, off Welland Road – plans the council has been working with housebuilder M G Homes to develop.
However the move was defeated, with councillors voting to continue with their existing housing policies – much to the relief of the massed residents in attendance, who have united under the banner oftheTunnel Hill Action Group (THAG).
As well as the Milestone Farm plans, residents are fighting a neighbouring bid from Cala Homes for 24 houses on historic parkland next to Karuna House.
THAG has dropped more than 1,000 leaflets to make sure everyone is aware of the plans.
Chairman Sheina Stockton said while the group is not against development,it has serious reservations about both sites.
It would like to see an official neighbourhood plan produced to earmark land where development should occur.
She said: “We urge local people to become involved in the discussion about future housing needs and the best way to ensure that Upton continues to thrive. Do we want large-scale estates on the edges of our community or smaller scale pockets of development with a range of housing?”
Representatives from Cala recently visited Upton to give a presentation on their plans.
Matt Gallagher, land director for the Midlands, said: “It is important any new development does not impinge on the landscape whatsoever. We have worked very hard to come up with a scheme that is an asset to Tunnel Hill and an asset to Upton.”
Town councillor Peter Webb, who favoured increasing the Milestone Farm allocation to 75 homes, said the idea was to meet Upton’s housing needs on that one site and protect the town against bids for other areas – such as the Cala Homes application.
He said: “We will have to have development somewhere. Our group looked at a lot of different sites and came up with that as the favourite. But in planning you will never please everyone.”
Town councillors voted not to support the Cala Homes application when they met on Tuesday.