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A community group were unhappy when a green land development was approved
A CONTROVERSIAL housing plan on green land has been approved despite residents' concerns.
Malvern Hills District Council approved plans for 43 homes at Milestone Farm, off Welland Road, Upton-upon-Severn. Now, the Tunnel Hill Action Group (THAG) will hold a meeting to decide whether they will fight for a judicial review. THAG chairman, Sheina Stockton, believed the southern area development committee, did not take into account the issues she put forward on behalf of the group at the planning meeting held on Wednesday.
“We’re not surprised by the outcome but the whole process has been so flawed,” she said.
“We’re holding a meeting to decide what we’re going to do, whether we’re moving for a judicial review and whether we’ll win if we do."
Mrs Stockton claimed at the meeting there were more suitable sites for development but the committee disagreed.
She added: “In our hearts we would like to fight on but the five-year housing plan need has probably hindered our case and held more weight in it being approved.”
The development site is a rural exception site for small developments, mainly for affordable homes based on need, but THAG claimed the site was too large to meet requirements.
It added there was no need as a questionnaire on the need for affordable housing in Upton was passed to hundreds of residents and only 22 replied with only nine of these being viable for new affordable housing.
But, Upton’s deputy Mayor, Paul Bennett, said all the people who had returned the questionnaires needed the affordable housing which was to be built and it was the right amount to be built, not more or less than was needed.
He also pointed out the high proportion of affordable houses proposed – 21 private homes and 22 affordable homes and the £147,200 be contributed to local services by the developer, MG Homes.
Independent councillor Tim Perry for Upton and Hanley moved to refuse the plans on the basis of road safety, road flooding, and the lack of school places for new residents and the rural element of the site.
However, the move was refused with fellow ward councillor Mike Morgan backing the development.
Coun Morgan said: “In my opinion, allowing this to go ahead is moving forward. My fears about road safety have been addressed. Upton town council have worked with this council here and we see evidence of them robustly challenging the plans and this application addressed them profusely.”
Fourteen councillors voted for the plan, three against and one abstention.
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