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Delight as housing plan is thrown out
5:10pm Friday 4th October 2013 in News
CONTROVERSIAL plans to build houses on land next to the Malvern Cube community centre have been thrown out, to the delight of protesters.
Worcestershire County Council applied to build four luxury houses on the land off Albert Road North, to the dismay of Cube supporters, who want the land to remain open for public use.
Campaigners have been working to save the land since the application was submitted in April and have gathered more than 1,000 signatures on a petition.
This week, district council planning officers rejected the plan because the site is an “important component to the future viability of Malvern Cube” and that national policies oppose “the unnecessary loss of valued facilities”.
Cathy Jackson-Read of Malvern Cube Land Campaign said they were delighted to hear of the decision but feared the county council might appeal.
“This is only the first round in what could be a long-running battle,” she said.
“For the county council to appeal against the decision would be hugely costly to the taxpayer, and would fly in the face of the clearly expressed wishes of local people, as reflected in the district council’s decision, that this land be left as public open space.
“We hope and expect the county council will now enter negotiations with Malvern Youth and Community Trust for the lease or the sale o f the land.”
The group is to hand the petition to the county council on Thursday, October 17.
They have also urged residents to write to their local county councillors asking them to stand up for Malvern and persuade the council not to appeal.
At the county council meeting, councillors Tom Wells and John Raine will table a motion calling on the council not to pursue an appeal.
“The district council has made its decision and we should respect that,” said Coun Wells.
The management of Malvern Cube, formerly the youth centre, was transferred to the Malvern Youth and Community Trust last year.
A county council spokesman said: “The county council is still awaiting confirmation of the decision from Malvern Hills District Council.
“Once we have seen the decision notice and the grounds for refusal, we will be able to assess the options available to us.”
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