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Residents ready with war chest
DETERMINED residents have amassed a war chest of almost £10,000 to fight controversial housing plans.
Bovis Homes wants to build 45 new homes near the Crown pub, Powick, close to the main A449 Malvern to Worcester road.
Although its planning application was rejected by Malvern Hills District Council in August, the developer is now heading to appeal in a bid to have that ruling overturned.
People living near the proposed development site have fought the plans every step of the way.
As well as forming their own residents group and holding several packed public meetings they launched their own “fighting fund”
that raised a total of £9,930 in just three-and-a-half weeks.
Sarah Beard, of Russell Close, said the cash is being used to appoint their own highways engineer and planning barrister to fight their corner at the upcoming appeal.
“To raise that amount of money in such a short amount of time is fantastic and to me it just shows how strongly the residents feel that they do not want this,”
she said. “We are hopeful that having those experts on our side will provide us with the ammunition we need to fight this.”
At the planning inquiry, which is scheduled to take place from Tuesday to Friday, November 12 to 15 at Callow End Village Hall, residents will argue that the development is not sustainable as the local primary school is full and there are no local shops within walking distance.
They also fear for the safety of children and pedestrians in narrow Russell Close – which would become the main access for the development.
“It would be very dangerous and also cause traffic chaos if this goes ahead and there are some 80 extra cars a day coming out on to the main road at a traffic light that only holds for less than a minute at best,” she added.
Despite residents’ concerns, the appeal by Bovis says its plan meets the criteria for “sustainable development”
set out in the government’s National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) which it says should be used to determine the decision as the local South Worcestershire Development Plan (SWDP) is still a work in progress and not yet formally agreed.
But Mrs Beard said residents will be doing all they can to convince the planning inspector otherwise and hopes that “common sense will prevail”.
She is issuing a rallying call for people in Powick.
“It is very important that as many residents as possible turn up and show the strength of feeling about this application," she said.
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