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Villagers face new planning struggle
A DEVELOPER is seeking to build 30 new homes in a village already locked in a planning battle.
Proposals for a new estate on open countryside in Welland, near Malvern, have been lodged with district council planners.
Pradys Mill Developments says a mixture of houses – from bungalows to larger three and four-bedroom homes – will bring “lasting benefits” to the area and that its proposals are in line with national planning guidelines encouraging “sustainable development”.
The application site – next to the Old Post Office in Drake Street – is just a stone’s throw from Lawn Farm, where residents are already battling against plans for 50 new homes.
Lawn Farm is owned by district and Welland parish councillor Roger Cousins, and while the plans were initially thrown out, Kler Developments has appealed and the result of a planning inquiry is now expected in the new year.
Neighbours have been fighting the Kler plans under the banner of Welland Residents Action Group, raising almost £10,000 to fight their corner during the recent public inquiry.
No one from the group was available to comment on the new plans as the Malvern Gazette went to press, but one Welland resident said she believed there will be similar opposition.
“We agree there have got to be some houses built but the majority of people don’t want these developments in what is essentially open countryside away from the rest of the village,” she said. “There are other places where it would be better to build.”
The Drake Street site is not included in the South Worcestershire Development Plan (SWDP) – an emerging blueprint mapping exactly where new development should take place between now and 2030.
But that plan has recently run into trouble, with planning inspector Roger Clews telling council chiefs behind the plan that the 23,200 new homes it envisages are not enough and that “substantially higher” numbers are likely to be required.
Supporting its application, Pradys Mill Developments says there is “a significant risk that the SWDP may be found unsound” and therefore should only be afforded “very limited weight”.
It also points out that Welland is classified in the SWDP as a “category one village”
where new development is to be favoured.
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