Iconic views of the Malvern Hills to be lost forever

(3459145) 45 more homes will be built in Powick

(3459145) 45 more homes will be built in Powick

First published in News

ICONIC views of the Malvern Hills will be lost forever after a planning inspector overturned a council's decision to refuse 45 new homes in Powick.

Inspector Clive Hughes agreed the loss of the views from Malvern Road and the Crown pub would cause harm but felt the benefits of more housing outweighed it.

Planning policy dictates that if a council does not have an up-to-date five-year-plan for housing supply, as is the case in South Worcestershire, more weight must be given to any proposal that supplies housing.

The news comes as a blow to local people who raised £10,000 to fight the appeal, submitted by Bovis Homes after Malvern Hills District Council rejected the plan in August.

Councillor Tom Wells said: "I think we are seeing the tip of the iceberg.

"Until the South Worcestershire councils have got a housing plan, I think we will see more speculative applications.

He added: "The inspector recognised these are the first views of the Malvern Hills as you are travelling from Worcester.

"He called it an iconic view and he's dead right.

"I find it extraordinary on one hand he accepts the significant loss but he considers the need for more housing trumps that."

Coun Wells said it sent a clear message to other developers that inspectors would rule in their favour.

The permission for the homes, opposite the Crown pub, comes shortly after councillors agreed a plan for 39 extra homes in Colletts Green and

Coun Wells said the village was expanding without any necessary facilities.

He said: "We've lost our village stores, post office and butcher shop.

"The school is full and the village hall is over-subscribed."

Russell Close resident Sarah Beard said villagers were disappointed but added: "At least by taking it to the inspector heavier conditions were placed on Bovis which might not have otherwise happened at Malvern Hills District Council."

Mrs Beard described the current planning system as "vicious."

The decision came after a four-day inquiry at Callow End Village Hall.

Mr Hughes said the plan, which includes 18 affordable homes, could generate almost £800,000 per year for the local economy and would provide a public open space with a viewing platform offering a spectacular and uninterrupted view of the hills.

He also pointed out Bovis would contribute towards the construction of a sports pavilion with community room at the nearby Hamilton Close playing fields and would pay £6,000 towards bus stops, £82,653 towards education, £18,225 towards footway works and £67,042 towards Worcester Transport Strategy.

Comments (5)

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2:39pm Thu 16 Jan 14

AlisonP01 says...

Inspector Clive Hughes should be sacked!

It is very clear that despite his comments that this appalling development scheme he is forcing on the current residents will generate some £800,000 revenue to the local economy, he cannot have visited the area. If he had, unless registered blind, he would have noted that the local economy consists of two pubs, a Chinese restaurant, a plant centre and sundry businesses. There is no other infrastructure - no grocery outlets, hardware stores, banks or any other helpful suppliers at all. Even the lovely Primary School is apparently over-subscribed.

You only have to compare this proposal with the outcome of the sprawling development in Inkberrow which is also under-facilitated to see that there is nothing to be gained by the loyal existing Rate-Payers. There is also the question of the traffic increase. The main A449 carries a very high traffic load which experiences congestion at rush hour. Also the current local housing estate roads are winding and in places narrow, so a higher volume of vehicles will increase the risk to pedestrians and cars alike.

This decision to stamp on the faces of the local population who have striven to make their feelings clear is an absolute disgrace - and I really believe they should call for his instant dismissal. Local people should have their rights and Clive Hughes has pandered to the greed of the developers.
Inspector Clive Hughes should be sacked! It is very clear that despite his comments that this appalling development scheme he is forcing on the current residents will generate some £800,000 revenue to the local economy, he cannot have visited the area. If he had, unless registered blind, he would have noted that the local economy consists of two pubs, a Chinese restaurant, a plant centre and sundry businesses. There is no other infrastructure - no grocery outlets, hardware stores, banks or any other helpful suppliers at all. Even the lovely Primary School is apparently over-subscribed. You only have to compare this proposal with the outcome of the sprawling development in Inkberrow which is also under-facilitated to see that there is nothing to be gained by the loyal existing Rate-Payers. There is also the question of the traffic increase. The main A449 carries a very high traffic load which experiences congestion at rush hour. Also the current local housing estate roads are winding and in places narrow, so a higher volume of vehicles will increase the risk to pedestrians and cars alike. This decision to stamp on the faces of the local population who have striven to make their feelings clear is an absolute disgrace - and I really believe they should call for his instant dismissal. Local people should have their rights and Clive Hughes has pandered to the greed of the developers. AlisonP01
  • Score: 6

2:43pm Thu 16 Jan 14

Giorgos says...

This whole situation has been created by the incompetence of our District Council in being unable to ratify their 5 year building supply plan. It is open season for greedy landowners and speculative property developers. Between Leigh Sinton and Malvern their is an area called the Significant Gap, designated to prevent the coalescence of the two communities. Last month a planning application to build within this gap in Leigh Sinton was turned town by the regional planning committee comprising elected councillors. Two years ago another planning application within the gap was turned down on appeal by a national planning inspector who declared that the gap should be maintained, so there was at least a precedent for the refusal. The council's planning officer Duncan Rudge refused to accept this decision and has forced a hearing before the full planning committee which is being held tonight at Avenue Road. There are another three current planning applications to build within the gap. If this is passed tonight there is no defence against any further building between Malvern and Leigh Sinton. There appears to be no point in having any parish councils or planning committees as if the council don't get their own way they will simply do whatever they want. The word democracy means rule of the people by the people or their elected representatives. It would appear that this is something that does not apply to the residents of Leigh Sinton. We are all being left hung out to dry by our district council. Their only concern is raising revenue no matter what the consequences. They are hell bent on destroying our beautiful countryside. The leader of the council David Hughes and his non-elected employees within the planning department should be ashamed of themselves.
This whole situation has been created by the incompetence of our District Council in being unable to ratify their 5 year building supply plan. It is open season for greedy landowners and speculative property developers. Between Leigh Sinton and Malvern their is an area called the Significant Gap, designated to prevent the coalescence of the two communities. Last month a planning application to build within this gap in Leigh Sinton was turned town by the regional planning committee comprising elected councillors. Two years ago another planning application within the gap was turned down on appeal by a national planning inspector who declared that the gap should be maintained, so there was at least a precedent for the refusal. The council's planning officer Duncan Rudge refused to accept this decision and has forced a hearing before the full planning committee which is being held tonight at Avenue Road. There are another three current planning applications to build within the gap. If this is passed tonight there is no defence against any further building between Malvern and Leigh Sinton. There appears to be no point in having any parish councils or planning committees as if the council don't get their own way they will simply do whatever they want. The word democracy means rule of the people by the people or their elected representatives. It would appear that this is something that does not apply to the residents of Leigh Sinton. We are all being left hung out to dry by our district council. Their only concern is raising revenue no matter what the consequences. They are hell bent on destroying our beautiful countryside. The leader of the council David Hughes and his non-elected employees within the planning department should be ashamed of themselves. Giorgos
  • Score: 10

8:53pm Fri 17 Jan 14

Very_Disgruntled says...

It is not the local councils fault, that lies with the ludicrous law that has been parachuted in - who on earth in their right mind thinks that a system where if there is no plan it is open season is right ? The government has sided with money grabbing developers (presumably putting funds into the party's coffers).

The clause that states that the decision should go to the developer where there is no agreed plan is totally barking and should be overturned by parliament !
It is not the local councils fault, that lies with the ludicrous law that has been parachuted in - who on earth in their right mind thinks that a system where if there is no plan it is open season is right ? The government has sided with money grabbing developers (presumably putting funds into the party's coffers). The clause that states that the decision should go to the developer where there is no agreed plan is totally barking and should be overturned by parliament ! Very_Disgruntled
  • Score: 3

5:17pm Sat 18 Jan 14

davecool says...

One man and his dog
All I hope is someone has the guts to open a new shop to serve our growing Powick community. Perhaps I will!
One man and his dog All I hope is someone has the guts to open a new shop to serve our growing Powick community. Perhaps I will! davecool
  • Score: 5

8:48pm Sun 19 Jan 14

sarah and her chickens says...

It was not the government that failed to identify a five year housing supply. Our local plan went out of date 7 years ago. The leaders at mhdc,all paid up members of the conservative party have failed us. The planning officers claimed we had a five year supply. It now transpires they were using the wrong calculation. In the private sector those responsible for this would be sacked. But all we had at thursdays planning meeting was an attack on the residents by Conservative councillors because we were angry. We have every right to be angry. The leaders would do better to better to resign either from the conservative party or from the council. But to continue blaming everyone but themselves and expect us to forgive them is not going to happen.
It was not the government that failed to identify a five year housing supply. Our local plan went out of date 7 years ago. The leaders at mhdc,all paid up members of the conservative party have failed us. The planning officers claimed we had a five year supply. It now transpires they were using the wrong calculation. In the private sector those responsible for this would be sacked. But all we had at thursdays planning meeting was an attack on the residents by Conservative councillors because we were angry. We have every right to be angry. The leaders would do better to better to resign either from the conservative party or from the council. But to continue blaming everyone but themselves and expect us to forgive them is not going to happen. sarah and her chickens
  • Score: 2

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