Residents band together to oppose Hayslan field plan

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First published in News

MORE than 100 angry residents crowded into Barnards Green Cricket Club to fight plans to develop a well-loved local field.

Three weeks ago, property development company Barwood unveiled proposals to build up to 150 houses on the field off Hayslan Road, owned by the private girls's school Malvern St James.

The 15.5 acre field was once a playing field, but has not been used in that capacity for decades. It is now extensively used by dog walkers, joggers, children and nature-lovers.

Tuesday's meeting was organised by the Pickersleigh Residents Group, whose chairman Jeff Williams described the response as "tremendous".

Local people voiced strong objections, which included fears about traffic clogging local roads and loss of a much-loved green space.

Richard Swift said: "I asked Barwood how many cars they expected per household and they said 0.6, but I asked my brother who's and architect and he said the figure is more like two, which means an extra 300 cars, and we all know how bad the road already is in the rush hour."

Ron Owen of Hayslan Avenue said: "Do these people realise what it's already like along Hayslan Road, and what it will be like for people living in Eversley Grove and Eversley Close? It will be a nightmare."

John Gillan said: "The drawings that Barwood exhibited show three-story town houses, and plainly that does not fit in with the bungalows in Hayslan Road. I asked them what the proposed ridge heights were and they told me that the drawings were only a concept and they don't know what the height will turn out to be."

Other worries include noise and dust of building works, pressure on the nearby Grove Primary School and flooding of Pickersleigh Road, which already occurs during wet weather."

Town councillor Pat Mewton urged everyone to write individual letters of objection, and gave advice on making the letters as effective as possible.

After the meeting, Mr Williams said: "It was a tremendous response, and we're very encouraged with how many people turned out."

A spokesman for Malvern St James said: "The school has a history with the town that dates back well over 100 years, and we are very proud of our shared heritage. There was a careful selection process to choose a developer for the Hayslan Fields site, and we are confident that Barwood has a reputation as a responsible and community-minded developer."

The Pickersleigh Residents Group can be contacted at hayslanfields@hotmail.com.

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