Hands off Haysland field, say 'green lung' protesters in Malvern

Malvern Gazette: SAVE OUR FIELD: About 60 people fighting the plan to build on Hayslan field turned up to a photocall to register their opposition SAVE OUR FIELD: About 60 people fighting the plan to build on Hayslan field turned up to a photocall to register their opposition

OPPONENTS of plans to develop a green field site in Malvern are urging people to lobby the district council to preserve the site.

Developer Barwood last month unveiled plans to build up to 150 houses on land off Hayslan Road, part of a “green lung” of fields surrounded by built-up areas.

The land is currently zoned as open space, but Barwood has asked for that status to be reviewed.

Now the Pickersleigh Residents’ Group wants local people to bombard Malvern Hills District Council with letters urging them to resist the move. Jeff Williams, the group’s chairman, said: “We’ve written to everyone on our mailing list urging them to contact the council, and we would urge everyone else who is concerned about this to write as well. This land, along with the other fields around it, has been designated as open space for many years now, and if the designation for this field is changed, the others will be at risk as well.”

He is urging people to emphasise the following points: lPickersleigh Ward is the most densely populated ward in Malvern and needs its open spaces.

lThe fields are one of the few flat open green spaces in Malvern.

lThe Planning Inspectorate says the site is a “major asset as urban green space”.

Other reasons include the views from the site and its importance for wildlife.

This week, MHDC confirmed that Barwood has asked for the field’s designation to be changed.

Council planning head Gary Williams said: “The land near Hayslan Road has been put forward for possible development as part of the recent ‘call for site’ exercise.

“Any sites recommended for allocation for development will be formally presented to the three south Worcestershire councils for approval prior to public consultation.

“There have been no changes made to the current planning status of the site in the adopted Local Plan as open space.”

Malvern Town Council is considering buying the land, according to ward member Pat Mewton. He said: “We will be looking to see if we can buy the land and designate it in perpetuity as a recreation area for the people of Malvern.”

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