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Anger at report suggesting new site for houses
A COUNCILLOR has slammed a new housing report suggesting 800 new homes should be dropped on the doorstep of Norton, just outside Worcester.
Rob Adams, who represents Norton and Whittington on Wychavon District Council, said he was “astounded” to learn a task group from Malvern Hills District Council was advocating moving homes previously earmarked for Broomhall, off the A4440 opposite the St Peter’s Estate.
The task group was set up to look at concerns over housing allocations in the South Worcestershire Development Plan – a blueprint for where to put 23,000 homes across Worcester, Wychavon and Malvern Hills between now and 2030. But as well as suggesting breaking up a proposed urban extension of 700 homes on the outskirts of Malvern, it also calls for 2,450 homes at Broomhall to be reconsidered. It says relocating as many as 500 of the homes to Redhill, in Worcester, and 800 to land near Norton, east of the M5, might serve Worcester’s need better.
Coun Adams said: “I am extremely surprised at the emergence of a report by a group of Malvern Hills councillors, which in part promotes development in my ward.
“Not only was I unaware that such a report was being prepared but I was astounded at the promotion of development in Wychavon and in particular in part of my ward. It is discourteous that the matter was not discussed with the parish council or me.”
The report will be formally considered at a special meeting of Malvern Hills District Council on Tuesday, November 13 and if backed, could pose serious problems for the SWDP, which is timetabled for simultaneous approval by Malvern Hills, Worcester City and Wychavon councils in votes at the start of December.
But Coun Adams said there was “no evidence base whatsoever” for changing the plan and said the priority for all three councils should be to move the SWDP forward as planned.
Malvern Hills District Council leader David Hughes, said the report was initially an internal document. However he decided to release it when it became clear it had been leaked.
“It was the council’s intention that the report would be released with other relevant papers to ensure that the status and implications of the report could be fully understood by both councillors and the public,” he said. “Until the matter is considered by the council, the report’s findings and recommendations have no specific status and do not represent council policy with respect to the SWDP.”