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Where will thousands of new homes go? Have your say
11:21am Wednesday 26th March 2014 in News
BATTLE lines are being drawn across Worcestershire - as people have less than one week left to suggest land where up to 4,100 extra homes could go.
Wychavon District Council alongside neighbouring Malvern Hills and Worcester City has issued a plea for people to come up with ideas on where extra development could be located after a government inspector rejected the proposed South Worcestershire Development Place.
The blueprint originally earmarked 23,200 properties by 2030, but it could rise to 27,300 and inspector Roger Clews has already said the current figure is too low.
But many of the sites where development could go have already been fiercely opposed by local residents.
Colin Merriman, of Cheltenham Road, formed campaign group Keep Evesham Green to fight development off the Abbey Road.
A public consultation for the site - accepted into the SWDP - has already taken place but developers Hallam Land Management extended its plans onto a patch of land, known as the asparagus fields, which was not adopted in the plan.
"With no planned infrastructure to cope with huge housing estates going up, Evesham is rapidly being transformed into a sprawling dormitory town," said Mr Merriman.
"Unbelievably, hundreds of houses already built, or going through, don’t even count toward SWDP figures.
"Now, we get the SWDP inspector’s uplift on top. A double whammy .
"Where new schools or services will go when thousands of families arrive and the birth rate rises is a mystery. The government has created a monster."
In Pershore there has also been concern the town infrastructure will not be able to cope with hundreds of new homes and the town council has already opposed planning applications on sites.
Gordon Franks, chairman of the Save Broadway Campaign which rallied against the South Worcestershire Development Plan and the areas of designated development in the village, said: " think the government should be relying on Wychavon to assess its own requirements.
"Wychavon are more than capable of assessing the need. I think they have done very well to produce the plan.
"I am very unhappy about it as I am very unhappy about the whole way the planning frame work is weighted very much in favour of the developers."
Cllr John Smith said Evesham had already been "shafted" but Mid Worcestershire MP Sir Peter Luff aid the plan was better than allowing the developers free reign.
The chance to have your say ends at 5pm on Wednesday, April 2.
If any of the suggestions are accepted by the three district councils, they will become subject to a fresh public consultation before it gets sent to the inspector.
The councils say they are looking for fresh sites, rather than old ones which have already been discarded.
Details of how to suggest a site can be found at swdevelopmentplan.org.
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