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Concerns over village houses
3:20pm Friday 7th September 2012 in News
CONCERNED residents are preparing to fight plans for 12 homes that they say would destroy the character and setting of their rural village.
The latest version of the South Worcestershire Development Plan – a blueprint for the development of the area over the next 20 years – includes 12 new homes allocated to land on the edge of Beckford, which is owned by the Overbury Estate.
The proposal is a new addition to the latest draft of the plan, and with the September 14 deadline for feedback fast approaching, residents have sprung into action to make their objections known.
They have formed a campaign group, launched a petition and created a website.
Group member Bob Harrington called the site ‘completely inappropriate’ and said development there – outside the village boundary – would mark ‘the beginning of a pernicious attack on its unique character’. He fears the number of homes could grow and said residents also have concerns over the site’s prominence, road safety issues, negative impact on the conservation area and Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and risk of flooding.
They also say any development required in Beckford could be achieved with smaller ‘infill’ developments.
“Nowhere in Beckford is there a development of 12 homes,” said Mr Harrington.
“Beckford is predominantly a village of individual houses, with two or three clusters of five or six, which are ‘tucked away’, having little visual impact on the character of the village. This is totally out of keeping.”
Another group member, Mark McCauley, called the proposal a ‘violation of the village’ and an ‘unnecessary attempt to spoil an area of incredible beauty’.
Penelope Bossom, of Overbury Estate, said an open meeting was held with residents last month. She said the site did not lie within the Cotswolds AONB or Beckford conservation area and was outside the flood zone.
“We care passionately about the villages around Bredon Hill and their future. We chose this site because it is close to the playground, tennis club and village hall, making it attractive to younger families,” she said.