28th Sep, 2020

Affordable homes bid off table after vote

Rob George 22nd Jul, 2019

A CONTROVERSIAL bid to build 36 affordable homes on derelict land in the heart of Evesham has been withdrawn after planning chiefs rejected the proposals.

Rooftop Housing Group axed their plans to build the one and two bedroom flats on Swan Lane less than a week after a vote at Wychavon District Council was lost by nine votes to four with one abstention.

The developer had hoped to demolish the existing buildings on the site to develop a new housing scheme made up of two apartment blocks. The first would have been a two-storey block while the second would have been four storeys high.

Planning chiefs at Wychavon District Council deferred the application at the previous meeting in May to allow councillors to visit the site.

Speaking at the meeting, Coun Sue Amor repeated Evesham Town Council’s objections to the scheme and said the council’s position hadn’t changed.

“The proposal for 36 dwellings is far too dense for this site, the proposed design of the buildings is out of keeping with the surrounding area,” he said.

“The access roads are already congested and this development would only add to the congestion.”

Ward member Coun Peter Griffiths addressed the meeting and highlighted the concerns of local residents about the scheme including the lack of car parking at the site.

“While fellow ward councillor Coun Robbie Raphael and I are both inclined to support the provision of much needed housing and rid the town of this derelict site we strongly believe steps must be taking to mitigate its impact on the community who already live there,” he said.

Committee member Coun Liz Eyre called for the development to be refused for a number of reasons including the amount of flats being proposed for the site.

“The reality is this is very experimental and I do not think we are anywhere near a society where you cannot have any parking,” she said.

“The people of Evesham deserve not to be an experimental site which will cause absolutely havoc over time.”

Coun Tony Rowley disagreed with her and said: “Coun Eyre must go round towns with her eyes closed, there are many developments without car parking. There is an obvious need for this development.”

Norton and Whittington Coun Rob Adams said: “Do Evesham Town Council actually want this site to stop like this forever because that’s the way it’s heading.”

“Surely we need to get this site developed. This is a town centre site and it needs developing,” he said.

Despite his plea, the scheme was rejected.

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