CONTROVERSIAL changes to the Vale’s housing plans have been unanimously backed by councillors.
An extra 150 homes will now be built in Evesham as part of the South Worcestershire Development Plan (SWDP) which was endorsed by members of Wychavon District Council at a meeting on Wednesday (September 30).
Abbey Road will see an increase of 50 new homes, while 100 are being added to future developments on Cheltenham Road.
The decision to back the changes means the public will now have a say over the plans when a six week consultation launches next Friday (October 9).
During the debate, Coun Ken Barclay, who represents Evesham South, said infrastructure should be in place before future housing developments are built.
“The Town Council is aware that we are near maximum capacity from traffic in and around the town. The County Council have advised that our new bridge is already over capacity.
“The A46 bypass is frequently at a stand still, as is traffic through the main High Street. The extra 150 new homes that are now planned will obviously add to this congestion.
“New homes are welcome but are not acceptable unless the infrastructure is in place before hand to accommodate the arrival of new families and their needs,” he added.
Coun Rob Adams said: “The last time this was debated it was described it as a game of snakes and ladders, we are almost up to the top of the ladder.
“If we vote against it tonight we are back down to the bottom, we will never climb back up before April 2017, there is no chance of that.”
David Ashley, an Evesham resident of the town for more than 45 years, made a passionate plea to councillors to reject changes to the housing plans.
“I realise that you have to identify areas for thousands of new houses in the district and Evesham must take its fair share, but we have.
“Many hundreds of new homes have been built between Bengeworth School and the Offenham Road, up to the bypass by Broadway Road and Badsey Road and behind the Cheltenham Road.
“So Evesham has taken in it’s fair share and the Abbey Road site should be removed not increased. And this will not prevent the SWDP from being approved as the required numbers have already been identified.
“Furthermore all of the traffic from this site will enter and exit onto Abbey Road near to the four-way junction at the Abbey Bridge, which has already been identified as being over capacity.
“So an independent traffic review needs to be completed before any decision on the site is made,” he added.
Despite his plea, the recommendations were unanimously approved.
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