Angry exchanges as plan gets go-ahead - The Evesham Observer

Angry exchanges as plan gets go-ahead

Evesham Editorial 28th Apr, 2018   0

A WAR of words has erupted after a leading Pershore councillor claimed giving the green light to build a new community hall off Defford Road would be a ‘gift to developers’.

Coun Charles Tucker spoke out after Pershore Town Council backed plans for the new venue on cemetery land at a meeting last Thursday.

But town council chiefs said there was ‘no evidence’ such a move would open the flood gates for developers to build on land close to the proposed site.

The green light was given following a consultation which saw 142 residents have their say with a majority in favour.

A furious Coun Tucker criticised the approval but said it would be welcomed by developers desperate to build homes on land leading up to Tiddesley Wood. Last year a local landowner put forward a proposal for 170 houses bordering Tiddesley Wood.

“I cannot understand why town councillors are determined to ignore the likely consequences of this decision,” he said.

“By extending the town beyond its existing boundary it will give a green light for housing development in open countryside”.

“I was dumbfounded when one councillor said he thought the council might sell the cemetery field to a developer if the hall was not built. This field was bought many years ago to extend the cemetery, not to profit from development.”

In response, Coun Bob Gillmor, Mayor of Pershore said: “I am very disappointed one member refuses to accept the council’s democratic decision and the expressed view of residents.

“We have seen no evidence to suggest the hall would ‘open the flood gates’ to developers and the council looks forward to providing what it believes will be a well-used asset for our growing town.”

A town council spokesperson said Coun Tucker was one of only two councillors to vote against the hall and said the majority of members didn’t agree with his claims the site would be a gift for developers.

“The community hall has been discussed by the town council for a considerable amount of time and a great deal of professional advice has been taken from architects and surveyors,” she said.

“80 per cent of residents agree a new hall is needed and the majority indicated their preference for a new build on the field off Defford Road.

“This is because the council can build a large, purpose built hall, to include the long awaited family history centre, that already has an adjacent free car park.

“There was never any suggestion the field should be sold but concerns were raised that a developer may show interest in the land at some stage in the future.”


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