Angry reaction to Boat Lane green light - The Evesham Observer

Angry reaction to Boat Lane green light

Evesham Editorial 9th Jul, 2018   0

A FORMER Mayor of Evesham has criticised developers after a controversial long running plan for housing in the heart of Evesham was given the green light, three years after an application was first made.

Hallam Land Management’s proposals for up to 200 new homes, open space and a children’s play area on land on Boat Lane off Abbey Road were given the thumbs up during a stormy meeting of Wychavon District Council’s planning chiefs last Thursday.

Previous plans for 220 home and a care home were deferred in November during a tension-filled meeting which saw angry residents vent their opposition to the controversial plans.

And speaking at the meeting, Coun Richard Jones blasted Hallam chiefs for not making a full planning application in favour of an outline application which simply seeks an agreement that development can take place on the site.

“The town council has strongly objected to this application from the start. Mistakes at this stage will reverberate around the town,” he told councillors.

“Outline approval could cause a wholly inappropriate plan so close to our town centre. This application should continue to be rejected unless more infrastructure is built.”

Bengeworth councillor Emma Stokes criticised county Highways chiefs for their view the increase in traffic would not be a ‘serious’ rise.

“I believe they got in wrong when they were doing the High Street. I believe it was wrong when they closed Abbey Bridge and I think they have got it wrong with this application.

“Highways say they have no concerns, but have focused on the access for pedestrians and cyclists, not the number of cars.

But Pershore councillor Coun Tony Rowley said: “Whilst I do not think there is a single member of this planning committee that does not have sympathy with the people of Evesham and the problems they face, we cannot ask the applicant to do any more.

“Since we deferred the application in October, the applicant has made a number of changes that we suggested.

“It has been outlined for development under SWDP and if we do not pass the application, we will have to find 200 more houses and answer why we have created this situation.”

Francesca Parmenter of David Lock Associates, an independent town planning consultant said: “We do understand the sensitivity of the site and have held meetings with the civic society, town council and Historic England.

“The applicant has listened to and reflected on the views expressed at the previous committee and the application before you responds to each of those points, removal of care facility, removal of employment use and a reduction in the number of homes.”

Further applications dealing with specific details of construction will need to be approved before building can begin.

The application was passed by 11 votes to three.

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