A CONTROVERSIAL sheltered housing scheme on the site of Pershore’s former Cottage Hospital has been given the green light despite concerns from local councillors.
Churchill Retirement Living won approval to build 23 apartments for the elderly on the Defford Road site after councillors on Wychavon District Council’s Planning Committee voted in favour last Thursday (March 3).
The meeting was the second time the application was brought before the committee after planning chiefs voted to defer the original application back in December.
Councillors voted to delay a decision due to concerns from local residents about parking, with more than 53 people signing a petition against the plans.
However, Churchill then lodged an appeal against the council for their failure to reach a decision on the application, an appeal they are now withdrawing after planning chiefs approved revised plans.
The property developers have added two additional parking spaces to the site, taking the total to 13 after addressing local residents concerns.
Despite the revised plans, Pershore district councillor Val Wood hit out at Churchill during the meeting and slammed their plans.
Coun Wood said the retirement block should have one space for every apartment and not the 13 spaces overall Churchill had proposed.
“I’m at a loss to understand why this application is being recommended for approval by officers for this type of use without insisting on the recommended parking space of one per unit,” Coun Wood said.
“This is setting a very dangerous precedent and will come back to bite this council.
Coun Wood went on to say she couldn’t understand why the application was being considered and urged members to refuse the plans.
Coun Tony Rowley, who also represents Pershore, said: “I’m very concerned with the way Churchill have dealt with this application, especially when they appealed our earlier decision.
“I feel by deferring the original application to allow us to negotiate some changes was a far better way forward than appealing against that and then resubmitting the plans.”
Despite the pleas from Coun Wood, the application was approved by 11 votes to two.